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Comment: Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (Score 1) 352

by LWATCDR (#48460879) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

And you just proved that you have no understanding of this issue.
Do you have any idea how much oil is used for electrical generation in the US?
Less than 2% of all electrical power comes from Oil. Far less than wind or solar. It is only used really in remote locations like Hawaii where gas and coal are not practical.

Comment: Nuclear won't be acknowledged as a solution. (Score 2) 352

by radtea (#48460457) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Nuclear won't be accepted as a solution until people who claim to believe that climate change has the potential to end civilization accept that the only proven technology capable of replacing base-load coal is nuclear, and that climate change is a technological problem, not a social problem.

This will take a long time.

The green activist movement is completely dominated by Naiomi Klein-style social engineers who don't care one whit about the environment, but who see it as a useful tool for defeating global capitalism. Thus their opposition to any technological solution to the problem of CO2 emissions whatsoever.

Now that climate change is increasingly widely acknowledged as a real issue--the Pentagon takes it seriously, can you get realer than that?--the green activist community will increasingly be seen as the major impediment to solving the problem. The question is: will we push these utopian socialists aside quickly enough to save the planet?

Comment: Re:As a side note, my own thoughts on future autos (Score 1) 134

by Rei (#48459619) Attached to: Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

Again, if a person is willing to pay the costs, they should be allowed to. Secondly, there's a difference between the car having to drive 10 minutes to a parking garage and circling endlessly for hours. Third, when you're talking fully automated roadways, you get greatly increased throughput. Fourth, your "there's only so much road space in downtown areas" claim makes no sense, we're talking about how automated vehicles can free up space downtown by preventing the need for "convenient parking", allowing parking to be clustered into dense and/or less convenient locations, depending on the situation.

Comment: Re:Not so fancy. (Score 1) 134

by Rei (#48459577) Attached to: Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

Moving parts != motor oil. Electric motors most commonly have a small amount of grease that's designed to never need replacement. There's also some that use hydraulic or air bearings.

Motor oil that's designed to wear out with time is part of the consequences of having to work in the harsh environment of internal combustion engines. It's not a fundamental requirement of moving parts.

Comment: Re:We need a *social* change (Score 1) 352

by Rei (#48459501) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

People would spend their time engaged in their preferred hobbies. Tinkerers would tinker. Musicians would make music. Writers would write. Programmers would program. Gardeners would garden. And on and on. I see nothing wrong with such a world.

Now, whether people's needs (let alone wants) could be met when you're having such a big global GDP cut, I think THAT's a more serious concern...

Comment: Re:How many bozos are screaming that Windows is sa (Score 1) 109

Some of it goes after the BIOS or the firmware in various bits of hardware (e.g. hard drives) too, which is pretty much impossible for any OS to defend against.

Why should that be impossible? On most hardware it may be, but if you're lucky enough to have a system with an IOMMU, the OS should absolutely be able to defend against such attacks simply by not permitting just any jerkoff application to access the disk controller directly. Applications then have to ask the driver to mediate all transactions, and the OS is definitely in a position to then prevent firmware tampering.

Comment: Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (Score 3, Interesting) 352

by Rei (#48459457) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

In reality, nukes are terrible as backup power. Just assuming you have a plant that can ramp up and down quickly (most can't), nuclear plants are almost all capital cost. Hence they need to run at a high capacity factor to pay back the investment; it doesn't pay to idle them. But if you're wanting to use them as gap filling in low wind/solar times, then that's exactly what you're suggesting be done - sit idle until more power is needed. It's a terrible use of a nuclear plant.

Pumped hydro isn't that expensive. It's currently the cheapest option out there by a good margin (except for uprating already-existing conventional hydro). But other techs are trying to beat it. Probably the best thing you can do is simply have a powerful HVDC grid so you can move power between different geographic regions and to use different types of renewables techs. The randomness goes way down when you do this. NG is commonly used as a peaking fuel, and I see no problem continuing to do this (instead of doing energy storage) if you can keep it down to an average of under 10% or so of the total generation mix. It's low carbon to begin with and modern NG peakers can hit upwards of 60% efficiency once warmed up. So 90% renewables, 10% efficiently-used NG, you're talking near total elimination of electricity-related CO2 emissions.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"