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Friday, October 26, 2012

OT: The Hurricane Sandy/“Frankenstorm” Thread

No World Series omnichatter today, but there’s the whole fact that there’s a Hurricane/“Frankenstorm” headed towards the East Coast Megalopolis, which, uh, a lot of us live in or near. So discuss that here and, above all else, stay safe.

Gamingboy Posted: October 26, 2012 at 03:36 PM | 678 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off-topic, weather

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   501. formerly dp Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4288149)
But yes--they'll be getting their 15 feet of snow soon enough, if history's any guide.


Yeah, but those guys handle 15 feet of snow like people in NYC handle 2 inches.
   502. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4288154)
Hope everyone is ok this morning- it's cold and gross but we do have power still
   503. Lassus Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4288155)
Is it really half the subway system out for six weeks, or is that just a guess?

Also, as far as central NY, it's like the storm knew we wouldn't even care, so it got nervous and went around us.
   504. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4288167)
Did Ray get his corned beef?????
   505. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4288168)
I've seen a forecast of 2-3 FEET of snow for the Appalachians in south central Pennsyltucky and West By God Virginia and 1-2 feet of snow for southwestern VA and into Nawth Cahlina. We might not hear from those folks until the Spring thaw


This is a feature, not a bug.
   506. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4288170)
My area on the upper west is fine. No power loss. No internet loss. I would have been ready for the NFL trade deadline today.
   507. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4288171)
Shooty, I heard that parts of the upper east near you were under water last night? Around 90th/1st?
   508. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4288175)
Is it really half the subway system out for six weeks, or is that just a guess?


CNN was saying the official estimate is anywhere from 14 hours to 4 days.
   509. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4288177)
I'm a NYC public school teacher and I haven't heard if we're working tomorrow. I have a hard time believing that we will be but who knows.
   510. formerly dp Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4288178)
Is it really half the subway system out for six weeks, or is that just a guess?


That would not surprise me. Where did you see this quoted? I am bouncing around the tubes between twitter, WYNC, ect, and I haven't read that yet. They did not count on 7 tunnels flooding, and saltwater is nasty ####.

Edit: No timetable

I know Stuy Town flooded. Anyone got a link for some good pics?

Elmo on Brian Lehrer is a huge WTF right now.
   511. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4288180)
Is it really half the subway system out for six weeks, or is that just a guess?


It's rarely as long as the initial estimates.
   512. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4288182)
Shooty, I heard that parts of the upper east near you were under water last night? Around 90th/1st?
Parts of the FDR Drive flooded--which isn't really news, I suppose--but my parents are at 92nd and 1st and they didn't see any flooding. I'm going to take a stroll in a bit, I shall report back.

   513. formerly dp Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4288187)
It's rarely as long as the initial estimates.


They're still in damage assessment at this point. We're in "no map for this territory" territory today-- they won't know until they get in there and see what actually got damaged. That's a lot of water in places that aren't supposed to have any.
   514. hokieneer Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4288190)
This is a feature, not a bug.


Ha.

Roughly 90,000 customers in WV without power as of 7:45 this morning, according to APCO. I only had 3-4 inches at the hokie house, but no power. Reports of 6-8 inches in the lower mountains with over a foot in the higher elevations. 48 more hours of snow are expected in the mountains. I live down in the low lands, so it's suppose to warm up sometime soon and rain this afternoon and then switch back to snow when the evening comes in. Still looks like a blizzard out right now though.

EDIT: First Energy, another utility provider, just reported an additional 110,000 customers without power. Over 200,000 total now across the state. And I just heard there is 2ft of snow in some higher elevations.
   515. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4288193)
The storm was a big old dud in DC. I'm going to see if I can return my 48 AA batteries, 8 packs of razor blades, and 6 tins of corned beef today.
   516. Bad Fish Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4288194)
Brilliant! To stop using horrible things that ruin the environment and cause superstorms, we need to use stuff like nuclear plants! But, uh, there's the problem that they are, uh... very vulnerable to things like superstorms.

Technically, they were talking about the spent fuel, not the reactor itself. The spent fuel is stored in pools to keep it cool, and there are numerous options to deal with it in the event they lose their heat exchangers.

