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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

Eclipse-now Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

Not if those historic mythologies were never meant to be read literally in the first place! Modern American Christians are too quick to put their post-Darwin glasses on and rush to 'defend' the first few Chapters of Genesis from an 'attack' that is only in their own imaginations. If citizens of the Ancient Middle East (AME) could hear the way modern Creationists carry on, I think they'd be genuinely puzzled. Rather than being a literal construction manual that reduces the Creation narrative to 'what God did when', it's an immensely confronting theological narrative to the Ancient Middle Eastern ear. It's a polemic that undermines the Enuma Elish — what passed then as the Babylonian National Anthem. It runs with the themes of this EARLIER creation myth and turns them on it's head! Instead of there being many gods there is one Supreme Lord, instead of the gods fighting a dreadful battle with the world being leftover bits of the gods hacked off, our Lord just speaks and it happens. Instead of the Stars being gods that must be worshipped and served, they serve us by telling us the time and the seasons! It's all these narratives, and the careful division of the first sentences into repeating sequences of 7 (and multiples of 7) that should alert modern readers to the fact that this is a highly structured, carefully written, and ultimately subversive theological counter-narrative. With all these subtle hermeneutics in play, I cringe for modern American Christians that read it as a literal construction manual about what God cooked up on which day. You gotta be kidding! This not only misses what the passage would have meant to the original audience, but sets up an unnecessary division between Christians and modern science. It makes me sick.
For more on this try Dr John Dickson, Doctorate of History at Macquarie University, for "The Genesis of Everything".

Abstract The paper seeks to plot a path through the controversy surrounding the Bible’s opening chapter by examining Genesis 1 in historical context. The author assumes and endorses no particular view of human origins but argues for a literal interpretation of the text, as opposed to what may be called ‘literalistic’. The former reading gives due weight to both the literary genre of Genesis 1 and the cultural milieu of the original writer, whereas the latter gives sufficient attention to neither. Various pre-scientific interpretations of Genesis 1 are described, including those of the first century Jewish intellectual Philo and the great Christian theologian Augustine. In particular, comparisons are drawn with the Babylonian creation epic, Enuma Elish, and it is suggested that Genesis 1 is a piece of ‘subversive theology’, making significant theological points in the light of contemporaneous creation ideas. The questions raised (and answered) by the Bible’s opening chapter concern the nature of the Creator, the value of creation and the place of humanity within the creational scheme. Modern questions concerning the mechanics and chronology of creation may not be appropriately put to the ancient text.

http://www.iscast.org/journal/articlespage/Dickson_J_2008-03_Genesis_Of_Everything

more than 3 years ago
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The Coming Energy Turnaround In Germany

Eclipse-now Re:Clean baseload = science fiction (394 comments)

James Hansen said:

"Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy." http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/08/05/hansen-energy-kool-aid/

Instead of being some necessary evil, I see GenIV nukes as the SABRE that will kill coal. They are Safe, Affordable, Burn Bombs and Waste, are Reliable 24 hours a day, and offer an Enormous hit of power to an energy-hungry world.

1. SAFE
New reactor cores are self-cooling. If Homer Simpson falls asleep and doesn't see a Tsunami approaching to wipe out the exterior backup cooling systems, don't panic! Gen4 reactors don't *need* exterior backup cooling systems. While they use better mechanical cooling systems than those at Fukishima, the real genius is that modern reactor cores themselves are the final safety feature. If a Gen4 Integral Fast Reactor core starts to overheat — and all the other powerful cooling systems fail for some horrible set of unfortunate events — something new will happen. The fuel rods will start to expand. As they swell, they start to leak neutrons. This "Neutron Leak" shuts down the nuclear reaction. In Gen4 reactors, the reactor core itself is the final safety switch. We've had this technology since 1986, so the real scandal is that Japan's nukes were not retrofitted with this or other passive safety features.

Banning nuclear power because of Fukishima is like banning aviation because of the Hindenberg. Fukishima's nukes were 40-year-old Gen2 reactors. We are now up to Gen3.5 and will soon have Gen4 reactors.

