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Thread: Germany's new nuclear policies

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    Germany's new nuclear policies

    The CDU's victory in local elections is sending ripple effects throughout German politics and elections to replace Schröder and his green-socialist alliance might happen still this year. One of the consequences being discussed in the German press is that Germany's Atomausstieg (exit from nuclear power) might be delayed or abolished alogether =D> . The CDU is pro-fission. Besides, most Germans are realizing the limitations of so-called alternative energies like wind.

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    Hey, alright! So hopefully they'll stick to the three pillars of a useful, environmentally friendly power generation system: nuclear, geothermal, and hydro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    Hey, alright! So hopefully they'll stick to the three pillars of a useful, environmentally friendly power generation system: nuclear, geothermal, and hydro.
    What about wind and solar? I realize that on a per area of land use they are pretty poor compared to your examples, but they are not totally useless.

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    For large-scale power production, they simply are not economical.

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    link in german, i'll find something in english

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,357250,00.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    For large-scale power production, they simply are not economical.
    Well it depends where you live. In Britain for example it's perfectly feasible for wind power to produce 10% of our power...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachary
    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck
    For large-scale power production, they simply are not economical.
    Well it depends where you live. In Britain for example it's perfectly feasible for wind power to produce 10% of our power...
    Inevitable, not merely feasible, unless the environmentalists decide they hate 350 foot wind turbines more than they hate nuclear power.

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    I wonder how much would it cost to roof an ordinary house with solar panels, and what percentage of a house's energy budget would that be likely to cover? Any speculations?
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    10% isn't exactly what I'd call a mainstay of the power generation capacity.

    Solar I can see some day, maybe fairly soon, being used as a way for businesses to reduce their demand, especially during peak load times. But really, a skyscraper has only so much roof area and a lot of that is currently architecturally design for aesthetics and not solar collection. Sure new designs of solar panels could potentially be fitted on wall surfaces between windows, but that’s mainly going to be for new buildings. Imagine trying to retrofit the Empire State Building for example.

    Even with increased efficiencies, solar and wind will still require large areas. And now there are developing issues of bird killing with the wind turbines.

    With an increasing world population in turn increasing demand for food, textiles, living space, working space, wilderness preservation, etc., there’s only so much acreage to go around. No, I’m not being a Chicken Little and predicting the “dowwwwwnnnn-faaall of mannnnnkiiinnnnnd!” It’s an avoidable crisis and outside the scope of this thread..

    You can put a nuclear plant on a few acres; it’ll take a few square miles of wind to equal the same output. Especially if you have multiple reactors. Increasing the number of reactors is basically an insignificant increase in land usage as the site reservations are fairly inflated to allow for security and other concerns. I’m not as up on solar panel efficiencies, but I’d be willing to bet there’s a significant order of magnitude on the area required for them too as compared to a nuclear plant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    I wonder how much would it cost to roof an ordinary house with solar panels, and what percentage of a house's energy budget would that be likely to cover? Any speculations?
    Short of ordering one for your house, it is hard to say how much it would cost, as every site is different. For just the photovoltaic panels, you can get prices of $3.75/W without haggling; figure the inverter and support equipment sets you back another 3-10k$ depending on features and total capacity (prices on the inverter and integration is going to drop dramatically in the next few years).

    Most residential systems are "on-grid," meaning that your home is still connected to the electric company (which guarantees availability 24-7) and the excess energy your solar system generates is basically sold back to the utility. In a nice, sunny area in a state with good tax incentives, this gives a break-even cost point of about seven years (somewhat independent of the actual capacity).

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    I hear that the German economy is pretty stagnant at the moment.

    The exit from nuclear power is more of a political appeasement measure. The date is so far in the future that he doesn't have to worry about it. Ideology is for political parties. Practicality is for governments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demigrog
    Inevitable, not merely feasible, unless the environmentalists decide they hate 350 foot wind turbines more than they hate nuclear power.
    Bait 'n' switch. Environmentalists hate any power source that shows it actually has the potential to generate power.

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    Anyone want me to add anything to the site?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    Quote Originally Posted by Demigrog
    Inevitable, not merely feasible, unless the environmentalists decide they hate 350 foot wind turbines more than they hate nuclear power.
    Bait 'n' switch. Environmentalists hate any power source that shows it actually has the potential to generate power.
    Hyperbole.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    Hyperbole.
    Well they do. They used to love hydro before turning on it. Now they are turning on wind as it begins to become useful. And there was that story about the geothermal project that was cancelled because of environmentalist protests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    Hyperbole.
    Well they do. They used to love hydro before turning on it. Now they are turning on wind as it begins to become useful. And there was that story about the geothermal project that was cancelled because of environmentalist protests.
    I just switched my electric company to one that uses wind and hydro. It will cost the same, but I feel better about it, and for all intents and purposes, I consider myself a environmentalist:
    Main Entry: en·vi·ron·men·tal·ism Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): -s
    : a theory that views environment rather than heredity as the important factor in the development of the individual or a group -- compare HEREDITARIANISM
    - en·vi·ron·men·tal·ist \-lst\ noun or adjective
    - en·vi·ron·men·tal·is·tic \-mentlistik\ adjective

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    In general, I have found there are 3 types of enviromentalist, Rationalist, Ilrationalist, and the Watermelons.

