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Comment Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 0) 461

Germany has bought solar generation capacity, but they have paid a very high price.

I love how you're speaking in woo. Be specific, or admit there's no argument there. Their rejection of nuclear for solar is orthogonal to their adoption of municipal solar. Or maybe you mean the high number of dollars (well, Euros) invested, but so what? They haven't had rolling blackouts, and we have. We are (as a nation) almost completely at the mercy of entrenched energy interests, and they are... well, they're still mostly at their mercy, but they've taken big steps. I'll admit it's not all roses, they should be doing carbon capture by making biodiesel from algae and that would reduce the objections to the coal power — because they'd at least get to release the same carbon again when they drive. And they've got lots of diesels to put it in.

Comment Re:What's the solution? (Score 1) 205

In a way, yes. The airplane wing is curved on the top, and flat on the bottom. The wind has to travel farther over the top of the wing than the bottom, meaning there is less air pressure on the top of the wing, more on the bottom, and that's what generates lift.

Well, ISTR there's still some debate about that being the whole reason, but both postulated effects (I thought the current theory was that both were real?) depend on wind resistance. Besides, you can achieve flight without airfoils.

Comment Re:in 1942 (Score 1) 710

Is there such a thing in the USA as a zero hour contract? These things were rare in the early 00s and are becoming the norm. Where you are tied into an exclusivity contract with an employer while at the same time they are not obliged to give you any hours at all.

I sure hope not. I've never heard of anyone having anything like that. Most people in this country are simply non-contract or at-will or whatever they call you, they can fire you at any time for any reason not explicitly covered by federal or state anti-discrimination law which covers race, religion, gender, and in California and probably some other states but I haven't kept up, sexual orientation. And the minimum wage is not a living wage anywhere in the country that I'm aware of, although some places are moving in that direction and possibly some seriously armpit parts of some otherwise affluent states might qualify.

Comment Re:What's the solution? (Score 1) 205

"As speed increases, I imagine that fighting drag does get to be harder than fighting gravity" Indeed it does. As speed increases, lift per unit wing area rises.

I'm talking about the drag on the rest of the plane, though, not the part that's generating lift. Obviously you need that for planes to work. That doesn't rule out commercial air travel, though; they could still use rockets. But I would have imagined that you'd have to be going pretty fast to make that cheaper in terms of energy than flight in the really real world, not the postulated one.

"what about falling out of the sky when your propulsion system fails?" Many a good plane can glide to a landing with no engines running. The space shuttle does it from Mach 26...

Yes, but aren't lift and drag two parts of the same phenomenon? It's my understanding (bracing for correction?) that you won't get to glide in this postulated reality. There will be no shuttle gliding to a landing (much like this reality, heh) but you can still land a rocket gracefully.

Comment Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 0) 461

While we're at it, can we get a SAT for slavery? (the jokes write themselves, but I will skip them here.) On one hand, I enjoy all the shit I have that was made in China. On the other hand, the fact that most can't afford anything else is related to its import on the current terms, and that's the least of the negative effects.

Comment Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 0) 461

Remarkable that they had the wisdom to replace zero-emission nuclear power with a dozen new gigantic coal plants,

When you change the subject instead of addressing the raised point, that the solar capacity they have added is both astounding and effective, it's a sign that you know that the point is correct, and that you have no counter-argument. We thank you for your validation, even though we have no need of it. Signed, people who are not allergic to solar power.

P.S. If the Big Energy lobby here in the USA would stop fucking around with biofuel patents, maybe we could get some real progress in reducing effective CO2 from transportation. And what the Germans have achieved is to reduce their dependence on Big Energy. Maybe we should consider doing the same thing here, unless you really like being dependent on the centralized, entrenched energy barons.

Comment Re:Good to keep in mind... (Score 1) 216

The oil industry likes fuel cells (have run advertising showing off their benefits in the past) - i.e. big money wants this to keep fuel cells going and happen.

They like them because they can get their fingers into your hydrogen. The problem with electricity from their standpoint is the same as Tesla's supposed free energy system. You can get it out of the sky. Batteries keep getting better long past the point where the doomsayers said they would, and cheaper as well. It doesn't take a crystal ball to figure out that it's going to get downright convenient to get your energy without any grid infrastructure whatsoever, and they will not have that. At least, not any quicker than they can avoid it.

Comment Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (Score 1) 216

Sure it can. But nobody does it that way. Most hydrogen comes from steam reforming of natural gas.

Which is predictably energy-intensive.

Electric cars are superior to Fuel Cells in every possible way.

Except for range, fueling time, and (maybe) cost.

Twice the range is good, but nothing to write home about when diesels are now getting 800 miles, and have been getting 400 for decades — and they can be filled up with carbon-neutral fuel right now, instead of carbon-positive hydrogen-from-natural-gas.

Comment Re:What's the solution? (Score 1) 205

Which is kind of like saying that the airline industry would be so much more efficient if we could just get rid of wind resistance.

Because of my contrary nature, I immediately started wondering if that was actually true. As speed increases, I imagine that fighting drag does get to be harder than fighting gravity, but I don't actually know. But a bigger question is, what about falling out of the sky when your propulsion system fails? No parachutes... you need an active recovery system.

I think we'd have stuck with trains and boats...

What would have to happen to physics to eliminate wind resistance?

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