Author Topic: What is "clean" energy?  (Read 614 times)

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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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What is "clean" energy?
« on: October 27, 2018, 12:08:31 PM »
Quote
“If we are going to get to 100% clean energy, we need to be using solar power every hour of the day, not just when the sun is shining,” said Senator Scott Wiener, author of SB 700. “This bill will protect clean energy jobs while also protecting consumers from ever rising energy bills.”
https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/09/californias-3-gw-solarstorage-bill-now-signed-into-law/

So, I'm looking at SB700
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB700

And I'm trying to figure out how in the world solar panels are 100% clean.

Is no one considering the manufacturing processes involved with creating solar panels or what happens when they eventually stop working?

What is the life expectancy of a solar cell or solar panel? They don't work forever. All the raw material is still dug up from the earth. Chemicals are still used in the manufacturing process. Waste is still produced and carbon based vehicles are still used to transport the materials to the manufacturing plants that don't use solar energy to power forges and presses used in their facilities.

So, Is solar power 100% clean?

No.

My question is, is it better than Hydro or oil or natural gas?

I'm thinking it's worse on our environment than fossil fuels but I am open to correction. 


« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 12:10:12 PM by Mr. Blackwell »
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Online One Above All

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 01:56:50 PM »
"Clean" means there's no pollution associated with the production of energy after the unit has been built. So yes, it's better than fossil fuels by far, but worse than most other forms of renewable energies due to physical limitations.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 10:09:38 AM »
Just putting this here so I don't forget to later.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Sgmp1aUjnA
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Offline velkyn

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2018, 02:03:03 PM »
I'm curious on why you want to argue against renewables?   

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAFL) - Heinlein    But there are better things than using up fossil fuels and getting the resultant pollutants e.g. carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, fly ash, benzene, heavy metals, etc.   Yep, it costs to make solar panels, but it also costs to make furnaces, to make pipelines/trucks, to make refineries, etc.   It does require mining to get the stuff for the panels, and it requires the same to make the infrastructure for fossil fuels plus we need to mine or drill for the fossil fuels which fuck up water, air, habitats, etc.   Solar does require acres to put up the panels, but it doesn't destroy those habitats completely like mining and hydro does. 

I live in Pennsylvania, where I've seen thousands of acres destroyed by coal mining, and before the companies were forced to return the land to what it was, other than just piles of shale and waste.  I see the gas wells, which are generally returned pretty well, but still disturb habitat (my family farm has two wells on it, neither for the very deep Marcellus gas.  it comes down to why tear up stuff when we don't have to.

Now, personally I'm all for solar power satellites that would beam down microwaves to receivers and we wouldn't have the day/night problem. 
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2018, 03:03:20 PM »
I'm curious on why you want to argue against renewables?

Oh, no..I'm not trying to argue against renewables and certainly not in favor of fossil fuels. I'm just having a hard time finding factual information about the impact of producing solar panels and installing them. I'm trying to figure out what the carbon footprint is but there is scant little information about the actual process from start to finished product. What is the actual environmental impact of using solar for electricity? I've wondered about it before but forgot about it but now that California passed SB700 production will ramp up. I don't think it's wise to just assume that it won't impact the environment as negatively as the other means of producing electricity since it has never been employed at the same scale as the others.

I found this resource today when I read a National Geographic article from 2014

http://svtc.org/ 

Recycling electronics is another huge issue that solar panels will be contributing to.

https://vimeo.com/5009068

Quote
Now, personally I'm all for solar power satellites that would beam down microwaves to receivers and we wouldn't have the day/night problem.

You may find this video interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMWIgwvbrcM
I am not sure how to describe the intricacies of this Hell, so I chose to begin with the most common or prominent theme of Hell, which is uncertainty.

Online One Above All

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2018, 03:53:07 PM »
The environmental impact of building solar panels is the same as building anything that requires mining, metallurgy, and glasswork. The environmental impact of maintaining solar panels while they produce power is virtually nil. The latter is why solar power is considered a "clean energy". The former is intrinsic to every type of power plant.
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Offline jetson

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2018, 04:45:23 PM »
I agree with OAA...even if the creation of solar power takes more resources, the ultimate output of power over time far outweighs the continuous flow of carbon into our atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. Plus, the sun is not going to run out of energy - practically speaking. Fossil fuels are finite, last time I checked.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2018, 06:36:55 PM »
Check out the video I posted in Reply#2. Look specifically at the process at the 3 minute mark. They mix the silica with carbon fuel to help heat the silica. Coal, charcoal, Coke and wood chips are mentioned. So, they are burning coal and other carbon materials to create solar cells. I'm curious what type of energy they use to power the arc generator and the rest of the plant. In other words how much fossil fuel does it take to make a solar panel? Granted, once the panel is complete you can use it to generate electricity without further burning of fuel but again, they don't last forever and there is the problem of recycling which absolutely must be dealt with before solar enters massive world wide distribution and production.

