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Out of the Blue

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60. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 13, 2013, 00:16 Kedyn
 
The fracking debate no longer matters, because there's a touchy-feely Matt Damon movie now that will tell people how to *feel* about it, regardless of any facts or - god forbid - truth.  
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59. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 16:15 jdreyer
 
Awesome, thanks Creston! I love reading this kind of stuff.  
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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58. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 14:22 Creston
 
Orphic Resonance wrote on Jan 11, 2013, 05:40:
there are much much cleaner methods to generate energy, less dangerous to people and the environment and much much cheaper to produce... but these kinds of methods dont make enough money for the big corps who already have billions invested in older technology infrastructure, as it would be another huge investment with much less return - not to mention the other markets of machinery and devices that are powered by fuel from these older technologies

so you can be damn sure that any sort of big changes wont be happening... at least, not until millions of people die in some sort of catastrophe - then there might be a massively concerted effort

not until then

I don't really know that there are that many "cheaper" ways to produce energy. Cheaper than fracking? I seriously doubt it. There's a reason so many energy companies, big and small, are seriously investing in it right now.

Cleaner? Of course. If we invested into it, we could run 99.9% of the entire US on green power in 20-30 years. But saying that is one thing. Actually producing the money to do so is something else entirely. And while we can say "Well, the energy companies should just pay for it!" you already hit the nail on the head when you say that the big corps don't see any profit in that versus using their current infrastructure.

We could convert every single car in the US to run on natural gas, and we have enough reserves to make them run for the next 200 years. But who is going to pay to replace the entire petrol infrastructure with NG infrastructure? Why would Big Oil be interested in that, even IF they could make more profits with a NG infrastructure? Because that trillion dollar investment does need to be made. And that does come out of their profits at the end of the picture. And if profits of staying on oil > profits of investing in NG, then they're staying on oil.

I don't know that even a catastrophe would really change anything. The Gulf really didn't do shit except cause some extra regulations to appear (and pretty toothless ones for that matter), and I'm not really sure how much bigger it needs to get beyond the death of an entire biodiversity.


I looked at the stuff that I still have available here, and there are no links to online documents that are still valid, unfortunately. Most of these were multiple years old, and a lot of the governmental agencies have been revamping their websites so all the old links are broken.

Here, however, are some more recent articles basically repeating what I said:

(sadly, the only online link I could find for this article was a repost on Salon, but it's basically by the associated press)

Fracking critics use bad science

This article especially shows the rhetoric of gasland's director. "BREAST CANCER IN BARNETT SHALE IN TEXAS INCREASES BECAUSE OF FRACKING!"

And even the Susan G Komen foundation in Texas says "Errr... no?"

It also repeats that local authorities are monitoring for the supposed contamination of ground water, and are simply not seeing it after energy companies changed the ways they deal with slurry.

EPA says water is safe. Residents say it's not.

That's the kind of argument that both sides can simply take, and then you just conform it to your own bias as to what to believe.

There seem to be several more articles reposted on Salon from that author that deal with Fracking. I'll read through them sometime this weekend.

Anyway, I've argued enough about this for today. Time to play some games.

Creston

This comment was edited on Jan 11, 2013, 14:31.
 
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57. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 14:05 Creston
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 11, 2013, 04:06:
The real question is how much energy is needed to get a fracking operation up and running? Once they get it up and running how much natural gas can be extracted vs the energy put into the fracking process itself.

Basically what Im interested in is efficiency. Im guessing its a very unefficient operation but with the big oil involved they are going to push it for all its worth. (Burning Coal or Oil is also highly inneficient for example when compared to Nuclear or Natural Gas which is not extracted through fracking)

Actually, the reason fracking is so popular is because it's (relatively) incredibly cheap to do. They drill down a mile into a shale, then go two miles vertical, frack it, and release enormous amounts of natural gas.

Creston
 
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56. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 07:05 Dades
 
Also, the rhetoric against fracking is 99% just that: rhetoric. It's a bunch of michael moore conspiracy theorists who've found something new to whine about while they wait for a non-democrat president to take office again.

I'll believe it when I see it, evidence points to the opposite right now.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!
 
