Re: Smart Meters in communities
From: Lyle Scheer (wonkomonkeyhouse.org)
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 16:40:19 -0700 (PDT)
Must post humorous reply...

The Onion had a nice video piece recently that is relevant:

http://www.theonion.com/video/in-the-know-coal-lobby-warns-wind-farms-may-blow-e,20876/

Hope this lightens up your day....

- Lyle

On 7/11/11 4:35 PM, Moz wrote:
> Sharon said:
>> I used to teach with a physicist who edited one of the best academic,
>> peer-reviewed journals on physics. About 15 years ago, I asked her about
>> the feasibility of solar power.  She said we don't know what it will do to
>> the environment.
> Well no. The same could be said for planting corn instead of grass. Or
> deforesting the Sahara.
>
>> No one has ever taken that much energy away from the sun
>> before and converted to other uses.
> The agricultural revolution had a much more dramatic effect - widespread
> deforestation was a *huge* change in how we use solar power.
>
>> How will that affect the sun?
> Remember that we are not taking energy away from the sun - at most we are
> changing the albedo (reflectivity) of a planet that receives less than one
> part in a billion of the sun's radiated output. So I hope you're
> misremembering that discussion. Counter-factual environmentalism is a
> particular bugbear of mine.
>
> So I think I can guess on that last question: it won't. A tiny change in
> reflectivity on a little dot 8 light-minutes away from the sun will have
> no detectable effect. The recent ice age would have had more effect. If we
> launched a soletta and reflected *all* EMR straight back at the sun we
> might be able to have some effect on it. What we're doing with solar
> plants is a bit like asking what effect that USA flag we planted on the
> moon will have on tidal flows on Earth. Yup, in theory it definitely has
> an effect (we moved mass between orbiting bodies). In practice? Too many
> leading zeros.
>
> The effect we have on the environments down here is likely to be
> noticeable. But I'm not sure quite what it will be. One that would amuse
> me is if large-scale solar collector arrays had the effect of increasing
> local rainfall and cloud cover. But that seems unlikely. More likely is
> slight local cooling. But the decreased reflectivity might mean local
> heating.
>
> Moz
>
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