Not only this, but nuclear power has the *best* safety record of *any* major power provider. Hydro dams have burst and wiped out villages, coal kills thousands of people a year through lung and throat cancers and disorders (let alone all the mining accidents around the world — especially in China!) and service men can even fall off the top of wind turbines. People can even die falling off the roof when installing Solar PV. The take home message is *all* power sources contain risks, and yet nuclear power simply has the *best* safety record on a death per terrawatt basis. They can also be built underground for additional safety.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98frSed0F5s&feature=player_embedded#!

2. AFFORDABLE No one knows exactly what Integral Fast Reactors will finally cost, but here's a few thoughts. Older reactors tend to be one-off projects with all those individual project costs. Think of the difference between a hand-crafted Rolls Royce and a production-line Hyundai. Gen IV Nukes are going modular. They're going up on the production-line, which will crash the costs. Even today's Gen3.5 AP1000 can be put on the assembly line to bring down the costs exponentially. Some estimate tomorrow's Gen4 nukes might just be competitive with coal. And that's today's coal, not tomorrow's post-peak coal economy.

3. BURNS BOMBS AND WASTE
Integral Fast Reactors burn nuclear waste and warheads. Today's nukes only burn 0.06% of the energy available in uranium. Tomorrow's Gen4 reactors will burn the rest.

Nuclear waste is no longer the problem but the SOLUTION to climate change and peak oil. We could run the world for 500 years on the nuclear waste we have today. Indeed, there is so much uranium and thorium on land and especially in our oceans that we could — hypothetically — power the world until the sun expands and wipes out life on earth!

Now let's think about bombs.
* IFR’s don’t produce the right material for bombs. The plutonium bred from IFR’s is mixed in with too much other junk, and requires a lot of processing. Basically, there are easier more direct routes to make a bomb if you really wanted to! * The countries that produce the most Co2 and therefore most urgently need clean nuclear power are also the countries that *already* have nuclear bombs! 93% of the world’s Co2 could be prevented if we limited nuclear power to those countries that already have the bomb. * The nuclear-bomb genie is already out of the bottle. There is no use protesting against nuclear power because of nuclear bombs. All you would be doing is protesting against the intensity of nuclear power spreading in those countries that *already* have bombs, and are already the biggest Co2 polluters. So by all means campaign against nuclear bombs, but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. * If a country gets significantly advanced in their nuclear processing they could divert some material into making bombs, but that kind of reprocessing is so particular it stands out to the authorities. * Bombs have to be dealt with politically, whereas IFR's can technically prevent uranium ending up as the right 'flavour' of plutonium for bombs. IFR's create an economic incentive to BURN bombs as fuel! * Banning nuclear power could INCREASE the risk of nuclear war as climate change and peak oil shake our energy starved world order. We *need* clean nuclear power to prevent some of the risks ahead. * 10% of American electricity currently comes from old Soviet bombs! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megatons_to_Megawatts

4. RELIABLE
Nukes provide baseload power that is reliable 24/7. Wind and solar cannot do this at anywhere near the same price, because of their intermittent and unreliable power supply. Everything wind and solar can do, nukes can do cheaper, quicker, and more reliably. Nukes will be *vastly* cheaper than the *real* engineering costs of trying to build a renewable grid.

* Renewables are NOT baseload, but require expensive storage systems like pumped hydro-power dams. Why do this when nukes can provide 24 hour power? Reliable power both day and night is going to become far more important in the future as peak oil hits and the world moves to electric cars that charge overnight. We are close to peak oil, and yet playing games with intermittent power sources? I don't think that's a wise move at all. * wind and solar are not really abundant where most of our consumers are. They require huge super-grids to move the power to the consumers, which adds billions to any large scaled renewables project. Why do it when nukes can pretty-much be plugged in to replace today's coal plants in today's grid? * Why risk going down this route when Denmark cannot demonstrate baseload wind power? After decades of building wind power they only get 20% of their energy from wind, but *still* mainly rely on coal. They emit 650g of Co2 per kWh. Their wind power also relies on other countries having stable baseload coal and nuclear power. They buy in extra when their wind dies off — which is a regular event. In comparison, France went down the nuclear pathway. After 22 years of building nukes, France is down to 90g Co2 per kWh! They have a reliable electricity supply that they sell to other wind-dependent countries when their wind stops.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98frSed0F5s&feature=player_embedded

