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#226 2023-11-22 15:34:01

Terraformer
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From: Ceres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,821
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Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

That's very different from not being able to *afford* to do it though. And neighbourhood heat networks aren't a massive national infrastructure project, they're a great many small projects. Nothing like the size of HS2 or even Hinckley C.

We didn't use (national) state resources to build the gas and electric grids.


"I'm gonna die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." - If this forum was a Mars Colony

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#227 2023-11-22 16:04:09

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,078

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

The issue like you describe has been here in small town growth from the adding of town water and sewer and the high level of cost is why they are not progressing as the taxpayers of the total town pays even though they are not getting the service.

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#228 2023-11-23 01:35:25

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Calliban,

Speaking of explosions, a couple of EV makers included a helpful feature to suffocate the occupants of their vehicles with toxic and combustible gases prior to the big bada-boom:

The killer EV design deficiency nobody talks about - until now | Auto Expert John Cadogan

Apparently, including a real floor in the vehicle was costing too much, so they made the battery box the floor of the vehicle.  I'm curious if the value of the steel and assembly time saved is over $20.  Whatever their reasoning, it's only one more reason why I will never buy or drive one of these hideously expensive death traps.

In other news, the true cost of recharging EVs in America, paid for by the general public, is over $17 per gallon of gasoline equivalent.  So much for "cheaper gas".  Now that they can't play with other peoples' money, the inordinate expenses associated with these toys for the wealthy will become more and more apparent.  The overall cost per EV, also borne by the public, amounts to over $11,000 per vehicle.  I'm curious as to when, if ever, Democrats will come to the conclusion that they're impoverishing themselves, through their own ideology and what they vote for.  Only their fellow Democrats are making them poorer.

I've seen and had the displeasure of personally interacting with numerous EV owners thumb their noses at people who use gasoline cars for what they're good for, but don't have piles of play money, nor a burning desire to turn their house into a debris field, while claiming they hate the planet and want to change the weather for the worse.  They're some of the worst ambassadors for their cause that I've ever seen.

I know there's a counter-factual out there somewhere, but I've never personally seen a Republican tell his fellow Constitutional Republic supporters that they don't love the Second Amendment as much as he does, because his rifle is more expensive than their rifle is.  Over 25 years of shooting guns, that's never happened one time.  There's no group of gun owners going around shaming other gun owners for not having the money to buy a fancier model of gun.  We typically try to work out how to best arm our neighbors, typically on a budget, just in case WWIII kicks off.  We volunteer our time and money to train new gun owners, including new Democrat gun owners, because these wannabe communists, who are still my fellow Americans, will quickly discover that real communists would just as soon walk over their corpses as look at them.  We tell them the same thing we tell new Republican gun owners.  The cavalry ain't comin', dude.  You're the cavalry now.  Act like it.

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#229 2023-11-23 09:57:26

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 29,078

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Nice quote from the 5th element taxi scene.

I agree that removing the weight of the floor causing more to happen is just wrong with all EV designs.

Sounds like thermal monitoring was also deleted from the battery design as well. If you want information that tells you when you need to turn off the car you want information much like coolant gauges giving a view of information rather than an idiot light.

More reason to charge from solar to lower the cost to recharge it when you are low. It's also why a hybrid is better as it does not suffer these issues.

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#230 2023-11-23 15:41:39

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,486

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

'In other news, the true cost of recharging EVs in America, paid for by the general public, is over $17 per gallon of gasoline equivalent.'

That is a huge amount.  Enough to make European diesel prices look cheap.  And that is just the cost of electricity and charging infrastructure.  Throw in the marginal cost of the battery and it can only get worse.  Whilst there is some debate over the future of transportation, it is painfully obvious that BEVs are not going to be a big part of it.  They are luxury toys that don't manage the luxury part very well.  The idea is popular because it feeds into the popular Jetson's electric everything mythology.  And it appears to allow a seamless transition between energy sources without any change to lifestyle.  But it doesn't perform well on any level, whether it be resource sustainability or affordability.  The fact that it is still being advocated and even mandated says a lot about the level of technical education amongst ruling elites.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-11-23 15:48:17)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#231 2023-11-24 05:38:30

Mars_B4_Moon
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Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

'Hochmut kommt immer vor dem tödlichen Fall'


Germany refuses to build nuclear Uniper plant in Sweden
https://www.eceee.org/all-news/news/new … in-sweden/

The thing about the Germans is they can be a very intelligent, great manufacturing people with almost genius wonder of construction and other math management ability. However they also seem to have this character flaw at the top of extreme arrogance like when Merkel took in million upon million of refugees from islamic war nations, including jihad terrorists and she thought all would be fine and nothing could go wrong. You can be critical of Bush junior or critical of Obama or critical of Trump but when Trump called out their failed policy and flawed energy strategy all they did was laugh. This is not the first time German leadership has done this, when they got caught with a stupid policy and their pride exposed they sometimes will laugh almost like an arrogant super-villain one might see in a Bond movie or Indiana Jones movie.

Germany reaction
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfJv9QYrlwg

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2023-11-25 08:48:21)

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#232 2023-11-24 09:38:32

SpaceNut
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Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

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#233 2023-11-25 01:49:02

kbd512
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Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

SpaceNut,

I don't know what else they deleted.  The vehicle's battery was supposedly built the way it was, so that a knowledgeable firefighter could crack open the battery box using an access panel, and then stick the hose's nozzle directly into the battery to deluge the battery with cooling water while it burned itself out.  This may have been an attempt to "do good", but it was clearly never tested to see how well the idea would work in practice.  About 5 firefighters nearly got themselves blown up in France.  Their protective gear stopped the shrapnel, but it literally looked like a car bomb.  The 5th man wasn't in too much danger because he was standing behind another man, but the vehicle's roof was blown completely off and luckily it didn't land on them, because it went at least 40 feet up in the air and doesn't look like a featherweight plastic toy.

In actual practice, the passenger compartment rapidly fills with suffocating toxic fumes, which a spark can then ignite.  I would wager money that the battery's Cobalt content was minimized.  Cobalt is frequently used to arrest the battery's tendency to ignite or explode when punctured or overcharged.  At least one of the EVs in question was not being charged when it exploded, which is worse, because it means there's a manufacturing defect in the cells or the control hardware and software that allows them to discharge at a rate beyond what they can tolerate.  My money is on a cell manufacturing defect, because it's a natural consequence of making batteries from layer cake materials thinner than a human hair.  Any miniscule defect or puncture of the separator membrane, a layer of mylar if memory serves, can lead to a short-circuit and subsequent thermal runaway.