I am not sure how to describe the intricacies of this Hell, so I chose to begin with the most common or prominent theme of Hell, which is uncertainty.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 06:49:49 PM »
All that sand has to be mined as well. Here is a video about mining sand for fracing. I figure it's the same process used for extracting sand for solar panels as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8UCLPgtDgc

So, how can we be sure that the environmental impact of a global solar industry won't be just as harmful as coal mining especially when coal is also used in the process of making solar cells?

Again, I'm not saying solar power is bad. I just want us all to go into this with our eyes wide open to all the possible damage in an effort to mitigate it before we depend on it too much to argue against it.
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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2018, 02:22:51 AM »
Because, for the third time, solar power doesn't have any environmental impact once it's producing power, which is what sets it apart from coal and other fossil fuels, and that's why it's considered a "clean energy". Why are you purposefully pretending you're not getting your question answered?
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Offline jetson

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2018, 07:30:59 AM »
So, you agree that it produces energy with far less impact once it is producing, but you are concerned about what it takes to get it started? Sure, I'm concerned too. But not as concerned as I would be if we were to dig in deeper and proclaim that more drilling and fossil fuel burning is the answer. Think about it, we're talking about harnessing the power of the sun. The earth simply cannot compete in terms of potential/stored energy. Ever. So, we work hard to harness that sun, and find new ways to manufacture the infrastructure as it matures.

The Energy business is mostly about profit, so we are starting to see large companies recognize that the battle to cling to the old is weakening, and it's time to move forward. If they see dollar signs, they begin to change their models and move toward those dollars. And there is always some form of opportunity cost in these matters. We can't harness the sun without some type of infrastructure. But we can certainly make it a goal to minimize the impact we have had on our climate and resources.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2018, 08:12:09 AM »
Because, for the third time, solar power doesn't have any environmental impact once it's producing power, which is what sets it apart from coal and other fossil fuels, and that's why it's considered a "clean energy". Why are you purposefully pretending you're not getting your question answered?

Because in my mind the term "clean energy" is a misnomer. While I agree that renewable energy is better for the environment and the Earth overall, the production of solar panels is not clean. I would be happy with clean production but that's not even on the table for discussion.
I am not sure how to describe the intricacies of this Hell, so I chose to begin with the most common or prominent theme of Hell, which is uncertainty.

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 08:21:52 AM »
Because, for the third time, solar power doesn't have any environmental impact once it's producing power, which is what sets it apart from coal and other fossil fuels, and that's why it's considered a "clean energy". Why are you purposefully pretending you're not getting your question answered?

Because in my mind the term "clean energy" is a misnomer. While I agree that renewable energy is better for the environment and the Earth overall, the production of solar panels is not clean. I would be happy with clean production but that's not even on the table for discussion.

So is "fossil fuels" - you're not literally burning fossils, you know.
Production always has an environmental cost, this is well-known and accepted. What matters is the environmental cost of the thing once it's operational. That is how "clean energy" is defined; namely by not having an environmental cost once it's up and running.
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Offline jetson

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2018, 01:10:38 PM »
Because, for the third time, solar power doesn't have any environmental impact once it's producing power, which is what sets it apart from coal and other fossil fuels, and that's why it's considered a "clean energy". Why are you purposefully pretending you're not getting your question answered?

Because in my mind the term "clean energy" is a misnomer. While I agree that renewable energy is better for the environment and the Earth overall, the production of solar panels is not clean. I would be happy with clean production but that's not even on the table for discussion.

It is the actual definition of clean energy. Clean energy is output and its impact. It is fine to point out that the process of making "clean energy" comes at a less than clean cost in certain ways, but the distinction comes in long-term benefits and reduced damage to our planet. Do you have a case that clearly shows that producing energy from solar panels and wind turbines is doing more harm than oil refinement?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2018, 09:51:31 PM »
Not trying to be rude, Mr. Blackwell, but you're kind of coming across as disingenuous with this argument.

