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IN FRATERNAM MEAM
Sunday, February 06, 2005
SHOCK VALUE
OIL:
Crude oil is the remains of ancient,
decayed plants and animals. It's pumped
out of the earth and refined into a bevy
of products,( kerosene, gas, jet fuel),
most of which we burn to make stuff move.
The Good:
It's versatile and easy to use.
The Bad:
Global warming, oil spills.
The Ugly:
It's the source of 40percent of U.S. energy,
yet more than 60percent of it comes from
other countries...who hates the U.S.

COAL:
It's made of swamp plants, compacted for
millions of years under extreme heat and
pressure, and it supplies over half of
U.S. electricity.
The Good:
The energy content of U.S. coal resources
exceeds that of all the world's known recoverable oil.
The Bad:
It pollutes like a mofo.
The Ugly:
It's nasty stuff. Power plants that burn it gives
off more radioactive crap than nuclear plants.

NATURAL GAS:
Comes from the same place as oil.
Underground pockets of the gas are tapped
and filtered, then burned in electric plants
or as heating/cooking fuel.
The Good:
It's the cleanest fossil fuel.
The Bad:
Transporting this odorless, colorless gas
is tricky and expensive.
The Ugly:
While uncommon, natural gas explosions
caused by leaks hvae destroyed homes and
killed lots of people.

NUCLEAR:
This is just the geeked-up way of
creating heat. Nuclear fission happens
when uranium atoms are bombarded with
high velocity neutrons in order to split them.
The Good:
No harmful emissions. It's totally clean.
The Bad:
Radioactive by products, affectionately known
as nuclear waste, and the Toxic Avenger.
The Ugly:
Chernobyl.

BIOMASS:
Agricultural products such as wood,
leaves, ethanol, comstalks, and peat
are incinerated to produce energy.
The Good:
It's the only renewable alternative to gasoline.
The Bad:
Releases Co2 and other greenhouse gases, and
it's a bitch to transport.
The Ugly:
Power plants need constant fuel, but most plant
material is slow to develop and/or available only seasonally.

HYDROELECTRIC
Flowing water pushes paddles to turn turbines.
The Good:
There's no waste or pollution.
The Bad:
Flooding behind a dam eats up real estate
and collects pollution. Plus, it alters the
aquatic environment, harming rivers and
making it harder for fish to go upstreams.
The Ugly:
It's costly. The Three Gorges Dam in China
could eventually cost $25 billion to build.

GEOTHERMAL
There are certain spots where the Earth's
subterranean magma comes close enough to
heat underground reservoirs to 600 degrees.
Drill a hole and poof, you've got steam.
The Good:
It's all natural.Minimal environmental harm.
The Bad:
The pipes can corrode or clog.
The Ugly:
The places we can do this aren't exactly common.
And drilling deeper costs too damned much.

SOLAR:
When the sun's energy particles, called photons,
hit a solar panel, it causes a "kick" of elctrons.
Assemble enough panels and you'll have an electric current.
The Good:
It's clean. The sun does'nt cause anything harmful,
except cancer.
The Bad:
Clouds
The Ugly:
Several hundred square feet of panels are needed
to cook a steak.It is rather inefficient.

WIND:
Similar to hydroelectric power, with wind
blowing against blades used to turn the turbines.
The Good:
In certain states windmill owners can sell
electricity to their local electric company.
The Bad:
If it's not windy out, they have to buy right back.
The Ugly:
It's a bit ungainly. You'd need roughly 600 windmills,
requiring about 1,200 acres of land to light up little Anchorage.

HYDROGEN:
Consider the Hindenburg. On a smaller scale,
fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to free
electrons. Still in development, it's intended to
power individual machines, like cars.
The Good:
The only by products are heat and water.
The Bad:
Harnessing it is tricky. Extracting it from fossil
fuels (like coal) pollutes.
The Ugly:
It costs a metric shitload.

(abstracted fromMAXIMONLINE.COM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:58 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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