Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 20th Mar 2011 20:20 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless A major deal just went down in the United States, which seriously shakes up the mobile industry on the other side of the pond: AT&T has announced it plans to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom.
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RE[5]: Invisible hand
by spiderman on Mon 21st Mar 2011 22:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Invisible hand"
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

In my opinion the best option is to consume power more intelligently. We just can't replace Nuclear power and have the same power output. We need to consume less power. Electric heaters should be banned and electric cars are a dead end. Home working should be the first option when possible.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Invisible hand
by ricegf on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:15 in reply to "RE[5]: Invisible hand"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Sorry, I'm commenting way to much (and way off topic), but...

"electric cars are a dead end"

Why is this? Electric cars can be directly powered by fully sustainable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal. Sustainable hydrogen would be manufactured using electricity (most today comes from fossil fuels, of course) but at a significant efficiently loss, and the other alternatives of which I'm aware pollute rather badly.

"Electric heaters should be banned"

So you prefer wood-burning stoves or fossil fuels? Hibernating underground? Freezing all winter?

Sorry, just not following what you're suggesting here.

+1 on the telecommuting, though. I truly enjoy it!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Invisible hand
by spiderman on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 07:29 in reply to "RE[6]: Invisible hand"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Well, the electric cars are interesting but we just do not have the ability to produce enough energy to run them, even with nuclear power. We can afford to run some of them for PR purpose but we just can't put an electric car in the hand of even half the people who need transportation.

As for heating, in my opinion, the solution is isolation and low heat.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Invisible hand
by Neolander on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 06:48 in reply to "RE[5]: Invisible hand"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

That's one of the way photovoltaic power et al could be ready : reducing the demand ;)

However, your specific ideas raise interesting questions... I agree that electric heaters are a bad idea, but what can we use instead ? Solar heating is great, but in practice it has this big problem that it produces much less heat in winter and that heat cannot be stored for long periods, making it only suitable for "faucet" warm water. Geothermy is also nice, but does not work very well on the individual housing scale and AFAIK also requires specific natural conditions to work efficiently. Then we have the combustion way... After years of evolution, gaz heating has reached a very nice state, where it's both very efficient and quite clean in terms of pollution, but the available sources of gaz won't last forever and whether we manage to produce enough methane after that remains to be seen. Wood is quite interesting, but requires a big tree-planting policy to work : will we have enough space and political power to enforce that ?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Invisible hand
by Neolander on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 07:03 in reply to "RE[5]: Invisible hand"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Cars are a *huge* issue, and not only a technical one. Nowadays' urbanism is heavily based on cars, especially in countries which don't have a rail network from the pre-car era like the US. If we want to switch to bike + rail, we must reduce the distance between the average home and train stations/basic services/work, which implies living in higher-density housing and thus forgetting about the dream of the pretty individual house with its garden - which would be best for several other technical reasons, but is a huge sociological issue. If we do not want to go to that extreme, we could also keep a bus network, but then we must much improve the engine which buses are based on. And afaik, the electric car is currently the best technical option in this regard, especially when coupled to better and cleaner electricity storage like hydrogen.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: Invisible hand
by Neolander on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 07:18 in reply to "RE[6]: Invisible hand"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Telecommuting, when it does apply, can indeed reduce the load of transportation networks, but not void it as 1/It is sometimes very important for people to meet in person (thus the suggestion of someone in my country that telecommuting should not be done at home but in places dedicated to this purpose in every city) and 2/anything which requires expensive and/or uncommon equipment will still require people to move (as an example, looks like I'm going to spend most of my life in a clean room, that's not the kind of things which I can build at home).

There's also the problem of heavy loads, for which cars will always somewhat be needed. We can eliminate the need for individual cars (and that would be great), but some must still be available for delivering products and for rent in specific events. In short, I don't think we can get rid of cars, only make them technically more efficient and change their purpose to something more sane than taking a heavy 4-place monster to go to work...

Reply Parent Score: 1