You pointed out that sand is heated by using carbon fuels to make the glass used in the panels.  I'll go one further and point out that the metals used as the frames almost certainly use carbon fuels in their production as well.  The same is true with traditional power plants, of course.  I don't think anyone is arguing otherwise.  But here's the thing - even if you assume that the carbon footprint of building solar panels or windmills or dams is exactly the same as the carbon footprint of building regular power plants based on the power generated[1], it doesn't follow that the carbon footprint of operating solar panels or windmills or dams is the same as that of operating regular power plants.

This is because solar panels etc don't generate a significant carbon footprint while they're in operation, due to not burning carbon fuels.  This is not true of regular power plants.  Here's a simple and straightforward example of why.  Let's say that the carbon footprint of building a solar panel network is equivalent to that of a regular power plant for the same amount of power on average, around 100 tons of carbon released into the air.  So they're at the same starting line, so to speak.

So you turn them on, and both start generating power.  The solar panels collect sunlight that penetrates our atmosphere anyway, but the collection process itself generates virtually no additional carbon which gets released into the atmosphere.  Whereas the coal or oil (or even natural gas) being burned in the regular power plant immediately starts releasing additional carbon into the atmosphere.  Even if it's as little as one ton a day, that adds up pretty quickly.  After a mere hundred days of operation, the carbon footprint of the regular power plant is double that of the solar network.  After a year, it's a little over three and a half times as much.  After ten years, it's nearly 40 times as much.

But wait, there's more!  You still have to get the carbon fuels used for the regular power plant out of the ground.  This by itself will produce an additional carbon footprint, simply by virtue of the fact that you have to operate the machines and process the stuff.  Even if it's only one-tenth of the carbon footprint used to operate the power plant itself, that's still going to add up over time.

In effect, over a ten year period, you're generating well over 40 times as much of a carbon footprint to produce the same amount of power.  That means you could build a bunch of additional solar networks instead to produce additional power.  All that carbon footprint could go into building additional power capacity, rather than keeping the existing capacity running.  All that extra capacity means there's going to be a lot more power available to use (and sell).  So running regular power plants is basically throwing money away.  No, worse - it's literally burning it into ashes, since we can't reuse spent carbon fuel, whereas the sun is literally dumping solar energy on us every day.

Does that make it a bit clearer why people are objecting to you saying things like "I'm thinking it's worse on our environment than fossil fuels"?  Clean energy is not called that because it generates no waste carbon, but because it's much cleaner than power generated by burning carbon fuels.  It's like the difference between a space heater and a fireplace, really.  The space heater is still going to have a small carbon footprint by virtue of its construction, but it doesn't even come close to comparing to the carbon footprint of actually burning wood for heat.  And that's on top of the fact that you can get the same amount of heat from a much smaller space heater than you can from a fireplace.
 1. I don't think it does, but this is for the sake of argument
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2018, 10:39:36 AM »
I've got 2500W of panels and live on them remote style. Currently installing a design to run the neighbour's 540W pool pump.

While I was sourcing some Jinko panels, I noticed that some guy was selling Canadian Solar 290W panels for $135AUS. When you take off his margin, and the his wholesalers margin, transport to him from Sydney, and the cost of shipping from China, and the margin of the various sellers, and then subtract the cost of the 1.6m2 of glass and the 5.2m of aluminium frame that must be worth $25, I can't see how the wafer-thin cells actually cost much to make. They seem like a paltry excuse to sell a handsome chunk of glass and aluminium. When you subtract all the margins along the way, and price of non-cell components, the price of the cells is -$40, or something. Obviously something that cheap to produce is hecka good.

If you want to react to the right wing reactionary rhetoric about panels, then certainly, the Chinese are pouring silicon hexashit all over paddocks and letting sulfur fuckafluoride loose into the atmosphere, which is 1800 times as potent as CO2. When you apply reactionary technique of counting a full 100 years of greenhouse action, it comes to 1% of the total greenhouse load. Helps to ignore that TV manufacture and everybody else is also using it.