I will NOT risk burning down my garage or sending shrapnel through the neighborhood to appease climate activists.  These vehicles are far too complex and sensitive to manufacturing defects.  The technology clearly isn't perfected yet.  We'll know it's perfected when all of the existing large car makers can produce batteries that don't fail by thermal runaway mere weeks from their initial manufacturing date, ignoring crashes and over-charging.  Lead-acid batteries also used to explode like this.  That phenomenon became increasingly rare as the tech and manufacturing process control improved, but good grief were those things powerful.  Hydrogen is a spectacularly energetic fuel.  Something far heavier than a 12V Lead-acid battery, containing a substantially more energetic metal like Lithium, is a recipe for a disaster.

All I know for certain is that these supposed "budget" EVs devote a ton of money to the vehicle's infotainment system and other pointless electronic gadgetry that adds nothing to the overall usability of the vehicle.  After all that money is spent, the company balks at spending the extra $40 for a properly sealed all-steel passenger compartment and a sheet of thermal insulation between the passenger compartment floor and the battery box.  They will spend any amount of money on gadgets that nobody actually asked for, but use the same logic that Ford used on the Pinto, when it comes to ensuring that the vehicle won't literally suffocate its occupants with toxic fumes, shortly before blowing bits of their charred corpses into the middle of next week.  An iPhone / iPad or Android is an infotainment system.  Let Apple and Google spend the money on developing electronic gadgets, because they're clearly better at it in a very unambiguous way.  If you're an automotive OEM, spend all of your time and money making reliable cars, or at least cars that don't literally explode during their warranty period, while parked.

Everybody remembers the Ford Pinto, and for good reason.  A silly little hold-down bracket would've prevented a collision from turning the car into a funeral pyre.  The Pinto had to be struck from the rear by another vehicle before it would explode.  These EVs are exploding despite never having been struck by anything at all.  If it wasn't socially acceptable for Ford to do what they did, then there is no way in hell that it should be socially acceptable for these EV makers to do what they're doing now- namely, making not-so-cheap but 1970s-reminiscent craptastic garbage.

When gasoline ignites, you dump CO2 or water on it one time, for a matter of seconds to minutes, and the fire is out.  You dump water on a Lithium battery fire for hours, but it can and will reignite up to a week later.  Gasoline fueled car fires don't do that.  Gasoline fueled car fires don't burn hot enough to collapse multi-level steel reinforced concrete parking garages, whereas Lithium battery fueled fires burn hot enough to liquefy steel.  There's a difference in both the kind and the quantity of fuel involved in a Lithium battery fire, which is essentially equivalent to a 200 gallon gasoline tank in terms of fuel weight for a vehicle equipped with a 100kWh Lithium battery.  No gasoline powered passenger car has 200 gallons of fuel in its tank.  Pretending that such batteries are "safer" is wildly inaccurate.  They might be safer than gasoline until they catch fire, but then there is no such thing as "putting the fire out" until all the fuel has burned up.

These EVs currently represent 1% of the total global passenger vehicle fleet.  If the other 99% were also EVs, we'd be losing multiple parking garages and container ships per week, until EVs were uninsurable or outright banned.  I'm not in favor of banning or abandoning the tech, but there is serious work to do on making them less likely to catch fire or explode.  This is very nearly the case with light twin engine aircraft, which is equally counter-intuitive, because they were created and marketed as being "safer" than single engine aircraft.  In practice, accident rates are so high amongst the light twins, as a consequence of pilot error during takeoff or landing engine failures, that most insurance companies won't ensure non-commercially operated light twin aircraft.  Similarly, the damage EVs cause is way out of proportion to whatever meager benefits they provide.  As near as I can tell, EVs in their present form are merely another "think and grow rich" scheme.  Someone who is not the owner of the asset, who will never benefit from its use, is paying through the nose to force something into existence that is minimally functional.  Hertz Rental Car is now saddled with thousands of seemingly unpopular and unreliable Tesla EVs that cost the company more revenue than they bring in from rentals, hence the never-ending YouTube videos featuring Tom Brady, in a vain attempt to sell them to the general public.

America made EVs 100 years ago.  We quit making them because they weren't functional substitutes for combustion engines and have never done what they're supposed to do, which is to provide reliable, affordable, and practical personal transportation.  100 years later, the only thing that's fundamentally changed is how absurd the cost of this new generation of EVs has become.

GM was correct when they assessed that EV battery capacity needed to hit 2,500Wh/kg to make them viable replacements for combustion engines.  At the pack level, all present Lithium-ion batteries fall somewhere between 150Wh/kg and 200Wh/kg, which is more than 1 order of magnitude less energy dense than they need to be, to have any hope of achieving price parity with combustion engines.  More than a few buyers are even willing to overlook this severe limitation, but not when they're equivalent to time bombs on wheels, or liable to burn their house down.  If the battery explosions and fires are resolved, then limited battery capacity short-range commuter EVs make a lot of sense for urban city dwellers who only take short trips of a few miles or so and have pervasive access to electricity.  They make no sense whatsoever for any other uses cases.

A Tesla with a 10kWh battery for acceleration and energy recovery, paired with a small high-output combustion engine, could save enormous quantities of fuel, mostly by sheer numbers.  Each Tesla presently sold would represent 10 hybrid Teslas in terms of exotic / energy intensive materials requirements, so they could sell 10X more vehicles with a battery 1/10th the current price.  This would be a pragmatic solution in search of an eminently useful middle ground, emphasizing the strengths of both batteries and combustion engines.  Compromise is not a dirty word in engineering.  No compromise designs lead to solutions that are only good for one thing, and awful at everything else.

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#234 2023-11-25 05:42:27

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

SpaceNut,

Your MSN article contains a bunch of weasel words and apples-to-oranges comparisons, such as this gem, "The average EV sells for $4,600 more than the median gasoline car, but by most calculations, I’ll save money over the long run."

Mean - the mathematical average of a range of values, such as the prices paid to purchase a new car or truck
Median - The mid-point within a range of values, such as the value equidistant from the lowest and highest prices paid to purchase a new car or truck
Mode - The value repeated most often within a range of values, such as if 51% of people who spent money to purchase a new car or truck, spent $35,000, then that specific value represents the mode, because it appears most often within the range of new car and truck purchase prices

Comparing the average new EV purchase price with the median new vehicle purchase price, is grossly inappropriate unless the median and average values happen to coincide with each other.  The author, Michael J Coren, has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from Yale, so he cannot claim ignorance.  If he does, then we know what a Masters degree from Yale is worth, which is precisely nothing outside of the Church of Latter Day Climate Kooks.  He's a garden variety liar who has deliberately misrepresented the cost to the consumer to support his church's climate religion, so the rest of his article is more ignorance-based climate religion by default.  The fact of the matter is, most people purchased lower cost vehicles, specifically because their budget doesn't allow them to purchase higher cost vehicles.  So long as someone else is paying for his religion, he's willing to use all those "dirty poor people" to pay for his belief system.

