Climate change: The Critical Decade

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by James R, May 23, 2011.

  1. Hellenologophobia Registered Senior Member

  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    You guys seem to forget the point that was being debated.

    Let me refresh your memory:

    To which I responded:

    And showed that we were a LEADER in the world wide installation of Wind, Bio fuels and Geothermal and one of the leaders in Solar.

    To refute the claim that the US was GOING SLOW in renewables.

    Trippy only argued that we wouldn't be the leader (not that we were going slow on renewables) if you compared us proportionally.

    I showed that proportional to NZ's population we were still the leader.

    But we don't even have to be the LEADER to prove the point I was making that we weren't going slow on renewables.

  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    That's a LIE.

    I never said anything other then we produce more Wind power per capita than NZ does and I posted quite a few statistics showing that NZ gets far more energy from renewables, on a percent basis of primary energy, than the US does.

    When Trippy said we got 3.6% of our energy from Wind I corrected him:


    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Right: misleading, exactly because we consume more energy per capita than NZ does, by a much bigger margin than we outproduce them per-capita in wind power.

    The meaningful measure by which a country is "going slow" (or not) in some category of electricity generation is the percentage of total electricity generation so derived. That some glutton eats 1 pound of bread with 5 pounds of beef, while a svelte person eats only 1/2 pound of bread and no beef, does not imply that the glutton is leading the way in reliance on bread for nutrition. To suggest otherwise is to exploit the basic mismatch in overall diet to mislead - and so excuse the gluttony.

    And then went on to insist at great length and vigor that such was irrelevant, meaningless, "not the topic of discussion," etc. As I said: pointedly seeking to distract from the meaningful comparisons, and play up misleading ones instead.
  8. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Not at all.
    The fact that we produce more wind energy can't be misleading as it is only a data point.
    You are free to argue what that data point means or doesn't mean.
    So far all I've done is post the FACT.
    You apparently don't think that fact is meaningful and you are free to argue that point, but that doesn't change the fact or make it misleading at all.

    No it's not or the large energy using countries would always appear to be going slow.
    We produce the most Wind, Geothermal and Biofuel, and are one of the top three in Solar, and we have a ton in the pipeline under construction, so the point stands, we are not going slow on renewables.

    Nope. I never did so.

  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    A data point that you proferred to support a larger assertion - the stuff about "going slow" in renewables, that you keep reminding us about. If you'd been simply posting naked data points and leaving it at that, there'd be no issue.

    Well, no, that's not all you've done. You came up with that fact explicitly as part of a larger point about renewable energy investment and policy. That being the actual topic of discussion - this isn't just some thread that lists naked facts.

    Change the fact, no - but "misleading" is a question of how said fact relates to the actual topic under discussion. And it's already been demonstrated to be misleading, with explicit argumentation. You will have to actually address that, if you want to deal with the question of "misleading." Simply beating your chest over inanities like this isn't going to impress anyone.

    The large energy using countries are going slow. They basically have to do so - as large energy consumers, they've spent a ton on existing infrastructure, and will have to spend a ton more if they want to replace significant portions of that. Thus, they go about such changes very slowly. This being exactly the point which you are working to avoid and mislead from.

    And let's pause to note the implied "logic" there: the definition of "slow" cannot be correct, because if it were then you couldn't argue what you want to argue. That's not a logical argument against the definition - that's starting with the axiom that you must be correct, and then rejecting logic when it doesn't square with that.

    Sure we are - for all of that, it's barely made a fucking dent. Going "fast" would involve making a fucking dent, and cost an absolute fortune. Which we can't afford, so we won't "go fast."

    And let's note your implied comparitive measure, there: ranking in total renewable energy production, not corrected for the scale of the country in any way. Apparently the fact that the USA produces more wind electricity than, say, Belgium is supposed to impress us? Figures need to be stated as a percentage of total electricity generation to be comparable across countries with different total electricity generation. You are throwing out a fact that is totally unrelated to the point in question, and then asserting that it supports it. You are (clearly intentionally, by now) using misleading data to misconstrue the issue.

    I wonder - would anyone care to tally up how many blatant falsehoods adoucette has proferred in this thread? I lost count in just the last 24 hours. Nearly every post contains a clearly false assertion (typically a denial of having posted something which is still sitting just up-thread, in black and white). To the point where almost all time and energy goes into addressing the bald-faced lies. The actual first-order content of this thread would fit on like 2 pages - at some point this level of persistent, apparently-calculated distraction and bad-faith argumentation must surely cross some line in the forum guidelines, no?
  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    No, I do not forget the point that was being debated.
  11. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Yes, it most certainly can.
  12. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    If you want to consider growth, and speed (and this goes back to some of our earlier discussions) then consider this graph:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    It is a log-normal graph of instaled nameplate capacity by year, with exponential trend lines fitted.

