Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Energy


Yes, everyone is upset by the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Actually, the word “spill” diminishes what is really going on down there. They should just say that BP is paving the gulf to bring it into proper scale.

OK, everybody is all pissed off at BP; however the problems within this one incident are the norm rather than the exception with all other oil companies and their regulating agencies. If you are really pissed off you should stop using all petroleum products and boycott the entire industry. No??? I didn’t think so.

The fact remains that we as consumers could do so much more to reduce dependence on petroleum, but there is so much resistance. We should buy only locally produced goods. Anything not local should have come to you by train or ship, not an 18-wheeled truck that was driven over 1,000 miles to make the delivery.

We are tearing down dams that have been working for half a century to save fish. My question is why those fish didn’t go extinct within the first ten years that hydro dam was in existence? If you want to save the fish, stop eating them and the numbers will return. The fish ladders work just fine and always have and water is a good source of power.

I’ve read that there are a lot of organizations out there that don’t want wind mills because they kill the occasional eagle. I say build them and give any dead eagle a Darwin Award.

Aside from that, think how many dead whales and sea lions wash up on the beaches every year. Why aren’t they rendered? The average whale can provide 25-40 barrels (42 Gallon barrel) of oil. Instead we bury them in the sand or worse yet they used to blow them up. It’s not like we are hunting them. We’d be just using a natural bounty that the sea provided just as Lewis and Clark did. Whale oil is a very versatile product and a lubricant like none other. In 1957 watch and clock oil sold for $5 an ounce.

It seems our diversification of energy sources is being held up by the people. We don’t want LNG, nuclear, dams, tide or wind energy but we want the electricity without regard to the filthy coal fires that are producing it. People think BP is the problem and they have created a very nasty problem; however they are just a scapegoat. We are the problem. We demand cheap energy and really don’t care how we get it as long we can’t see it and as long as nothing is produced in our back yards.

19 Comments:

Blogger darev2005 said...

We are, as a race, nothing but brainless twits. I think Nikola Tesla could have saved us but that bastard Edison had him bumped off.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Me, me, me. It's all about me. That's the new national anthem of America.

7:49 AM  
Blogger mark said...

My, aren't you in a cranky mood today. I think your final word -- backyard -- says it all. As in Not In My Back Yard. Big chunks of our regulatory infrastructure are set up to empower NIMBYs. Until that changes, we'll continue to get the results you describe.

8:32 AM  
Blogger weese said...

you hit this one on the head.
that said... you do realize that we are in a death spiral here, right?
but its ok.
i just consider this the grand thinning of the herd.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Guy, I've been reading you long enough to know better than to disagree with even a portion of your most enjoyable well written and generally well thought out daily insights. In regards to your comments on dams however it should be pointed out that some dams like Grand Cooley don't have fish ladders and that much of the damage to runs is caused by smolts going through the turbines on the trip down river to the ocean. Finally some dams are unnecessary and do more harm than good like the 4 on the lower snake. More and more folks who look at this option are becoming convinced that these 4 dams have outlived their purpose. http://www.wildsalmon.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91&Itemid=63

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little known condition of the Tansey Point treaty between the north coast tribes and the US Govt. is that the natives retained the right to every dead whale that washes in on the beach. They also were allowed to keep five or ten acres in Hammond for their burial ground. Looking back from this point in time that seems pretty sparse considering they signed away the ownership of a piece of land that was sixty miles wide and ran in length from Yaquina Bay to the top of the Willapa.

An adult Sealion when rendered provides 5 gallons of oil. Lord knows theres no shortage of those sonsabitches-and they are "sustainable"

10:27 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, though Tesla was a great inventor, he was more than a bit of a whack job. We are fortunate Westinghouse didn't get greedy with him. Talk about conspiracy theories, that's the first time I've heard anyone accuse Edison of bumping him off.

Donna, Sounds like a song. Now take your guitar to the cabin and start writing. It could be a fun project.

Mark, I believe that every community should be responsible for its own garbage, for some of the food it consumes and most of all part of the infrastructure that supports its energy demands and consumption.

Weese, Darlin, you keep talking about thinning. You aren't planning to go postal are you?

