[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

Dave Kammeyer kammeyer at kammeyer.org
Wed Jun 16 11:00:17 PDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 6:22 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
>> prices.  Gas continues to grow, particularly in the U.S.  Shale frac
>> technology and horizontal drilling has dramatically increased the
>> available supply.  A lot of oil driven industry, transportation, and
> Unfortunately the numbers tell a different story. And it's a nasty one.

What are the numbers?

> It covers up zero additional land, actually. The math is pretty
> straightforward. And it it doesn't "take" the land, since if you insist
> to put panels on top of land for some unfathomable reason you still can
> use the land below. In fact, in drier, high-insolation regions it will
> help with agriculture.

It takes lots of additional land if you want it on a large scale.
Roofs don't take up that much land relative to how much energy we

> Right now solar flux is some 10^4 in excess of what we need today.
> And of course that's solar flux just intercepted by Earth, and we do
> have a nice pile of atoms sitting just 1.3 lightseconds from here.
> You will find a cubic mile of silicon or silicon carbide does go a
> long way at micron thickness.

We're in two different technological universes here.  I'm talking
about using existing, proven reactor technology, and you're talking
about covering the moon with solar panels and beaming the power down
to the Earth.  We can't even *go* to the moon now.

>> On the Uranium supply front, there won't be much of an issue as long
>> as people can tolerate slightly higher prices.  Right now, natural
> You haven't understood the problem of peak resource, then.

What don't I understand about the concept?  Uranium is an incredibly
cheap fuel compared to all others.  If we're willing to spend a little
more, it has enormous abundance.

> You're unfortunately, dangerously wrong. If that's still the prevalent
> mode of thinking we're in deeper trouble than I thought.

Why am I dangerously wrong?  I'm hearing a lot of bluster and hot air
and no real argument.

> Breeder reactors don't exist. As commercial products. Fuel reprocessing
> de facto has stopped. You might have noticed that France nuclear industry
> has serious problems, which I expect will get worse in future.

More B.S.  The BN-600 is operational, and Monju is scheduled to go
back online this year.  Fuel reprocessing de facto continues in
France, Britain, Japan, Russia, and India.

> The seawater option doesn't exist. Nor does the granite option exist.
> We're out of prime rib pitchblende, I'm afraid. It's now kicking
> dead whales all the way up the beach.

Explain why it doesn't work.  Your proof by assertion is not convincing.

> Again, my suggestion is that you're dangerously wrong and this will
> mean you will run into serious, unanticipated problems apparently out
> of nowhere. There is no need for this.

You sound like a troll.

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