Nuclear power plants have paid 10's of billions of dollars to the federal government, who is supposed to develop a long term storage solution. The Yucca Mountain project in Nevada was close to becoming operational when Senator Reid basically ####-canned about 5 billion dollars of work over NIMBY issues. There are no current plans underway to deal with this issue. It actually is a great private sector opportunity, if someone were to have the guts and money to wade into the regulatory and approval quagmire required to permit an interim facility.

Also, the planning of nuclear power plants considers extreme environmental events and designs engineered controls for these events. However, they don't design for every conceivable act - probably up to about a 1 in 10,000 occurrence - designing for everything would be prohibitively expensive. There is an assumption of risk acceptance in the design, as there is in everything we purchase. This is an approach that has generally worked very, very well.
   517. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4288196)
It does not sound good in New Jersey, some type of levee or dam broke and there are three towns being overrun...
   518. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4288198)
Hope everyone's well and safe, but I do have to say...

Being in Chicago but with most of our executives based in the NY office, I am rather enjoying the peace, quiet, and absence of poor decisions being made at moment... take all the time you need to get things cleaned up. All week would be just fine.
   519. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4288199)
The storm was a big old dud in DC. I'm going to see if I can return my 48 AA batteries, 8 packs of razor blades, and 6 tins of corned beef today.


Are you going to keep all the bread?
   520. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4288200)
I only have one loaf of potato bread so I'll keep that.


It does not sound good in New Jersey, some type of levee or dam broke and there are three towns being overrun...

By zombies?
   521. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4288201)
Is it safe to travel east to loot yet?
   522. bunyon Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4288202)
It does not sound good in New Jersey, some type of levee or dam broke and there are three towns being overrun...

My wife used to work in a place called "Bound Brook". She didn't think much about the name until one of these big storms hit - Isaac? She realized it had rained a lot where she lived but as she approached her workplace she kept wondering about the lake she'd never seen. Of course, it turned out to be where she was headed.

I think it's funny (not haha) how we all forget the terraforming that has been done where we live.
   523. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4288206)
I walked up to Lake Michigan this morning, around Promontory Point (at the latitude of about 5500 south). The waves were similar to the worst I've ever seen there, reminiscent of what the Atlantic looks like when there's a big storm a couple of hundred miles offshore. The fun part was that the winds were gusting hard from the north and pulling the waves that way, and when they hit the seawall on the north side of the Point they sent explosions of water maybe 20-30 feet over the top of the seawall. Not much actually crossed over the wall so the only problem was whatever long-term damage was being done to the structure. But it was very entertaining, even if 39 degrees, high winds, and a ton of spray made it cold as ####.

It's amazing -- I'm an extremely long way from the storm, and yet it's still causing a minor amount of havoc along the lakefront.

Also, the planning of nuclear power plants considers extreme environmental events and designs engineered controls for these events. However, they don't design for every conceivable act - probably up to about a 1 in 10,000 occurrence - designing for everything would be prohibitively expensive. There is an assumption of risk acceptance in the design, as there is in everything we purchase. This is an approach that has generally worked very, very well.


The other thing is that all of our nuclear plants are of a very, very old design. They've been remarkably safe, and newer designs are supposed to improve on that a lot.
   524. Howie Menckel Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4288207)

Bound Brook is one of Jersey's worst flood areas, and that's saying something.

I'm back in business at work.

lost power at home last night at around 8:15 pm - shortly after the Mrs finished off a glass of wine, opened the 4th-floor condo balcony door, and shouted, "HEY SANDY, IS THAT ALL YOU GOT? BRING IT!"

oddly, the building suffered no damage and there is no flooding. the gods were merciful, imo.

   525. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4288212)
So would they have played the World Series on a neutral site had the Yankees made it, or would there have been a large enough outcry to postpone it until the games could be played in Yankee stadium?
   526. Blastin Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4288213)
Shooty, I heard that parts of the upper east near you were under water last night? Around 90th/1st?


94th to 105th was flooded on 1st.

90th is on a downslope so can't quite flood.

I live at 100th.

Managed not to lose power though.