Here's what I'm pretty sure he did to come up with his pseudo-plausible numbers (for the mathematically illiterate):
Average new car cost paid was about $34,781.  He then took the cost of a base model 2023 Tesla Model 3, and used that as a substitute for median new car cost.  It's not very clever, but his target audience is his fellow Democrats / climate kooks who he looks down upon.  No Republicans are listening to what he has to say, because WaPo is a band of known liars.

From AAA:

The overall average manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of the new vehicles in the 2023 YDC study is $34,876. This is $1,575 (4.7%) higher than last year.

Kelley Bluebook:

According to Kelley Blue Book and the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the average new car price at the beginning of 2023 is $49,388!

Why the disparity?  Time of year and use of MSRP vs actual transaction price paid by actual paying customers.

The article specifically mentions the Ford F-150 Lightning EV truck, so this is the closest we can come to apples-to-apples.

From your article in Post #232:

...
By contrast, recharging the electric F-150 Lightning (or Rivian R1T) to cover an equivalent distance costs about $34 — an $80 savings. This assumes, as the Energy Department estimates, drivers recharge at home 80 percent of the time, along with other methodological assumptions at the end of this article.
...
An American driving the average 14,000 miles per year would see annual savings of roughly $700 for an electric SUV or sedan up to $1,000 for a pickup, according to Energy Innovation.

2024 Gasoline Ford F-150 base model MSRP: $36,750

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning base model MSRP: $49,995

$50,000 - $37,000 = $13,000.

Over a period of 13 years, you could save enough money by paying for electricity to achieve initial purchase price parity with a gasoline powered Ford F-150, assuming 80% of your charging is done at home.  How this is supposed to be achieved with a work truck that is frequently driven all day long, is never stated.  This is hardly a point in favor of a Ford Lightning, now famous for the series of YouTube videos clearly demonstrating why it cannot begin to tow or haul as much as the Ford F-150 with the gasoline engine.  Range with a modest trailed Tesla Model 3 payload was reduced to less than 100 miles.  If the battery doesn't last for 13 years, then you'll never reach price parity.

Much hay is made about gas vehicle maintenance costs, but over the first 100,000 miles, apart from oil and filter changes, there basically isn't any maintenance that the dealership doesn't take care of as warranty work for some minor fee, like $20 at the Cadillac dealership.  Over 100,000 miles, it amounts to less than $1,000.

This is from EV Insider (after said EV owner told everyone how great his Ford Lightning was):
Ford F-150 Lightning MAJOR Battery Failure - Buyer Beware

My 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning's battery failed after only 11 months and 12,000 miles.  This is a major issue and one that you need to be aware of before you consider buying a Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck.

In recent months, there have been a number of reports of the Ford F-150 Lightning experiencing major battery failure. I'm finding out that repairs can take months if you can find a dealer that is available.  I also share my thoughts on the other electric truck options like the Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck that is coming out soon.

This is what our "EV Insider" said Ford told him about the status of his truck repair:

Ford told me that they only have one battery rack in their shop at the dealership.  There's currently a Ford Lightning that's been there for several months, and it's likely to be there for several more months while it's waiting on parts.

Meanwhile, our intrepid EV Insider doesn't have an EV to drive, because that Ford Lightning was his only vehicle.  Like most of us, he cannot afford to purchase both a reliable gasoline or diesel fueled vehicle and an unreliable EV.  He clearly likes the idea of owning an EV, but not the reality of ownership, which is quite different from the rosy marketing con-job.  His belief was that the EV would be more reliable, as stated in the video linked to above.  This was clearly not the case.  Fewer moving parts doesn't equate to less complexity or opportunity for failure, and there are not fewer total moving parts, he simply doesn't understand that most of the moving parts are electronic and equally subject to failure for any number of reasons.  A Tesla battery pack contains as many parts as any internal combustion engine, all of them are subject to complete failure from minor manufacturing defects, and none of them can be individually inspected / tested / replaced after being sealed into the battery pack.  That's why so few people are buying EVs.  Ford provided a more reliable gasoline powered loaner truck, to their credit.  Our EV Insider then proceeded to complain about how long it took to obtain replacement parts, and that his false belief was crushed by ugly objective reality.

The rest of the video was talking about saving money on electricity over gas, because electricity is also heavily subsidized, obtaining the $7,500 tax credit which people too poor to purchase a new Ford Lightning are funding through their donations to his personal EV cause, but will never benefit from, and that he's going to go back to a gas powered truck if the repair drags on from weeks to months, because, get this, he actually needs to use the truck he paid for.

According to Ford, Battery Module #7 of 9, which contains hundreds of Lithium-ion batteries, failed completely, well within the warranty period of the truck.  This is precisely why the resale value of used EVs plummets from the moment it's driven off the lot, which is why people who buy them rapidly find that they're upside down on their vehicle's value.  Teslas are better than most, but will never fetch more money than a good used Honda or Toyota car / cross-over or GM truck / SUV.  The new Teslas CyberTruck has exhibited numerous basic mechanical engineering defects that FEA software was specifically created to resolve, such as chassis rigidity and failure of suspension control arms, for example.  There was a time when German-made VW / Mercedes-Benz / BMW products were admired by most as being rock solid vehicles capable of lasting for at least 20 years.  Sadly, that time has now passed.

Anyone who thinks it's typical for an EV battery to last over 100,000 miles or 10 years, is in for a very expensive surprise when they discover that they're not one of the handfuls of exceptions to the general rule that our EVangelists tout as shining examples of their religion.  Meanwhile, other Ford Lightning owners have discovered that their winter range is reduced to half of what it was during in the summer.

Design complexity, software complexity, and total parts count, moving or stationary, equals real complexity.  A stationary part is less complex than a moving part, but any design with thousands of stationary parts is not less complex than a design with one moving and one stationary part.  Anyone who claims otherwise is ignorant of basic design and engineering principles.  By that metric, every EV, or modern car in existence for that matter, is drastically more complex than the Space Shuttle.  The real miracle is that they work at all, for any length of time.  A car is supposed to be a simple and low-cost mechanical transport device, not a rolling super computer.  The only way people can afford a zero emissions vehicle in addition to a vehicle with a combustion engine, is either a hybrid using mechanical energy storage, or by making the zero emissions vehicle completely mechanical, with a bare minimum of electrical or other superfluous parts.  This describes the exact opposite of an EV, or a modern combustion engine vehicle, for that matter.