    Shown are the trendlines for NZ, the US, and China.

    The exponent of growth allows us to calculate the doubling time.

    The exponents of growth on that graph indicate a doubling time of 2 years, 4 months for the US; 2 Years, 7 months for NZ, and 1 year, 1 month for China.

    China's wind power output is growing fast, and its total instaled capacity, if it can sustain this growth rate should exceed the US in the next 12-18 months.

    NZ is growing at approximately the same rate as the US (the difference is 9% - I note that percentage differences in the 5-10% range keep coming up).

    I was initially surprised by this, I must admit, given the course the discussion has taken, however, although the US must spend more money to install windpower than NZ does (perhaps). The US also has more money to spend, with the one offsetting the other, it seems.

    It occured to me, as I was driving home for lunch, that the graph I posted earlier lacks a global statistic.

    Global wind power generation has been doubling every 2 years 9 months, so whether the US is being slow or fast in its uptake of wind power depends on what you want to compare it to.
    Compared to China, the United States is decidedly sluggish.
    Compared to New Zealand, or compared to the global total, the United states is neither particularly fast nor particularly slow.

    I shall endeavour to remember to extend this comparison to other countries and such.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Perhaps, however given my involvement in this thread, it would only be fair to extend Arthur the same courtosey I have extended to others, and recuse myself, raising it in the backroom.
  14. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    I don't think that using the doubling rate is a very valid method of comparison, since it penalizes the countries that started earlier and have installed a lot of wind (for instance you started your graph only back in 2006 when the US already had ten times as much wind power installed as China did).

    In general it's much easier to double your installed amount when your installed base is small, but gets harder and harder to sustain that rate on an annual basis as you grow because the supporting infrastructure (turbine manufacturers, turbine installers, site preparation, grid interconnections, turbine maint people, etc etc) can't keep up with that growth rate.

    But it is obvious that compared to all other countries the US is one of the fastest growing nations in installing wind power.
    Or to put it another way, this chart clearly shows we aren't GOING SLOW.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    China started a bit late and is playing catch up, and is probably now the fastest growing nation as far as wind installation goes, but that fact doesn't mean the US installation of wind is SLOW.

    Clearly it's not.

    Slow would be countries that are falling behind proportional to their size.

    And of course, the issue of renewables isn't limited to Wind alone, that's just one facet.
    We are also have the most Biofuels being produced and the most Geothermal energy being produced (and 40% of new Geothermal capacity installed in the world since 2007 was installed in the US and we are in the top 3 in Solar (About 18 GW of CSP projects are under construction worldwide. The US has ~9 GW under construction and Spain has ~4.5 GW, followed by China with 2.5 GW. The US is second in installed capacity of CSP behind Spain, and in the top 3 in Hydro and so when you consider the huge pipeline of projects underway, and when renewables are looked at in total, it is clear that we are not going slow on the installation of renewables.

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  15. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member


    Facts are facts, they are not themselves misleading.

  16. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    I think being the global leader in installed capacity in 3 of the emergent technologies for renewables: Wind, Geothermal and Biofuels, and one of the top 2 for Solar is evidence that we aren't going slow on installing renewables.

    Total BS.
    The large energy using countries are primaily the ones leading the way in research, manufacturing and net renewable installations.

    US, Germany and China being the top 3 in net installed renewable capacity (Wind, Bio, Solar, & Geo), and also all large energy users and also large in the research, manufacturing and installation of renewable energy.

    The percent of replaced infrastructure was NOT the point that was being discussed.
    It was about installing renewables.

    Replacing existing infrastructure is an entirely different issue and is related to other factors such as population and energy growth, and the fact that most renewables at their current level of technology don't yet have the ability to replace base load plants. Countries like the US and NZ, because their population is growing, that even as fast as we are installing them, renewables generally don't yet replace existing plants. Still, in the US, over the last 7 years growth in renewable generation has accounted for ~40% of our growth in energy supply (and keep in mind that renewables tend to have low capacity factors, thus for Wind and Solar our installed capacity is roughly 3 times the amount we generate).

    Similarly in China for instance, even though they are also installing renewables at a very fast pace, their other installations of energy generation are going up faster.