For more facts and figures on the sad reality of renewables, please read the following links at the blog of Professor Barry Brook. Barry is the head of the climate change department at Adelaide university. http://bravenewclimate.com/renewable-limits/

5. ENORMOUS volumes of reliable power.
One of the key issues that convinced me that RELIABLE baseload power was a key issue is the way pro-renewable, anti-nuclear advocates like Dr Mark Diesendorf tend to underplay peak oil. One of Mark's key assumptions is that we don't really *need* reliable night time power! He thinks that with some efficiency programs it won't be that big a deal if the juice stops flowing at night. To which I cough, "Erhem, peak oil?" What's going to power all our electric cars at night? For while I'm a fan of cities planned around moving people, not cars, and walking distance New Urbanism and Ecocities especially, we need time. It's going to take a few generations to rezone today's car-dependent suburban sprawl into tomorrow's Ecocities and Village-Towns. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiS7nJ7hS00 for 5 minutes on Village Towns).

As oil declines we are going to need vastly more electricity to produce hydrogen and synthetic fuels and power all those electric cars and trains, trams, and trolley buses. Peak oil is the Achilles heel of renewable advocates. We are simply facing too many risks at once to gamble our energy security on unreliable and weak renewables. We need a quick hit of clean RELIABLE and enormous volumes of CLEAN power. Renewables simply fail to meet these requirements.

Lastly, my plea. In the wake of Fukishima and the anti-nuke backlash I *wish* renewables could do the job. They can't. Not yet, not at any price we're willing to pay. It's time to face facts. Aren't we gambling with our energy and climate future, banking on some kid inventing the super-cheap super-battery that will finally make renewables work, when we already have the tools to do the job?

See also: http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/09/18/ifr-fad-7/

or Google: “Brave New Climate + Q&A integral fast reactors”

more than 3 years ago
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Volunteer Towns Sought For Nuclear Waste

Eclipse-now On behalf of Australia, I volunteer (279 comments)

Hi, my name is "somewhere in the Outback" and I volunteer to take the entire world's nuclear waste! I do this because I am geologically stable. I do this as a ruse though. The waste will never be buried too deep. Instead we'll just store it in cooling ponds until G.E. finally commercializes the S-PRISM. These reactors burn nuclear waste and could run the world for 500 years just on today's waste! Half a millennium of power is worth about $30 trillion dollars! So Australia could then sell the "waste" which will then be fuel back to the world at a massive profit. So pick me pick me! I'm old and wise and waiting for your nuclear waste! http://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/nuclear-posters/

more than 3 years ago
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Followup: Anti-Global Warming Story Itself Flawed

Eclipse-now Re:Out of context! (536 comments)

Um, yeah, but isn't the author of the paper, Roy Spencer is a Creationist that cannot admit an old earth (as far as I understand his version of Creationism — I might have that wrong). However, he *has* signed of on a THEOLOGICAL statement that God designed the world so well that global warming cannot harm it? Did you even read his wiki?

"We believe Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth's climate system is no exception."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Spencer_(scientist)

more than 3 years ago
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Cut Down On Nukes To Shave the Deficit

Eclipse-now Spend MORE on nukes to save $6 TRILLION! (369 comments)

The nuclear bombs are $700 billion over 10 years? What about saving $600 billion a year, or $6 TRILLION dollars over 10 years? Would American like that? Here's how, spend MORE on nukes, but nuclear power not nuclear weapons, and get off foreign oil. Do everything you can to electrify transport; electric cars, fast rail, trolley buses. The EIA says peak coal could be around 2030, so it's time to start building out your electric transport systems and Gen3.5 nukes (like the AP1000 that are incredibly safe) and Gen4 nukes that eat waste. (When GE finally releases it's S-PRISM). Whether or not you think spending $700 billion on nuclear BOMBS over 10 years, well, that's up to your defence policy. But I will say that it could make sense to enter more weapons treaties and reduce the global arms by BURNING the bombs in nuclear reactors for clean energy security!