It dragged all the trash outside our building into the middle of the street. Including a couch. So, that was interesting. And gross.
   527. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4288218)
So would they have played the World Series on a neutral site had the Yankees made it, or would there have been a large enough outcry to postpone it until the games could be played in Yankee stadium?
They'd wait. If it was the Nats-Yankees, though, they'd be waiting a long time.
   528. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4288219)
Brilliant! To stop using horrible things that ruin the environment and cause superstorms

Huh?? What exactly is it that you think caused this "superstorm"?
   529. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4288220)

So would they have played the World Series on a neutral site had the Yankees made it, or would there have been a large enough outcry to postpone it until the games could be played in Yankee stadium?


Yankee Stadium was rather firmly inland. Citi Field's surrounding areas apparently were flooded though, because, well, Mets.
   530. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4288228)
Huh?? What exactly is it that you think caused this "superstorm"?


Oil. Global warming. And lack of universal health care.
   531. JL Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4288236)
530 - that just silly. It was clearly the bail out of GM!
   532. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4288238)
Oil. Global warming. And lack of universal health care.


It shouldn't take a genius to see how rising sea levels make flooding during storms like this one a much more serious problem. That's without even getting into the more complicated stuff.
   533. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4288240)
Yes, that extra centimeter is the back breaker.
   534. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4288243)
Hurricanes are terrorism aimed at us by "Mother" Nature. We cannot give into terrorism! We must burn more coal and pump more carbon into the atmosphere until we defeat her! USA! USA! USA!
   535. zonk Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4288249)
Oooh, so Mother Nature needs a favor?! Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys! Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese.
   536. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4288250)
Yes, that extra centimeter is the back breaker.


Eight inches in the last hundred years. And now that we're past the tipping point, it's not going to stop increasing.
   537. SoSH U at work Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4288251)
It's amazing -- I'm an extremely long way from the storm, and yet it's still causing a minor amount of havoc along the lakefront.


Same here. As someone just a few miles off the south shore, we got the full thrust of those winds. I can't believe the trees in my yard are still standing, considering how hard (and for how long) the wind was blowing, and it hadn't slowed down by the time I left for work this morning. I never imagined a hurricane could be felt 900 miles inland.

   538. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4288253)
Hurricanes are terrorism aimed at us by "Mother" Nature. We cannot give into terrorism! We must burn more coal and pump more carbon into the atmosphere until we defeat her! USA! USA! USA!


What was it that Jon Stewart called it?

Oh right.

The War on Terra!
   539. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4288259)
Eight inches in the last hundred years. And now that we're past the tipping point, it's not going to stop increasing.

Considering that sea levels are rising about a millimeter to two millimeters a year this serious problem should have been a serious problem for decades and decades instead of just now becoming a problem.
   540. puck Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4288262)
I forget who linked to the "SciGuy" blog at the Houston Chronicle the other day, but he has a lot of good stuff there on the storm, including a post on whether there's a link between human-caused climate change and hurricanes. Sounds like so far scientists have not detected a link.
   541. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4288265)
As regards baseball: Mother Nature bats last.
   542. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4288266)
Yes, clearly the region never had a weather event this bad before, not 1 billion years ago, not 2 billion years ago, not 3 billion years ago. Vlad knows, because he was here 4 billion years ago, and he didn't see anything like this.

   543. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4288269)
"Worst storm to hit NYC in 120 years" is pretty meaningless. It's like concluding that Marco Scutaro is the greatest hitter who ever lived because he went 10 for his last 20. One would think that people on this site would understand the statistical concepts involved here, but it seems not.
   544. Blastin Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4288270)
Aw, the fun, heartwarming lovefest where we were all concerned for each other last night as streets flooded has been replaced by a conservative climate change denial circle jerk.

Pathetic.
   545. puck Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4288273)
Congrats on being the first jerk.
   546. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4288279)
From what I understand, it isn't so much the rise in sea level (yet) that affects the hurricane, so much as the water temperature, as sometimes even the slightest changes of temperature can mean a lot.


Of course, what I've never quite gotten has been this: clearly the whole environment argument for alternative energies hasn't worked, but there are plenty of other reasons to go to wind, water and solar- namely that they are A) Not foreign oil and B) Not human-health-hurting coal.
   547. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4288280)
And here I thought that Obama claimed that his election would cause the seas to stop rising! There's another item on the list of things he failed at miserably.
   548. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4288282)
"Worst storm to hit NYC in 120 years" is pretty meaningless. It's like concluding that Marco Scutaro is the greatest hitter who ever lived because he went 10 for his last 20. One would think that people on this site would understand the statistical concepts involved here, but it seems not.


