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(NPR)   Even by the most conservative estimates, rising sea levels will wipe Miami off the map by the end of the century, and there is nothing that can be done about it except live in denial. Well, good   (npr.org) divider line 299
    More: Scary, sea-level rise, Miami, Saigon, denials, Watergate, Swiss cheese, pump station, South Florida metropolitan area  
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8349 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Jun 2013 at 1:05 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-24 03:52:33 PM

flondrix: dready zim: I hope you're going to build a very impressive fortress to protect that fortune. When the riots start, I anticipate financial kings to become targets.

I anticipate that hungry people will not have access to the truly rich

When things get to that point, will the truly rich be that rich anymore?  If most of your wealth is in the form of intellectual property, bonds, mutual funds, derivatives, and bits in a database somewhere, but the power is out in NYC and the stock exchange hasn't traded for a couple weeks, what do you really own besides your mansion and the stuff in it?  Do you  have a way of paying your henchmen enough to remain loyal to you--a form of payment they can't just take away from you themselves if they begin to get antsy about their own future prospects?  A billion dollars in cash just means you will be one of the last people to run out of toilet paper; an equivalent amount of gold bullion is a very tempting and immobile target.

The one percent are only rich so long as the economy includes unwashed masses for them to be richer than.


If society were to break down to that degree - only those that have built self-sustaining prisons will maintain some sort of connection to their wealth. It won't be in finances but in security, non-perishable food, access to medical supplies,etc.

But before it could even reach that point - wealth makes targets out of people when resources become strained enough.
 
2013-06-24 03:53:12 PM
I'm the master of my own domain and not a denier. Just a realist and do not fear climate change. Thanks Canuck!
 
2013-06-24 03:57:06 PM

bangman: I'm the master of my own domain and not a denier. Just a realist and do not fear climate change. Thanks Canuck!


And yet you make claims that fly directly in the face of the published science. How are you "not a denier" again?

You understand that the term applies to people who deny the evidence provided by the scientists studying the field. Calling yourself a realist because you've bought into the anti-science propaganda doesn't make it so.
 
2013-06-24 03:59:15 PM

Bontesla: dready zim: Bontesla: Slaves2Darkness: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: vpb: Denying global warming is like denying that water is wet.

I guess my feeling on this now is: Fine, deny global warming. Whatever. The earth will still spin around the sun and life will go on. However, it's going to be a more miserable, expensive, and bleaker world for humans, so if that's OK with you, party on. If you'd rather not have to worry about things like water rationing, epic storm damage, fires, droughts, food scarcity, floods, and the loss of plant and animal life, you'd might consider a less nihilistic view of life.

Worry about them? Hell man I'm planning on exploiting them for profit. By helping to monopolize water, increasing insurance rates, investing in home repair and disaster relief companies and patenting genes, although the Supreme Court dealt us a temporary setback there (DAM LIBERAL JUDGES!) I plan on making a massive fortune in the 21st century.

I hope you're going to build a very impressive fortress to protect that fortune. When the riots start, I anticipate financial kings to become targets.

I anticipate that hungry people will not have access to the truly rich

Well,it looks like we're going to see.


First we storm the airports so the farkers can't escape..
 
2013-06-24 04:03:13 PM

gameshowhost: /gee i wonder.. if we'd taken alternative energy production by the ropes and had invested heavily, like, 35 yrs ago...
//*climbs white house roof, jumps up and down on solar panels* LOLOL CHANGE IS GHEY!!1


The solar hot water panels that Carter put on the white house and Reagan removed were put into service at a college in Maine, until 2005.  Now a few of them are in museums, including a museum in China--where using similar panels to heat water is a going coincern:


farm6.staticflickr.comfarm6.staticflickr.com
 
2013-06-24 04:04:10 PM
"The study, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, also found that those who reject the scientific consensus on the human contribution to climate change are more likely to to reject other scientific findings such as the linkage between tobacco and lung cancer or between HIV and Aids.

The paper, titled "NASA faked the moon landing - Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science", was based on a survey of more than 1000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussion of climate change.

"We find that endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science," the paper says. "We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings."

The paper says that a staunch belief in free markets was an overwhelmingly strong factor in the rejection of climate science and was a stronger factor than conspiratorial thinking.

