We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero. Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine – despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a per cent worldwide.”

Matt Ridley

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10 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    If technological improvements come along (new types of solar cell) solar energy may have a good future.

    Also wave power and tidal power are worth a look.

    But wind power (apart from on a micro scale – for ranches and very small communities) is a con. A massive fraud.

    As for electricity generally (and without electricity there can be no hydrogen power – as one needs electricity to “split” the water to get the hydrogen) NUCLEAR power will have to be part of it.

    And in a big way.

    And (unless nuclear fusion comes along really soon) that must include “fast breeder”reactors (and so on).

    Fission power (including fast breeders and so on) gives the world three centuries of electrical power.

    How much time to people need to work out economically viable fusion power.

    If they really need another three centuries (on top of the 60 years they have already had) then there is something basically wrong with the idea of fusion power on Earth.

  • RRS

    One thing that has been missing in all the nattering about “energy” (about which our knowledge is still quite limited to matters like electro-magnetics, heat, light, kinetics, etc.) is the issue of transmissions and translations (amongst forms of energies).

    More has been said about “storage,” which is still difficult with electrical energies.

    Perhaps turbines (electro-magnetic) are not the best approach to extracting the kinetic energies of wind (in turn derived from heat differentials). We have achieved some of that with hydro-power, dependent of rainfall distributions again related to heat differentials.

    Why don’t we hear more about the “consumption of oxygen” as a “danger?” Won’t we ultimately use it all up burning fossil fuels for heat to generate forms of transmissable energies? And then there is breathing – if we get to 7 Billion people, where will the needed oxygen come from?

    We must natter on!

  • David Bouvier

    RSS – becaause oxygen is 21% of the atmosphere and CO2 is 0.04%. Increasing CO2 by 10 times would make little difference to the overall level of O2.

  • Jerry

    Where to start –
    ‘And then there is breathing – if we get to 7 Billion people, where will the needed oxygen come from?’
    Same place it always has – plants !
    You also realize. don’t you. that the total insect population weighs more the human race and consume more oxygen than the human race !

    ‘improvements come along (new types of solar cell) solar energy may have a good future.’

    I’ve been hearing ‘it’s just a matter of more research and maybe a breakthrough’ for over 40 years!

    Listen and pass it on –
    There is is only about 100 watts of solar power striking a ONE SQ YARD area ( roughly equivalent
    to a square meter for the metrics out there ).
    That’s all there is! And that is in direct, bright, no angular deflection or diffusion ( clouds, no matter how thin ), sunlight and that’s at 100% efficiency,
    which we are nowhere near currently !

    There is not going to be any ’20 square feet solar panels’ with which you can run your entire
    home. unless, of course, you live in a hovel with a single light bulb – which is what I suspect
    the the environmental movement has planned for the rest of us but not themselves.
    It’s simple physics There simply is not that much solar energy to be had with a a small area.

  • Jerry

    I give up on smite !!
    plants create oxygen and for what it’s worth, insects consume more oxygen than humans since their weight exceeds the weight of humans on this planet.

    There are no breakthroughs on solar technology that will allow you to supply your entire home using a relatively small panel. the energy density simply isn’t there. You get, in direct sunlight, without deflection or clouds about 100 watts per square yard. That’s all there is. Solar energy is very diffused as well as intermittent and therein lies the problem with using it on any kind of large scale

  • RRS

    Sorry about the oxygen snark. I should have put a smiley at the end.

  • Mendicant

    Pensioners are not in fuel property, its more the case that they are spoilt old duffers.

    Stop fussing over the lazy old dears.

  • Sunfish

    Alisa, it’s just Mendicant being Mendicant.

    I wouldn’t mind him. He’s just fishing, in that particular style that involves motoring at low speed while trailing long lines behind the boat.

    I think Mendicant’s story is that on the internet, everybody is a millionaire astronaut cowboy who benches eight wheels, has a black belt in ninjitsu that lets him wear the special boots to climb trees, and taught a German Shepherd to bark in French, and did so by speaking Russian. (Link not completely SFW)