more than 3 years ago
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German Parliament Backs Nuclear Exit By 2022

Eclipse-now Re:Moving on (364 comments)

Here here! Deaths per terawatt coal is 4000 times worse than nuclear.

more than 3 years ago
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German Parliament Backs Nuclear Exit By 2022

Eclipse-now Statistics please! (364 comments)

Nuclear power is safe. The Fukishima incident proves so. If that's as bad as it gets, bring on the nuclear age right now! Statistically the deaths per Terawatt hour are 4000 times higher for coal than nuclear. Some even have deaths from wind turbines higher than deaths from nuclear! (Servicemen falling off the wind turbine!) Also, condemning nuclear power wholesale because of Fukishima is like writing off aviation because of the Hindenberg! Fukishima was a Ge2 nuke. We're up to exponentially safer Gen3.5 reactors with passive safety physics where the core can NEVER melt down, and then Gen4 is only a decade away! GenIV nukes are the game changers! They're the Integral Fast Reactors (IFR's) that will EAT nuclear waste and bombs, cannot PRODUCE bombs, and could run the world for 500 years just on today's nuclear waste.

Just imagine what we might have by 500 years! I say go for IFR's NOW! They are the ONLY economical way to do carbon-free baseload power without bankrupting the economy.

more than 3 years ago
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Bill Gates On Energy

Eclipse-now Re:Say waht you will about MS (474 comments)

ColdWetDog, how expensive is a car?

Well that would depend if it was hand built as an individual project or whipped up on a factory line wouldn't it?

We must deploy today’s GenIII reactors immediately. We cannot wait any longer. These GenIII reactors have passive safety features undreamt of in Chernobyl and Fukishima.

And they have the GenIV feature of being modular. Think about that for a moment. Older nukes were the “Rolls Royce” of the energy world. They were hand-crafted site-constructed expensive beasts! But GenIII reactors can be modularised and put up on the assembly line. Safety systems can be standardised as part of the production line process. It will bring the costs down dramatically, and cuts Rolls Royce costs down to the Hyundai level, while being better than the original.

Now, GenIV reactors are still my favourite as they burn nuclear waste. They breed it up. I’ve said repeatedly that we have about 500 years of fuel sitting around in cooling ponds, just waiting for GenIV reactors to burn it.

But it’s not that simple. We don’t have access to all that energy yet. Even if I waved a magic wand and overnight and we had the thousands of GenIV nukes we need, it would still take a few decades to breed up our nuclear waste to the right purity to run them! That is, although we *already* have 500 years worth of nuclear fuel sitting around in our ‘waste’ cooling ponds, it will take a few decades to get at it all as the fuel only doubles every 7 years.

So build the safe GenIII nukes now, and then we’ll have all the waste we need ready for the GenIV reactors when they finally come off the production line! As a friend over on BNC said,

"Gen III+ reactors (AP1000, ESBWR) are also largely ‘modular’ with parts built in a factory and assembled on site. We can do this now. New designs should be developed, but there is no need to wait. In 10 years China will be building AP1000 (or their higher-power variant the CAP1400) reactors at rates that will astonish the world. They are building the module factories now."

