Luke Lenard

Co-Founder, Clean Our Oneida Lakes (C.O.O.L.)

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What is the best plan to solve the current energy crisis in the United States?

In the United States our energy comes from a combination of many sources but very few are truly sustainable. This thread is a way for me to find out all the amazing ways people are solving our energy problems.

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    Aug 17 2011: Fusion energy. True that it isn't efficient enough to come to commercial use yet, but the US could help push the research forward as to get results sooner. If it works (Fusion) like it's thought to, then the energy crisis all around the world, including the US, will start to fade away.
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    Aug 26 2011: Here in Europe the idea is it to use solar energy from a place in the Sahara desert. The only problem is the instability of the nations in North Africa. In the USA there is enough desert without similar problems.
    Just a little patch should be sufficient to replace all other sources.
  • Aug 25 2011: @Borrah, solar energy is the only way to go!! Nasa nailed it! Solar energy can be 25% to 100% effective!! The tech is there already! The governments do not want it! I am pretty sure you already know that one! We are talking "passive and active!" Alas, the humans of this world are to reliant on their governments and addictions to oil and the spoils. OR, humans are to poor to even give a rats butt. With Respect to you Mr. Campbell
  • Aug 17 2011: "What is the best plan to solve the current energy crisis in the United States?"

    What exactly is the current energy crisis? We are depleting fossil fuels, but between crude oil, natural gas, coal, etc., I don't understand how we are in a crisis situation or even close to one for at least 100 years---People have been throwing this term (energy crisis) around since the 1970's.

    I don't mean to argue against the need for developing sustainable energy sources. I just don't like the use of the manufactured term "energy crisis". The doom and gloom connoted by the term crisis is just not the case. We are not at a critical phase or decisive moment yet...we certainly weren't in the 70's either.

    The crisis situation is not upon us and hopefully never will be due to technological advances.
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      Aug 18 2011: "at least 100 years"

      We are projected to run out of fuel in 60-100 years.

      http://youtu.be/t-X6EpvWWu8

      If ever I have kids they'll be surely around to see that day!
      It is indeed a crisis.
      • Aug 18 2011: Bartlett, the speaker in your youtube video is basing his views on a "Theory of Malthusian Catastrophe". The main problem with this theory (as far as my limited knowledge can tell me) is that is does not account enough for gains in wealth wealth and technology advancements in making more existing resources available and the development of new types of resources. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. One small glimpse of this would be a law that was just passed which demands all American auto producers to double overall fuel economy to 54.5mpg (from the 27mpg current average) by 2025.

        Agriculture is a perfect example of how this theory does not work. It was predicted that population growth would overtake food production by the turn of the century. Yields were drastically increased and continue to be improved. We produce more than enough food to feed the world (distribution is another problem altogether).

        Please look up people like Julian Simon, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman for additional information on why the Malthusian Catastrophe Theory is flawed. There are plenty of Nobel Prizes amongst the works of these men to give credit to their views.

        If absolutely nothing changed in current consumption and technology, your 60-100 years is still not a very accurate figure. Marcellus shale formations are a relatively new resource that really hasn't even been taken into account. Deep sea drilling is a terrible thing, but would be a much more common occurrence if need for it increased to that level. The sky is not falling and there is no current crisis. That is not to say that there isn't a great need to continue to work toward sustainable energy sources. The doomsayer mentality is a good way of keeping the topic in the front of everyone's mind so that we continue to work toward the goal, but some people really take it too far.
      • Aug 19 2011: Teachers were telling me back in high school that we would be out of useable oil by now and that everyone would need gas masks to breath the toxic air.

        Sometimes projections are off and the word "crisis" gets used too much.
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      Aug 18 2011: I agree with Borrah that this is a crisis and not because of when we will run out but what will occur leading up to that. The prices of fossil fuels will sky rocket in time and there will be a period in U.S. history where we will have to make a decision about alternatives or fossil fuels. Will we steal other's fuel instead of making the switch? Will we demand lower prices or embargo a nation? What will happen?
      • Aug 18 2011: I guess I am a little more confident that there will a paradigm shift brought on by the free market before we hit the actual crisis. Capitalism can be a wonderful thing in this respect.

        My main concern would be that oil companies are too powerful and could make the process more painful than needed. Hopefully they will be part of the solution of switching to alternate energy sources and not spend billions of dollars in getting politicians in their back pocket to squeeze as much as they can out of a barrel of oil for as long as they possibly can. Their track record is not so good though.
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          Aug 18 2011: I agree that we most likely will hit a paradigm shift but my question is what will happen then. What will our solutions be when it comes to a point when we can no longer use traditional fuels? Will we switch to solar like Borrah said? Will our fusion energy be in place to take over like Ali insists? All these questions I wanted answered because no matter what your time frame for the "crisis" is, you know that in the end the results will be the same: either wildly expensive fossil fuels or no fossil fuels.
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    Aug 17 2011: I firmly believe that solar energy is the future. It's easy to collect, abundant, clean, and FREE. Nasa has developed very high quality solar cells that capture 70% of sunlight if memory serves. Once the technology becomes a little cheaper it'll soon change the world.
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    Sep 12 2011: Since the topic is in general energy there is a technology under research called Bloom energy, hope most might be aware of that. Google, facebook and other biggies are test running one of their servers using them. It uses oxygen as fuel, it is a compact 2' cube doubled to produce electricity to power up a house hold in US it seems. This in future could replace today's power stations and burning of fuel..
  • Aug 27 2011: Base-load Space-based Solar energy. There is no new scientific knowledge that needs to be discovered to harness the energy of our largest fully functioning fusion energy plant and beam that energy to terrestrial consumption centers. Private equity financing is all available, for the correct financial returns, to fund the complete construction of such a utility plant. Zero government funding is needed to make everything work. The state and sovereign federal government where this is initiated will be the immediate beneficiary of jobs and, within 12 years, the income tax revenues from operational profits that can fund more of it's social programs. The only thing missing is the organizational will and skill to get everything started. Send questions to spacepathahead@gmail.com if you want to find out more.
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    Aug 25 2011: The best plan is to invent something else , new , revolutionary ............... the most possible one perhaps will be a combination of what exist now.
  • Aug 17 2011: Decline the idea of it being an actual crisis and keep government out of it.