"The End of Suburbia" video on youtube - Page 3 - Fuelly Forums

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Old 04-15-2007, 08:21 PM   #21
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I don't think the price of gasoline is really going to make people stop driving. Even at $15 a gallon, it would only cost me $1 to drive to school one way in my 50mpg Geo. That commute is less money than a current bus fare or half the price of just one 600ml bottle of Coca-Cola. People are currenly leasing cars for $500+ per month, pay $1,500+ per year for insurance, and have quarter-million dollar mortgages. They won't bat an eye at $15 per gallon gasoline.

The thing that will have people making changes is if gasoline become real scarce. Like I mean when gas staions are out of gas. When people have an empty tank and have no way of filling it, that's when people will change.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:27 PM   #22
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We will run out of uranium for our current old style nuclear reactors before we run out of oil. Really once we have a good energy supply oil is not as important as it was before. If energy is cheap enough then pretty much anything can be made synthetically using a large amount of energy. Right now it is cheaper to mine raw materials and refine them for use. It is possible to create gasoline from anything but the energy required is way more than the energy released from burning it and drilling/refining it is much less energy than that even.

Building something like a Integral Fast Reactor type nuclear reactor would solve a huge amount of the energy problems in the short term. These reactors do not have any radioactive waste problems since they don't have any. The only waste they have is inert within 300 years so it is not really a problem either. They also use 99.5% of the energy in the isotopes used so they can run on the waste from the current types of reactors for a really long time. These types of reactors will never be built since weapons grade material can not be made from them.

I figure the energy problems facing us now are real but there are lots of solutions already in existence. They are not used for mainly political reasons, whoever controls the energy production has a pretty good control on the development of 3rd world countries and the world economies. So giving up that control is not something in the best interest of the powers that be.

Not really a conspiracy theory just kind of makes economic sense for the ones with the money that want to keep it. Also I used to work in a Radiation Safety Office at a university so I understand how simple nuclear power could really be if it was allowed to be.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:43 PM   #23
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We will run out of uranium for our current old style nuclear reactors before we run out of oil. ...

Building something like a Integral Fast Reactor type nuclear reactor...
I, was not aware of that first part - not at all. Which makes me sad because I try to keep up on things like that (through journals, not mass media).

Is IFR at all related to a breeder reactor? I haven't started reading about it (yet) - but it seems very intriguing. Has it ever been prototyped large scale?
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:52 PM   #24
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wikipedia has a bit of non-technical info on it

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With the election of President Bill Clinton in 1992, and the appointment of Hazel O'Leary as the Secretary of Energy, there was pressure from the top to cancel the IFR. Sen. John Kerry (D, MA) and O'Leary led the opposition to the reactor, arguing that it would be a threat to non-proliferation efforts, and that it was a continuation of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project that had been cancelled by Congress. Despite support for the reactor by then-Rep. Richard Durbin (D, IL) and U.S. Senators Carol Mosley Braun (D, IL) and Paul Simon (D, IL), funding for the reactor was slashed, and it was ultimately cancelled in 1994.
That was the last anyone has thought of it as everyone who could fund something on that scale tries to act like it is a dead end. All the problems are just technical problems there is nothing that is a show stopper with building one other than the lack of weapons grade material being generated.
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:15 PM   #25
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That was the last anyone has thought of it as everyone who could fund something on that scale tries to act like it is a dead end. All the problems are just technical problems there is nothing that is a show stopper with building one other than the lack of weapons grade material being generated.
Ya, I've noticed that in my journal searching... I did find a stub from USA today from Jun 94:

'Currently, Courtney sees no profit incentive on the part of industry to build plants that burn actinides Even though the fuel would d be cheap nuclear power facilities are tremendously more expensive to build than those using fossil fuels "But there will come a day when nuclear power will be cheaper environmentally safer--and the next generation of power plants will be actinide burners."' (emphasis added)

I know we're getting off topic here a bit.... But I'm curious (as I'm pretty ignorant to the subject at the moment) - what has France done and do you know what their plans are? Considering most of their power comes from Nuclear sources and they are pretty much on the leading edge of Nuclear tech (in practice)....
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:35 PM   #26
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The reasoning for the shift in urban planning is much simpler than the arguments for or against certain ideologies, as social or political historians might lead one to believe, it was founded on the need to disperse the population to prevent their complete and utter annihilation in the (inevitable) event of a nuclear onslaught.
Maybe... government certainly did enough to push for suburbs after the war (the GI bill, zoning codes, freeways, etc). But suburbs predate the war by a lot, and were a part of the culture, even if not generally affordable. I think they would have ballooned even without the government pushing for them.

Check out the 1904 movie "The Suburbanite": it's a comedy short about suburban living. One of the jokes is that his reasons for moving (fresh air, etc) were the standard pitches from developers. Also, the 1939 World's Fair in New York had the influential displays Democracity and Futurama that both included a lot of expressways and suburbs in addition to the cities. Futurama basically showed what happened: the city cores had gleaming skyscrapers without the megalopolis look, surrounded by suburbs and attractions all linked by roads and highways.

I borrowed 'The End of Suburbia' from the library, and it was pretty good. It made me seek out more from Jim Kunstler, who has a pretty good blog and wrote 'The Long Emergency' and books on New Urbanist designs. The Katrina Cottages were sponsored by the New Urbanists.

