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Comment: Re:We have already figured most of this out. (Score 1) 363

by DriveDog (#49481927) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

The scale of that stuff is impressive. But it's the cheapest way they've found to do it. Rebooting the planet without fossil fuels would be very expensive, but absolutely doable. Use your imagination. Fossil fuel executives like to say the wind sometimes doesn't blow, which in most areas is true. But there are sites where the wind is very reliable which they conveniently ignore. Site your fab plant there, or put it next to a hydroelectric dam, or use tidal power. We certainly know how to store energy to counter intermittent sources, massive amounts of it, with iron age technology, but it's expensive. Pump water uphill and store it, pressurize a salt mine, store molten salts, etc etc. There's a lot of difference between saying "but that would require..." and just being a naysayer.

Comment: Re:We have already figured most of this out. (Score 1) 363

by DriveDog (#49469429) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?
Yep, some plant-based liquid fuels and a lot of wind generators. Building those, at least basic ones, is low-tech and easy. After a while we could reboot the PV manufacturing, but that would take a while. Solar based on focusing sunlight and boiling some fluid might catch on pretty quickly. Any way you slice it, there won't be nearly the transportation levels we have now for a long time. Hydroelectric could make a lot of power fairly quickly. There are serious downsides to damming up more waterways, but it doesn't require fossil fuels.

Comment: Re:not what you asked (Score 1) 445

Yes, that would be more convenient. He didn't want to back up to "the cloud". It's more expensive to set up a machine somewhere else to receive stuff than just to drop off a flash drive every once in a while. So the low-tech approach seemed to fit his wants and needs.

Comment: not what you asked (Score 3, Insightful) 445

I know this isn't what you asked, and I'm interested in hearing the answer to your question as well. But offsite is really the only safe alternative. Put copies on whatever media, then store them somewhere away from your house. If you have a place you feel is relatively secure at the office, put it there. Send it home with a trusted friend. Store it in your mom's basement (if you live elsewhere). Encrypt with a phrase you won't forget. Only a thermonuclear strike is likely to destroy all your copies, and if it does, I suspect you won't much care.

Comment: Re:Long range outlook: batteries or fuel cells? (Score 1) 229

The real underlying problem is the energy source. There's no economic source now nor on the 20 year horizon for H2. Techies like to tinker with it, just like anything else, and I can certainly understand that. But it's really serves oil companies in two ways: 1) the most economic source is fossil fuels, and 2) it's not going to displace much fossil fuel anytime in the foreseeable future, so it serves to distract from technologies that might.

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

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