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#235 2023-11-25 12:11:16

SpaceNut
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Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,078

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#236 2023-11-25 12:30:30

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 9,549

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Who would have thought flying your sports cars half ways across the world to events and having private ships and events landed at some private island would create so much pollution

Tiny Fraction Of Global Elites Emit As Much Carbon As Bottom Two-Thirds Of Humanity

https://phys.org/news/2023-11-world-ric … ottom.html

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#237 2023-11-25 12:44:07

SpaceNut
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#238 2023-11-25 17:08:16

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

SpaceNut,

Environmental scientists are not the group of "experts" I would ever take advice from concerning matters of automotive engineering, personal finance, mining sustainability, and energy choices.  For starters, they aren't experts in any of those subjects, hence why they are known as "environmental scientists", rather than "mechanical engineers" or "software engineers" or "mining engineers" or "certified public accountants" or "actuarial scientists".  They know something about one specific aspect of the environment that they study.  If you ask geologists for their opinions on meteorology, I'm sure they have their personal beliefs, but they're not any better informed by education and work experience than the next person walking down the street.  I don't take advice from neurosurgeons on colonoscopies, either, despite the fact that neurosurgeons and gastroenterologist medical doctors, a the very least, both specialize in internal medicine for the human body.  A climate scientist's opinions on matters of automotive engineering are even less relevant than a gastroenterologist's opinion on brain surgery.

The mere fact that these environmental scientists don't list any "cons" to owning an EV tells me that they're regurgitating religious pablum to their fellow climate cultists.  I'm not a cult member, which means the edicts of my religion of choice hasn't disabled my brain's ability to spot obvious propaganda masquerading as informed opinion.  When your EV breaks down, is your climate scientist's religious pablum covering the cost of repairs?

As EV Insider noted, his one and only EV work truck / personal vehicle, a non-functional Ford F-150 Lightning, was replaced with a Ford F-150 Dino Juice loaner truck, very few of which have ever become completely non-functional as motor vehicles in less than 1 year of ownership.  All Ford jokes aside, there's a reason the F-150 has been the best-selling truck in America over my entire lifetime.  There's a reason most Police cars and taxi cabs are Ford Crown Victoria sedans.  They're dependable work vehicles that get the job done.

The Ford Lightning could be a good truck if the batteries were reliable, but they're just not.  Teslas appear to have more rigorous quality control than most other makes, but even their cars inexplicably burn to the ground days to months from their manufacturing date.  Even the scientist quoted in MSN's climate religion article states that he can't keep up with the new battery technology, and can't say which is better, because said technology is constantly changing.  That's an unmistakable indicator of very immature battery technology.  Pistons and crankshafts still look exactly like the models from the 1940s.  There was quite a lot of experimentation from the early 1900s through the 1930s, but by the time the 1940s rolled around, what would or wouldn't work reliably was well-known.  Subsequent decades brought improve material properties and machining tolerances, but that's the extent of the major changes to the basic technology.  There have been a myriad of different configurations of pistons and crankshafts, but only the Wankel and gas turbine were fundamentally new and different engine designs, and neither caught on in automotive applications, because both have extreme cost / heat / tolerance issues that could not be overcome in a practical manner.

When the only possible "major improvement" is a radical departure from existing designs, this is a sign of technological maturity.  Computer control was introduced in the 1980s, but dates back to the 1950s.  1950s electronics were simply not reliable enough to handle the heat and vibration.  This was rather silly, because when the computer was mounted in the passenger compartment, it suffered far fewer problems, but there was an insistence to mounting the computer in the engine bay with the engine.  1960s to 1970s solid state electronics tech was indeed good enough, but not deemed worthwhile when performance and efficiency could be tweaked using mechanical control over the moving parts using better airflow management, thinner piston rings or crankshaft seals which created less drag on moving parts, better oils, and better emissions control schemes like EGR, elimination of road draft tubes (feeding water-oil vapor from the rocker arm covers and crankcase through the combustion chamber instead of dumping it on the road), ignition timing advance to ensure more complete combustion, overhead camshafts to increase output using engine rpm rather than displacement, using turbochargers to consume waste heat gas from the exhaust to compress intake air to reduce total engine displacement or rpm required to achieve a given power output level (in a practical long life application this maxes out at around 2 atmospheres of pressure, unless it's a diesel), etc.  If anything, we should've maxed out all the mechanical methods of improving combustion efficiency, culminating with pressure carburetors equipped with precise mechanical fuel metering designs able to account for engine rpm or load / ambient air density / ignition timing.  There's no explanation as to why we didn't that passes muster.  Computer control was merely "the new thing", which had to be pursued because it was a shiny new object of affection that allowed endless but mostly pointless experimentation.  Precise fuel metering does not require any electronics, and is not simpler in practice than a mechanical system.

We could make a case for improved electronics reliability today, but not when it was initially pursued, and certainly not longevity or durability or recyclability.  Putting computers in cars was an artifact of a government mandate that increased cost while delivering very little overall improvement.  Those who believe otherwise have never seen an experienced mechanic tune a carburetor.  A self-tuning mechanical carburetor or fuel injection system would end all debate over the supposed superiority of electronic control systems.  The electronic system would or at least could be more precise than the mechanical system over time, but the difference would be so minor, as-in less than 1%, as to demonstrate why the automotive engineers decided to forego electronic control during the 1960s and 1970s.  EGR and road draft tube elimination are some of the only government mandates where I think the government had the correct engineering solution, because it was as simple as connecting a tube to the intake manifold.  Catalytic converters made hydraulic roller camshafts a virtual requirement, but these devices are the only other engineering solutions that measurably decreased emissions, at extreme cost.

Any vehicle that requires thousands of small batteries, which must all operate perfectly for the vehicle to function at all, is a fundamentally unreliable basic design.  Even within the realm of mass-manufactured Alkaline primary batteries, every so often I encounter one that doesn't work to spec, so it must be discarded.  The fanciful notion that computer software and hardware is reliable, is a total joke.  If computer software was as reliable as most computer users think it is, then many of us in IT wouldn't have a job.  When computer software controls whether or not the vehicle battery lives a long and productive life or dies within a year of ownership, seemingly inconsequential defects can and do ruin thousands of dollars of equipment that it's supposed to regulate.

I've noticed that you seem to get all of your "news" from MSN.  Relying on a single source of information is a sure sign of someone who isn't getting more than one viewpoint, and likely a very skewed viewpoint at that.  You've posted no articles about where the money, energy, and materials to make all of these supposed "green machines" is actually coming from.  MSN doesn't do more than superficial analysis or talking points about these issues.  There's zero actual engagement with opposing viewpoints to top it all off.  After all, there's no uncertainty in their minds, which is how I can tell they're rushing towards economic, energy, and materials scarcity reality, with no clue that a wall even exists in front of them.  They've engaged their "Tesla Autopilot", the same defective computer control system that prevents crashes, except when it doesn't, and then there's another excuse or talking point about how it's "safer" / "better" / "cleaner", in the opinion of one person who has no expertise with the subject matter.

When I see some news articles on MSN, interviewing actual automotive engineers or mechanics with hands-on experience, then I'll view their opinions of EVs as worth more of my time and consideration.  The actual engineers and mechanics I've spoken to, paint a far less flattering picture of modern vehicles in general, and EVs in particular.  Actual experts from the mining industry tell us there's nowhere near enough supply of Copper and Lithium, for example, and none of their detractors have posted data indicating new mining capacity coming online, which would be commensurate with the surge in demand, if most new vehicles were EVs, and most new power generating plants are wind turbines or photovoltaic panels.