The oil supply problem looks serious, and is looking more immediate. Depletion is already catching up with us. They're going to have to drill a lot of wells just to keep up with declines in the two biggest fields: Cantarell in Mexico (production down 20% since last year) and Ghawar in Saudi Arabia (no official data, but lots of rumors and SA as a whole is down 8%, though they said they meant to). Add in all the other serious declines (like the North Sea), and just keeping production level becomes an optimistic goal.

I think a lot of the gloom and doom about it goes too far. We had a functioning society and lots of industry (including ink and paper) before we had oil wells, and we know a lot more than we did then. Obviously we're going to have to be more efficient and a lot less car-centric, which means a half-century of infrastructure is mostly worthless. But there's no reason for society to collapse, or even revert to pre-oil technology. For example, you can power a tractor on a smaller share of the crop than you'd have to feed to a horse. Energy shortages won't push us back in time, but they will change us.

The next few decades promise to be difficult but interesting.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:26 PM   #27
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We will run out of uranium for our current old style nuclear reactors before we run out of oil. ...

Building something like a Integral Fast Reactor type nuclear reactor would solve a huge amount of the energy problems in the short term. These reactors do not have any radioactive waste problems since they don't have any. The only waste they have is inert within 300 years so it is not really a problem either. They also use 99.5% of the energy in the isotopes used so they can run on the waste from the current types of reactors for a really long time. These types of reactors will never be built since weapons grade material can not be made from them.
There's plenty of uranium in the world, and like oil we wouldn't run out, just run short. We waste a lot of it the way we use it now, because it doesn't take enough advantage of the U-238 to plutonium cycle. We also don't process out the plutonium, which is the big reason the waste is radioactive for so long. Reprocessed waste is pretty much worthless for a nuclear bomb: you need short exposure times to keep the Pu-239 down compared to Pu-238. I think they're mostly worried about dirty bombs.

Fast breeders have operational problems, but are interesting. I think the really interesting design is the 'Energy Amplifier': a sub-critical nuclear reactor that's forced by an external neutron source. Since the pile is sub-critical you can use Thorium (a comparatively common element) as the main fuel source. Also, it stops reacting if something breaks. No long-term waste storage, no enrichment, no plutonium, etc. Plus it retained good ideas like defense-in-depth, unlike the brain-dead ceramic bead idea.

Note that they're talking about re-starting the large fast-flux reactor at Hanford. It shouldn't face the NIMBY problem (just NIanybody'sBY), but it will be a slow process.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:39 PM   #28
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Hello -

Great Documentary!!!!!!!!!

QUESTON FOR SIMON (milesgallon.com) : I would really appreciate your input on this documentary, because I think it really shows the historical difference between Finland and the USA when it comes to what cars have come to mean in USA society. The context's must be totally different.

On to the documentary. At this time frame :

11:37 to 12:11

The above time frame is almost literally the origin of Los Angeles. I am sure I said this before, but LA is built on real-estate, and people didn't have cars at the turn of the century. LA Real Estate developers would use bonds to create light rail systems so that they could sell the land. Once the land was sold, they would sell the rail systems to people (aka suckers) who would be unable to make a profit. Why? because the rail systems had a built-in debt load that would make it impossible to survive. They were never *intended* to make a profit, they were intended to sell the land. That made them easy targets for oil and tire companies later on.

At this time frame :

19:29 to 20:20

I hear this quote :

Quote:
We have to grow electricity or we will not grow our economy.
I disagree with this statement. During the Carter Administration, we grew the economy while our energy use was almost flat. All the economists were "flat" wrong, so to speak. This was because of energy conservation (55 MPH speed limit, Pink Panther insulation, la la la) measures that our government implemented. There is an argument that this is one of the things that broke Opec's back in the early 1980's. Opec was predicting that we would continue to use oil at a linear rate in relation to the growth of our economy. That didn't happen, Opec countries didn't make the money they planned to make, and started to sell their oil at lower prices. In a sense, Reagan has Carter to thank for the Roaring '80s (i.e. CHEAP OIL!).

However, the context today is different. Hubbard's peak was not "in play" to the degree that it is today. I can't think of an overt oil war going on during the late 1970's, just the usual shell game. And losing Iranian oil didn't seem to hurt us.

This country is soooo stupid. We can solve our problems. We may lose suburbia, but we can still have decent lives with renewable energy technologies that we can sell to the rest of the world.

What a mess,

CarloSW2
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Old 04-16-2007, 07:48 AM   #29
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If you like submedia's work, you might want to check out the crimethinc Guerilla film series. They're pretty unrelated, but good docs made by people sharing submedia's ideology. Check out Breaking the Spell, Pickaxe, and the Miami Model.
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Old 04-16-2007, 05:02 PM   #30
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People are currenly leasing cars for $500+ per month, pay $1,500+ per year for insurance, and have quarter-million dollar mortgages. They won't bat an eye at $15 per gallon gasoline.
Hey, I resemble that remark - EXCEPT FOR THE LAST PART! At $2.91/gal, I just spent $80 to fill up our truck. When it costs $400 to fill it, you can bet it won't be driven except when absolutely necessary!
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