It surveyed people on attitudes to a range of conspiracy theories, including that the United States allowed the September 11 attacks to occur and that SARS was produced in a laboratory as a biological weapon."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9503044/C li mate-change-deniers-are-either-extreme-free-marketeers-or-conspiracy-t heorists.html

thespotts.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-06-24 04:05:48 PM

gameshowhost: bangman: Seriously. Anybody on FARK here really thinks we can change the climate on a massive scale fast enough to make a difference and have the rest of the world on the same page???? Common people get real. So many of you guys think your so important that you think you can make a difference. This all makes me laugh!!!! The fear mongering only happens with the right wingers I guess.

Common people get real what?



db2.stb.s-msn.com

I don't even know what common people do.
 
2013-06-24 04:06:14 PM
Not so much global warming as global wetting.

There's nothing you can do to stop it. Our planet is become a moister place. London will look like Venice.
 
2013-06-24 04:06:39 PM

Two16: gameshowhost: bangman: Seriously. Anybody on FARK here really thinks we can change the climate on a massive scale fast enough to make a difference and have the rest of the world on the same page???? Common people get real. So many of you guys think your so important that you think you can make a difference. This all makes me laugh!!!! The fear mongering only happens with the right wingers I guess.

Common people get real what?




I don't even know what common people do.


Elitist.
 
2013-06-24 04:08:50 PM

Farking Canuck: bangman: I'm the master of my own domain and not a denier. Just a realist and do not fear climate change. Thanks Canuck!

And yet you make claims that fly directly in the face of the published science. How are you "not a denier" again?

You understand that the term applies to people who deny the evidence provided by the scientists studying the field. Calling yourself a realist because you've bought into the anti-science propaganda doesn't make it so.


He's a denial denier. A meta denier.
 
2013-06-24 04:12:40 PM

gameshowhost: "The study, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, also found that those who reject the scientific consensus on the human contribution to climate change are more likely to to reject other scientific findings such as the linkage between tobacco and lung cancer or between HIV and Aids.

The paper, titled "NASA faked the moon landing - Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science", was based on a survey of more than 1000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussion of climate change.

"We find that endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science," the paper says. "We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin Luther King or that NASA faked the moon landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientific findings."

The paper says that a staunch belief in free markets was an overwhelmingly strong factor in the rejection of climate science and was a stronger factor than conspiratorial thinking.

It surveyed people on attitudes to a range of conspiracy theories, including that the United States allowed the September 11 attacks to occur and that SARS was produced in a laboratory as a biological weapon."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9503044/C li mate-change-deniers-are-either-extreme-free-marketeers-or-conspiracy-t heorists.html

[thespotts.files.wordpress.com image 400x278]


Depends. How big a kettle are we talking about?
 
2013-06-24 04:13:16 PM

bdub77: Wrong, wrong. Denial has crocodiles, Miami has alligators.


Miami has both.

www.miamibeach411.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_crocodile
 
2013-06-24 04:20:32 PM

mikeray: A huge crock of shiat.


Yes, but how do we save Humanity?
 
2013-06-24 04:24:13 PM
Regression analysis is taught in Math 095.

DesertDemonWY, why are you a farking retard?
 
2013-06-24 04:35:33 PM
I'm the master of my own domain and not a denier. Just a realist and do not fear climate change. Thanks Canuck!

I'm not denying climate change dumb asses!
 
2013-06-24 04:36:22 PM

Bontesla: Slaves2Darkness: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: vpb: Denying global warming is like denying that water is wet.

I guess my feeling on this now is: Fine, deny global warming. Whatever. The earth will still spin around the sun and life will go on. However, it's going to be a more miserable, expensive, and bleaker world for humans, so if that's OK with you, party on. If you'd rather not have to worry about things like water rationing, epic storm damage, fires, droughts, food scarcity, floods, and the loss of plant and animal life, you'd might consider a less nihilistic view of life.

Worry about them? Hell man I'm planning on exploiting them for profit. By helping to monopolize water, increasing insurance rates, investing in home repair and disaster relief companies and patenting genes, although the Supreme Court dealt us a temporary setback there (DAM LIBERAL JUDGES!) I plan on making a massive fortune in the 21st century.

I hope you're going to build a very impressive fortress to protect that fortune. When the riots start, I anticipate financial kings to become targets.


That is what the police and national guard are for, have you not learned anything from history? Just like back in 1900's they will gun down the rioters and protect the rich.
 
2013-06-24 04:48:17 PM

bangman: I'm not denying climate change dumb asses!