Chinese poured more concrete in the last few years than USA did for the whole of 20th century.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2014/12/05/china-used-more-concrete-in-3-years-than-the-u-s-used-in-the-entire-20th-century-infographic/#26418fa4131a

The way I look at it is that reactionaries are always trying to stifle anything they don't agree with, like electric cars and a decent battery. When the technology gets a break, things start to evolve. If you are a reactionary, and put on your pseudo-caring face, you can always find a reason to wreck an emerging technology. Elon Musk has shocked the world into action with his badly produced sports cars. Without him, probably no other manufacturer would be desperately trying to make an electric car, and if Tesla went bust today, they would all shelve the models and cite some reactionary platitude.

South Australia wanted a big battery to stabilize the grid, so Tesla quoted that it would build the system in six minutes, or they would get it for free. All the local reactionary politicians poo pooed it. Now it's on track to pay itself off in 3-4 years, so the reactionaries have to find things wrong with it.
https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/true-cost-of-sas-big-tesla-battery-revealed/news-story/4c6dbf0505b6b0a6697ab8fc97cdf9b2

So, it was a prototype built in a hurry and a joke bet, and it's paying off 30 times faster than anyone expected. Well, they have to find ways to stop it happening again, in case the technology gets better.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2018, 07:07:53 PM »
All that sand has to be mined as well. Here is a video about mining sand for fracing. I figure it's the same process used for extracting sand for solar panels as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8UCLPgtDgc

So, how can we be sure that the environmental impact of a global solar industry won't be just as harmful as coal mining especially when coal is also used in the process of making solar cells?

Again, I'm not saying solar power is bad. I just want us all to go into this with our eyes wide open to all the possible damage in an effort to mitigate it before we depend on it too much to argue against it.

again, Mr. B. you come in ignorant, you try to spread nonsense by your "just asking" and you are just one more failed conservative. 
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Offline Emma286

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2018, 02:40:51 AM »
I'm curious on why you want to argue against renewables?   

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAFL) - Heinlein    But there are better things than using up fossil fuels and getting the resultant pollutants e.g. carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, fly ash, benzene, heavy metals, etc.   Yep, it costs to make solar panels, but it also costs to make furnaces, to make pipelines/trucks, to make refineries, etc.   It does require mining to get the stuff for the panels, and it requires the same to make the infrastructure for fossil fuels plus we need to mine or drill for the fossil fuels which fuck up water, air, habitats, etc.   Solar does require acres to put up the panels, but it doesn't destroy those habitats completely like mining and hydro does. 

I live in Pennsylvania, where I've seen thousands of acres destroyed by coal mining, and before the companies were forced to return the land to what it was, other than just piles of shale and waste.  I see the gas wells, which are generally returned pretty well, but still disturb habitat (my family farm has two wells on it, neither for the very deep Marcellus gas.  it comes down to why tear up stuff when we don't have to.

Now, personally I'm all for solar power satellites that would beam down microwaves to receivers and we wouldn't have the day/night problem.

I’d heard before that coal isn’t good for the environment. Didn’t realise before that was bad to that kind of degree though! I won’t be thinking of coal fires in quite the same light again - as charming (imho) as they can seem!

Offline Emma286

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2018, 02:49:12 AM »
Plus, the sun is not going to run out of energy - practically speaking. Fossil fuels are finite, last time I checked.

Well, maybe not in the near future. But it will destroy itself eventually won’t it?

Mind you, I guess if the human race has gone extinct by then this won’t matter. And if it hasn’t, hopefully another energy solution of some kind will have been found!

Offline Emma286

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2018, 03:13:28 AM »
Because, for the third time, solar power doesn't have any environmental impact once it's producing power, which is what sets it apart from coal and other fossil fuels, and that's why it's considered a "clean energy". Why are you purposefully pretending you're not getting your question answered?

Because in my mind the term "clean energy" is a misnomer. While I agree that renewable energy is better for the environment and the Earth overall, the production of solar panels is not clean. I would be happy with clean production but that's not even on the table for discussion.

So is "fossil fuels" - you're not literally burning fossils, you know.
Production always has an environmental cost, this is well-known and accepted. What matters is the environmental cost of the thing once it's operational. That is how "clean energy" is defined; namely by not having an environmental cost once it's up and running.

This applies to the recycling of solar panels too I take it?

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2018, 03:18:18 AM »
Because, for the third time, solar power doesn't have any environmental impact once it's producing power, which is what sets it apart from coal and other fossil fuels, and that's why it's considered a "clean energy". Why are you purposefully pretending you're not getting your question answered?

