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:: posted by buermann @ 2008-02-08 11:09:04 CST | link

      Ethanol doesn't suck, governments and their multinational overlords who are implementing a scorched earth policy to reap Exxon-sized profits suck. What do you think about the E3 system?

    posted by Diane @ 2008-02-12 17:39:20 | link

      I think it'll be fine for some narrow sector, like the rural areas that grow it, but you can only burn so much food before folks start to look at you funny. As the nation's primary subsidized renewable energy source it sucks.

      E3 had the right general idea, but it went bankrupt. :(

    posted by buermann @ 2008-02-12 21:05:38 | link

      "Like CIE, the plant may be too small to compete with the mega-plants under construction or already in operation." Shame. Damn the profiteers.

      If energy production were to mimic the 100-mile diet thinking, (the last I read about it the Blue Spruce Farm produces electric for 400 homes - unless it's gone belly up, too), the environment would be cleaner, people would be freed from energy monopolies, and they'd likely become more thoughtful about their consumption.

      No reason urban planners couldn't redesign major cities to utilise such facilities, other than "special interests" getting in their way, or is there?

    posted by Diane @ 2008-02-13 06:49:51 | link

      Major cities do have more shit than they know what to deal with.

      There was actually a really good article on this in the last Harpers, Wasteland, Frederick Kaufman. He was just talking about using municipal waste as fertilizer ("environmentalists" seem to suddenly spring up out of the ground to oppose it, amusingly), it would surely be less controversial to use it as fuel. As it is enough animal manure goes from potential resource to environmental hazard as is that the possibilities there would seem to be entirely untapped.

      I can send that article along if you like.

      To a large extent the 100-mile diet is already there as far as energy goes (transmission of electricity over long distances is prohibitively expensive, so it doesn't pay to do it), in the sense that it's generated nearby. That's one problem for solar, in that the best places to produce it are far away from where anybody is living.

      I've barely touched it, but so far Gar Lipow's book is very interesting.

    posted by buermann @ 2008-02-13 20:08:04 | link

      Thanks, I get Harper's but missed Wasteland. I'll do my best to find the time to read it. I've been spending (wasting?) reading time on Cold War Studies and World Policy after finally giving into temptation and subscribing and having a bit of buyer's remorse.

      "Major cities do have more shit than they know what to deal with."

      I'd prefer going trillions into debt converting it to energy than committing war crimes in foreign lands and stealing fossil fuels.

      I was thinking that the 100-mile diet principles of "staying local" could be applied to "growing" energy. New Urbanism meets anaerobic digesters.

      Have you seen this?

      Lipow's book does look interesting. I'll bookmark it.

    posted by Diane @ 2008-02-14 12:15:26 | link

      Yeah, I've been following the Nanosolar hype, and hope it's much more than that. And for somebody to beat the snot out of them: a 20 year long TRIPS patent monopoly isn't going to do us many favors if there's no competition.

    posted by buermann @ 2008-02-14 12:54:51 | link

      Damn the world, save the patents!

    posted by Diane @ 2008-02-14 13:40:14 | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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