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That would be planet Earth, Malcolm. People used …

Comment posted on Question: How can we license fracking when we have permanent drought? by Stephen Mackenzie

That would be planet Earth, Malcolm. People used to say very similar things about internal combustion engines. And computers. I can’t remember exactly, but I think it took about seventy years to produce fully “modern” steam engines, and there wasn’t exactly a lot of support for that either. A good reference for that is “The Lunar Men”, by Jenny Uglow.

Stephen Mackenzie also commented

  • Actually, yes, I’m surprised at the speed it’s developing here. If you’re against wind power, I agree it must seem very threatening. However, I like it. I walked down Buchanan Street in Glasgow the other day in search of trousers, and I could see the turbines powering Buchanan Street (so to speak) up in the hills to the south of the city.

    I’ll confess to being a little confused about that 35% figure as well. Did wind really generate 35% of all electricity made in Scotland last year?

  • Maybe For Argyll can set up a permanent floating bickering about renewables thread for us?

    Malcolm, I think you are conflating “efficiency” and “percentage of total electricity generated” back there. There’s also “load factor” which is another thing.

    And I’ll end on noting that in this week’s edition of Stephen’s favourite science magazine is a small article mentioning that the US is now preparing to export gas… since fracking has produced so much of it it’s no longer economic to sell it.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21428612.800-us-to-export-gas-as-glut-slashes-prices.html

  • Methane doesn’t last nearly as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide does… but while it’s there it traps considerably more short-wave radiation.

    i.e. in the short run, more methane makes things more hotterer.

  • Thank you, Douglas, from saving me from looking up all that…
  • That was overexcitable journalists, you **$&$^%&!

    [EDIT: damn you threading! That was addressed to the comment above the one above. Obviously.]

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