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Scientifically Illiterate and Innumerate: Why Americans Are So Easily Bamboozled About Energy
Energy Tribune ^ | Aug. 21, 2009 | Robert Bryce

Posted on 08/24/2009 8:31:37 PM PDT by neverdem

Edited on 08/24/2009 8:36:17 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

Two years ago, I interviewed Vaclav Smil, the prolific author and energy thinker. I asked Smil, a distinguished professor at the University of Manitoba, why Americans are so easily swayed by politicians and others when it comes to energy matters. His response: scientific illiteracy and innumeracy. “Without any physical, chemical, and biological fundamentals, and with equally poor understanding of basic economic forces, it is no wonder that people will believe anything,” he told me.


(Excerpt) Read more at energytribune.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: creation; creationism; darwin; energy; evolution
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1 posted on 08/24/2009 8:31:37 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

The American people are going to find out what it’s like to be cold in the winter. Simple statement, but true.


2 posted on 08/24/2009 8:35:24 PM PDT by unkus
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To: unkus

The first gripe I had about Rush Limbaugh was how often he mangled the science and seemed proud of his illiteracy. Many FReepers are the same way :-(


3 posted on 08/24/2009 8:38:18 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: neverdem
But we'll have windmills! And the sun!

We can put windmills on top of our cars, and the air will power them! There are all sorts of green energy solutions, if only those evil capitalists would let us have the answers! /s

4 posted on 08/24/2009 8:39:55 PM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is an EVIL like no other, and must be ERADICATED. Barack OBORTION is a close second.)
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To: Gondring

The first gripe I had about Rush Limbaugh was how often he mangled the science and seemed proud of his illiteracy. Many FReepers are the same way :-(
______________________________

Go eat a tree.


5 posted on 08/24/2009 8:44:06 PM PDT by unkus
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To: neverdem
A 2007 study by Michigan State University determined that just 28 percent of American adults could be considered scientifically literate.

28% sounds a little high to me considering how easily Americans are duped by the MSM and an idiot like Algore.

6 posted on 08/24/2009 8:45:19 PM PDT by The Cajun (Mind numbed robot , ditto-head, Hannitized, Levinite)
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To: Gondring
The first gripe I had about Rush Limbaugh was how often he mangled the science and seemed proud of his illiteracy. Many FReepers are the same way :-(

Not to mention the total lack of scientific understanding by O'Reilly.

7 posted on 08/24/2009 8:47:37 PM PDT by Prokopton
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To: Gondring

While I don’t consider myself illiterate, I will admit that there is much I don’t know about energy. For instance, my husband recently took a tour of the Grand Coulee dam in WA state, where the docent told him that the dam was capable of providing electricity for most of the West coast, but the power goes unused. She said that Puget Power buys the power from just one turbine, but there is much more available.

So, why are we worrying about alternative energy, when we have more readily available power than we need?


8 posted on 08/24/2009 8:48:46 PM PDT by Eva (union motto - Aim for mediocrity, it's only fair.)
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To: Gondring
The first gripe I had about Rush Limbaugh was how often he mangled the science and seemed proud of his illiteracy.

Why don't you expand on that Ace and give a few examples. Probably should zip up your little flame retardant suit as well.

9 posted on 08/24/2009 8:50:22 PM PDT by The Cajun (Mind numbed robot , ditto-head, Hannitized, Levinite)
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To: neverdem
I've found that a lot of the libertarians are somewhat illiterate about a lot of things, and make no exception for a libertarian like mr. bryce.
10 posted on 08/24/2009 8:54:45 PM PDT by org.whodat (Vote: Chuck De Vore in 2012.)
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To: neverdem

The riotous thing here is that the scientist geeks ALWAYS blame creationism. If only there weren’t a pesky God on their minds, people would be kneeling at the altar of science and the common man would be an expert on rocketry and globull warming.

In the meantime the liberal creationless skewls that fail to teach the kiddies what things like molecules are, escape any accountability. Homeschooled kids always know far more about actual science.


11 posted on 08/24/2009 8:55:42 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: neverdem

So, the commie-dem NEA agenda to dumb down the middle class into the lower class has worked, eh? I never could understand how liberal university professors could preach this crap, but its not because it is true, it’s because they want to indoctrinate.


12 posted on 08/24/2009 9:00:39 PM PDT by huldah1776 ( Worthy is the Lamb)
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To: Gondring

OK, explain the “science” to me, please.

