[FoRK] Malthusian machinations

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Jun 17 04:06:11 PDT 2010


On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 12:15:41AM -0500, Jeff Bone wrote:

> Three choices today:  public sector, private sector, or none at all.  

I think there's a great case to be made that energy falls
under infrastructure, and infrastructure should be 
ideally owned by end users or municipalities, with
actual operation sometimes outsourced to the private sector.

There's a very good case to be made for individually owned
means of energy production. This removes the issue of large
scale plant funding (more difficult than ever at peak
debt), allows immediate feedback in terms of operation funds
and cuts out the middlemen, monopolies and incidentally removes
distribution losses and need for distribution infrastructure.

Ideally, a fridge-sized appliance in your cellar and/or
the home structure should be enough to harvest the energy
the household needs. The source of energy should be
in situ solar flux, with some locally sourced energy from
biofuels, waste, and local specialities (wind, tide, hydro,
geothermal).

Case in point: I heat with a modern ~90% efficiency wood
oven with aerosol filter, using locally (including own garden)
sourced, seasoned wood. A whole street nearby is supplied from
a small scale hydro plant.  The place I rent out receives hot
water and heating from a deep geothermal (120 C hot), including
some electricty from a Kalina cycle plant. I'm planning for
a natural gas micro co-gen and/or a PV thin-film insular or
grid-tied inverter plant within the next decade, which could
actually operate at grid parity the way energy prices are
headed.

> I'll take the lesser of three "evils" and you can guess which one that will be, probably.  In case you can't:  none at all is existentially unacceptable, and public sector management too inept, ineffective, and inefficient.  Give it to the appropriate privates with reasonable third party safeguards.  (It's the latter job that generally fails.  Guess whose job THAT is under today's false systematic dichotomy...)
> 
> > Due to the whole motherhood issue of feeding the starving kiddies in the Third World, there is as little moral hazard associated with risk-taking in GM today as there is in the financial industry. Or the energy sector.  In my view.
> > 
> > If there was some moral hazard involved
> > I would be with you in the cheering section. However....
> 
> I don't think that term means what you think it means.
> 
> Moral hazard is the *cause* of many problems we face today and the very thing you are objecting to implicitly in the first sentence (though in it you are incorrectly asserting that certain behaviors necessarily imply moral hazard.)  Never something to cheer; always a problem.

-- 
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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