Last but certainly not least, there is no indication that the total supply of electricity generated by wind turbines and photovoltaics is merely keeping pace with increases in total demand, let alone accounting for a greater total percentage of the global level electrical power supply.  All developing countries are using coal / oil / gas, and since they account for a greater percentage of the total population, total global emissions will not go down or even remain constant.  Small but wealthy westernized countries with little to speak of in the way of raw materials mining or heavy industry, with have spent enough money to supply most of their energy from so-called "green energy" projects, all of which came from burning coal in China, but they've also spent themselves into insolvency to do that.  There is no plan for 25 years from now, when those wind turbines and photovoltaics must be replaced with brand new ones, next time funded by non-existent money, sourced from a rapidly shrinking population, saddled with paying for more expensive raw materials that must be recycled, using more expensive labor.  That looks like a death spiral to me, not a plan for the future that sane and rational people would want any part of.

Stop trying to sell me on "hope and change" and show me the backup plan for when our decision makers suddenly discovers that there's not enough Lithium or Copper on planet Earth to satiate their Jetsons dreams.  My only hope is that something approximating a viable backup plan actually exists, because that would be a refreshing change.  Most plans don't survive first contact with reality, and this electric everything plan is no different.  Consider the possibility that mining isn't going to provide more Copper over the next 20 years, than over the previous 4,000 years of Copper mining, and work backwards from there.  That's what I did, because this problem is not ideological for me.  It's a series of basic math calculations looking at recent historical production of raw materials and recognizing that the only metal we make in the quantities required to attempt "green energy" of some variety, is Iron.

We have enough Iron, concrete, water, and air to make a go of attempting to transition away from hydrocarbon fuels.  If transition away from hydrocarbon fuels is the real goal, and you can put aside the electrification idea for a moment, then that appears to be viable if we start work now.  There is no remote possibility of using other metals for purposes of electrification.  We simply do not produce enough of any other type of metal, despite the fact that 50% of the mining industry is devoted to mining for Copper.  This rules out the possibility of doubling or tripling electricity production, which requires enormous quantities of Copper, unless we're going to pursue off-world mining of Copper on other planets and asteroids.

I spent years looking for some little sun ray of hope, as it pertains to electrification and electrochemical batteries.  It's not there.  It doesn't exist.  I wish it did, especially since we squandered the past 40 years pursuing a plan that was never viable from a basic materials input standpoint, but it doesn't.  I've offered practical alternatives here, because my stock and trade is in long-term resource / recycling / sustainability solutions that don't involve turning Earth into a toxic waste dump or giant global slum to satisfy the ideological machinations of any particular group of people.

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#239 2023-11-27 12:38:02

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,078

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Seems there are errors in calculations. from equivalent amounts to what is actually provided or used as well as efficiency.

Fact check: Claim on electric car charging efficiency gets some math wrong

So, the topic of coal keeps coming up for energy as well as for other carbon-based materials to make use of.
So how much does it take to create what a small colony might require.

How much coal, natural gas, or petroleum is used to generate a kilowatthour of electricity?

The annual average amounts of coal, natural gas, and petroleum fuels used to generate a kilowatthour (kWh) of electricity by U.S. electric utilities and independent power producers in 2022 were:1

Coal–1.14 pounds/kWh
Natural gas–7.42 cubic feet/kWh
Petroleum liquids–0.08 gallons/kWh
Petroleum coke–0.85 pounds/kWh
The annual average number of kWh generated per amount of coal, natural gas, and petroleum fuels consumed for electricity generation by U.S. electric utilities and independent power producers in 2022 were:1

Coal–0.88 kWh/pound
Natural gas–0.13 kWh/cubic foot
Petroleum liquids–12.90 kWh/gallon
Petroleum coke–1.18 kWh/pound

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#240 2023-11-27 13:51:21

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

SpaceNut,

Let's use their numbers from your Post #239:

We don't burn barrels of oil at power plants.  Let's use diesel fuel instead, because we do burn that in electric generators and use it to power motor vehicles.  They claim 66kWh is the average charge, and that it takes 8 gallons of "oil" (probably diesel fuel or "fuel oil") to provide that energy.

8 gallons of diesel * 39,750Wh per gallon of diesel = 318,000Wh of energy

The average electric car supposedly uses 350Wh of energy to travel 1 mile:
66,000Wh / 350Wh/mi = 188.57mi
318,000Wh (diesel fuel energy to recharge the EV, according to a MIT bubba) / 188.57mi = 1,686.38Wh/mi

A diesel powered car gets about 40mpg these days, and some do even better:
39,750Wh per gallon of diesel / 40mi = 993.75Wh/mi

A diesel powered car requires 993.75Wh/mi.
A grid powered EV requires 1,686.38Wh/mi.

What should we be learning hear?

Energy conversion is very expensive.  That's why my proposed solar thermal solution doesn't do that.

Edit:
Let's use their asserted gas mileage figure of 30mpg:
39,750Wh per gallon of diesel / 30mi = 1,325Wh/mi

Oh, look, we're still upside down on our energy trade.  Gee whiz, who could have predicted that?

Somehow, we're "saving energy" with EVs.  That was the lie sold to the general public.  Where is the energy savings?

I could sum up that article in your post as follows:

Some rando from FacePlant spouts off something plausible about coal, but utterly implausible about oil.  Another rando from MIT merely proves that EVs use more energy than our existing gasoline and diesel powered cars.

What did we learn?

EVs use more energy than gasoline and diesel.  That's why they're more expensive.  Energy costs money.  Shocker.

If you have more money to buy more energy, then buy an EV and pollute the environment a little more.  I'll support your decision, so long as you support my decision to continue burning gasoline and pollute a little less.

Last edited by kbd512 (2023-11-27 14:38:31)

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#241 2023-11-27 14:31:43

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,486

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

kbd512 wrote:

SpaceNut,

Let's use their numbers from your Post #239:

We don't burn barrels of oil at power plants.  Let's use diesel fuel instead, because we do burn that in electric generators and use it to power motor vehicles.  They claim 66kWh is the average charge, and that it takes 8 gallons of "oil" (probably diesel fuel or "fuel oil") to provide that energy.

8 gallons of diesel * 39,750Wh per gallon of diesel = 318,000Wh of energy

The average electric car supposedly uses 350Wh of energy to travel 1 mile:
66,000Wh / 350Wh/mi = 188.57mi
318,000Wh (diesel fuel energy to recharge the EV, according to a MIT bubba) / 188.57mi = 1,686.38Wh/mi

A diesel powered car gets about 40mpg these days, and some do even better:
39,750Wh per gallon of diesel / 40mi = 993.75Wh/mi

A diesel powered car requires 993.75Wh/mi.
A grid powered EV requires 1,686.38Wh/mi.