So you agree that the evidence clearly supports the position that man's massive increase in our output of CO2 since the beginning of the 20th century has resulted in a warming of the planet that is outside of natural climate cycles and is faster than the natural climate cycles?

Great. Thanks for the support.
 
2013-06-24 04:51:40 PM
Where will the cruise ships dock? Oh the tragic circumstances!
 
2013-06-24 04:55:06 PM

Haoie: Where will the cruise ships dock? Oh the tragic circumstances!


I'm looking forward to the Nature Cruise of the Century!
 
2013-06-24 04:56:17 PM

Slaves2Darkness: Bontesla: Slaves2Darkness: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: vpb: Denying global warming is like denying that water is wet.

I guess my feeling on this now is: Fine, deny global warming. Whatever. The earth will still spin around the sun and life will go on. However, it's going to be a more miserable, expensive, and bleaker world for humans, so if that's OK with you, party on. If you'd rather not have to worry about things like water rationing, epic storm damage, fires, droughts, food scarcity, floods, and the loss of plant and animal life, you'd might consider a less nihilistic view of life.

Worry about them? Hell man I'm planning on exploiting them for profit. By helping to monopolize water, increasing insurance rates, investing in home repair and disaster relief companies and patenting genes, although the Supreme Court dealt us a temporary setback there (DAM LIBERAL JUDGES!) I plan on making a massive fortune in the 21st century.

I hope you're going to build a very impressive fortress to protect that fortune. When the riots start, I anticipate financial kings to become targets.

That is what the police and national guard are for, have you not learned anything from history? Just like back in 1900's they will gun down the rioters and protect the rich.


Until their families are starving too. Then the rich start to look pretty tasty.
 
2013-06-24 05:05:28 PM

probesport: Learn to swim.


Well played.
 
2013-06-24 05:12:23 PM
More alarmist bullshiat
 
2013-06-24 05:19:04 PM

TheDumbBlonde: Andromeda: Shostie: AdolfOliverPanties: Why is Miami considered the biggest vulnerability?  What will this do to Hawaii, or the Bahama?  Is Miami one of those dumbass cities that is built below sea level, like New Orleans?

First off, New Orleans didn't "build below sea level," so much as the city is actively sinking. Because cities weigh a lot. And from what I understand they've been tapping into natural gas reserves below the city which hasn't been helping much.

Second, Miami is AT sea level. If a hurricane goes through, there's virtually nothing to cushion the blow.

IRC the last time a category 5 hurricane hit Miami in the 1930s it took like two decades to recover.  So we have that to look forward to someday sooner instead of later I'm sure...

I live in Amsterdam these days which is of course famously below sea level (they built my institute just outside of the big door they can automatically shut in the event of flooding in the barrier, so hooray I am left to die).  I'm sure a lot of the flooding protections they have in this country are going to seem commonplace in the lot of the USA as well sooner instead of later, it's just the Dutch have a few hundred year head start on a lot of these things.

Er, Hurricane Andrew was a Cat 5.


Sure was but it wasn't a direct eye hit on the city. Dammed close though.

I remember driving to escape it and some guy on the radio said it woul hit Miami between the M and the I.
 
2013-06-24 05:26:04 PM

Maul555: More alarmist bullshiat


Is there any particular part of the consensus that you take issue with, or are you just broadly anti-science?
 
2013-06-24 05:26:47 PM
Farking Canuck
So you agree that the evidence clearly supports the position that man's massive increase in our output of CO2 since the beginning of the 20th century has resulted in a warming of the planet that is outside of natural climate cycles and is faster than the natural climate cycles?

Great. Thanks for the support
.

Even if everyone on the planet started living green today it would not stop the warming. The cycles are FARKING out of control man!!!!!
 
2013-06-24 05:32:00 PM

Evil High Priest: Maul555: More alarmist bullshiat

Is there any particular part of the consensus that you take issue with, or are you just broadly anti-science?


I tell ya what... I supposedly have a long time left on this earth... Hows about in 50 years if it looks like Miami has a few problems with water, Ill say your right...
 
2013-06-24 05:37:08 PM

FloydA: A rise in sea level will drown this place, and that will be a tragic loss.


It exists due to a concrete wall.  Sea levels rise a bit, all you have to do is go in with some construction equipment and scoop out another pool area and construct another wall a little higher up.

As for Miami, I figure that you write off the lowest/worst placed homes and buildings, moving further inland.  For skyscraper type areas, you build seawalls and pumping systems like what New Orleans and much of Holland has.

