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Our energy policies — made by lobbyists or science?

Our energy policies — made by lobbyists or science?

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  • Dr. Grannell:

    Thank you for your good observations. For more details on this fiasco, readers should study EnergyPresentation.info.
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  • A few additional points are worth mentioning about the golf cart analogy:

    A golf cart can’t carry a piano.

    Golf carts make noise and burn fossil fuels, too.

    The sun shines from 10 to 2 and the wind blows from time to time. This point stands on its own, independent of the eventual resolution of the CO2 question.

    The assessment of wind energy seems to contain an economic fallacy. Supposedly, we only need to get past the “up-front” cost of installation, and then the installed equipment will produce energy for free forever. However, that is absolutely not true. The truth is that a facility doesn’t last forever, and must be paid for within its service life.

    To illustrate the fallacy, let’s say you buy a car that costs $20,000 and lasts 20 years. Let’s also neglect the effects of interest and assume that fuel, insurance, repairs, etc. are all free. The cost of ownership is $1,000 per year, and this cost remains the same whether the car is paid off $1,000 per year, or the whole $20,000 is paid in the first or last nanosecond of the 20 year period. The cost doesn’t just 'go away' when the payment period is shortened. The same fallacy that leads many to believe that renewable energy ought to be 'free', also leads one to believe that if you pay the $20,000 immediately, then the remainder of the ownership period is “free”.

    Wind is more expensive than conventional sources of electricity at least partially because of this. This point also stands on its own, independent of the eventual resolution of the CO2 question.
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  • Superb comparisons John. The American people must realise that all this talk of wind energy and other so-called green renewable energy is a totally false illusion. It really will mean more and more jobs go to China and more and more US companies go bust. All of this is due to the false science that states that carbon dioxide is bad for the environment and causes climate disruptions. That is absolutely not true and nobody has the slightest proper evidence to prove me wrong. Hans Schreuder, retired analytical chemist, Ipswich, England
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    Short story Short story Presentation Transcript

    • A Simple Short Story John Droz, jr. Physicist & Environmental Advocate -- 10/4/10 -- © john droz, jr.
    • Make SURE to View This Presentation in the FULL SCREEN Mode! Click the “FULL” icon in the lower right hand corner.
    • Once upon a time there was a US owned piano manufacturing company in NYC.
    • They had a successful business and shipped a tractor trailer load of 25± pianos every week to their distribution centers in Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles & Seattle.
    • This was a competitive business and to keep up with customer demand these deliveries had to be made within three days.
    • For the last forty years, these deliveries were made inexpensively, on time, every week. This was a key reason why the company was successful.
    • Between designing, manufacturing, sales, delivery, and service, the piano company employed several hundred people in the US.
    • Across town there was another company that was also doing very well: a golf cart business, owned by a foreign cartel.
    • The main reason this business was succeeding was that they had aggressive lobbyists — who had been able to get enormous federal and state financial incentives for their client. It worked out that (due to subsidies, incentives, tax breaks, and mandated government pricing) the golf cart company was effectively guaranteed a 25% annual profit on sales!
    • One Problem: Due to golf course activity leveling off, the golf cart business was stagnant. So, how to rapidly expand sales (to get their 25%± profit)?
    • Idea: Expand by getting into the transportation business.
    • One Problem: They couldn’t compete with conventional transportation companies on cost or performance.
    • Solution: Back to the lobbyists.
    • Again the lobbyists did their job. Politicians soon added a surcharge of $1 per mile to all tractor trailer transportation companies to account for the “noise pollution” their engines made.
    • The piano company used to pay $500 per week for their deliveries. This now has gone to $5000.
    • This was a heavy blow to the piano company — which had no choice but to pass this substantial extra cost on to their customers.
    • Where the piano company once had a 75% market share of US sales, this extra cost resulted in a steady loss of customers to their main competitor, a Chinese firm.
    • Despite this added burden, the piano company stuck with their transportation company. Deliveries continued to be on time — although now much more expensive.
    • The golf cart company then started an aggressive advertising campaign which claimed that they could offer an “economically competitive” transportation option.
    • But because their performance was inferior, the golf cart company didn’t see their hoped for increase in business. So they went back to the lobbyists for more help.
    • Again the lobbyists did their job. Politicians soon mandated that certain businesses (like the piano company) MUST switch to a non-fossil fuel shipping method.
    • The piano company dutifully put out requests for bids. The only non-fossil fuel quote came from (surprise!) the transportation company that built golf carts.
    • So, how many golf carts will it take to equal the performance and economics of one tractor trailer moving 25± pianos cross-country, every week, within three days?
    • Will 100 golf carts do it? A thousand?? Ten thousand???
    • Note that (due to the inherent characteristics of golf carts)… 1 - as the number of carts used goes up (to get better performance), the economics get significantly worse! 2 - there is no point where the golf cart performance even approximates the tractor trailer performance.
    • This isn’t a trick question: what’s the answer? X ?=
    • Once you’ve carefully calculated how many golf carts it will take to equal the performance and economics of one tractor trailer, you will then know the answer to the next question...
    • How many wind turbines will it take to equal the performance and economics of one nuclear power plant?
    • The US piano company has now gone out of business. The only pianos now come from China.
    • The US tractor trailer based transportation company is now on life-support, and has had to downsize by 90%, laying off thousands of employees. The tractor trailer manufacturer has reduced their size by 50%, also laying off a few thousand workers.
    • The golf cart company (owned by a Chinese conglomerate) continues to do well.
    • We do have energy and environmental issues. Our choice is whether our solutions come from lobbyists or science. See EnergyPresentation.Info for a more detailed examination of our electrical energy situation from a scientific perspective. © john droz, jr.
    • John Droz, jr. is a physicist and has been an environmental activist for over 25 years. Currently he is a leading individual on four New York statewide issues (electrical energy, water extraction, water quality, and property taxes). He received undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics from Boston College, and a graduate degree in physics from Syracuse University. He is a participating member of several environmental organizations (like the Adirondack Council, Protect, and Sierra Club). Due to his love of nature, he has a cottage on a lake in the Adirondacks of upstate NY. These areas of interest and expertise (science & environmentalism) have merged with his focus on energy matters, especially wind energy. John’s basic position is that we should be taking aggressive measures to solve our energy and pollution issues, but should not be wasting time and money on illusionary solutions — which are primarily promoted by those with vested financial interests in them. This slide presentation is copyrighted and is for personal use only. Any reproduction, quoting, referencing, or other use of this material is prohibited without the author’s express written consent. Such consent will usually be granted for the purpose of putting on a community presentation. For questions, comments or permission to use any material in this presentation, please email Mr. Droz at: aaprjohn@northnet.org © john droz, jr.