What should we be learning hear?

Energy conversion is very expensive.  That's why my proposed solar thermal solution doesn't do that.

This isn't surprising really.  If we take two vehicles, one ICE and one EV, both with the same weight, size and geometry and drive them down the road at the same speed, which one requires the most mechanical work per mile driven?

Ans: Their mechanical energy consumption will be identical!  If they weigh the same and have the same drag coefficient, then both will need exactly the same mechanical work to drive the same distance.  That is basic physics.

A pendant or EV enthusiast, might tell you that the EV is more efficient, because the EV is powered by electric motors (50-90% efficient) that are more efficient than combustion engines (20-40% efficient).  But this argument is specious, because the electricity used to charge the EV is produced by burning natural gas in a gas turbine and is then sent through the transmission system to charge the car.  So the fuel energy needed to drive the cars is about the same.  The CO2 emissions of both cars will be the same, unless the EV is charged using nuclear or hydro electricity.

But of course the two vehicles are not equal.  The EV is heavier.  The EV has a much higher embodied energy and contains a lot more rare metals.  Charging the EV requires transmission through the grid, where there are losses.  To support a fleet of EVs, the grid must have higher capacity, so its embodied energy increases.  And unless you live in France or Norway, grid electricity is generated using a mixture of fossil and non-fossil sources.  Indeed, an EV dominated transport system will subject the grid to both greater load and greater load variability, unless people spread charging demands equally and don't try and charge all at the same time of day.  If there is any correlation in individual charging times, we will need a lot more gas turbines to meet that load, because GTs are what grid operators use for peaking.

So the conclusion we must reach is that EVs have no environmental or sustainability benefits at all.  We are just shifting emissions from the tail pipe to the powerplant.  And we are creating a lot of other problems with resource sustainability.  A battery electric car is basically a natural gas powered car, with a lot of unnecessary electric infrastructure between the gas turbine and the vehicle wheels.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-11-27 14:35:49)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#242 2023-11-27 15:17:58

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Calliban,

I agree.  I always knew this was a pointless shell game, but I didn't know that the energy trade was quite that bad.  I guess it makes sense, though.  No manufacturer sells lower cost cars with reduced emissions.  They only sell higher cost cars with increased emissions, reduced service life, reduced repairability, and reduced resale value.

We now have Chevy Tahoes and Silverados getting over 30mpg using 3L diesel engines.  If we manage to increase that to 40mpg, implying 50mpg (795Wh/mi) to 60mpg (662.5Wh/mi) in a much lighter car, then I think the EV crowd has well and truly lost the argument, even though they'll continue grasping at straws and pointing out how efficient some unusable and unaffordable super car combined with a complete infrastructure makeover could be.  Multiple heavy duty truck manufacturers now have prototype diesel powered semi-trucks closing in on 20mpg when fully loaded.

The EV supporters have an idea which seems great in theory, despite being wildly impractical to implement, but their belief system or ego can't let go of a non-working idea that they find personally appealing.  A+ for the marketing job to the general public, but C- on the implementation.  It works fine for a very narrow range of use cases, primarily involving short distance city driving.  Low energy density power systems require abundant low energy density materials if you try to implement them at scale, or they rapidly become impossible to scale up.

I would be happy to have a small / short-range vehicle with minimal emissions, if it was truly affordable, as in less than $10,000.  I would use it around town, and my kids could use it.  Any time cross-country driving is required, we go straight to gasoline or diesel, because nothing else works.  We've spent enough public money on the "impossible dream".  There's a reason it's so-named.

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#243 2023-11-27 17:45:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 29,078

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Even at that price it means taking out a loan to purchase a short-lived product. Hybrid the unit to take power when needed from the other sources and move on.

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#244 2023-11-29 04:13:45

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,486

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Rolls-royce produce a turbofan engine with 10% lower fuel consumption.
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2023/11/r … ngine.html

If this innovation can commercialise, it is a big deal for aviation.  Whilst a 10% reduction in fuel consumption sounds modest, it also equates to a 10% reduction in fuel weight.  That weight saving can be given over to extda freight or passenger capacity.  So a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency would equate to something like a 15% reduction in energy use per tonne-mile or passenger-mile.  This blunts the effect of fuel price oscillations on aircraft economics and makes it easier to introduce synthetic fuels, which may be more costly.  So improvements in fuel efficiency are an enabling technology for more sustainable fuel solutions.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-11-29 04:42:18)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#245 2023-11-29 10:15:13

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Does anyone else besides me notice how much potential room for improvement there is with heat / combustion engines?

Electric motor efficiency is already 96% to 98% (average efficiency in a modern EV, not theoretical).
Lithium-ion battery efficiency is 99% (almost universal for the types of cells most commonly used).
Electrical resistance is whatever the length and volume or surface area of the conductor permits, unless you go to superconductors (not practical unless they're room temperature or located at a power plant where weight and volume for cryogenics is not a major problem).

We have nearly maxed out our trade space for efficiency improvement in electrical technology, room temperature superconductors notwithstanding.  We should stop fixating on the fact that it's not moving the needle.  We're running into supply constraints with materials and increasing cost now.  The only remaining improvements for electrical tech require radical changes to the motor, conductors, and batteries.

So what if electrical technology could be made near-100% efficient?

Apart from room temperature superconductors, which remain as elusive as fusion, you get very little, if anything, for all the money and effort.

If you're still using heat engines to supply most of the power, which is in fact most of what we use, then you should focus development money and effort on improving heat engine efficiency.  As the man who designed that sCO2 turbine for GE stated, only major / radical improvements appreciably move he needle in the right direction.  Small changes have small effects.

That is true wisdom, rather than marketing or pablum.

The SuperTruck II diesel engines are 50% thermally efficient.  What do we need to do to achieve 60% thermal efficiency?

We don't have a battery that comes anywhere near 2,500Wh/kg, to include solid state batteries, which is the target to reach energy density parity with hydrocarbon fuels.  We also have no practical method to recycle them, as evidenced by the fact that were not doing it at any appreciable scale.  We do it at a small scale, at an energy loss when compared to mining virgin metal.  Ditto for photovoltaics.  Ditto for all electronics requiring scarce metals.

Thermal engine efficiency improvement is low hanging fruit that can be and historically is a near-term achievable goal.  The changes are incremental and take time, but they're generally workable tweaks to existing designs.  The same is true of recycling.  Solve all those problems first, and then worry about radical changes.

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#246 2023-11-30 02:17:01

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,486

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Yes, there are lots of options for improving combustion engine efficiency.  With diesel engines, there is the option of duel cycles.  Exhaust gas carries sufficient heat at high temperature to run a steam cycle that could extract more power.  The problem is weight and complexity vs the value of work extracted from the fuel.  Moving extra weight requires more energy to overcome friction and inertia, so duel cycles are likely to hit diminishing returns.