I don't think that's true, a storm is a singular event. I think it's more like saying "Pablo Sandoval had the most home runs of any World Series game ever."
   549. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4288289)
Of course, what I've never quite gotten has been this: clearly the whole environment argument for alternative energies hasn't worked, but there are plenty of other reasons to go to wind, water and solar- namely that they are A) Not foreign oil and B) Not human-health-hurting coal.

Except unless somehow solar becomes extremely efficient it will always be a very minor energy source or it will hurt the globe and humanity. Solar panels give off a lot of heat and if we ever tried to use enough of them to actually power our economies it would turn the world into a sauna.

Water is great but you are talking about radically altering the globe to harness enough energy to power the world's economies. Wind is great but it requires huge amounts of resources to build those turbines and operate them and they are even more susceptible than our current energy sources to extreme weather.

Our civilization has advanced to the point that we cannot rely on nature to power our economies. We have to manufacture our energy.
   550. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4288290)
Aw, the fun, heartwarming lovefest where we were all concerned for each other last night as streets flooded has been replaced by a conservative climate change denial circle jerk.


Don't include Puck's post in that. That guy was right on as far as the science linking increased hurricane landfalls and climate change. It's not as simple as "climate change = OMG Sandy". I work for a company that models, among other catastrophes, hurricanes. If you talk to our meteorologists - who are not, by the way, climate change deniers - you'll find that's just the state of the science. As the last line of the article itself states:

The bottom line is that climate change is unquestionably having an effect on the weather around us by raising the average temperature of the planet. This is producing warmer temperatures and very likely increasing the magnitude of droughts. However, it is a big stretch to go from there to blaming Sandy on climate change. It’s a stretch that is just not supported by science at this time.


This is spot on, IMO. Climate change is a real thing, and our actions are part of that - but the causal links between that and hurricane landfalls aren't yet well understood. Nature - actually pretty complex, it turns out.

"Worst storm to hit NYC in 120 years" is pretty meaningless. It's like concluding that Marco Scutaro is the greatest hitter who ever lived because he went 10 for his last 20. One would think that people on this site would understand the statistical concepts involved here, but it seems not.


It's not meaningless. What are you talking about, Ray?
   551. SoSH U at work Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4288291)
Worst storm to hit NYC in 120 years" is pretty meaningless. It's like concluding that Marco Scutaro is the greatest hitter who ever lived because he went 10 for his last 20.


Yeah, it's not like that at all. You may have the scrapings of a point somewhere here, but it didn't find its way to light via this horrid analogy.

   552. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4288298)
Yes, clearly the region never had a weather event this bad before, not 1 billion years ago, not 2 billion years ago, not 3 billion years ago. Vlad knows, because he was here 4 billion years ago, and he didn't see anything like this.


Well, what is now New York was below the sea for much of its geologic history, so we can assume that the flooding was much worse, although the massive earthquakes and lava flows of 450 million years ago might have been more unpleasant. As long as there isn't a lava flow fifteen miles wide, no one should be complaining.
   553. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4288299)
   554. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4288300)
I never imagined a hurricane could be felt 900 miles inland.

Hurricane Ike was incredible in 2008. My mom had a bunch of maple trees snap 800 miles inland, which is when it dawned on me that Bobby Savoy could've been making baseball bats out of our backyard trees when I was a kid.
   555. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4288309)
I posted the SciGuy link, and Eric Berger is not a denialist by any stretch of the imagination. This being Houston, he's hounded by them; I think the only kind of denialist we don't have a lot of here is Moon Landing Denialists. That's because Mission Control is all in on the scam. ;)

So, Ray, when people here make arguments for a "best," people who argue against offer names and stats. What are your HOF storms hitting the NYC? Not New England, or Long Island (that's like giving Ichiro! credit for NPB), but NYC.
   556. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4288316)
I nominate the storm of 1336 as the worst in NYC history.
   557. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4288322)
Except unless somehow solar becomes extremely efficient it will always be a very minor energy source or it will hurt the globe and humanity. Solar panels give off a lot of heat and if we ever tried to use enough of them to actually power our economies it would turn the world into a sauna.