Beyond that, I'd consider some sort of massive dredging project - reclaim enough material from the seafloor to raise the area a touch.

Of course, yes I support nuclear power as a sustaining measure until we can develop and deploy greener alternatives.  I LIKE the idea of green power.  I've calculated, for my house in Alaska:
1.  A solar electric system that would provide 100% of my power in the summer
2.  A solar heating system that, using an insulated 'bunker' under the house, would keep my house warm with minimal involvement of supplemental heating systems (still need something for -50 temperatures/extra nasty winters), only problem is that my back of envelope calcs estimated the cost starting at $100k(ouch!).  It would have used solar thermal panels in the summer to store the heat in the ground using PEX tubing wound throughout the box, then use the same PEX to heat water circulating through it to keep the house warm.
3.  Solar water heating just for summertime and just for hot water.

Can't make any of them make sense just yet.
 
2013-06-24 05:41:44 PM

bangman: Even if everyone on the planet started living green today it would not stop the warming. The cycles are FARKING out of control man!!!!!


Stop the warming? Over what time frame?

We are actually on the down slope of the Milankovitch cycles so we should actually be cooling right now ... although at a rate so slow that people would not notice it over the course of an average life span.

Most people who understand the science realize that any progress now in renewable energies can only serve to possibly blunt the severity and/or shorten duration of AGW effects. Both of which are good things. Add to this the reduction in pollution/smog, the reduction of dependance on middle east oil, and the possibility of new industry in the green energy arena ... well it is win-win for everyone (except those that profit off of the status quo of course).

Why do you feel that following the denier mantra of "do nothing" is the correct move for us in either the short or long term?? If we are driving this bus into a wall and there is no way to avoid hitting it ... does that justify keeping your foot firmly on the accelerator?? Does it not make sense to hit the brakes in an attempt to reduce the carnage and save as many passengers as possible?
 
2013-06-24 05:42:28 PM
Stupid to worry about, because we can't change it.  It's natural so we just have to deal with it. Warming will be a quick thing (geologically) before reglaciation. That's the real shiat your great-grandkids will have to learn to live with.
 
2013-06-24 05:50:25 PM

Maul555: Evil High Priest: Maul555: More alarmist bullshiat

Is there any particular part of the consensus that you take issue with, or are you just broadly anti-science?

I tell ya what... I supposedly have a long time left on this earth... Hows about in 50 years if it looks like Miami has a few problems with water, Ill say your right...


I'll mark you down as just anti-science then.

Here, have one of these:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9503044/C li mate-change-deniers-are-either-extreme-free-marketeers-or-conspiracy-t heorists.html
 
2013-06-24 05:55:13 PM

Firethorn: FloydA: A rise in sea level will drown this place, and that will be a tragic loss.

It exists due to a concrete wall.  Sea levels rise a bit, all you have to do is go in with some construction equipment and scoop out another pool area and construct another wall a little higher up.


Moving the volcanic vent presents a bit of a challenge.
 
2013-06-24 06:06:02 PM

Evil High Priest: Maul555: Evil High Priest: Maul555: More alarmist bullshiat

Is there any particular part of the consensus that you take issue with, or are you just broadly anti-science?

I tell ya what... I supposedly have a long time left on this earth... Hows about in 50 years if it looks like Miami has a few problems with water, Ill say your right...

I'll mark you down as just anti-science then.

Here, have one of these:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/9503044/C li mate-change-deniers-are-either-extreme-free-marketeers-or-conspiracy-t heorists.html


I don't deny climate change, just the severity of it and the predictions of future catastrophe.
 
2013-06-24 06:36:48 PM

VoiceOfReason499: Cyno01: You know what else is an observable property? The solid phase of water being LESS dense than the liquid. If all the ice melted the sea level would probably go down a little bit. This whole rising sea level chicken little attitude doesnt make any sense to anyone with half a brain. Go get a glass, put some ice in it, fill it to the top with water , and wait for the ice to melt. Did the glass overflow?

Damn scientists just looking for grant money...

8.5/10

 
I know right? Got waaaay more bites than i was expecting, i thought for sure the last part would give it away. But, kudos on everyone who took the time to explain why what i said was wrong instead of just calling me a tard.
 
2013-06-24 06:48:23 PM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: The scuba diving is going to be amazing.


I wonder which state or country will claim the GOLD!
 