Because in my mind the term "clean energy" is a misnomer. While I agree that renewable energy is better for the environment and the Earth overall, the production of solar panels is not clean. I would be happy with clean production but that's not even on the table for discussion.

So is "fossil fuels" - you're not literally burning fossils, you know.
Production always has an environmental cost, this is well-known and accepted. What matters is the environmental cost of the thing once it's operational. That is how "clean energy" is defined; namely by not having an environmental cost once it's up and running.

This applies to the recycling of solar panels too I take it?

Of course, recycling also has an environmental cost. One of the ideas behind recycling, like clean energy, is that it's better for the environment compared to the alternative (building something again from scratch).
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Online One Above All

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2018, 05:45:36 AM »
All that sand has to be mined as well. Here is a video about mining sand for fracing. I figure it's the same process used for extracting sand for solar panels as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8UCLPgtDgc

So, how can we be sure that the environmental impact of a global solar industry won't be just as harmful as coal mining especially when coal is also used in the process of making solar cells?

Again, I'm not saying solar power is bad. I just want us all to go into this with our eyes wide open to all the possible damage in an effort to mitigate it before we depend on it too much to argue against it.

again, Mr. B. you come in ignorant, you try to spread nonsense by your "just asking" and you are just one more failed conservative.

I agree with velkyn. It's especially obvious when you literally ignore the answer to your question that I stated three fucking times. You need to get a better routine than "I'm just asking questions".
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Offline jetson

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2018, 06:27:08 AM »
Plus, the sun is not going to run out of energy - practically speaking. Fossil fuels are finite, last time I checked.

Well, maybe not in the near future. But it will destroy itself eventually won’t it?

Mind you, I guess if the human race has gone extinct by then this won’t matter. And if it hasn’t, hopefully another energy solution of some kind will have been found!

Yes, it will burn out. But the estimates are in the billions of years!

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2018, 12:19:42 PM »
again, Mr. B. you come in ignorant, you try to spread nonsense by your "just asking" and you are just one more failed conservative.
I'd like to ask if you could keep from getting personal regarding stuff like this.  You referred to him as ignorant, as spreading nonsense, and as a "failed conservative", whatever that's supposed to mean.  That's a triple whammy of comments about him as a person as opposed to what he's talking about.

Let me ask you, seriously.  What do you expect to happen when you get personal with someone like this?  Do they actually change their mind as a result of hearing them?  Does anyone else change their mind, for that matter?  I'm asking because personal comments such as this never seem to do anything aside from upset whoever they're aimed at, and give them a ready-made diversion from other things that people have said in the thread.

It's tough enough to talk in threads like this just by virtue of having a half-dozen or more people all trying to talk to the same person at the same time without having to try to get past other people getting personal with them.  I get that it's frustrating, but responses like the one I quoted just get in everyone else's way.  So I'd like to ask that you exercise discretion before making personal comments.  If you feel that someone is intentionally getting out of line, please report it to the mod team.

I may not have posted recently, but I do see all mod reports that come in.  And reports are documented so that, if necessary, we can take more direct action.  But that only works if people tell us (and keep telling us) about it instead of effectively taking bad behavior into their own hands.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2018, 12:32:11 PM »
Well, maybe not in the near future. But it will destroy itself eventually won’t it?

Mind you, I guess if the human race has gone extinct by then this won’t matter. And if it hasn’t, hopefully another energy solution of some kind will have been found!
As Jetson said, we're talking about billions of years here.  We aren't going to have to worry about the sun running out of energy to give out until long after your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren[1] had died.
 1. if you copy-pasted all those 'greats' a thousand times, you'd be at about a million years; you'd have to copy-paste all of those 'greats' a thousand more times to get up to a billion years; so trust is when we say that it's just not worth worrying about
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Offline velkyn

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2018, 11:38:34 AM »
again, Mr. B. you come in ignorant, you try to spread nonsense by your "just asking" and you are just one more failed conservative.
I'd like to ask if you could keep from getting personal regarding stuff like this.  You referred to him as ignorant, as spreading nonsense, and as a "failed conservative", whatever that's supposed to mean.  That's a triple whammy of comments about him as a person as opposed to what he's talking about.  This "So, how can we be sure that the environmental impact of a global solar industry won't be just as harmful as coal mining especially when coal is also used in the process of making solar cells?"  is nothing more than a theist saying "but how can you be sure?"   We can be if we pay attention to the evidence.  If we ignore it, then there is a reason. 