Single piston engines with greater cylinder diameter would reduce engine pumping losses and reduce heat transfer, so could improve efficiency.  But the single piston engines increase problems with vibration.  Toyota and others have been working on free-piston ICEs for a long time.  This remains a promissing technology that could achieve impressive power-weight.  But there have been no practical working vehicles produced so far that I am aware of.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-11-30 02:19:05)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#247 2023-12-04 07:41:12

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 9,549

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

India, China abstain from renewable power pledge

https://www.wionews.com/world/cop28-ind … ign-665671

The carbon tax is a form of pollution tax, the British born US MIT engineer David Gordon Wilson first proposed this type of tax in 1973
https://web.archive.org/web/20210214003 … onent.html

situation of power generation capacity in India
Power Source     Installed Capacity
Coal (incl. Lignite)     212 GW
Natural Gas     25 GW
Hydro Power     47 GW
Solar, Wind and Other Renewables     127 GW
Nuclear     7 GW
TOTAL     417 GW

https://powermin.gov.in/en/content/powe … -all-india

meaning right now, ~50% of India's power capacity comes from Coal while 42% comes from renewable sources (Hydro, Wind, Solar etc) - rest is Nuclear and Gas.

The Sharia Law Emirati who is minister of industry, advanced technology of the UAE, head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and chairman of another spice melange dune company called 'Masdar'. He isn't a total mohammedan idiot like you find in these places, he learned at the University of Southern California where they taught him chemical engineering and he was taught business in Coventry England.  A June 2023 Guardian investigation also claimed that a large number of fake Twitter and Medium accounts have been either promoting and defending the hosting of COP28 by the UAE using stock or AI-generated profile images, including reposting UAE government tweets and trying to rebut criticism of Al Jaber's presidency.In August 2023, a report based on leaked documents revealed an alleged list prepared on “touchy and sensitive issues” concerning the UAE.
It included the government-approved “strategic messages” to be used as a reply to questions from the media. The reported issues included climate-related questions on Al Jaber’s presidency and ADNOC’s failure in disclosing its emissions, and the UAE's human rights records, including in human trafficking and the Yemeni Civil War.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment … ate-summit
Later in August, it was revealed that under Al Jaber's leadership, ADNOC's 2019 methane leak target had been set to levels considerably higher than those the company had previously reported to the UN and cited a Harvard study alleging that it suggested "leaky infrastructure combined with deliberate venting or incomplete flaring of gas."
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uae- … issions-un

Al Jaber was given one of those Babylon Masonic Knighthood symbols appointed honorary commander of the Order of the British Empire, joining pedophile Jimmy Savile, Mugabe, Mussolini and Ceausescu and other Order Masonic Commanders of the British Empire.

Sultan Al Jaber, the president of COP28
https://www.yahoo.com/news/cop28-climat … 01869.html
COP28 Climate Host: There’s ‘No Science’ Behind Calls to Eliminate Fossil Fuels

India's coal generation capacity WILL go up, according to the posted article it'll go from 212 to 260 - an increase of 22%

The Chinese seem to do their own thing without caring about the entire world, they will continue to burn 'Coal' they hope to invest in 'Fusion' and China will continue to add more renewables than the rest of the world combined, pledge or not.

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2023-12-04 07:55:09)

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#248 2023-12-04 18:33:59

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

70% of the power for India is not wind turbines or photvoltaics, so they clearly don't see it as the energy source of the future.  They're building new coal-fired power plants as fast as they can.  China will use whatever they can get their hands on, but they're using more coal, just like India, not less.  Europe is also using more coal and natural gas, not less.  Overall, I'd call this a giant fail for so-called "renewable energy".  It seems as if all the fundamentals went out the window for green religious cultists in the West who, through their "faith in science", seem to believe that real world physics doesn't apply to their favored power generating systems, despite the ever-growing mountain of evidence / toxic electronics and industrial waste to the contrary.

The abundance of CO2 is absolutely essential to all life on Earth.  Taxing CO2 is merely another academia and government-sponsored theft scheme to interfere with markets to provide unearned benefits for the religious ideology of the doomsday climate cultists.  It's the worst kind of "think and grow rich" scheme.  Rather than creating something most people actually want to buy, it's a punitive taxation scheme that incentivizes value-less behavior, namely further impoverishing poor people for using the cheapest and most abundant forms of energy available for transportation, heating, and making low-cost durable goods.  Someone who is intellectually honest would either make a cheaper and cleaner energy product, by their own narrow definition that fixates on CO2 whilst ignoring all other environmental effects, or else admit that they can't and find something better to do with their time.

As we see more and more of these "green energy" projects falling apart or being shelved entirely, we've come to understand how obtuse those involved typically are.  They seem to think that there are no functional money or material resource limits, or that no net new energy will be expended to obtain those materials and transform them into short-lived electronic machines.  The sooner it's apparent that these projects are bereft of lasting benefits, the quicker they'll fall apart, to the benefit of everyone.  When electronics / Jetsons fad runs out of materials, we can begin to refocus on forms of energy generation that truly are sustainable and as environmentally friendly as we can reasonably make them.

Any technologically advanced society which fails to grasp the importance of using simple and long-lasting mechanical and thermal energy generating machines, made from abundant and readily recyclable materials, is ultimately doomed to fail.  Electronics are to energy generation and storage, as spices are to the main entree.  Spices add flavor to the meat.  They will never be a replacement for the meat.

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#249 2023-12-05 09:29:17

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,486

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

kbd512 wrote:

As we see more and more of these "green energy" projects falling apart or being shelved entirely, we've come to understand how obtuse those involved typically are.  They seem to think that there are no functional money or material resource limits, or that no net new energy will be expended to obtain those materials and transform them into short-lived electronic machines.  The sooner it's apparent that these projects are bereft of lasting benefits, the quicker they'll fall apart, to the benefit of everyone.  When electronics / Jetsons fad runs out of materials, we can begin to refocus on forms of energy generation that truly are sustainable and as environmentally friendly as we can reasonably make them.

Any technologically advanced society which fails to grasp the importance of using simple and long-lasting mechanical and thermal energy generating machines, made from abundant and readily recyclable materials, is ultimately doomed to fail.  Electronics are to energy generation and storage, as spices are to the main entree.  Spices add flavor to the meat.  They will never be a replacement for the meat.

Have you ever noticed that the people who advocate this sort of electric energy transition with most passion, tend to be technically illiterate?  It is a moral crusade for them.  Don't bore them with inconvenient facts.  Tell them something that they don't want to hear and they view you as an obstacle and will attempt to argue you down.  These people really do think that ideology can overcome physics and that they can argue it down.