2013-06-24 06:51:04 PM

Mrtraveler01: DesertDemonWY: Bullfarkingshiat

[www.psmsl.org image 350x140]

That's the data from Miami Beach, available here

Did you decide to use the monthly data instead of the yearly data for some reason?

[www.psmsl.org image 850x340]


Fitting the Key West data (goes back to 1913) with a straight line shows an increase of 2.3 mm a year, and I don't see any support for a higher order fit.  9 inches over the next century is nothing to sneeze at, but it isn't close to 3 feet.  Are they expecting all of the Greenland ice sheet to suddenly fall into the ocean?  Cause that isn't going to happen.
 
2013-06-24 07:11:12 PM

chimp_ninja: Cyno01: You know what else is an observable property? The solid phase of water being LESS dense than the liquid. If all the ice melted the sea level would probably go down a little bit. This whole rising sea level chicken little attitude doesnt make any sense to anyone with half a brain. Go get a glass, put some ice in it, fill it to the top with water , and wait for the ice to melt. Did the glass overflow?

Now, put a big pile of ice on top of a solid surface.  Fill the glass with water, then dump the melting ice from the solid surface into the glass.  Watch it overflow.

(Then, account for thermal expansion for oceans that are much, much deeper than your stupid glass analogy.)

But hey, I'm sure you felt smart while you were writing that.  You can fool a few third-graders with that level of "thought".


Or, you could just take note of how sea levels haven't risen as expected up 'till now, which might lead you to conclude that the calculations being used to make these fear mongering, sky is falling predictions are deeply flawed to the point that they are less than useless.
 
2013-06-24 09:11:51 PM

Two16: vudukungfu: Turn it into a landfill. The entire state.

[sourbrains.org image 228x243]

/and i live here...


Hey, a mountain view of the ocean is better than a sea level view of a tsunami.
 
2013-06-24 10:08:28 PM

djh0101010: Momzilla59: Does solar electric meet your criteria? If not, why not?

It's a very good start but the acceptance and use of it is taking far too long to take hold. It also needs a relatively large area for the energy generated. We need something that has the comparable output of coal and nuclear energy without the waste. I'm hoping for fission in my lifetime but I realize it's a long shot.

A 5 year payback isn't low enough price yet?  What is?  3?  1?

Millions of acres of sunlight falling onto the ground.  At 100 watts per square foot, and modern PV cells can capture 17% of that and turn it into electricity.  Pretty good for something with no moving parts.


17% is a start but it's going to need to be more if you want people to seriously consider solar. Right now I can only supplement my electricity with solar - let me go off the grid with a 10 year return and I might make the investment.
 
2013-06-24 11:15:06 PM
Has anybody figured out where the new beachfront property is likely to be?  If not, this thread is not relevant to my interests.

I don't even like Cuban Food.
 
2013-06-25 12:29:36 AM

vpb: Denying global warming is like denying that water is wet.

Really.  The liquid phase of water is an observable physical property of water just as the fact that carbon dioxide is opaque to infrared light and transparent to visible light is are observable physical properties.


water is wet? wtf? i never got any memo on the subject.
 
2013-06-25 01:00:54 AM
Our last apartment when my ex and I were just married was in the Coconut Grove area of Miami on Mary Street.  It was about 100 yards from the bay and about ten feet above sea level, if that.  I told her that if a hurricane ever came, we'd toss the cats and clothes into the car and head west, then north.

She never did like Miami.  After two years, it was back to Iowa.  Tornadoes and thunder snow were less worrisome.
 
2013-06-25 01:02:25 AM

Shostie: WHERE WILL YOU RUN TO, NOW, MICHAEL WESTON?!?!


I am pretty sure you mean Michael "Westen" because this guy is Michael Weston:

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-06-25 02:30:42 AM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: If you'd rather not have to worry about things like water rationing, epic storm damage, fires, droughts, food scarcity, floods, and the loss of plant and animal life, you'd might consider a less nihilistic view of life.



If you'd rather not have to worry, wouldn't you pursue a MORE nihilistic point of view?
 
2013-06-25 03:15:17 AM

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: vpb: Denying global warming is like denying that water is wet.

I guess my feeling on this now is: Fine, deny global warming. Whatever. The earth will still spin around the sun and life will go on. However, it's going to be a more miserable, expensive, and bleaker world for humans, so if that's OK with you, party on. If you'd rather not have to worry about things like water rationing, epic storm damage, fires, droughts, food scarcity, floods, and the loss of plant and animal life, you'd might consider a less nihilistic view of life.