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55. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 05:40 Orphic Resonance
 
there are much much cleaner methods to generate energy, less dangerous to people and the environment and much much cheaper to produce... but these kinds of methods dont make enough money for the big corps who already have billions invested in older technology infrastructure, as it would be another huge investment with much less return - not to mention the other markets of machinery and devices that are powered by fuel from these older technologies

so you can be damn sure that any sort of big changes wont be happening... at least, not until millions of people die in some sort of catastrophe - then there might be a massively concerted effort

not until then
 
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54. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 04:35 eRe4s3r
 
German power revolution a success?
Cost per KW/H in Euro cent: 28,16
Prospected increase by 2014? 5%
Prospected cost level in 2020: 36ct per KW/H

Sound like a success to you? Remember electric cars? Who wants to get one when "filling it up" is 3 times more expensive than gasoline?

You know how much energy is in 1ltr normal car fuel? 11.4 KW that means 4€ worth of electric power. Fuel here costs 1.55€ Meaning the "green" power revolution is currently destroying the electric car market. Even normal customers are not stupid enough to buy a car that costs them 3 times as much to drive around.

This comment was edited on Jan 11, 2013, 05:19.
 
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53. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 04:06 InBlack
 
The real question is how much energy is needed to get a fracking operation up and running? Once they get it up and running how much natural gas can be extracted vs the energy put into the fracking process itself.

Basically what Im interested in is efficiency. Im guessing its a very unefficient operation but with the big oil involved they are going to push it for all its worth. (Burning Coal or Oil is also highly inneficient for example when compared to Nuclear or Natural Gas which is not extracted through fracking)
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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52. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 11, 2013, 02:17 Jivaro
 
The bottom line is that we have to use a little bit of everything and be very careful when we start something new so as not to make the price of the energy source too expensive in other ways then money. There won't be one solution to any energy crisis other then to harvest a percentage of all the possibilities. Solar, wind, tidal, frakking, natural gas, oil, coal....all of it. The key to a healthy economy and environment is moderation and a smart infrastructure (grid). Unfortunately, corporate America isn't exactly famous for either moderation or smarts, but it is what we have to strive for.

Personally, now that solar cells have dropped to such low prices, I am really happy that my power company lets me feed the grid with cells on the roof. I do literally nothing, I got a huge tax break, and a I get a discount on my power bill. I wish more of my neighbors did the same thing. They will bitch about the price of gas or their electricity bill but they will literally do nothing proactive unless they can save money immediately. Asking people to look long term seems to be the biggest obstacle in the whole thing. One guy told me that he wouldn't use solar cells unless the government gave them to him for free and another told me he wouldn't use them because they were "too ugly".

I need new neighbors.
 
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51. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 23:26 jdreyer
 
Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 18:35:
In any case, the movie "Gasland" really brought it all about, and it's basically full of panic-rhetoric. The whole "it sets your faucets on fire!" bullshit was debunked by the ACTUAL WATER COMPANY IN QUESTION who stated that normal methane buildup was the cause for that single, isolated incident. Yet everyone worried about fracking always immediately bleats "AW MY GAWSH IT SAWTS AWR HAWSES AWN FAWR!"
I haven't seen that movie, so I couldn't comment on that. Most of the antifracking stuff I've heard about has been in the news: groundwater pollution, earthquakes, that kind of stuff. I've not heard how widespread or dangerous it is compared to other industries. I have heard that fracking is one of the least regulated industries, and that does concern me, given the history of oil and coal production in the US.

Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 18:35:
This is really the big one. Investing in green energy is fine, but it will take 20-30 years before enough production is online to meet the majority of demand. Such investment would also tally somewhere around a trillion dollars, which isn't money the US has lying around somewhere.

So barring that, you can either have Coal, Oil or Nuclear as your alternative power source. Nobody will engage in Nuclear right now, we want to get rid of our Oil dependence, so that leaves coal. And for everyone who complains how dirty a fracking site is, have you SEEN what a coal mine does to the environment around it?

Yeah, we could be doing solar and wind much faster than we are now. Germany, Netherlands, and other countries are making it happen, with already 15% of electric production coming from those sources. We'd still need to be doing fracking and building CCGTs, but at a slower, more controlled rate.

Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 18:35:
(And the eco hippies will reply by saying "yeah, but a coal mine brings local jobs!" What do you think a fracking site brings?)
I've never heard a pro enviroment person say anything pro-coal. Ever. Not even about jobs. I've read anti-fracking comments, but never "Let's do more coal instead of fracking."

Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 18:35:
Economically, taking advantage of the US' natural gas reserves has the power to take the US out of its slump and likely even out of its debt, there is that much money involved in it. I'm not saying that money takes precedence over environmental concerns, but until such environmental concerns have actually been scientifically proven, I'm going to say that fracking is about the best thing we can do to keep our energy supply up to par.

I am concerned that we're really expanding this without completely understanding it. I'm not saying it's bad, but I think the effects of doing it aren't fully understood yet. Regardless, I think fracking is here to stay, and barring some devastating issue, will continue to be used for the foreseeable future.
 
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50. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 22:57 jdreyer
 
Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 18:20:
Dmitri_M wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 15:06:
In South Africa, a fairly rough country at the best of times, my grandmother had surgery under our universal health care system. She had no health insurance. It was done in a government run hospital. The surgery cost 3 dollars. In a private hospital with better conditions and higher staffing she would have paid 10 000 dollars. I guess from what I've read here all American hospitals are essentially "private"?

The costs of US hospitals are so out of control because their insurance cost is ridiculous. An average hospital probably pays 100 million dollars in insurance a year. They have to, because if a surgeon makes a genuine mistake that leaves someone with a chronic health issue, courts will award truly insane amounts of money to the victim.

(I'm not saying someone isn't entitled to compensation, but I fail to see why a small scar on your knee somehow needs to be rewarded with enough money to set up the victim's entire family for life.)

Creston

What you're talking about is tort reform: capping the payouts for malpractice lawsuits. There have been states that have tried that as a way of reducing medical costs. It hasn't worked. The entire state of Texas has done that since 2003, but it hasn't made any difference in medical costs.

The reason that our costs are so much greater than the rest of the world is simple: our prices our higher. We pay about $7600 per person year in medical costs while most of Europe pays about $5000. Healthcare is treated as a business here and it's hugely profitable, especially since most providers are monopolies or one of two or three providers in a region. It's not competition. That profit has to come from somewhere. In most other countries, it's a service that's run by the gov't. Or it's private, but it's very heavily regulated (the gov't sets prices and salaries). Also, b/c we have so many private insurance companies and hospital systems, administration costs are higher than anywhere else due to the overhead of maintaining so many different systems and continually reinventing the wheel. And lastly, Dr. salaries in the US are much higher than most other nations, even while quality is roughly the same. If Americans paid what Europeans paid, the deficit would be wiped out.

And even though we pay much more, the care, on average is about the same as Europe and Japan. It's funny, you know the most cost effective U.S. healthcare provider? Medicare. Administration costs are cheaper. Negotiation and buying power are stronger. It's transparent and accountable, whereas private insurers are not.
 
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49. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 22:30 PHJF
 
In the time since they started fracking, they've made remarkable strides in the process in keeping it cleaner, learning how to better absorb the slurry, etc.

Hey they also caused an earthquake in my state but don't let that slow you down.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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48. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 22:11 Creston
 
Dades wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 20:35:
They're not the only one who has observed that behavior though and you are not exactly an unbiased source here. I'd like to see the actual studies so I can make my own mind otherwise I'm going with the literal video demonstration and independent study commissioned by the government instead of taking some guys word on the internet, no offense.

No, I know I'm not considered unbiased, though I work in this company's IT department. I don't actually have anything to do with the drilling or anything of its kind itself. And hey, don't take my word for it, that's fine, I won't lose any sleep over it.

I'd just like to interject a slight note of sanity that the energy companies (at least not ALL of them) aren't just sitting there trying to figure out how to rape planet earth so they can squeeze 5 extra cubic feet of gas out of the ground. In the time since they started fracking, they've made remarkable strides in the process in keeping it cleaner, learning how to better absorb the slurry, etc.