Let me ask you, seriously.  What do you expect to happen when you get personal with someone like this?  Do they actually change their mind as a result of hearing them?  Does anyone else change their mind, for that matter?  I'm asking because personal comments such as this never seem to do anything aside from upset whoever they're aimed at, and give them a ready-made diversion from other things that people have said in the thread.

It's tough enough to talk in threads like this just by virtue of having a half-dozen or more people all trying to talk to the same person at the same time without having to try to get past other people getting personal with them.  I get that it's frustrating, but responses like the one I quoted just get in everyone else's way.  So I'd like to ask that you exercise discretion before making personal comments.  If you feel that someone is intentionally getting out of line, please report it to the mod team.

I may not have posted recently, but I do see all mod reports that come in.  And reports are documented so that, if necessary, we can take more direct action.  But that only works if people tell us (and keep telling us) about it instead of effectively taking bad behavior into their own hands.

If someone chooses to try to spread this nonsense, there is no reason not to "get personal" e.g. call them on it.  Mr. B and anyone like him is responsible for what they do. They are ignorant and they depend on their ignorance to retain such ideas like solar is somehow worse than fossil fuels.  He did not do any research for himself to know what we've told him, which all points out his claims are wrong.  Now why would someone do that? Sorry, J, but this isn't my first rodeo.  Having seen what I have, I rarely give anyone the benefit of the doubt because that is not the way to bet in my experience.     

I know I can't change the mind of someone who does this, that's not my purpose.  What I can do is point them out and show how their claims fail.  They choose to do what they choose to do.  So do I.  I don't find mr. B "out of line" in the forum and its rules (I was a mod/admin myself here once).  I do find that he needs to be held responsible, and behind the scenes doesn't seem to work very well. 
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 11:46:17 AM by velkyn »
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2018, 01:14:52 PM »
So, how can we be sure that the environmental impact of a global solar industry won't be just as harmful as coal mining especially when coal is also used in the process of making solar cells?
Mr. Blackwell, what you're looking for is called 'life-cycle assessment' (LCA).

Quote
Again, I'm not saying solar power is bad. I just want us all to go into this with our eyes wide open to all the possible damage in an effort to mitigate it before we depend on it too much to argue against it.
We try.  We even have ISO standards around LCA.

Mr. Blackwell, you're coming across as the guy who's asking "has no one thought about what happens when we run out of food" and has a copy of An Essay on the Principle of Population in front of him that he refuses to even glance at.   "Like...yeah, we've been thinking about that for at least a couple of hundred years now.  It's weird that you're asking the question."  So too does your statement "I just want us all to go into this with our eyes wide open"...like, we are trying to do that, and have been for a generation or so.  It's kinda weird that you're asking the question.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2018, 01:32:21 PM »
Plus, the sun is not going to run out of energy - practically speaking. Fossil fuels are finite, last time I checked.

Well, maybe not in the near future. But it will destroy itself eventually won’t it?

Mind you, I guess if the human race has gone extinct by then this won’t matter. And if it hasn’t, hopefully another energy solution of some kind will have been found!

Tangential but it's my favorite Asimov story so imma drop it here:
http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: What is "clean" energy?
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2018, 05:58:38 PM »
Because, for the third time, solar power doesn't have any environmental impact once it's producing power, which is what sets it apart from coal and other fossil fuels, and that's why it's considered a "clean energy". Why are you purposefully pretending you're not getting your question answered?

Because in my mind the term "clean energy" is a misnomer. While I agree that renewable energy is better for the environment and the Earth overall, the production of solar panels is not clean. I would be happy with clean production but that's not even on the table for discussion.

So is "fossil fuels" - you're not literally burning fossils, you know.
Production always has an environmental cost, this is well-known and accepted. What matters is the environmental cost of the thing once it's operational. That is how "clean energy" is defined; namely by not having an environmental cost once it's up and running.

This applies to the recycling of solar panels too I take it?

Of course, recycling also has an environmental cost. One of the ideas behind recycling, like clean energy, is that it's better for the environment compared to the alternative (building something again from scratch).

I will remind you that one of my primary concerns is that currently there is no plan in place, no infrastructure for recycling solar panels. How does that fact factor into your equation?
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