"If I have one criticism of today's citizens, it is patience. Stuff is happening behind the Wizard's curtain right now, and happening fast. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. The Earth will be fine."
Got caught up in a thread yesterday (quite by accident), concerning a very interesting debate. On what? Solar energy. Even though I prefaced my position by saying I was pro-solar (with caveats), all of a sudden I had some greenies jumping all over me. Just because I said current solar technology is not mature enough (and it is not), to go to market. Why? Stay tuned.
One of the things I learned when taking a graduate course of Economics at the U of M, was how to measure the cost of the life cycle of a product. That by the way, would include any externalities of production (if they were measurable). BTW - it really concerns me that after almost 45 years I still remember this stuff
Anyhow, to determine the life cycle cost of a product, it goes from the first day of raw material to manufacturing, to the final day of disposal. And here is where the rub is on solar. The last day of disposal has turned out to be very problematic.
Today's solar panels are improving. They convert light into energy at slightly over 20%. But there is a problem. They are made from a witch's brew of toxicity (lead, etc,). And because of that, they are very hard, and very expensive, to recycle or dispose of. That is where yesterday's debate was centered. The greenies said, "Well, they are not as bad as asbestos". Maybe, maybe not. But two wrongs don't make a right. And if this is the best we can do, we have a huge problem.
But fear not, fine people. Our scientists are smart - very smart. We are now working on a product which contains bismuth (close to lead on the Periodic Table). This "green element" has been shown to be almost as efficient as lead, as it also, can convert light into energy at about 20%.
I have addressed this before. Patience people, please! By 2025 (less than 8 years away), you will not recognize where we live right now. What seems impossible today, will be common place then - including "go to market" solar. How much will things change? in ten short years, we will look back at today's concerns and chuckle. Twenty years from now, today's concerns will look like a fable written by a children's author.
If I have one criticism of today's citizens, it is patience. Stuff is happening behind the Wizard's curtain right now, and happening fast. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. The Earth will be fine. Global warming will be a "blip" in global history. We will have more and newer clean energy sources than one could shake a stick at. Be patient. 2025 is not that far away.
BTW - if you think I have been sitting in the back yard practicing Zen, I have not. Read the tech blogs. The nexus is coming, and coming soon. If you are adverse to change, this might be painful. If you welcome change, this will be what you have been waiting for.