Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the day after - part three

The United States annual 700 hundred billion dollar Military budget has long been a cipher and a certainty. The U.S. manages to fund a space program on 2 percent of that. The dollars are real, and they are glazed over North America proper as evenly as possible to ensure every voter, in every district, has a stake in the continuation of this boon.

It is likely that in the coming years this budget will be cut back out of bankrupt necessity. One wonders if there is time to shift the focus of national defense in the short term. It is now apparent, as highlighted by both Obama and McCain, that energy independence is a national security issue.

Consider a shift in manufacturing from missiles to wind turbines. At roughly 1000 dollars per Kilowatt, what would we get for 100 billion of national security investment in wind? Approximately one hundred million kilowatt hours of electricity. This is just napkin math, change the numbers and change the outcome. Certainly, these same dollars could be directed to build ten nuclear plants. But if this national security wind manufacturing was sustained year by year, at the level noted above, eventually the entire 2.3 trillion kilowatts of North American electricity production could be replaced – in this case over twenty years.

Had we started 8 years ago, we’d be half way to clean energy and energy independence.

This is really a thought experiment, but it is a major concern that as liquidity has been sucked out of the market, the possibility for new ideas and new directions is heavily constrained, making it vastly easier to “predict” the future. Less scenarios to account for. The scenario being run – where taxpayers bail out banks – is one of real cash vanishing from the economy.

The return (it is hoped) are dribbles of credit. Well, hooray. Peak oil is unfolding, folks, and the U.S. (one of many countries now with a similar plan) just spent 700 billion + 250 billion so that banks can continue to extend credit.

Current United States investment in alternative energy is the period at the end of this sentence, and investment in the military is everything else on this page.

So Americans, call your senator, congress critter, and presidential candidate of choice and let them know that energy independence is a national security issue and we have the technology.

9 Comments:

At 12:35 AM, October 26, 2008, Blogger Phillip said...

I know what "peak oil" means, but what is meant by "peak energy?"

 
At 11:31 PM, October 27, 2008, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

It means peak oil was taken on blogger.

Also, industrial type useful energy for humans is likely to peak when oil peaks. There are ways around this but they involve sensible investments in energy producing schemes rather than energy laundering schemes,

 
At 5:57 AM, October 28, 2008, Blogger Phillip said...

So unless you can provide an actual definition, the term "Peak energy" is basically meaningless. Is that right? Please provide a reference.
Thanks, Phillip

 
At 3:26 PM, October 29, 2008, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

generally speaking it is branding,

I do have a peak energy hypothesis however,

which is that oil and natural gas raise all boats and after they peak, forms of energy which rely on oil and natural gas (everything else, including nucular) will decline in step. You can ask me anything you want to know, I am more conversant on this topic than I am on say, dimensional aggregation.

seperate out all the latent energy which we have no ability to use without infrastructure - solar, wind and wave collectors are irrelavent until you build the collectors. Building collectors implies an industrial economy which happens to be powered by oil and natural gas at present.

 
At 4:06 PM, October 29, 2008, Blogger Phillip said...

I was talking with a know-it-all Yale alumnus in my synagogue about the idea of "peak oil" which was promoted decades ago to explain that the price of oil was increasing because we had reached the limit of proven reserves and the supply was just drying up.

While discussing this with him I believe he mis-spoke and used the term "peak energy" when he meant "peak oil" again. I said "you mean 'peak oil'" and he said "no, there is a concept of 'peak energy'". He could not explain the concept however and began making even less sense than usual. (Imagine Obama without a teleprompter) I've been trying to find information on the internet on just what is meant by "peak energy" and I cannot find any thing that makes sense. Your admission that it is just "marketing" confirms to me that it is not a meaningful term.
-phil

 
At 8:26 PM, October 29, 2008, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Gotcha. Yes, peak oil is controversial and misunderstood in and of itself. In fact, from your own out-of-date comment about "promotion" of same, I recommend a slim volume called "Hubbert's Peak [...]"
By Kenneth S. Deffeyes, which will quickly and painlessly introduce you to the science from this century.
Following this, basic criticism of peak oil is provided by a dude named Michael Lynch, so you can forearm yourself with both sides of the argument for the next time you run into your know-it-all alumn.

Peak Energy is basically a made up concept, a "Tom Friedmanism", which is why I am so flippant about it - I'm not attached to the concept because it could mean anything. I can't use it to support an argument. (I'm not T.F., whew).

Also - the phrase is "Palin" not "Obama without a teleprompter".

 
At 8:38 PM, October 29, 2008, Blogger Phillip said...

I'm sure it could be either Palin or Obama without a teleprompter, certainly not McCain. I don't think he knows what it is.

 
At 4:09 AM, October 31, 2008, Blogger Big Gav said...

McCain doesn't know what a teleprompter is ?

That wouldn't surprise me - the dude seems borderline senile (I know, I know - Ronald Reagan was senile, so it doesn't disqualify him for Prexy).

I define "peak energy" as the point where our energy production reaches its maximum.

However, unlike peak oil, I view this point as one which will be attained far in the future - and one we will level out at - an ever-undulating plateau of energy consumption.

Basically it will be the maximum necessary amount of energy we need to run an industrial society for about 10 billion people - all coming from renewables (at some point all the fossil stuff will be gone, and we'll ditch nuclear completely in our lifetimes on economic grounds alone).

 
At 9:29 PM, December 29, 2008, Blogger saidi said...

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