    The rationalist are enviromentalist because they really like clean air and water, enjoy the outside, like animals, and whatnot, but are not insane about it. This group you can talk with, and make rational decisions - for example, many of this group will support nuclear power, though they prefer wind or solar, as nuclear would make a cleaner replacement for coal plants.

    The irrationalist are pretty much fanatics about the enviroment, and many of them seek the distruction of modern civilization - you will see this group support alternative sources (like wind) and then turn against it when it does become economical. These people make up the ranks of ALF & ELF & some of Greenpeace.

    The Watermelons aren't actually enviromentalist, but use enviromentalism as a cover for increasing state control over people's lives. Hence the watermelon name - green on the outside, red on the inside. You can find a lot of these types in government enviro agencies.

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    DreadCthulhu, you have really hit it there. If we had respected users lists, you'd be on mine now.

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    I agree (mostly) with DreadCthulhu on that point, although I'd put the government enviro agencies in the "Rational" category (unless the Republicans are in power :wink: ). In fact, I'd consider the whole "watermelon" category to be insulting; to the irrationals, the rationals would be "watermelons."

    I consider myself one of the rationals. I recycle, plant trees (in fact, that's part of my job description - I especially like to grow trees from seed), drive a fuel-efficent car and keep it in good working order, etc. When I'm out in the wild (and this rule applies to city parks and national monuments as well), I take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints. Just as it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around, I believe that it will take all kinds of energy (including nuclear, both fission and fusion!) to satisfy the world's energy needs, now and in the future.

    The environmental movement isn't so much about saving the Earth per se as it is about saving humanity. Cleaner air and water and fewer landfills keep us healthier, and wildlife and green spaces are good for meeting humanity's aesthetic needs. Likewise, social problems such as war, hunger and poverty are environmental problems in and of themselves.

    That said, it's unfair to tar all environmentalists - or anyone else for that matter - with the same brush.

    - Maha "green dream believer" Vailo

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    On my site, I talk about the irrationals (called extreme environmentalists) and say how they believe in the intrinsic value of nature, but not the intrinsic value of humanity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo
    I agree (mostly) with DreadCthulhu on that point, although I'd put the government enviro agencies in the "Rational" category (unless the Republicans are in power :wink: ). In fact, I'd consider the whole "watermelon" category to be insulting; to the irrationals, the rationals would be "watermelons."
    I think the watermelon point is fairly valid. There is no mistaking a radical left wing influence within the core of environmentalism. Which is cause and which is effect is up for debate, but the point is nevertheless that extreme environmentalists regard allowing people to live their own lives is like turning a fox loose in the hen house, hence they want the state to keep these devils in order. (We are of course talking about extreme environmentalists here.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo
    I take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.
    You devil! How many aphids did you murder in cold blood? :wink:

    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo
    The environmental movement isn't so much about saving the Earth per se as it is about saving humanity. Cleaner air and water and fewer landfills keep us healthier, and wildlife and green spaces are good for meeting humanity's aesthetic needs. Likewise, social problems such as war, hunger and poverty are environmental problems in and of themselves.
    For the moderates yes but the to the extremists, humanity is a plague.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo
    That said, it's unfair to tar all environmentalists - or anyone else for that matter - with the same brush.
    Your kind would say that, wouldn't you? :wink:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    On my site, I talk about the irrationals (called extreme environmentalists) and say how they believe in the intrinsic value of nature, but not the intrinsic value of humanity.
    That's the biggest problem with "irrational" or "extreme" environmentalists. They forget that humans are themselves a part of nature, and thus are included in the "intrinsic value" of nature.

    - Maha Vailo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    On my site, I talk about the irrationals (called extreme environmentalists) and say how they believe in the intrinsic value of nature, but not the intrinsic value of humanity.
    I suspect what you call extreme environmentalists, are followers of Deep Ecology, the environmental philosophy started by Naess and Sessions circa 1984. I think your webpage could do with a few links to such sites so readers can check what they are saying for ourselves. I'd also suggest a clearer breakdown of how the environmental movement is fragmented and who in your view, the 'goodies' are and the 'baddies' are.

