Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grid and Bear It

Over two years ago we addressed the national power grid in the post A Grid We Can Believe In.

In today's post we will continue the argument that our energy problems in the United States are a matter of choice in "the first instance", and guess what, our energy problems are a matter of choice in "the second instance" as well.

By "the first instance" I mean that we have always had a choice to use or not to use "fossil fuels" or "hydrocarbon fuels" such as oil, natural gas, and coal, which are finite and therefore non-renewable.

And we have always made the wrong choice in the first instance.

By "the second instance" I mean that we have always had a choice to efficiently use those fuels, but we have always made the wrong choice:
Today’s electric power system is shockingly inefficient in terms of both resource use and the market economy.

Approximately two-thirds of the fuel burned to generate electricity is lost in the generation and delivery process. Or, to put it another way, our electric power system operates at approximately 33 percent efficiency.

There has been no improvement in efficiency in the electric power industry since the 1960s.
(Electric Power System, emphasis added, see also). It is almost the same as leaking 67% of the oil coming out of a well, to pollute the ocean with it, like Deepwater Horizon, or like burning off 67% of natural gas into thin air, or like putting 67% of the coal straight into landfills without using it.

In other words we are wrong in the second instance for using only 33% of the energy source in a shameful, utterly wasteful, polluting, national infrastructure for a century, a hundred years.

Then when we discover the gross inefficiency, we are wrong for making no improvements to this shameful, utterly wasteful, polluting, national infrastructure for a half of a century, for fifty years, and that wrong adds criminality to the scenario.

To make those first and second instance choices is simply insane, crazy, incompetent, foolish, and utterly mindless, and it threatens national security.

Especially at a time when jobs are needed desperately, at a time when the national power grid is vulnerable to solar incursions, and at a time when we should have been making better choices for a century now.

Remember when we used to laugh a Japan for their cheap trinkets, then not too long after that they took over the automobile industry with better quality, so lets not laugh at China:
China has the world's fastest supercomputer, the fastest high speed trains and is leading the world in building nuclear plants. One of its more remarkable achievements has been modernizing the grid. The country has developed a 1 million AC volt transmission line that loses only 8 percent of its power on a 1,200 mile journey from the power plant in western China to the cities in the east.

An equivalent U.S. line, with only 760 kilovolts, would lose 80 percent of its power.
(GreenTech Media, Michael Kanellos, emphasis added). We are destroying, then rebuilding, the infrastructure in foreign nations during the ongoing oil wars while we let fellow Americans rot in the inefficiency here at home.

The 1% energy barons are not effected by the price of waste so they do not concern themselves with the suffering of the 99%.

Likewise, the apologist propagandist lackeys of the 1% will say that there is no choice, but those media puppets are deceitful, because there are many other and better choices, but the time for all the deceit to stop is long overdue.

As a result of willful choices, we have entered the criminally culpable era (Is 'Insanity' A Valid Defense To Ecocide?).

It is as if the 99% are beginning to realize that, like other mass murderers, the powers that be will not stop until they are stopped.

The dirty oil barons, dirty natural gas barons, and dirty coal barons will not stop on their own, rather, they must be stopped by their victims.

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