We have the technology right now. We can do this! We should build AP1000 assembly lines to fly them out the doors onto the trucks and freight them straight to site for assembly like so much giant-sized Lego. It’s time to do this, and the faster we start the better we’ll cope with peak oil and climate change.

more than 3 years ago
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Bill Gates On Energy

Eclipse-now Re:Say waht you will about MS (474 comments)

This is rubbish! We already have the technnology, Gen3 AP1000's which the Chinese are making modular as we speak. That's nukes on a production line people! Prices will drop. All nukes to this stage have been hand crafted Rolls Royces. Once these modular AP1000's are on the assembly line prices will crash down to 'Hyundai' equivalent prices, yet these guys have safety features Fukishima could only dream of. Then, by the time GenIV reactors are finally coming off their own production lines, we'll have enough once-through-fuel (nuclear waste) to burn for 1000 years.

more than 3 years ago
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Volkswagon Shows Off Self-Driving Auto-Pilot For Cars

Eclipse-now Robot Cars will change everything! (140 comments)

Robot cars will cause major societal revolutions, from doubling how many cars we can fit into a car-park, to drivers never having to visit a public or corporate car-park again, to solving drink driving, to ending car-crashes (or most of them) and saving a million lives a year (worldwide), to even enabling New Urbanism and less cars on the road and changing our relationship to car ownership. Imagine the end of taxi drivers. Imagine cars you can rent instead of buy, but without the human labour component. Everything's going to change! http://eclipsenow.wordpress.com/robot-cars/

more than 3 years ago
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Osage Oppose Wind Power At Tallgrass Prairie

Eclipse-now Re:Give me alternative energy (147 comments)

Energy will be a AND/AND solution. We can't rely on just one source, we need many. Wind power is one of them.

Can you please explain this statement? GenIV nuclear reactors feed off waste and could run the world for 500 years just on the waste we already have today. They are baseload, load following, and live in concrete bunkers that are pretty much bomb-proof, 9/11 proof, and definitely cyclone proof. But wind turbines only have a 33% capacity factor which means they only work a third of the time, the other 2/3rds are down when we don't decide they need to be down (as when a nuke is getting serviced) but when nature stops blowing, and turbines definitely aren't cyclone proof.

Sure we need other energy sources such as liquid fuels for cars, but when it comes to electricity, the world's cheapest electricity will come from GenIV nukes built in a modular format on an assembly line, trucked to site and then clipped together on site like so much super-sized lego. AND there's no need to build "super-grids" to shoot solar electricity from one side of a continent to the other or wind back again, so you save there as well. (Let alone the cost of all the huge seaside salt-water hydro dams required to act as giant batteries for the intermittent wind and solar.) Whichever way you look at it, GenIV nukes ARE the silver bullet. And we have enough uranium and thorium on earth to run the world for hundreds of millions of years.

more than 3 years ago
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US Pays $2B To Develop Concentrating Solar Power Projects

Eclipse-now Re:Why not more? (219 comments)

Agreed! Not only is it $708 on defence, but America spends $600 billion a year buying overseas oil. Imagine if Washington mandated a shift to electric cars, fast rail, New Urbanism and above all, GenIV nukes that eat waste and could run America for 1000 years off the nuclear waste you have already collected! GenIV nukes can be load-following, run all day all night all weather all YEAR with no seasonal variation (unless required), and could basically free America from parting with $600 big ones every year. I don't get you guys. You spend $600 billion buying overseas oil, then end up invading Iraq to set up a big police station in the Middle East. Iraq + Annual overseas oil bill = America OFF OIL FOREVER and paying home-grown nuclear & renewable jobs for your OWN energy independence!

more than 3 years ago
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DC Reboots Universe

Eclipse-now Re:Old fans (292 comments)

I have to agree with you sheehaje, the Star Trek retelling was a great job and I hope they go for it with sequels. But — sing it with me —"George Lucas raped my childhood..."

more than 3 years ago
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No Moon Needed For Extraterrestrial Life

Eclipse-now Re:Please explain (246 comments)

////Stabilization of the axis and climate regions?///// Yep, they are the main reasons I've heard. How do planets without a moon go as far as having a stable axis?

more than 3 years ago
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New Book Reports Soviets Behind Roswell UFO Scare

Eclipse-now MIB using Global warming to take over the world!!! (135 comments)

Climate change is all a Conspiracy organised by the M.I.B. who killed J.F.K, faked the moon landing and stole the alien aircraft from Area 51!!!