Also, the rhetoric against fracking is 99% just that: rhetoric. It's a bunch of michael moore conspiracy theorists who've found something new to whine about while they wait for a non-democrat president to take office again.

I'll dig up the materials tomorrow and see if there are any links in it to online versions of the materials.

Creston
 
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47. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 20:35 Dades
 
In any case, the movie "Gasland" really brought it all about, and it's basically full of panic-rhetoric. The whole "it sets your faucets on fire!" bullshit was debunked by the ACTUAL WATER COMPANY IN QUESTION who stated that normal methane buildup was the cause for that single, isolated incident. Yet everyone worried about fracking always immediately bleats "AW MY GAWSH IT SAWTS AWR HAWSES AWN FAWR!"

They're not the only one who has observed that behavior though and you are not exactly an unbiased source here. I'd like to see the actual studies so I can make my own mind otherwise I'm going with the literal video demonstration and independent study commissioned by the government instead of taking some guys word on the internet, no offense.

There's also been some studies commissioned related to the long term effects on the earth itself and instead of really waiting for those to come in it seems like everyone just went balls deep without really taking a minute to think if this was a good idea for anything except the economy. I'm about the farthest thing from a nature lover but the past has shown us that we need to carefully consider our actions because the economy like everything else, depends on the stability of the planets weather, ecosystems, etc.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!

This comment was edited on Jan 10, 2013, 20:41.
 
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46. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 20:21 Silicon Avatar
 
Fox News is is talking about deluded narcissists? Oh it's just too easy.

 
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45. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 18:38 Creston
 
Jivaro wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 18:36:
Hey! That scar shows through my panty hose!

err...I mean...

89 million dollars reward! Case closed!

Creston
 
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44. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 18:36 Jivaro
 
Creston wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 18:20:
Dmitri_M wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 15:06:
In South Africa, a fairly rough country at the best of times, my grandmother had surgery under our universal health care system. She had no health insurance. It was done in a government run hospital. The surgery cost 3 dollars. In a private hospital with better conditions and higher staffing she would have paid 10 000 dollars. I guess from what I've read here all American hospitals are essentially "private"?

The costs of US hospitals are so out of control because their insurance cost is ridiculous. An average hospital probably pays 100 million dollars in insurance a year. They have to, because if a surgeon makes a genuine mistake that leaves someone with a chronic health issue, courts will award truly insane amounts of money to the victim.

(I'm not saying someone isn't entitled to compensation, but I fail to see why a small scar on your knee somehow needs to be rewarded with enough money to set up the victim's entire family for life.)

Creston

Hey! That scar shows through my panty hose!

err...I mean...
 
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43. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 18:35 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 15:45:
You keep mentioning these studies. Could you provide links?

Unfortunately no, because the studies I'm referring to I didn't read online, but during work. I work for an energy company engaged in fracking (Yes yes, I'm biased, blablabla), so I've read a LOT of documentation about it, including the studies I am referring. I'm sure they are online somewhere, but I don't have immediate access to links.

In any case, the movie "Gasland" really brought it all about, and it's basically full of panic-rhetoric. The whole "it sets your faucets on fire!" bullshit was debunked by the ACTUAL WATER COMPANY IN QUESTION who stated that normal methane buildup was the cause for that single, isolated incident. Yet everyone worried about fracking always immediately bleats "AW MY GAWSH IT SAWTS AWR HAWSES AWN FAWR!"

It's much like Michael Moore's bullshit. Take one small thing people are scared of, then build up this entire fan fiction around it, and plenty of people will believe it. In essence it's no different than what Fox News does, which everyone always lambasts them for. But hey, if we do it in the name of the environment, then apparently it's fine?

"Everything is dirty" isn't an a good defense, since there are different levels of dirty.

Agreed. Compared to drilling oil, however, fracking is pretty squeaky clean.

Right now, everyone is anti-nuke, but coal kills more people per year than nuclear ever did(although nuclear does have the POTENTIAL of killing thousands of people its just that catastrophic failures are rare).

I've never had a problem with nuclear powerplants. It's a simple fact of life that there are 400 million people in the US, and if we want to give them all power, we're going to need nuclear power to be able to do so. Half of Europe runs on Nuclear.

