Saturday, October 03, 2009

It's Blowin in the Wind

Barry Brook is refocusing Brave New Climate on nuclear energy as the solution to our energy problems. Eli has always thought nuclear will play an important role, but not the only role, something that is not always well received. The Bunny wrote

Eli thinks you are making a major error. There will be no single solution, there will be a mix of partial solutions or there will be no solution. While there is a virtue in the marketplace (and it will be determined by the market, the problem being that it is necessary to get people to recognize the built in future costs of fossil fuels) of having apostles for each partial solution claiming it is a total solution, at the point of implementation reality requires that the buyers discount the sales talk, and at that point the winners will be the realistic sales folk. . .

Further, IEHO, wind and solar have significant advantages for electrifying underdeveloped areas as they do not need a national distribution network or a huge cadre of trained caretakers. Among the lessons from Iraq is that small, independent generating facilities are superior in chaotic situations
Only to come across an interesting example today of one William Kamkwamba who put together three windmills in order to power his family farm. While not very efficient, they are sufficient and improvable, a great example of things not having to be perfect to be enough.

Go read the article


David B. Benson said...

Inspiring article.

Way to go!

Anonymous said...

Mama always taught me: "Don't put all yer eggs in one basket".

Always seemed to make sense to me that.

"Don't give the only egg to your 5-year-old and ask him to shut the gate at the same time" is also true, but isn't quite as snappy or apposite perhaps, though it is quite messy.

Cymraeg llygoden

BCC said...

Kamkwamba's endearing TED talk

Stephen Gloor said...

Hi Eli,

Had much the same problem myself with the now nuclear Brave New Climate. Got the bunny droppings and left the site probably never to return.

Its a pity because on climate change Barry is an authority and could be a clearing house for all solutions without focussing one and posting obviously flawed analysis's like Peter Lang's.

Mark said...

Considering that Kamkwamba scrounged materials from a junkyard and had no tools, his achievement is even more remarkable. And it points out a factor that must be considered in developing countries--if some technological tool requires sophisticated parts and maintenance, it may not be suitable.

EliRabett said...

You know, Eli hopes he is wrong, but his bullshit detector keeps going bling bling on this one.

That's not to say that local generation wouldn't be an important thing.