Yeah, so let's gouge American taxpayers MORE and give more money to the government. Yeah, that'll fix it. Bring on  The War on Global Warming.  Has a nice ring to it.  I mean, look how well The War on Poverty, The War on Drugs, and The War on Terror have worked out.
 
2013-06-25 08:22:02 AM

msbav8r: Yeah, so let's gouge American taxpayers MORE and give more money to the government. Yeah, that'll fix it. Bring on The War on Global Warming. Has a nice ring to it. I mean, look how well The War on Poverty, The War on Drugs, and The War on Terror have worked out.


Typical denier 'logic'. It's going to cost money so DO NOTHING!!

Forget about the much larger cost of inaction. Forget about the business opportunities in green energy that are going to European companies. Save a few bucks now to spend much more later!!!
 
2013-06-25 08:23:32 AM

WeenerGord: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: If you'd rather not have to worry about things like water rationing, epic storm damage, fires, droughts, food scarcity, floods, and the loss of plant and animal life, you'd might consider a less nihilistic view of life.


If you'd rather not have to worry, wouldn't you pursue a MORE nihilistic point of view?


Yes, but that must be exhausting.
 
2013-06-25 10:19:50 AM
You want to get depressed? Read the best-case scenarios if we cut way back on carbon emissions now (which isn't going to happen). Between the already-melted ice caps and the thawing tundra spewing out methane, this climate-change train doesn't stop even if we do.

That doesn't mean we should do nothing. For one thing, if we just get it tipped over into profitability, green energy could be the next stock bubble. And EVERYBODY loves stock bubbles. And energy-friendly development is so much more aesthetically pleasing than suburban sprawl. Seriously, who wouldn't want to live in a 1900-style streetcar subdivision with shopping and dry cleaning in walking distance, rather than a limited-lot-line, residence-only compound where you're forced to drive half an hour on a clogged arterial road just to get a quart of milk. And the milk is at the back corner of a 100,000-square-foot megastore.
 
2013-06-25 10:25:27 AM

Momzilla59: djh0101010: Momzilla59: Does solar electric meet your criteria? If not, why not?

It's a very good start but the acceptance and use of it is taking far too long to take hold. It also needs a relatively large area for the energy generated. We need something that has the comparable output of coal and nuclear energy without the waste. I'm hoping for fission in my lifetime but I realize it's a long shot.

A 5 year payback isn't low enough price yet?  What is?  3?  1?

Millions of acres of sunlight falling onto the ground.  At 100 watts per square foot, and modern PV cells can capture 17% of that and turn it into electricity.  Pretty good for something with no moving parts.

17% is a start but it's going to need to be more if you want people to seriously consider solar. Right now I can only supplement my electricity with solar - let me go off the grid with a 10 year return and I might make the investment.


Solar's better as a commercial application, because it's a minor additional capital expense when you're building a large commercial space, and the marginal savings really add up. Two of the good ideas I've seen lately are a capped landfill covered in solar panels, and a surface parking lot with sun shades for the cars, covered in solar panels. The latter's a twofer.

Every big, flat, lowrise industrial and commercial building in America should be covered either with truck gardens or solar panels. It's just wasted space, now.
 
2013-06-25 12:50:21 PM

mbillips: Solar's better as a commercial application, because it's a minor additional capital expense when you're building a large commercial space, and the marginal savings really add up. Two of the good ideas I've seen lately are a capped landfill covered in solar panels, and a surface parking lot with sun shades for the cars, covered in solar panels. The latter's a twofer.


I'd argue that it's still relatively minor when it's designed into a residential home.  Solar thermal is actually still better, but put in 1-4 panels for hot water depending on location and anticipated hot water demand and cover the rest of the space with solar electric.  It's so much cheaper when the house is designed for it.

I haven't managed to have the math make sense for my home in Alaska yet, despite that I'd get 24 hours of power at the moment.  1 hour or less(if the panels are snow covered) of power in the winter detracts.  There are arguments about  it being possible to melt the snow, or even just have it slide off - my counterpoint is that said snow actually functions as part of the insulation for my roof in the winter.  Getting rid of it might actually increase my energy needs.


Every big, flat, lowrise industrial and commercial building in America should be covered either with truck gardens or solar panels. It's just wasted space, now.
 
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