    Here's a few for starters.
    (Caveat please: These are not all to be taken as my views.)

    Conservation-minded environmentalists - groups like the Sierra Club (US), and in the UK, the National Trust, the CPRE etc etc.

    Ecology - lobbying groups like Friends of the Earth, direct-action groups like Greenpeace

    Then there's the Deep Ecology groups.
    http://www.deepecology.org/mission.html
    http://www.ecospherics.net

    Just suggestions, to be taken or left as you see fit. It's your site!

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    Hmm. This Deep Ecology group seem to be rather anti-science and anti-development. Seem to believe luddism is the key to survival. They write nature as a proper noun. I've made an addition. Check out the page again. Does that seem okay?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    Hmm. This Deep Ecology group seem to be rather anti-science and anti-development. Seem to believe luddism is the key to survival. They write nature as a proper noun. I've made an addition. Check out the page again. Does that seem okay?
    They also write Globalisation and Megatechnology with proper nouns. Point being what?

    Hmm. I wasn't thinking you'd simply toss off a quick link with a caricaturing sentence. I was thinking you might have wanted to expand your page on environmentalists a bit to take in the spread of views across the movement, and point out the flaws in each.

    For example, the CPRE are in favour of reducing energy demand before tackling nuclear power - they are also against inappropriate deployment of wind turbines. The National Trust have also waxed lyrical on the subject of renewables, but entirely ignore nuclear power as far as I can tell: Where have they both got it wrong?

    Here is a link to Friends of the Earth's position on nuclear energy: I imagine you will disagree with much of it, but there's surely material there to pick apart on your site.

    Don't get me wrong Glom. I agree with most of what you write on the page. But I'm already a convert to nuclear power, having made the journey from anti-nuclear environmentalist. I was converted, over time, by facts. The Yorkshireman of 20 years ago, would not however be converted by your page as it stands right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkshireman
    Hmm. I wasn't thinking you'd simply toss off a quick link with a caricaturing sentence. I was thinking you might have wanted to expand your page on environmentalists a bit to take in the spread of views across the movement, and point out the flaws in each.
    I'm not here to write a dissertation on environmentalism. Maybe I will add one when I feel like it. The point I was making was simply to note that extreme environmentalists don't always have our best interests at heart. There is a perception that because protecting the environment is a laudable goal, that anyone purporting to be pursuing that purpose is a noble defender of all. This alone justifies taking them at their word when they say nuclear power sucks. The point I was making is that moderate environmental conscience and extreme environmentalism is not the same.

    As for the rest, like Jay, I realise the futility in commenting on every piece out there. That's why I structure the site to deal with arguments by theme and not by where I found them. The site is of course in constant work and there are many areas where I really want to improve things and will do them as time goes on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    Hmm. This Deep Ecology group seem to be rather anti-science and anti-development. Seem to believe luddism is the key to survival. They write nature as a proper noun. I've made an addition. Check out the page again. Does that seem okay?
    Glom, besides ignoring my comment, I'm tending to think you take a way too extreme view on environmentalists and compartmentalize them. The reason some people capitalize nature or Nature is sort of the same argument for god or God. It is to make clear what nature one is talking about. Hmm, let me pull out the dictionary again, and maybe you'll understand that if I understand the nature of Nature or nature, I wouldn't make such a comment. It's not really a big deal to keep bringing it up; after all Mother Nature is a proper noun, or what have you. BTW, you get respect, when you give it, too, and you'll gain more people on your side (meaning pro-nuclear, hydro, wind turbines, etc) when you lump environmentalists less than you often do.

    Main Entry: na·ture
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin natura, from natus, past participle of nasci to be born -- more at NATION
    1 a : the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing : ESSENCE b : DISPOSITION, TEMPERAMENT
    2 a : a creative and controlling force in the universe b : an inner force or the sum of such forces in an individual
    3 : a kind or class usually distinguished by fundamental or essential characteristics <documents of a confidential nature> <acts of a ceremonial nature>
    4 : the physical constitution or drives of an organism; especially : an excretory organ or function -- used in phrases like the call of nature
    5 : a spontaneous attitude (as of generosity)
    6 : the external world in its entirety
    7 a : humankind's original or natural condition b : a simplified mode of life resembling this condition
    8 : the genetically controlled qualities of an organism
    9 : natural scenery

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo
    I agree (mostly) with DreadCthulhu on that point, although I'd put the government enviro agencies in the "Rational" category (unless the Republicans are in power :wink: ). In fact, I'd consider the whole "watermelon" category to be insulting; to the irrationals, the rationals would be "watermelons."
    I would agree that the purpose, and most of the workers in, of various goverment enviromental agencies fall into the rationalist category, there is a subset of them who honestly does not care about the enviroment in the slightest, and only want it as a cover to increase state control. That is why the watermelon category is needed. If this group thought dumping mercury into the ground water would help them get a highly restrictive socialist state, they would do it.