Be forewarned, I work in the electric biz...


13 posted on 08/24/2009 9:02:53 PM PDT by mozarky2 (Ya never stand so tall as when ya stoop to stomp a statist!)
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To: Eva

On July 29th of this year, Puget Power used a little more than half of Grand Coulee’s installed generating capacity of 6809 MW.

In comparison, Duke Energy’s Bad Creek Hydroelectric Station on the SC-NC border is a 1,065-megawatt pumped-storage facility which uses surplus power from the Oconee nuclear plant (three reactors) to pump water from Lake Jocassee up 1000 feet+ into the Bad Creek reservoir. Then during the times of peak demand later in the day, the water runs back through the turbine pumps generating 330MW per turbine (at full pond) for each of the four turbines.


14 posted on 08/24/2009 9:22:02 PM PDT by BwanaNdege
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To: neverdem

I don’t see those literate, numerate Europeans doing much better when it comes to energy policy. Ditto Canadians, et al.


15 posted on 08/24/2009 9:25:38 PM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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To: HiTech RedNeck
The beauty of the energy sector for a scientist is that crevo issues need never come into play. Energy is there, or it isn't--it becomes a matter of extracting and using it from there. Thermodynamics are independent of religion.

The general dumbing down is what happens when you have scientists who could teach school, who know the subject extremely well, but have not had all the required coursework in upper-level babysitting and social programming required to get a teaching certificate (so they cannot legally teach for pay). OTOH, those who have degrees in "education" spent their semester hours getting educated to educate, not necessarily learning the material to teach.

Still, making our children less capable has been a Communist goal for a long time, because the ignorant are more maleable.

16 posted on 08/24/2009 9:34:42 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Logically, you are quite right. The issue of energy sufficiency can be covered thoroughly without impinging on creation/evolution discussions. But our eminent Canadian professor tosses in the “biology” angle just the same, just to be sure we don’t forget that “real scientists” dictate the whole shootin’ match.


17 posted on 08/24/2009 9:39:38 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
The riotous thing here is that the scientist geeks ALWAYS blame creationism.
What planet are YOU on? Geesh ...
18 posted on 08/24/2009 9:44:58 PM PDT by _Jim
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To: _Jim

The only planet with chocolate.


19 posted on 08/24/2009 9:47:21 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: org.whodat

Most libertarians are for open and free energy policy


20 posted on 08/24/2009 9:51:32 PM PDT by misterrob (A society that burdens future generations with debt can not be considered moral or just)
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To: Smokin' Joe
"Still, making our children less capable has been a Communist goal for a long time, because the ignorant are more maleable."

And no one leads the blind off a cliff faster than the well meaning idiot Communist sympathizing liberal.

It's all about "social justice", and touchy feely crap like that!

21 posted on 08/24/2009 9:58:26 PM PDT by Hillarys nightmare (So Proud to be living in "Jesus Land" ! Don't you wish everyone did?)
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To: Eva
"where the docent told him that the dam was capable of providing electricity for most of the West coast"

Grand Coulee is big, massive really. Easily the biggest in the US, and one of the biggest in the world, but I think that statement is either a profound exaggeration, or a misunderstanding.

The biggest (and it is gigantic) dam in the world is the Three Gorges Dam in China. When it is completed, it will be producing north of 18K megawatts of electricity, which is at least three times the potential of Grand Coulee. That's total. California alone has peak consumption exceeding 30K megawatts - another way to look at it is 1K megawatts for every 750K people - (on average for Californians alone). So, as you can see, Grand Coulee couldn't come close to satisfying the electric consumption for most of the west coast, even if it was built out to it's potential.

You'd have to see Three Gorges to believe it, but it really is at least three times the size of Grand Coulee. And, the Chinese are getting ever kilowatt of potential that they can get out of it, as they don't have any rabid environmental concerns to satisfy.

22 posted on 08/24/2009 10:20:12 PM PDT by OldDeckHand (No Socialized Medicine, No Way, No How, No Time)
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To: Gondring
"The first gripe I had about Rush Limbaugh was how often he mangled the science and seemed proud of his illiteracy."

Yes, I agree. It's really the only thing that bugs me about Limbaugh, and some others in the conservative movement. Science should be our friend. And, it does no good to have a reactionary disbelief of everything scientific.

It's truly shameful how scientifically illiterate (and economically illiterate) so many Americans have become. And, it's doubly painful to see many in the Republican base embrace scientific illiteracy.

