Re: Smart Meters in communities
From: Holly McNutt (
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 16:57:17 -0700 (PDT)
love it!
- Holly in Nyland

On Jul 11, 2011, at 5:40 PM, Lyle Scheer wrote:

> Must post humorous reply...
> The Onion had a nice video piece recently that is relevant:
> 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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