Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Energy: Are You A Pig - And A Bigot?

Posted by Karl Denninger <-click for article

“There are a huge number of what some on the right call "Limousine Liberals" that preach all sorts of BS about "energy efficiency", "global warming" or "alternative fuels."

“I have yet to see one with actual resources - one who is not reasonably wealthy or better - that is not a hypocrite or worse, exploiting people and playing on fear for their ECONOMIC benefit and to your detriment.”

“Let's deal with some facts.  I will not provide the references, but I do have them.  You will do your own homework if you care to.  If you don't, just skip to the next Ticker, as I'll provide you with fair warning here and now - if you come into the forum to run some sort of claptrap you'll only do it once, as my tolerance for the nutball lefties on this subject (including the jackasses who showed up on Pensacola's beach to claim "no drilling" but got there in their SUVs) is utterly exhausted.”

“Facts:

  1. We have a lot of coal in this country.  It contains Thorium, which is a natural substance that can be used to build nuclear piles.  Said technology was developed and built more than 30 years ago - this is not "pie in the sky" technology.
  2. Each ton of coal we burn up contains 13 times as much energy as that liberated by combustion of the carbon in said Thorium.  We could thus receive the same electrical energy we gain by burning the coal through extracting the Thorium and using the nuclear energy to produce power.  With the rest of the energy, the other 12/13ths, we could then extract hydrogen from seawater (which we have lots of) and convert the remaining coal to either diesel fuel or gasoline.  To put a not-fine-point on this, we throw away more than 100 billion gallons of gasoline (after conversion losses) in thorium tailings alone.  That is damn close to all of our existing gasoline consumption - with ZERO oil being drilled.  (PS: Those are conservative estimates - mathematically, it's 200 billion gallons!)
  3. We know how to build fast breeder reactors.  It is true that we have a limited supply of U-235, because it is a tiny proportion of the natural deposit in terms of isotopes.  However, we have a lot of U-238 and we can turn that into Pu-239 in said Breeder Reactor.  That produces both more nuclear fuel and electricity.
  4. We like our cars.  We like our Air Conditioning.  We like our electricity, peak load of which is often generated with natural gas.  We like our 3,000 square foot houses, our computers, our bigscreen TVs and other electrical and electronic knick-knacks.  All of these require energy to operate.
  5. A growing economy requires a growing energy output.  There is no escaping this fact, despite it being inconvenient.
  6. We have a lot of oil and natural gas in various forms in the United States.  That includes (but is not limited to) offshore oil and gas, shale on federal lands and more.  We don't want to stick the straws in the ground and perform other sorts of mining (including strip-mining), but the energy is there.”

“Bluntly, "energy scarcity" is artificial.”

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