Anon, I'll agree that the dams of the old days are bad. Poor designs, silt problems, inefficient turbines, some without ladders. The Grand Coolie is probably too big to be taken out efficiently, but other dams should be replaced with todays technology. If power can be generated by the upward and downward motion of waves we should be able to get vast amounts of power from rivers even without dams. By the way, thanks for your comments. Feel free to disagree anytime.

Other Anon, interesting treaty agreement. It would be cool to see a tribe come forward and present a claim. I wonder if they would be assigned land or if they could pick a parcel they wanted. Cool about the whale recovery

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guy,

I think you really are a republican in a liberal's cloak.

Religious preference?

1:48 PM  
Blogger g said...

Can't say I disagree with anything in your article.

It reminds me I need to add another bay on my garage so I can buy another car to put in it.

People that generalize removing dams are extremists and obviously don't understand why they were built in the first place.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Laughing here at Anon asking your religious preference. Perhaps they are being sarcastic.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Auntie said...

I think I have seen a leaflet on his desk at work for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but other dams should be replaced with todays technology

Curious what technology is going to serve the irrigation needs currently served by the existing dams?

8:43 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Anon, Ha! You know my independent streak.

g, built as silt factories? ; )

Donna that was an inside joke from a friend. We found that most of the Republicans we know are Christians, most Democrats are Agnostic and Independents are Atheists.

Auntie, no that was a sock monkey thing.

Anon, pumps and storage ponds. The big problem with dams is silt. Most times it is easier to take the dam down that to dredge the silt. When silt builds up you don't get any irrigation water and you've created a larger problem than dry crops.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Joni said...

I agree 100% - There are coalitions that fight every industry that has to do with energy creation - people fighting LNG, fighting wind turbines, nuclear, etc. etc.

Yet, they offer no plausible solutions to the problem.

Conservation alone can go a LONG way toward lessening our demands on energy, right along with what you said...buying as much locally as possible. There will always be a need for food items to be trucked in, because of the things we can't grow here, but every little bit will help in the long run.

BTW, I noticed a new fresh produce market just east of the round-a-bout...I'll be checking it out for sure!

5:46 PM  
Blogger richpix said...

U.S. Petroleum Consumption--19,498,000 barrels/day
That's 818,916,000 gallons. Every day of the year.

We consume about 1/6 of the world's coal production yearly--1,128.0 million short tons. Yeah, that's one million times 1,128 tons. There's 2,000 pounds in a ton. I'll let someone else do the math on how many billion pounds that is. Never mind, it's 1,128,000,000 tons x 2,000 = 2,256,000,000,000 pounds of coal. Note that's 2.256 trillion pounds.

Something tells me that squeezing the fluids out of a few seals and whales won't be of much use. As Joni said, conservation is the key. Convincing people it's necessary is another matter. Even more daunting is getting people to take the responsibility for reducing their own usage and not pointing the finger somewhere else.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coal is dirty not to mention it consumes a lot of fuel just to transport it to where it's going. Natural Gas is a much cleaner and enconomical fuel source for power generation. These fools against LNG are just that. Fools.

9:54 PM  
Blogger richpix said...

Don't confuse natural gas with LNG. Chances are any LNG we might use would be imported, just like most of our oil is today, and it's still a fossil fuel. It takes a heck of a lot of energy just to cool (-436 degrees Fahrenheit) and transport LNG.

We have enough natural gas in this country to last us a very long time without having to import any. Hopefully by the time we have to think of doing that we'll have come up with cleaner technologies for producing energy.

11:57 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Joni, you are right they have no solutions. I haven't seen anything East of the Round about, but I'll probably drive around it tonight.

Rich, kind of scary, isn't it. As for whales and seals, it another source for specialty oil which was selling just fine until the ban.

Coal is dirty, but it does provide a lot of energy and the industry employs a lot of people.

Rich, natural gas is a nearly perfect fuel. It is clean and burns at 100 octane. If we could convert our power plants and autos to natural gas we could stop using oil and coal, though petroleum products would still be in demand.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

richpix said...
Don't confuse natural gas with LNG. Chances are any LNG we might use would be imported...


Not confused about the difference-but there is so much NG in North America I foresee the day coming when shipping via the LNG ships will be a great economic boon to the USA/CAN..Just the market for it around the Pacific Rim is enough to finally start shifting the trade balance we've been on the short end of the past few decades.

6:42 PM  

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