[PLUG-TALK] Risk of earthquake based nuclear problems in USA

Denis Heidtmann denis.heidtmann at gmail.com
Sun Mar 20 21:28:35 PDT 2011

On Sun, Mar 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM, Michael Moore <moore.michael.m at gmail.com>wrote:

> On 3/19/2011 9:24 PM, Keith Lofstrom wrote:
> >
> > I am working on server-sky.com . I hope to move the server
> > farms into orbit, someday.  Lots of potential benefits.  Also
> > lots of unsolved problems.  If you want to do something, help.
> > But the deployment may take decades to complete.
> >
> > We need to replace the coal and oil faster than that.
> While I'm greatly enjoying this discussion (sitting idly by on the
> sidelines, munching popcorn!), there's one thing I haven't seen
> addressed in all the insightful back-and-forth.
> I have a cousin who works at the Primate Research Center in Hillsboro.
> He lives in one of those sprawling housing developments that sprung up
> in east Vancouver.  I've only been out to his place a few times since he
> moved there and, personally, I find the area to be depressing.  But
> that's fine, I don't live there, he and his family do, and I don't have
> to live with the choices they made.  So now he commutes 5 days a week
> from beyond one side of Portland to beyond the other side of Portland.
> Compared to many, it's not a particularly long commute, though again
> it's not something I'd want to do.
> But I am left wondering what makes his choices possible?  How much
> asphalt had to be laid?  How much oil has to be imported, refined, and
> processed into the gasoline that such choices require?  How much does
> that cost, including all the money our government send to "friendly"
> dictators in countries like Saudi Arabia, who are at the moment sending
> their military into Bahrain to put down a civilian uprising?  How much
> did developing a formerly rural area like east Vancouver cost, and how
> much power was consumed to do so, and how much is consumed everyday to
> keep the lights on and the washing machines spinning (oh, and the TVs
> blaring)?  Was all that energy expenditure necessary, or just desirable?
> Fundamentally, I wonder why no one seems to question the very premise
> that we *need* to replace the coal and oil faster than what x, y, or z
> can deliver (or, can deliver safely).  Do we really *need* to, or do we
> want to in order to keep enabling the choices my cousin made, which are
> indistinguishable from the choices many millions of Americans have made
> over the past 60 years?
> I got rid of my TV years ago, so maybe I'm not up-to-speed on how bad it
> has become, but I just don't think TV is the problem.  A couple years
> ago, I did some little online survey-thingy that measured personal
> energy consumption in # of "Planet Earths" it would take to support the
> entire human population if everyone lived as I did.  Even though I live
> in a small apartment, don't drive or own a car (I bike, walk & take
> public transit), and live in a region that gets a reasonable amount of
> power from hydro, the result still came out to just over 2 planets.  I
> won't vouch for the rigorousness of the survey's methodology, but still
> ... it gave me pause.
> It seems like this whole discussion has been premised on the notion that
> we must keep expanding and increasing capacity and output, and it seems
> like our industry and government act accordingly.  At what point do we
> question that premise?  At what point do we let ourselves entertain the
> notion that maybe we can't keep doing things the way we've been doing
> them -- before or after we build a $4.6 billion bridge over the
> Columbia, before or after we both replace the Sellwood Bridge *and*
> build a new light-rail/bike/ped bridge over the Willamette?  At what
> point does it dawn on us that maybe we can't keep expanding and
> increasing ad infinitum?
> Michael

I agree 200%.  But what I feel will (continue to) happen is that the haves
will push the earth much closer to the breaking point, and those of lesser
power will suffer the most.  How it will end I do not know, but I cannot
help but believe it will be much worse than at present.  Very sad.

The cheapest power is that not used.

But there are those who believe technology will come to the rescue.

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