    Coal use TWh in 2000 = 7,318 => 2009 = 18,449
    NG use TWh in 2000 = 270 => 2009 = 1,015
    Oil use TWh in 2000 = 2,490 => 2009 = 4,855

    Even so, it is totally illogical to say that a country like China isn't installing renewables at a fast pace (my original assertion about developed countries) just because they aren't replacing existing coal plants.

    Nope, again you are confusing percent of capacity with rate of installation. With the huge installed generation capacity that the US has one can both install new capacity at a high rate and still not make a significant percentage change in existing Capacity (remember capacity is based on sufficient excess capacity to handle Peak Loads on the Peak days and still have a sufficient margin to allow for planned and unplanned outages).

    As far as generation itself, we are at roughly 10% of our energy needs being generated by renewables.

    Actually I did correct for scale of country, with NZ being the example. They are 62 times smaller than the US and their wind turbines produce twice as many kWhs per year per MW of capacity, and yet we still have more corrected for scale. If we correct for the size of country you will also find that we have much more than China, but behind Germany and Denmark. But taking Denmark as an example, since renewables aren't just wind, you will find them behind us in Solar and Geothermal and Biofuels.
    Is this surprising?
    Not at all. Denmark is in one of the best areas for wind and so that's been their main thrust. In the US we have different areas where different renewable sources make sense and so we are into all the forms of renewables, while many other smaller countries tend to specialize on the one or two forms that work best for their situation.

    Not at all. Renewables are NOT just about electricity as that leaves out Biofuels entirely.
    That relationship, is just a subset of renewables and only shows how much progress countries are making in converting their electricity generation to renewable.

    Knock yourself out, so far you haven't come up with any. Just shown your poor reading comprhension.

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  17. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    My graph covers the same time period as your graph, so no, you don't get to get away with that one.

    I think that doubling time is the best method of comparison, because it takes into account factors such as the scale of the economy of the countries in question.

    It is the most direct, most relevant measure of growth available to us.

    Going further back, including earlier information actually makes the USA look worse, not better. Because between 1991 and 1996 USA's instaled wind power capacity shrank from , consider this graph:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Here the US has a doubling time of 4 years, 1 month.
    China has a doubling time of 1 year 8 months.
    New Zealand has a doubling time of 2 years, 1 month.
    And the global doubling time is 2 years 10 months.
    India, incidentaly, for which I have data going back to 1991, has a doubling time of 2 years 5 months.

    By that data, New Zealand is going fast, and the USA is going slow, and was even going backwards, for a time - shrinking 7% in 5 years.

    Only if everybody has the same amount of money, which they don't, which is why I chose doubling time as a measure.

    This chart clearly shows you are:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I'm short of time, anything else will lhave to wait at this point.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  18. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    You're wrong. That's evidence that we're "big," not that we're "going fast."

    But not in reliance on renewable energy sources, which is the actual subject of discussion.

    The issue is reliance on renewable energy, and specifically how it relates to climate change (see thread title). That means displacement of fossil fuels, reliance on renewables, etc. Who do you think you're fooling?


    That means these countries aren't "going fast" at developing reliance on renewable energy, and so addressing climate change.

    Exactly. This demonstrates precisely that the installation rate figures you keep touting do not translate into 'going fast' in any sense relevant to overall energy policy and climate change.

    And that after decades of "going fast?" Doesn't seem so "fast," then.

    But not in a meaningful way - you keep using per-capita figures, rather than per-watt-consumed figures. I've already explained why this is misleading at length. Do you have a response, or are you just going to keep repeating yourself?

    It has already been pointed out to you, in this thread, that there is nothing "renewable" about biofuels in the USA. They consume at least as much fossil fuel as an input, as they can displace. They are simply a means of repackaging fossil fuel energy, while subsidizing certain farm states.

    So there is nothing missing from the "renewables" picture, by leaving out US biofuels entirely.

    Whatever helps you sleep at night, dearie.
  19. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Yours uses a X scale that visually distorts the growth rate and makes them all appear rather linear while my graph, shows that both the US and China are by far the fastest growing both in rate and in total installed capacity for Wind power.

    And again, for the purposes of this discussion, you can't just limit it to wind.
    There is also Geothermal where we have the most installed capacity and where 40% of the new installations since 2007 were in the US.
    There is Biofuels where the US is the leader
    There is Solar where we are in the top 3.
    Hydro, top 3.

    Nope, because the technology was changing and so a lot of the early stuff didn't last and came out of production, so again all that does by using that period of time is penalize the US since it was an early installer.

  20. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    No. My graph uses the same X-scale as your graph does. It's a log-normal graph, not a log-log graph, and I made no attempt to conceal it.