    The environmental movement isn't so much about saving the Earth per se as it is about saving humanity. Cleaner air and water and fewer landfills keep us healthier, and wildlife and green spaces are good for meeting humanity's aesthetic needs.
    This is the standard belief for the rationalist enviromentalist; while I agree with some of it, I honestly detest green space, and find it ugly and annoying.

    Still, I wanted to point out that portions of the enviromental movent don't really want to save humanity - lots of the of the irrationalist either have a dismal, nilhistic view of humanity, or think they and their 'special' group will be around to take care of the animals, in harmony with nature. Of course, a couple billion of people will have to die, but omelets and eggs there. And the watermelons have marxist dreams floating in their heads, which is why they keep trying to lock out lots of property from private use, even if they the justification is clearly insane - look how long it took to delist the Preble's mouse from the endangered species act, even after DNA test showed it to be the same species as a very common rodent. This cost landowners and ranchers millions of dollars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melusine
    Glom, besides ignoring my comment,
    What comment? You only made one other post on this thread and it didn't seem like a comment to be addressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melusine
    I'm tending to think you take a way too extreme view on environmentalists and compartmentalize them.
    Only on the extremists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melusine
    The reason some people capitalize nature or Nature is sort of the same argument for god or God. It is to make clear what nature one is talking about. Hmm, let me pull out the dictionary again, and maybe you'll understand that if I understand the nature of Nature or nature, I wouldn't make such a comment. It's not really a big deal to keep bringing it up; after all Mother Nature is a proper noun, or what have you.
    Alright, scratch that point. I don't see it as worth defending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melusine
    BTW, you get respect, when you give it, too, and you'll gain more people on your side (meaning pro-nuclear, hydro, wind turbines, etc) when you lump environmentalists less than you often do.
    There are extremists and zealots. I was referring to those and I clearly showed that by calling them extreme environmentalists and not regular old environmentalists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom
    Quote Originally Posted by Melusine
    Glom, besides ignoring my comment,
    What comment? You only made one other post on this thread and it didn't seem like a comment to be addressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melusine
    I'm tending to think you take a way too extreme view on environmentalists and compartmentalize them.
    Only on the extremists.
    Sometimes your definition of "extreme" isn't clear and you lump people in, such as with:
    Well they do. They used to love hydro before turning on it. Now they are turning on wind as it begins to become useful. And there was that story about the geothermal project that was cancelled because of environmentalist protests.
    When there are people against wind turbines who are NOT extreme as you have previously said elsewhere on the board. You discuss this in this thread, too.
    http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/vi...hlight=#466248

    Quote Originally Posted by Melusine
    The reason some people capitalize nature or Nature is sort of the same argument for god or God. It is to make clear what nature one is talking about. Hmm, let me pull out the dictionary again, and maybe you'll understand that if I understand the nature of Nature or nature, I wouldn't make such a comment. It's not really a big deal to keep bringing it up; after all Mother Nature is a proper noun, or what have you.
    Alright, scratch that point. I don't see it as worth defending.
    Well, this is the second time you've said it recently, and I believe I've heard it before longer ago. You said last week:

    Posted: Tue May 17, 2005 9:01 pm Post subject:
    You have to remember that according to this particular breed of person, "Nature" (capitalised) is inherently benign and friendly and only our reliance on things that are not "Natural" (capitalised) will harm us.
    If you feel this isn't worth defending then why do you bring it up twice in a week? First off, the above is a false statement, but too, you're perpetuating a derisive view without anything to back it up. I felt I should give you one reason, and it is far more benign than you display (by tone).

    The thing is, you have repeatedly mixed and matched environmentalists and "extreme" environmentalists when they are not black & white groups; there are A LOT of people against nuclear power, as well, who are not even environmentalists--just Joe Schmo down the street who is afraid of it in his back yard. If you want to convince people or the public, you might want to think of a new tack, because environmental groups talk to the people and get their support (I get tons of mail from them) and you've said a lot of things that would turn nature (or Nature) lovers off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melusine
    BTW, you get respect, when you give it, too, and you'll gain more people on your side (meaning pro-nuclear, hydro, wind turbines, etc) when you lump environmentalists less than you often do.
    There are extremists and zealots. I was referring to those and I clearly showed that by calling them extreme environmentalists and not regular old environmentalists.
    It's not just extremists and zealots against wind turbines, et al.

    Can you give me a concrete definition of "extreme environmentalist?" Maybe if you clarify what constitutes as extreme, there will be no doubt about your view on this. Thanks.

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