23 posted on 08/24/2009 10:22:56 PM PDT by OldDeckHand (No Socialized Medicine, No Way, No How, No Time)
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To: rightwingcrazy
"I don’t see those literate, numerate Europeans doing much better when it comes to energy policy."

For much of Europe, that is true. The fact of the matter is they have much fewer natural energy resources than America - it complicates their problems.

France, OTOH, does VERY well with nuclear energy production - almost 90% of their total electrical consumption is satisfied by nuclear energy. They are the biggest exporter of electricity in the world. They get most things wrong, but that they got right. While we ran from nuclear in the 70's and 80's, they embraced - and are much better off because of it.

24 posted on 08/24/2009 10:28:59 PM PDT by OldDeckHand (No Socialized Medicine, No Way, No How, No Time)
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To: neverdem
The report found “that 27% of eighth-graders could not correctly shade 1/3 of a rectangle and 45% could not solve a word problem that required dividing fractions.” The report also found poor math skills among adults:

Your tax dollars at work... And politicians scratch their heads and wonder why the public doesn't want government run health care
25 posted on 08/24/2009 10:47:42 PM PDT by RedMonqey (Fear the government, pray for the country)
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To: OldDeckHand

That, I think, is because the French leadership has been inclined to act in its nation’s self interest. In the US, that is considered a sin.


26 posted on 08/24/2009 10:52:03 PM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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To: OldDeckHand
Yes, I agree. It's really the only thing that bugs me about Limbaugh, and some others in the conservative movement. Science should be our friend. And, it does no good to have a reactionary disbelief of everything scientific.

Where are you getting this idea Rush is anti science?... he is anti junk science...anti bad science...good science is based in logic and rational thinking that will reproduce the same results in independent trials.....science is not politically correct conscience and group think

27 posted on 08/25/2009 12:48:15 AM PDT by tophat9000 (Obama plans to fix America like he fixed his dog)
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To: _Jim

Are you getting frustrated because Obama never does anything jackbooted that you agree with?


28 posted on 08/25/2009 1:36:51 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: OldDeckHand

Also they don’t “dump” its waste, they recycle.


29 posted on 08/25/2009 1:37:59 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Barack Obama is a political suicide bomber and the Rats are political arsonists.)
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To: rightwingcrazy
That, I think, is because the French leadership has been inclined to act in its nation’s self interest. In the US, that is considered a sin.

The thing is: exactly because France considers energy in its nation's self interest, it has socialized electricity. Because EDF is basically an extension of the French government, all that nuclear power has been made possible. The question is: do you want the same for the US?
30 posted on 08/25/2009 2:03:41 AM PDT by wolf78 (Inflation is a form of taxation, too. Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender.)
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To: wolf78

You present a false dilemma. There are any number of alternatives; e.g, the US government could recognize that free enterprise and competition are in the nation’s best interest, and nuclear power plants, or something better, would be a consequence of that.


31 posted on 08/25/2009 3:03:32 AM PDT by rightwingcrazy
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To: Gondring
"Many Freepers are the same way"

You're right, nobody is as smart as they think they are.

32 posted on 08/25/2009 3:28:18 AM PDT by driftless2 (for long term happiness, learn how to play the accordion)
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To: Gondring
I am literate in Science, (M.S), and work for the oil industry. But..... seems in most cases when I give my opinion, I only hear that I am part of the faction of "devil oil".

Amazing how many here has bought off on the climate warming scam, and believe that the oil industry solely controls what the price of oil is. Many intelligent Freepers here, but also a couple "sheeple" too.

33 posted on 08/25/2009 3:37:12 AM PDT by catfish1957 (Hey algore...You'll have to pry the steering wheel of my 317 HP V8 truck from my cold dead hands)
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To: The Cajun

“Scientifically literate” was probably the 28% who knew the earth goes around the sun.


34 posted on 08/25/2009 5:12:49 AM PDT by ReagansShinyHair
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To: Eva

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant has powered California in emergencies. I don’t think they use anywhere near the full capacity.


35 posted on 08/25/2009 5:14:14 AM PDT by ReagansShinyHair
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To: FatherofFive

But we’ll have windmills! And the sun!

We can put windmills on top of our cars, and the air will power them!

-—<>-—<>-—<>-—<>-—<>-—

Yeah! And if there’s not enough wind blowing, we can just mount a solar powered fan on the back of the car facing the front and let it power the windmill!