Of course, after Japan last year, it's pretty damn hard to convince anyone to greenlight a nuke reactor anymore...


Wind isn't included in the list, but certainly wind has many times fewer deaths as a power source than coal, no (how DOES wind power kill people prematurely?

Construction and maintenance accidents. They've very few, but every man who plummets to his death from a wind tower is obviously a pretty tragic event. I also think that the transport of the wind tower sections across the nation's highways has likely caused some major accidents (as those are some stupidly big trucks they haul them in. I see them pass about once a week when I go to work. That thing can't brake very well...)

3. The benefits are strong: natural gas is a much cleaner and more efficient fuel source for electrical production vs. coal, so there's an argument for switching to it short term to meet electrical needs while preventing pollution and global warming until even cleaner sources come online.

This is really the big one. Investing in green energy is fine, but it will take 20-30 years before enough production is online to meet the majority of demand. Such investment would also tally somewhere around a trillion dollars, which isn't money the US has lying around somewhere.

So barring that, you can either have Coal, Oil or Nuclear as your alternative power source. Nobody will engage in Nuclear right now, we want to get rid of our Oil dependence, so that leaves coal. And for everyone who complains how dirty a fracking site is, have you SEEN what a coal mine does to the environment around it?

(And the eco hippies will reply by saying "yeah, but a coal mine brings local jobs!" What do you think a fracking site brings?)

Economically, taking advantage of the US' natural gas reserves has the power to take the US out of its slump and likely even out of its debt, there is that much money involved in it. I'm not saying that money takes precedence over environmental concerns, but until such environmental concerns have actually been scientifically proven, I'm going to say that fracking is about the best thing we can do to keep our energy supply up to par.
 
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42. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 18:20 Creston
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 15:06:
In South Africa, a fairly rough country at the best of times, my grandmother had surgery under our universal health care system. She had no health insurance. It was done in a government run hospital. The surgery cost 3 dollars. In a private hospital with better conditions and higher staffing she would have paid 10 000 dollars. I guess from what I've read here all American hospitals are essentially "private"?

The costs of US hospitals are so out of control because their insurance cost is ridiculous. An average hospital probably pays 100 million dollars in insurance a year. They have to, because if a surgeon makes a genuine mistake that leaves someone with a chronic health issue, courts will award truly insane amounts of money to the victim.

(I'm not saying someone isn't entitled to compensation, but I fail to see why a small scar on your knee somehow needs to be rewarded with enough money to set up the victim's entire family for life.)

Creston
 
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41. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 16:31 jdreyer
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 10, 2013, 16:02:

Yeah, that rant goes off the rails at the end into typical Fox hate of Obama and "Liberal" culture, but I've read this part elsewhere:

Using computer games, our sons and daughters can pretend they are Olympians, Formula 1 drivers, rock stars or sharpshooters. And while they can turn off their Wii and Xbox machines and remember they are really in dens and playrooms on side streets and in triple deckers around America, that is after their hearts have raced and heads have swelled with false pride for “being” something they are not.

It is something to be concerned about in children, IMO (not that I think there's evidence that it makes people narcissistic). I have no idea if gaming has a negative effect on the developing mind, but I think it's a valid research topic. Your brain enters a different alpha state compared to doing other activities and it would be interesting to know if that has an effect or not if you do it as a child for hours a day. We already know that TV watching correlates strongly with ADHD incidence. Brain wave patterns are different game playing vs. TV watching, but are there any negative effects? I think it's an interesting question.

Heh, from the article in the .etc section above OOtB:

Research found that playing video games helped boost self-esteem and mental development as well as physical activity levels. The lady anchor seems kind of pissed at the prospect, but the research seems sound! The government currently recommends children spend no longer than an hour a day in front of a screen. According to Dr Daniel Johnson of the Queensland University of Technology though, the right child playing the right game could spend 3 or 4 hours playing and still be considered a healthy amount.

My kids get pretty addicted to computer games, and then get irritable when not doing them. We've had to pretty much ban playing except for holidays. We play a lot of board games instead: Catan, Elder Signs, Forbidden Island, Cyclades, Castle Panic, stuff like that.
 
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