    Becomes Log(y) = Log(A) + Bx

    Where B is the exponential growth factor, which is what determines growth rate (and therefore doubling time).

    The idea behind using a log-normal graph is that it leads linearizes a first order exponential growth or decay function making visual comparisons easier, because rather than comparing which line has the greatest curvature, you're comparing the steepness of the slope. It doesn't conceal the growth, on the contrary it emphasizes it and makes it easier to see.

    I seem to recall that Quad is a reasonably accomplished math-man, I'm sure he could expound at great length as to why a Log-normal graph is the most appropriate for presenting the dataset in question, I however have a prior engagement at this point.

    I seem to recall that you're the one that bought wind into this, and positively baulked when you thought I had included hydro in the comparison.
    This assertion does not change the fact that USA's total wind generation shrank over the period in question.
    This assertion does not change the fact that it makes the USA look worse, not better.
    You were the one that insisted that earlier data should be included or considered.
    I included it, showed you what it looked like when you included it, and pointed out how excluding it worked in favour of the US, rather than against it, and now you're objecting to it.

    At this point the summation of your argument is: "Early data just make sthe US look bad because we were replacing old equipment, and late data makes the US look bad because when you already have a metric shit-ton of wind power, it's hard to keep doubling it at the same pace".

    So what then. Are we supposed to consider something arbitrary like 'Between 2000 and 2005'?

    And then there's India to consider, although I suppose you're going to insist that India was installing new technology, while the US was replacing old?
  21. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    No, I'm not wrong.
    We are both BIG and installing renewables faster than most. i.e not going slow.

    No it's not what is being debated in the "fast" vs "slow" argument.
    This is what started this tangent and it ONLY has to do with my assertion that the developed countries are installing "renewables at a breakneck pace" vs Ice's assertion that it was going slow in the US.

    So it's simply a comparison of QUANTITY of installations, and for that the US is leading in many, and is number two behind China in total, so clearly Ice's assertion was false and remains false.

    I'm not trying to fool anyone, but this issue of this "fast" vs "not fast" issue it is only in regard to the point that was brought up by iceaura.

    Indeed, in the post where I brought up the fact that developed countries were installing them as fast as they could I specifically said that it was having zip impact on CO2:

    (note: I changed typo in last sentence from "developed" to "developing", and it was the first half of the first sentence that Ice challenged and that is the ONLY point that I've been debating for pages now.)

    Again, refer to the quote in question that is being debated. It is ONLY about rate of installation. I already pointed out that the impact of our installation of renewables so far is not impacting/addressing climate change in any meaningful way.

    Nor did I say they did, it was only a relative comparison to the rate which the US was installing vs the rest of the world. The US is not going slow in that regard.

    It's not misleading at all in relation to the original assertion since that was only about rate of installation.

    They can't consume as much fossil fuel as input or Ethanol would cost much much more. But, as to the issue, rate of installing renewables, the issue isn't how effective the renewables are, only that we are doing so.

    Yes there is in the context that it was presented.

    Clearly you have no clue how a debate works.

    Rule #1: Don't move the goal posts.

  22. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    My bad, I meant the Y axis.

    As to the earlier data, no Trippy, the point is that in the graph you used, the US started off at 10,000 MW installed, so it wasn't a valid comparison to a country that had 1/10th that much installed at the time.

    Again, the graph penalizes us for starting sooner and helping to develop the technology that has since been adopted.

  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    If my graph is invalid, so is yours, because yours has the same start point. Your graph covers 2005 to 2009, my graph covers 2005 to 2010.

    If your graph mis represents the data, given that you've posted it two or three times now claiming that it supports your argument, then you've been knowingly and deliberately posting a misleading graph, and making misleading statements about it, and I should ban you here and now for intellectual dishonesty (effectively trolling).

    If it is valid for you to present arguments based on that five year period, then it is equally valid for me to do the same.

    Prove it, with facts, or kwitchabitchin.

    You've done an awful lot of complaining, but you have yet to present any solution that we can both agree is valid.

    The graph does no such thing - we could compare per capita growth, per GDP growth, and they would reveal the same thing. We could look at a rolling five point average annual percentage increase, we could compare the amount of time it took for China increase their instaled capacity from 1000 to 10000 MW, we could look at the length of time it took for the first doubling to occur (we could even exclude the pre 1996 or pre 2000 data from that comparison for the US). We could cut the data any number of ways, and the result, I promise you, is the same - the only time the US leads the world is when you look at total instaled capacity - even then, your time with that crown is up.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

Share This Page