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#250 2023-12-05 12:15:45

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,490

Re: Why the Green Energy Transition Won’t Happen

Calliban,

What I've noticed is that college education, which was supposed to be a finishing school for truly intelligent and gifted people, has been transmogrified into a pseudo-religious movement, with little in the way of redeeming value for society, that elevates beliefs and feelings about whatever upsets them over cold hard facts.  As you're aware, from personal experience I'm not too keen on organized religion.

Even I don't like what I see when it comes to cold hard facts, but these people cannot accept that there is no omnipotent source of knowledge, no "single source of truth" such as it were, who can possibly know all relevant factors involved in any specific problem.  By definition, someone is ignorant until they're educated, but we seem to have replaced objectivism with subjectivism.  I see lots of full grown adults who lack the maturity to set aside how they feel about some topic long enough to make any actual progress.  We're spending insane amounts of money and lowering standards to fill quotas.  In the same way that you can't have the world's finest fighter pilots by passing anyone who doesn't crash during training, neither can educational institutions be well-stocked with the finest minds society can produce through such action.

I placed a much higher value on education when I was in my 20s and going to college than I do today.  It's turned into a political activist finishing school.  When education and science ceases to be about the pursuit of knowledge and objective fact for its own sake, then it's no longer useful because it's no longer education, merely indoctrination.  That's an awful thing to say because I want my children to benefit from college in the same way that my wife and I did.

Do you ever ask yourself if you're wrong about something you believe to be true?

I feel as though far too many people accept whatever their initial thoughts are on something and never perform retrospectives, or worse, they believe something someone else told them to believe without ever understanding why they should believe something.  Of all people, my own deeply religious parents told me that I should only believe what I understand and agree with / think is useful, and that their own wants and desires for me could never be an acceptable substitute for what is truly best for me.  They let me know when they think I'm making a mistake, but ultimately accept my judgement.  Most of the time, if they offer an opinion on something, it's from personal experience.

I routinely question what I think I know, if for no other reason than I'm quite certain that I don't know enough about any particular topic and never could.  The more I learn, the less certain I become.  I work more in probabilities and practicalities than absolutes.  If it comes to something ironclad like the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, then we're probably talking about something in a more absolute sense.  I've never once thought I was so much smarter than anyone else that I could make a good decision for them, on their behalf, even when I'm forced to- parenting immediately comes to mind.  If I obtain new information, then it may and typically does change how I think about something.  The fact that I need to adjust my thinking doesn't bother me in the slightest.  It's bizarre to me how much this bothers other people.  I don't think to myself, "Oh, man, everything I thought I knew was wrong.  I'm a total failure...  etc"  It's more like, well I actually learned something new and therefore will adjust or reorient myself using this new information.  It's like unlocking a new feature in a game, if the younger crowd needs something to relate to.  I see young people immediately reject new information or go someplace dark when perhaps they should be a little more resilient in their thinking.

I was initially highly skeptical of anthropogenic climate change, but Josh, a former member of this forum, possibly still kicking around out there, pointed out a document to me that changed my thinking because I learned something I didn't know before, because it was never taught to me.  I did my own learning on my own time, from a fundamentals standpoint, then came back and said to him, "You're right, this has to be real, because it's quite literally baked into thermodynamics."  There was only the realization and acceptance that what I thought I knew was incorrect.

I do know enough about the computer models to know that what they're spitting out is hot garbage.  The physical world has to respond to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in a way that corresponds with physical laws regarding heat energy transfer, but the output of all these models, when graphed alongside the actual temperature record, diverges significantly from historical observations.  For some asinine reason, people keep claiming that their models are accurate when it's painfully obvious that they're not.  Apparently, I shouldn't believe my lying eyes...?  Alternatively, scientists should stop pretending that defective computer programs are proxies for the real world, or else explicitly provide a really good explanation for why the predictions diverge so significantly from observations.  Calling something "basically correct" that shows double to triple observed warming is explicit lying.  That does nothing to advance the cause of climate science.

I then took what I learned about energy and started evaluating what we're presently doing through the viewpoint that climate change will eventually become a problem of real consequence, requiring real solutions that are neither simple nor easy to implement.  Shortly thereafter, I came to another "Oh, crap!" realization.  Rather than pursuing pragmatic and realistic solutions that could rapidly scale to the incredibly high degree required to retain modern living standards, everything I see being done appears to be deliberately designed to make the climate problem worse, not better.

All the coal and gas being burned to do what wind turbines and photovoltaics clearly cannot do- provide badly needed baseload power, is deliberately ignoring the problems baked into the ideologically favored solutions.  Precious time is being wasted on unworkable false solutions to the climate change problems.  People keep claiming that we're "saving" emissions by burning less coal and gas, except that we're not actually doing that.  We keep consuming more every single year.  That's the "hard evidence" that what we're doing isn't working.  How could it possibly work?  It utterly ignore basic physical processes like diurnal and seasonal energy input, monetary and material resource constraints, and the fact that there are no universal solutions.  We don't have any silver bullets to fire at this problem.  It's doomed to fail, seemingly by design.

When it comes to using electricity, electronics, and computers to solve science-related computing problems, I say "go nuts".  Throw the kitchen sink at the problem.  If you think a passenger car needs more computing power than the Space Shuttle ever had, then we're going to have to agree to disagree on that.  We can afford to put a sophisticated computer in a literal handful of spacecraft.  We cannot afford (energy, materials, money, labor, and precious time) to put a super computer into every motor vehicle so it can "drive itself".  That is not a feature that a vehicle needs, even if some people really really want it.  It's very cool if you can make it work, but when it fails, the results won't be pretty.  I feel as if this type of pragmatism and wisdom is lost on far too many people.  Past a certain point, adding in more sophistication than necessary becomes an unsolvable entropy and energy problem.

If I had a $10,000 car that could drive 100 miles on a single charge of compressed air and water, that I could use 99% of the time, for literal pennies on the dollar, an then switch to gasoline for road trips, I would consider that a fair trade, a worthwhile compromise, and a nod to the practical aspects of using alternative energy sources.  Think about how jaw-dropping the emissions reductions from that would be.  But no, we'd rather pursue absurdly energy-intensive self-driving super computers as the solution to personal transportation, and then wonder why so few people are buying them.  It ignores so many limitations to both science and energy that it would be laughable if so many people weren't absolutely determined to run head-first into those limits.

Rant off.  Apart from you and a handful of other people, I don't think anyone else out there is attempting to meaningfully engage with the substance of my arguments, most of which are not something I alone thought of.  Almost every single one of them are something someone else thought of long before I ever did.  I merely found out about their work after the fact.  They're incessantly searching for counter-factuals which align with their beliefs or desires, rather than accepting what the general case is, and thus approaching their proposed solutions from that viewpoint.  I think it's why so little measurable progress has been made.  People continually pursue these over-the-top stretch goals which would be spectacular if we knew how to make them work, but in the mean time they're deeply detrimental to meaningfully changing the paradigm for the general case.  Maybe I'm one of those rare people who doesn't think compromise is a dirty word.

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