Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
14-10-2012, 05:56 PM
Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
On November 5th at Duke university, renowned environmentalist and AGW proponent, Bill McKibben will debate Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress, on the effect that fossil fuels have on the human environment.

Here is a YouTube video on the debate:





As governments enact restrictions on fossil fuel use, power plant construction, CO2 emissions, etc. it's important to be clear on exactly what the effect of fossil fuel use is on the human environment and human life. Do they harm the planet, or do they improve it?

This debate needs funds for live streaming, recording, distribution and publicity, though. If anyone would like to donate any amount to help with this, they can go here: McKibben vs. Epstein Donations
(McKibben's website shows he will be there: http://www.billmckibben.com/appearances.html )

Here is a video of Power Hour by Alex Epstein on the indispensable role of coal in improving the standard of living of millions of people:




Blog: Objectivism for Intellectuals

My Introduction to Objectivism Playlist on YouTube Thumbsup

The Is/Ought Gap has been bridged: Read Viable Values by Dr. Tara Smith.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-10-2012, 08:14 PM
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
I approach this with as much interest as a Creation vs. Evolution debate. Which isn't much. There's just nothing new. People are going to believe what they want to believe, for a variety of reasons.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
15-10-2012, 05:06 AM
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
The facts of fossil fuels are simple.

For electricity generation all that is required is for a turbine to be turned. That can be either via wind, hydro or turning water to steam whether by fossil fuel burning, nuclear, solar or the inner workings of the inner crust (geothermal).
Cleaner greener options are better. They're cleaner, they're cheaper (free), they're 100% renewable. BUT they have their limitations.
Solar: Requires sun and large amounts of space. Doesn't work at night, but technology is getting better that will soon allow that.
Wind: Requires wind. (Or requires a strong water current, can be placed underwater)
Hydro: Requires a river.
Geothermal: The heated water reservoirs are limited. Though technology is in place that will effectively pump water into the crust, the crust will heat that water and we will extract the steam. The problem with this is that only certain areas have the right conditions for this to be available.

Fossil fuels then only have two weaknesses. 1: On going costs of coal (or oil or whatever) and 2: They're dirty.

The only viable real option (at this moment) is a combination between the two. Where there is wind there should be wind farms. Where there is desert there should be solar farms. Also I would support every NEW home (as in hasn't been built yet) requiring a solar panel to be installed.
BUT where no viable renewable option is available, there should be fossil fuel power stations.

This is the problem we have. Nobody is willing to compromise.
I get the impression people think fossil fuel plants are somehow superior power generators, but they all generate the power in the exact same way (spinning a turbine).


As for nuclear, well I 100% oppose that.

I don't talk gay, I don't walk gay, it's like people don't even know I'm gay unless I'm blowing them.
[Image: 10h27hu.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes earmuffs's post
19-10-2012, 04:26 AM
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
I tend to believe what my senses tell me. I live in northern NJ. I grew up in a large town, but the houses were pretty well spaced, because most of the residents have money. I used to walk about 3 miles a day with friends of mine. On most days unless there was some reason for most people to be out of town, you could smell the exhaust in the air. That is a noticeable effect we are having on our environment. Anyone who tells me that the burning of fossil fuels makes no difference, because nothing we humans can do can change the planet that much is simply full of shit. If I can smell it, that means the parts per million in the air is high enough for me to detect the change. Also, if we were to launch the nukes we currently have, we would destroy the world we know. It would not be fit for us for a very long time. So, I call bullshit on us not being able to drastically change the planet. As far as renewable power, I think we would be fine if we just put every alternative to use. MDI makes a car that runs on air pressure. If someone possessed a car like that, they could in theory buy an air compressor for their home and fill up using solar power to run the compressor. The U.S. does not want that car here though. It would put too many gas station owners (arabs) out of business.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Birdguy1979's post
21-10-2012, 01:48 PM
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
(15-10-2012 05:06 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  The facts of fossil fuels are simple.

For electricity generation all that is required is for a turbine to be turned. That can be either via wind, hydro or turning water to steam whether by fossil fuel burning, nuclear, solar or the inner workings of the inner crust (geothermal).
Cleaner greener options are better. They're cleaner, they're cheaper (free), they're 100% renewable. BUT they have their limitations.
Solar: Requires sun and large amounts of space. Doesn't work at night, but technology is getting better that will soon allow that.
Wind: Requires wind. (Or requires a strong water current, can be placed underwater)
Hydro: Requires a river.
Geothermal: The heated water reservoirs are limited. Though technology is in place that will effectively pump water into the crust, the crust will heat that water and we will extract the steam. The problem with this is that only certain areas have the right conditions for this to be available.

Fossil fuels then only have two weaknesses. 1: On going costs of coal (or oil or whatever) and 2: They're dirty.

The only viable real option (at this moment) is a combination between the two. Where there is wind there should be wind farms. Where there is desert there should be solar farms. Also I would support every NEW home (as in hasn't been built yet) requiring a solar panel to be installed.
BUT where no viable renewable option is available, there should be fossil fuel power stations.

This is the problem we have. Nobody is willing to compromise.
I get the impression people think fossil fuel plants are somehow superior power generators, but they all generate the power in the exact same way (spinning a turbine).


As for nuclear, well I 100% oppose that.

Even if we went hardcore nuclear its not renewable either. We would run out of material within 50 years or so.

However, there is one green technology you did not take into account. Solar-thermal.