You're overstating the heating from solar panels. Because of their low albedo they do create heating, but only slightly more than the raw heat generated by burning coal, and coal of course also gives off greenhouse gases. So that's a short-term wash and a long-term win for pholtovoltaic. But, yes, photovoltaics aren't efficient enough to be anything more than a niche power source for the foreseeable future.

That said, the future for solar is in concentrated solar power, which generates power through old-fashioned steam turbines (that also work in the dark; you store sunlight energy in the form of melted rock salts). The problem here is that we have tech now that will make very good CSP plants but we don't have adequate transmission technology. We could probably make a Manhattan Project-level investment and build enough plants in Arizona to power the US, but we couldn't get that energy from there to anywhere very far away simply because our current power grid technology is so lossy. And if that power grid tech ever appears, it'll be incredibly expensive to replace the whole US grid. Point is that I expect that in my lifetime concentrated solar will be producing a good chunk of the power in the Southwest and southern California, but who knows beyond that.


   558. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4288327)
They'd wait. If it was the Nats-Yankees, though, they'd be waiting a long time.


Wouldn't the series be in DC at this point? Nats Park could be pumped dry by tomorrow.
   559. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4288329)
I nominate the storm of 1336 as the worst in NYC history.


A massive hurricane hit Rhode Island at some point between 1295 and 1407, so you might actually be right.
   560. bunyon Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4288331)
but there are plenty of other reasons to go to wind, water and solar-

Except for us knowing how to do so.

If it were possible to use these sources in a way that didn't both suck other resources dry and contribute their own environmental problems, we'd have done so. Not having implemented these yet is not some big conspiracy, it's a lack of technical know-how. Now, not doing more research along these lines may be due to conspiracy, I don't know.

Basically, if it worries you, turn off your AC/heater and stop burning fuel/splitting atoms to ##### about it on the internet.


(Note: I'm not a denier. The climate is changing and human activity is a plausible explanation for, at least, part of it. That doesn't mean we automatically know how to maintain our society without the energy sources we've used to build that society).
   561. SoSH U at work Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4288333)

Wouldn't the series be in DC at this point? Nats Park could be pumped dry by tomorrow.


I'm not in New York, so I can't say for certain, but I don't think they were getting Game 5 in last night.
   562. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4288334)
It shouldn't take a genius to see how rising sea levels make flooding during storms like this one a much more serious problem. That's without even getting into the more complicated stuff.


Perhaps. But it's the turning over control to compromised bodies which have strong Marxist and Malthusian ideas.

I might even be fine with the first one, but the latter is too dangerous to put any level of trust or responsibility in.
   563. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4288337)

A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five litres of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour.

The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral.

Tim Fox, head of energy and the environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, said: "It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. They are doing it and I've been up there myself and seen it. The innovation is that they have made it happen as a process. It's a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. It uses well-known and well-established components but what is exciting is that they have put the whole thing together and shown that it can work."


Link.
   564. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4288340)
Of course, what I've never quite gotten has been this: clearly the whole environment argument for alternative energies hasn't worked, but there are plenty of other reasons to go to wind, water and solar- namely that they are A) Not foreign oil and B) Not human-health-hurting coal.


And C) To stimulate many rich and connected liberals' investments
   565. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4288342)
A massive hurricane hit Rhode Island at some point between 1295 and 1407, so you might actually be right.

What, you think my snark isn't well researched?
   566. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4288351)
Y'know what, but they mentioned about how much power a average hurricane can create Clearly, we must find a way to tap this power! MWAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!
   567. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4288352)
Mother Nature hate freedom.
   568. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4288353)
A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


Petrol from air sounds nice, but the problem is that you have to put energy in to get this energy out. Every joule of energy derived from this is going to cost more than a joule of energy from some other source. At best it's a way of ditching Middle Eastern oil in favor of domestic and friendly-sourced coal/nuclear/renewables. That's a worthy goal, but irrelevant and even maybe counterproductive in terms of the "energy crisis".

I guess it could also be useful as a way of moving energy away from a concentrated solar plant (or whatever) like I mention in #557. Use the solar to run an air petrol plant, and then truck or pipe it elsewhere. (EDIT: Or as a way to run cars off of nuclear power, without having to deal with the limitations of batteries.) Still, this is probably just an interesting sideshow.

   569. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4288356)
Or maybe we can somehow connect all the exercise equipment in the world to the power grid. Everybody could exercise and provide more power! Solve the obesity and energy problems at once! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
   570. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4288359)
You still have to produce the calories needed to create the energy to turn the treadmills.
   571. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4288360)
   572. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4288362)


And C) To stimulate many rich and connected liberals' investments


Are you suggesting that conservatives aren't smart enough to invest it as well?
   573. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4288363)

If it were possible to use these sources in a way that didn't both suck other resources dry and contribute their own environmental problems, we'd have done so. Not having implemented these yet is not some big conspiracy, it's a lack of technical know-how.


It's worth noting that predictions of the amount of energy produced by renewable sources over the last 20 years have been short of the mark every single time.

In 2000, the IEA predicted it would take until 2020 for 3% of our energy to be produced via renewable means. We surpassed that mark in 2008. There are many other examples, all underestimating the amount of renewable energy the world will produce.

Solar energy production is growing exponentially. It's doubled in just the past two years. It promises to provide 10% of our energy by 2018, that's just six years away.

   574. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4288366)
Are you suggesting that conservatives aren't smart enough to invest it as well?


I'm sure if they had the knowledge of such investment opportunities and political opportunity to perform such corruption of public spending priorities, they would.
   575. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4288371)
I'm sure if they had the knowledge of such investment opportunities and political opportunity to perform such corruption of public spending priorities, they would.


I was under the impression that conservatives were smart with their money, so you think they would have diversified their corruption and pork projects to include some "green initiative" investments.
   576. bunyon Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4288372)
SdeB, I'm not saying it can't be done and won't be done. Just that we can't do it RIGHT NOW! just because we want/need to.

If you want to stop burning fossil fuels in 2013, you're going to have to turn most electrical units off. It's that simple.
   577. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4288378)
"Worst storm to hit NYC in 120 years" is pretty meaningless. It's like concluding that Marco Scutaro is the greatest hitter who ever lived because he went 10 for his last 20. One would think that people on this site would understand the statistical concepts involved here, but it seems not.


It's not meaningless. What are you talking about, Ray?


It is pretty meaningless. That's what I'm talking about.

It's a 150 or 200 year span out of 4.5 billion. Please do the math. When you do, you will find that the answer is that Andrew Cuomo's lifespan in which he has "never seen anything like this in his life" is a pimple on an elephant's ass compared to the lifespan of the planet.
   578. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4288379)
Next idea: Use more blimps. Blimps are cool. No reason they can't be used for cargo-hauling of stuff that isn't time sensitive. Although there is the problem of peak helium....
   579. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4288382)
(BTW, I think Peak Helium is a thing or something- prices have been rising greatly ever since the USA started selling off the Strategic Helium Reserve that was created back when everyone thought we'd be fighting the fiendish German War-Zeppelins with our mighty Battle-Blimps.)

(Yes, I know that that really doesn't fit the definition of "peak", but I thought it was worth mentioning)
   580. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4288389)
It's a 150 or 200 year span out of 4.5 billion. Please do the math. When you do, you will find that the answer is that Andrew Cuomo's lifespan in which he has "never seen anything like this in his life" is a pimple on an elephant's ass compared to the lifespan of the planet.


Why would you compare something like this on that scale? If you do that, almost nothing we ever see would be signficant at all, ever - and if something did happen that would be significant on that scale, you and I wouldn't be here to talk about it anyway.
   581. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4288390)
It's a 150 or 200 year span out of 4.5 billion. Please do the math. When you do, you will find that the answer is that Andrew Cuomo's lifespan in which he has "never seen anything like this in his life" is a pimple on an elephant's ass compared to the lifespan of the planet.


