Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Coal vs Nuclear and other thoughts for the day.

I have already linked to a not-so-very convincing article about the Coal vs Nuclear bargain. This article seems to be written by better informed people - and the arguments are fairly well made. The consensus seems to be (a) Coal is here to stay. We've got to figure out how to scrub CO2 out of it. There are pitfalls to sequestration (the fear of the unknown!) and they need to be overcome, but still. (b) Nuclear would be nice - and should be pursued too, because it has proven to be safer and cleaner than coal. (c) Demand side management is cheaper than supply side management.

Talking of demand side management, have people seen the New Physics building that they have here at Texas A&M. It's a remarkable, yet disappointing piece of architecture. The disappointment comes from the fact it is entirely centrally air conditioned like every other building in this univerisity. I still don't see the point in air conditioning stairwells, corridors and other places that are not populated for most of the day.

And don't even get me started on the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium in Dallas. The stadium is a shameless orgy of opulence. To create a stadium in the middle of suburbs with square kilometers of parking in the vicinity is wrong. This is why I hope petrol (gas) prices reach $6 per gallon and stay there. This will teach the morons who design monstrous stadia in suburbs lesson that they really deserve. I hope the guys who financed the stadium go bankrupt.
There's no shortage of characters in India. Had the gentleman profiled in this article had the good fortune of being born in a developed country, I suspect he would have a successful diner of his own - with air conditioning and all. And maybe he would be wedded to his lady?
Very cogent discussion regarding birth and death rates in the world. The main claim is that, initially, a poor society has a high birth rate to ensure that at least some of the offspring in a family do survive - but better sanitation sets off a population bomb - since people stop dying, but the birth rate takes time to adjust. Asia's population bomb has gone off long ago, and now, the population seems to be stabilizing, birth control is working quite well. Africa should be next. People should read this before talking about overpopulation being the world's only problem.

Oil prices went up earlier this decade - so people invested more in finding more oilfields. And it turns out that the oil companies are reaping the benefits of thes e investments this year. A lot of new oil reserves were found all around the planet this year. This is actually horrible news in my opinion. Emissions are not going to go down - and gas will never reach the $6 and the guy who owns dallas cowboys will not go bankrupt. Sad.

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