A grid of 100 Square miles could provide enough energy for the entire US, and it would cost about as much as coal to use. 100 Square miles sounds like a lot, but there are thousands upon thousands of square miles of barren land that is all but unusable in the midwest. This environment is also ideal for this technology, and new breakthroughs allow for energy production even at night.

Actually this isnt even new technology really, and yet you don't hear about it much.... I wonder why?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-10-2012, 01:49 AM
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
(21-10-2012 01:48 PM)Diablo Wrote:  
(15-10-2012 05:06 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  The facts of fossil fuels are simple.

For electricity generation all that is required is for a turbine to be turned. That can be either via wind, hydro or turning water to steam whether by fossil fuel burning, nuclear, solar or the inner workings of the inner crust (geothermal).
Cleaner greener options are better. They're cleaner, they're cheaper (free), they're 100% renewable. BUT they have their limitations.
Solar: Requires sun and large amounts of space. Doesn't work at night, but technology is getting better that will soon allow that.
Wind: Requires wind. (Or requires a strong water current, can be placed underwater)
Hydro: Requires a river.
Geothermal: The heated water reservoirs are limited. Though technology is in place that will effectively pump water into the crust, the crust will heat that water and we will extract the steam. The problem with this is that only certain areas have the right conditions for this to be available.

Fossil fuels then only have two weaknesses. 1: On going costs of coal (or oil or whatever) and 2: They're dirty.

The only viable real option (at this moment) is a combination between the two. Where there is wind there should be wind farms. Where there is desert there should be solar farms. Also I would support every NEW home (as in hasn't been built yet) requiring a solar panel to be installed.
BUT where no viable renewable option is available, there should be fossil fuel power stations.

This is the problem we have. Nobody is willing to compromise.
I get the impression people think fossil fuel plants are somehow superior power generators, but they all generate the power in the exact same way (spinning a turbine).


As for nuclear, well I 100% oppose that.

Even if we went hardcore nuclear its not renewable either. We would run out of material within 50 years or so.

However, there is one green technology you did not take into account. Solar-thermal.


A grid of 100 Square miles could provide enough energy for the entire US, and it would cost about as much as coal to use. 100 Square miles sounds like a lot, but there are thousands upon thousands of square miles of barren land that is all but unusable in the midwest. This environment is also ideal for this technology, and new breakthroughs allow for energy production even at night.

Actually this isnt even new technology really, and yet you don't hear about it much.... I wonder why?

The issue of nuclear is not if it's renewable or even the waste (which is radioactive and doesn't decay). It's about the uncertainty and dangers.
I accept that Chernobyl was one man being a total fuck-wit.
What swayed me away from nuclear (at one point I was actually really pro-nuclear which is odd considering NZ is a total nuclear free country) was the Japanese earthquakes and tsunami.
As a result there was leaks in several Japanese nuclear power plants and radiation leaked out.
It shows that you just can't predict EVERYTHING that can go wrong. And the problem with nuclear is that when things go wrong it isn't just a boom and a few people die, it's pretty much eternal. Land becomes unusable (Chernobyl for example), and there is side effects that last and last.

IMO, the risks, even while very small, are not worth the effects when something does go wrong.

Plus, what will happen if a nuclear power plant is bombed?
etc...

The problem with any solar is it only works when the sun is out so the viability of having nothing BUT solar is limited. Though there is technology out there and being developed that instead of using oil or water it will use this stuff to be heated. I can't remember the name of the stuff. But basically it holds heat for very long times. So you can heat it during the day using mirrors and then it retains heat during the night.

The problem with building one large power station is that power lines are very inefficient. That is why power lines are at like 50,000+volts because the more volts means less current so you don't lose as much energy. Then the power is scaled down in transformers when it get's to your street, then scaled down again inside the house at the power outlets, then often again in the actual appliances.

So having one power plant in the middle of the US is not viable. Whatever power requirements there are now would greatly increase because you would need to take into account lose of energy of that power traveling along powerlines.

I don't talk gay, I don't walk gay, it's like people don't even know I'm gay unless I'm blowing them.
[Image: 10h27hu.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-10-2012, 10:08 AM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2012 10:15 AM by Diablo666.)
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
This is not solar, its solar thermal, and as I said it does and can produce electricity at night. Regardless, even if it needed subsequent power at night, you are talking about a very small amount of power consumption going on by comparison at night.

Also, no one is suggesting to just build one power plant....
That is insanely obvious.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-10-2012, 10:16 AM
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
Which doesn't make up for the fact that it's highly impractical and inefficient to have 1 giant power plant.

I don't talk gay, I don't walk gay, it's like people don't even know I'm gay unless I'm blowing them.
[Image: 10h27hu.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-11-2012, 03:30 PM
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
The debate is being broadcasted Livestream. Happening in a few hours for anyones who's interested:

4PM Pacific / 7PM Eastern.

www.fossilfueldebate.com
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-11-2012, 05:51 PM
RE: Debate on Fossil Fuels and Environment: McKibben vs. Epstein
(22-10-2012 10:16 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  Which doesn't make up for the fact that it's highly impractical and inefficient to have 1 giant power plant.
Well obviously you can't have 1 giant power plant. The electricity isn't going to travel that far away easily, if at all.

The key to green energy is to diversify, and only use conventional plants to supplement.

Of course in about 30 years we should have the technology for a viable fusion power plant, and this won't be much of an issue anymore.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: