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Re: Fuel Cells and "green" energy

The issue of "costs" is indeed a vexing one. However, complete costs are
almost never computed for any energy source. For example, with fossil fuels
one never includes the "pollution" costs (these include damage to
agriculture and infrastructure from acid rain, costs to deal with fly ash,
health effects from air pollution, damage to the landscape from extraction,
costs of injuries to miners, etc.).

When these costs are factored in, renewables become more competitive.
However, there are environmental costs from ALL energy use. Thus,
conservation and efficient us is an important strategy in the energy game.

Mark Shapiro

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael N. Monce
Sent: 6/13/2001 5:56 AM
Subject: Re: Fuel Cells and "green" energy

On Wed, 13 Jun 2001, Dr. Tom Wayburn wrote:

P.S. This type of thinking completely eludes the Green Party, for
which hung up the phone in my ear whilst I was explaining this spot of
bother. Hang-the-messenger still applies.

I just recently got hung out to dry by a student group and some
after they announced they had convinced our Board to pay 20% more on our
electric costs for 30% of our electric needs by buying the electrons
a so-called "green" coop. This coop supposedly supplies the elctricity
from only hydro, solar, and wind. I asked the question as to whether
college had really researched the environmental costs of each of these
so-called green sources; citing the impossibility of skirting around the
Second Law. The geophysicist in our department, whose specialty is
hydrology, also complained bitterly about the consequences of
hydroelectric. We were chastised quite a bit for pointing out such
issues. There's a lot of physics education to be done with the public
the energy arena.

Michael Monce
Connecticut College