Friday, January 17, 2014

Occupy Keystone - to Complain or to Engineer Solutions

image from the Sierra Club
Sierra Club - Occupy Keystone 
Do you want factory jobs back in the US? Well, lower fuel costs are neutralizing the effects of low Chinese labor. Now that energy is so much cheaper in the US, factories are coming back.
The same goes for helping consumers save money during a time when they need it. Lower gas costs have pumped lots of money back into consumer pockets. For an idea of how much money has been given back to consumers just wait to see your next gas bill, now that gas supplies weren't enough for this difficult winter.
What's important about these issues is that no politician has anything to do with them. Markets do it on their own.
But to many of the anti-hydro-carbon lobby. None of this matters. They want to complain rather than solve the energy demand problem.
image of a data center
Data Centers - Energy Black Holes
It's easy for whiners to complain about hydro-carbons when the subject of energy isn't well understood.
Whiners complain, yet continue to use washers, refrigerators and now the "cloud". But they are not credible. I see no one picketing outside of appliance stores or the many massive data centers. Do you have any idea of how much energy is wasted to power the "cloud" and the internet? Data centers consume so much energy that it's shameful. But no whiner complains. The ridiculous asymmetry is clear.
Rather than complaining about a pipeline which will not add supply since the supply is already handled by trains, how about all these hipsters study Energy Engineering. I know the math may be intimidating for the lazy types but that would at least try to fix the issue at a fundamental level. The core of the problem is s growing demand for energy and not the supply.
I ask the question of what makes these whiners think that only they can have access to a cars, washing machines, refrigerators and the internet? Nothing.
Because every one in the planet wants the same things, the demand is what will drive massive exploitation of hydro-carbons in the next several years. Complaining about it solves nothing.
image of a electric car's battery pack.
Electric Vehicle Battery Pack
Moreover, wind and solar are only feel-good patches. If deployed in mass, these would create new problems of their own. Just think of the problem from managing millions of tons of used-battery waste if all cars were electric.
We need new solutions that can be taken to critical mass without negative effects. This is a problem that can only be solved through engineering. But in the US our children do not have an education level high enough or the dedication to enter engineering schools. I guess that we will have to wait until millions of new Chinese engineers graduate before we can solve the problem.
In the mean time, if whiners can't be part of the solution, they should get out of the way and let the rest of us handle the tasks at hand.

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