At several points in the last 4.5 billion years the entire world was tropical. At other points much of it was frozen. At other points the atmosphere was poison and sulfur rained from the sky. Therefore, unless New York is a mangrove swamp, covered by an ice sheet three miles thick, or pelted by fire and brimstone, everything is just a statistical blip?
   582. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4288392)
SdeB, I'm not saying it can't be done and won't be done. Just that we can't do it RIGHT NOW! just because we want/need to.

If you want to stop burning fossil fuels in 2013, you're going to have to turn most electrical units off. It's that simple.


Thing is, if you're building a new coal-fired power station now, it doesn't just impact fossil fuels being burned in 2013, it also impacts them being burned in 2033. The energy supply profile of any nation takes a long, long time to turn around, which is why eschewing investment in renewable energy research in the 1990s because the sea levels weren't rising a great deal yet was pretty silly logic. But I've long given up hope that anyone in power will admit to learning a lesson from that.

In the same manner, deciding not to invest in tax-free savings for your retirement at 30 because you don't feel old is not a good solution to pension planning. Nor is avoiding quitting smoking until you get diagnosed with lung cancer.

And no, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't build new fossil fuel plants now; we have to. We missed the window 10-15 years ago to avoid needing them now. But we should acknowledge missing that window, and learn a lesson from it.
   583. bunyon Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4288394)
At other points the atmosphere was poison and sulfur rained from the sky.

So....Pittsburgh?
   584. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4288397)
I was under the impression that conservatives were smart with their money, so you think they would have diversified their corruption and pork projects to include some "green initiative" investments.


Perhaps. However, the conservative investor would be simply be piggybacking off the investments made by the corrupt liberals who had complete knowledge of the very corruption they were orchestrating. And, as such, could not be leading the corrupt of public spending priorities. Unless you are suggesting they failed to block it because they were in on the green scam.
   585. PepTech Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4288399)
"Worst storm to hit NYC in 120 years" is pretty meaningless. It's like concluding that Marco Scutaro is the greatest hitter who ever lived because he went 10 for his last 20. One would think that people on this site would understand the statistical concepts involved here, but it seems not.


I don't think that's true, a storm is a singular event. I think it's more like saying "Pablo Sandoval had the most home runs of any World Series game ever."

What Jose said. But also... My understanding is that the pressure of the storm is among the lowest when reaching landfall; the extensive nature of the system is among the widest recorded, meaning many rain bands for a lengthy period; the high storm surge coincided with a low tide, which is not statistically likely; the increased density of population would make it likely that more people are affected in ways large and small; the damage to the city infrastructure is still being tallied but is likely to be among the highest ever, even adjusting for inflation; there is an ongoing economic impact as the city returns to normal.

Given all these factors, any of which *could* be used to argue for "worst storm" status, what is your justification for an outright declaration of "meaningless"? I count myself among those on this site who do not understand the "statistical concepts" you claim to be employing.
   586. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4288404)
In 2000, the IEA predicted it would take until 2020 for 3% of our energy to be produced via renewable means. We surpassed that mark in 2008. There are many other examples, all underestimating the amount of renewable energy the world will produce.

Well, to be fair, 9/11 and the rising costs of oil have changed the playing board. If oil had remained cheap or had been cheaper than what it was we would never have seen the growth in alternative energy that we did see.
   587. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4288409)
Well, to be fair, 9/11 and the rising costs of oil have changed the playing board. If oil had remained cheap or had been cheaper than what it was we would never have seen the growth in alternative energy that we did see.


Shale gas (although obviously not a renewable fuel) has also positively impacted the US' emissions, if you believe the more mainstream calculations, which I tend to. As a transitional technology during a time of a) recession, b) rising energy costs and c) developing renewable tech, it's been an almost perfect fit for the US. As long as it doesn't prop up some childish notion that fossil fuels can endlessly just turn up whenever we need them without consequence, it's generally been a very positive outcome.

It's also worth reminding ourselves that, all other things being equal, fossil fuel costs will always rise, because they're finite. Oil prices rising in a macro sense, along with coal prices and gas prices, isn't a random event, it's an expected outcome on a long-enough timescale. In micro terms, only global recession is keeping oil prices as low as they are currently.
   588. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4288413)
I've written a song. It's called "Aria for a Self-Righteous #######\". To be sung in baritone by Ray.
   589. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4288416)
At other points the atmosphere was poison and sulfur rained from the sky.

