Forum Replies Created
October 28, 2012 at 11:50 pm in reply to: Renewable Energy: The Vision And A Dose Of Reality #6186
Some wishes your posting left me with: that you had addressed the possibility of hydrogen as a renewable energy source; that you had addressed the recent (30 Sept 2012) press release of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory about its being very close to a breakthrough process that extracts carbon dioxide (CO2) and produces hydrogen gas (H2) from seawater; that fuel cell technology lacks only two major items to be a totally sufficient source of energy for planet earth: cheap hydrogen and investment in fuel cell production. Major innovations are, to be sure, opposed and suppressed by vested interests in existing set-ups, but it is demonstrably true that huge innovations are sometimes obtained through the (“bad”) military-industrial complex — eg, the Interstate Highway system which Ike wanted for military reasons.
A recent press release from China claimed that a wood pulp substance, cheap and abundant, can conduct electricity, making ultra-light, plastic batteries available at very low cost. I think that even if scientific knowledge could save the world, humans would continue to gang up in wolf packs to prevent any sensible use of such knowledge. The Luddites were one such pack a century ago, and others like it today defend old orders so that fundamental change cannot occur.
Here’s how I see the tsunami hitting before we have hyperinflation. Greece was bailed out recently because US and other banks were willing to invest their “printed money” ( actually over-night loans from central sources like the Fed at one-tenth of one percent APR, rolled over daily in huge total amounts) in longer-term obligations of the Greek nation, mostly bearing interest at over 7% APR. Why, when Greece is obviously risky? Because the lenders feel they can bailed out if there is default, such bailing out coming from insurance companies via credit default swaps and from taxpayers who did such a bailout in 2008 and seem to be politically amenable to manipulation for the indefinite future. Also, the terms of the bailout of Greece require further austerity in the form of zero-growth government spending and zero-deficits in foreign trade balances (Greek workers being required to reduce wages so that labor costs of production of Greek goods and services will assure plus exports over imports). There are two huge weaknesses in this logic: (a) whether those zero limitations won’t be counterproductive, and (b) whether the confidence in politics of taxpayer bailouts can be maintained. As for (a), both zero limitations will work economically to reduce the ability of people in Greece to purchase goods and services, with loss of revenue from income taxes with which to pay off the bailout debts, and thus default on the debt becomes a tsunami trigger. As for (b), there is a great likelihood, especially with an attack on Iran or the OWS movement gaining traction, that the bailout banks won’t be as ready to cough up when Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France come looking for bailouts ala Greece. The form of the tsunami will depend whether it’s (a) or (b) that is the trigger, and on that I would guess there is an equally bad chance for either. I say “bad” because my son and grandson will likely be among the victims.