But I’m here to stop them! I will now reveal to the world the presence of this infamous font of infamy! The M.I.B. are actually the Mason’s in Black. You can learn all about them if you just buy my upcoming book, Why climate change is crap and you must fear the M.I.B. instead for just $29.95.

If you like Why climate change is crap you might also enjoy the sequels,

More about the M.I.B,
What you can do about the M.I.B.,
How to survive the coming M.I.B. take-over,
Another 100 reasons climate change is rubbish and your local CSIRO lab have also been brought out by the M.I.B., and finally,
How the M.I.B. fabricated the laws of physics on a universal scale to trick every spectrometer and science student in every lab across the planet, ever. No really. (This last title is a little long but my publishers say it appeals to a very specific market. One has to pay the bills, and what the heck is wrong with that?)

You’ll probably want to buy the boxed set for only $100. It’s all good science, you can trust me. The fact that I couldn’t get my works published in the peer-reviewed journals only proves how far the M.I.B. have come! Once they have control of our minds, the Rubber Duck underwear laws are soon to follow.

more than 3 years ago
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Swiss To End Use of Nuclear Power

Eclipse-now Re:Headline Misleading (470 comments)

I'm with you 100% Frosty Piss. Now that doesn't mean much, but the *reason* I'm with you is Professor Barry Brook (head of climate at Adelaide University) and Dr James Hansen and a host of others are with you.

I was a long time anti-nuclear activist. I have changed my whole view of nuclear power since then.

Anti-nuclear activists present nuclear waste as the problem. This is just not true. GenIV reactors like GE's S-PRISM will burn nuclear waste! We have so much nuclear waste that we could run the world for 500 years on nuclear waste! (And by then, who knows what energy systems we might have?) In other words, nuclear waste is not the problem, it is the SOLUTION to peak oil and climate change.

GenIV reactors will also have passive safety features that Fukishima just didn't have. Fearing all nuclear power because of Fukishima is like fearing all flight because of the Hindenberg!

Basically Professor Brook says a vote for renewables only is a vote for climate change to continue BAU. We can't run a wind and solar grid without super-expensive *economy crushing* back up. As Brook says, after a 20 year wind program Denmark is STILL at about 650g Co2 / kwh. After a 10 year nuclear program France is down to 90g!! http://bravenewclimate.com/

more than 3 years ago
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Court Clears Novell To Sue Microsoft Over WordPerfect

Eclipse-now Re:What? (165 comments)

Is word formatting as bad in Word 2010?

more than 3 years ago
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Former Senator Wants to Mine The Moon

Eclipse-now Re:How about using the *existing* fusion reactor? (351 comments)

And solar works how much of the day? Solar PV hitting 'grid parity' is a myth buddy! It's only 'grid parity' if you don't include building 5 or 6 times the solar PV you actually require so you can store the excess energy for when a cloud covers your panel or we encounter that horrible phenomenon known as NIGHT TIME! THEN we also have to include whatever energy storage system you are proposing STORES all that power. Do the math and get back to us on that will ya? Otherwise, a vote for solar PV is just another vote for the coal industry and ever more global warming, asthma, and all the other hideous consequences of burning coal. GenIV nukes that are NOT going to "Fukishima", that burn nuclear waste, and that could run the world for 500 years on today's nuclear waste are THE only answer we have right now! (To think I used to love solar PV about a year ago!) See http://bravenewclimate.com/renewable-limits/ for more, and stop telling us outright LIES about solar PV reaching 'parity'. It only does that in the context of relying on the coal-fired grid you use every time NIGHT happens!

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Solar dye directs light to PV on sides of glass

Eclipse-now Eclipse-now writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Eclipse-now (987359) writes ""MIT’s solar concentrator maximizes its mileage by using an efficient expanse of light-collecting glass to guide sunlight into a minute array of potent photovoltaics. The glass panels are coated with a dye that absorbs sunlight and channels it along the pane’s edges while altering its wavelength to reduce energy loss from light transportation. The result is a system that can collect light over a very large area, but requires a very small array of solar cells."

In other words, it's way cheap!"

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