So....Pittsburgh?


More or less.
   590. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4288422)
At several points in the last 4.5 billion years the entire world was tropical. At other points much of it was frozen. At other points the atmosphere was poison and sulfur rained from the sky.

So climate change is normal? I get it now.
   591. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4288425)
As always in these debates, it's amusing to see how clueless both sides are, and how confidently they assert their bullshit.

FWIW, Ray, there is a field called paleotempestology that looks at sediment records to identify and date historical storms, so the track record for determining recurrence intervals isn't 350 years, it's more like 2000. Given how fast climate regimes change, that's not a pimple on the ass of determining probability under our current regime, at least, the climatologists don't think so. Additionally, probability/recurrence can be constrained with modeling. There's a team out of FSU doing just that (guy named Hart). Long and Short of it is that this is a 500-1000 year storm. And risig sea levels has nothing to do with that, despite the dreams of Pinko McIgnorant who was posting up thread.
   592. dr. scott Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4288430)
Except unless somehow solar becomes extremely efficient it will always be a very minor energy source or it will hurt the globe and humanity. Solar panels give off a lot of heat and if we ever tried to use enough of them to actually power our economies it would turn the world into a sauna.


All energy production give off excess heat, so I assume you are just saying solar will give off more? Problem is much of this exess heat from the 20% efficiency of solar cells is energy that normally would have been absorbed by the planet and captured by the atmosphere when re radiated. in the end there will be a slight cooling effect from solar vs coal (as coal has ineffective cites too 20-45% depending on the age of the plant) . We must look at the entire energy balance, not just the energy balance that makes us happy.

As for CSP, I work in CSP, and economically it's doomed unless there is serious government subsidies foanother least 10+ years, which I don't see happening. If one or two companies stay afloat and continue to get the marginal Govt funding that is there, maybe it could be a large portion of the grid in 15-20 years. it's a very frustrating industry.
   593. Spahn Insane Posted: October 30, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4288431)
538 was pretty good.
   594. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4288432)
At other points the atmosphere was poison and sulfur rained from the sky.


So....Pittsburgh?


More or less

Those are amazing photographs. It wasn't for no reason that Pittsburgh was long called "The Smoky City".

And of course there were plenty of Ray-Rays back then, spouting the same sort of crap that our Ray-Ray is spouting today. One of the pet cliches then was "When I see all that smoke, all I see is JOBS!!!"
   595. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4288435)
re 592

I'm saying it isn't a solution for a world economy that is growing and not shrinking.
   596. hokieneer Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4288446)
Blizzard update:

265,000 customers in WV without power (not sure about VA, TN, or NC). Dozens of accidents, down live power lines, and road closures.

Snowfalls between 15-20" in places of moderate elevation (1,500-2,000), over 2ft so far in the higher elevation spots. Charleston, according to the weather service, has had 8 inches of measurable snow. Charleston sits in a valley just a few hundred feet above sea level. Average seasonal snow is only around 32", and the most extreme month I could find via Google was 39.5" of snow in January (the previous extreme for October was 2.8" of snowfall). We are already 25% of the way to the average snow for the season, and it's not even Halloween.

And it's still coming down, with blizzard and winter storm warnings until tomorrow morning or night depending on elevation. It appears that even in the valley, it's not going to get warm enough to switch to rain or wintery mix until who knows when.
   597. Gamingboy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4288450)
I swear, those Queens houses that were burned down look as if they were bombed. They were that thoroughly destroyed.
   598. Jim Furtado Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4288452)
Reminder: We already have a political thread. We don't need another one. I believe the intention for posting this thread (and the reason I approved it) wasn't another political discussion thread. Please feel free to continue this conversation in the current political thread or move it to the appropriate forum.

Thank you.
   599. hokieneer Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4288456)
A whole lot of snow at the ski resort, Snowshoe
   600. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4288464)
Reminder: We already have a political thread. We don't need another one. I believe the intention for posting this thread (and the reason I approved it) wasn't another political discussion thread. Please feel free to continue this conversation in the current political thread or move it to the appropriate forum.

Thank you.


Your wish is our command.[/url] (smile)
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