36 posted on 08/25/2009 7:45:17 AM PDT by AFPhys
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To: ReagansShinyHair

“Diablo Canyon nuclear plant has powered California in emergencies. I don’t think they use anywhere near the full capacity.”

It might have powered much of northern California, but the southern part still has San Onofre. If I recall correctly, SO still has 2 of 3 of its reactors still operational. There’s also a lot of hydropower here in CA as well. I can’t recall any emergency that was handled by Diablo alone. I’m not sure the ratty power grid here could deal with that. I still think we need more nuke power in this state, though. The excess power from Diablo is shunted to pump water uphill in the Helms peak-hydro project, among other things.


37 posted on 08/25/2009 10:16:32 AM PDT by Mr Inviso (ACORN=Arrogant Condescending Obama Ruining Nation)
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To: Mr Inviso

I think it occurred in the aftermath of one of the bigger quakes, but I can’t remember any details any more. It’s been too long.


38 posted on 08/25/2009 2:08:15 PM PDT by ReagansShinyHair
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To: ReagansShinyHair

Diablo Canyon is operating at 101.2 percent at Unit One. At Unit Two it is operating 88.2 percent of capacity.Together, the twin 1,100 megawatt reactors produce about 18,000 GW·h of electricity annually. They throttle back at 80 percent during stormy weather to prevent clogging in the cooling water intake.


39 posted on 08/25/2009 10:54:22 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("We will either find a way, or make one."-Hannibal/Carthaginian Military Commander)
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To: neverdem
Scientists need to make science understandable to the lay person and show how science affects their daily lives. The “How Stuff Works" books and web site really help.
40 posted on 08/25/2009 10:58:24 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("We will either find a way, or make one."-Hannibal/Carthaginian Military Commander)
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To: ReagansShinyHair

I do not know why they would build a nuclear reactor near residential areas,yards from a major freeway artery and near an earthquake fault line.


41 posted on 08/25/2009 11:01:05 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("We will either find a way, or make one."-Hannibal/Carthaginian Military Commander)
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To: sonofstrangelove

Yes, and how are they currently defining capacity?


42 posted on 08/26/2009 4:59:15 AM PDT by ReagansShinyHair
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To: The Cajun

You are right. Government schools are more effective idiot generators. The percentage must be in error.


43 posted on 08/26/2009 11:07:40 AM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Eva
For instance, my husband recently took a tour of the Grand Coulee dam in WA state, where the docent told him that the dam was capable of providing electricity for most of the West coast, but the power goes unused.

I would say the "docent" didn't know what the hell they were talking about.

Grand Coolie has an installed capacity of 6800 MW (about the same as six nuke plants or large coal-fired plants) and last year generated about 20 billion kWh. The State of Washington alone consumes about 100 billion kWh per year.

The answerer is no -- Grand Coolie can not supply the entire West Coast or even the State of Washington by itself.

Also keep in mind that hydro plants generally can not run as baseload units (i.e. full power 24/7) because they would drain their reseviours if they just allowed the water to run all the time. They are limited on the number of hours they can run based upon how much water the damn is holding which is based on how much rain or snow in the watershed.

44 posted on 08/26/2009 11:47:16 AM PDT by Ditto
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To: ReagansShinyHair
In 2007, the two units at Diablo Canyon ran at a combing capacity factor of 94.7% That is pretty darn close to full capacity.

Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/page/at_a_glance/reactors/diablo.html

45 posted on 08/26/2009 11:51:57 AM PDT by Ditto
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To: wolf78; rightwingcrazy
The thing is: exactly because France considers energy in its nation's self interest, it has socialized electricity.

France also has little in the way of domestic energy resources -- coal, oil or gas. The atom made perfect sense to them as opposed to importing fuel for electric generation.

46 posted on 08/26/2009 12:00:33 PM PDT by Ditto
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To: ReagansShinyHair

Thar article did not go into specifics of their nominal capacity factor.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/page/at_a_glance/reactors/diablo.html


47 posted on 08/26/2009 6:23:46 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld ("We will either find a way, or make one."-Hannibal/Carthaginian Military Commander)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...

thanks neverdem.

The Bum Rap on Biofuels
American Thinker | 5-13-08 | Herbert Meyer
Posted on 05/14/2008 3:59:06 AM PDT by Renfield
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2015711/posts

Campaign to vilify ethanol revealed
ethanol producer Magazine | May 16, 2008 | By Kris Bevill
Posted on 05/17/2008 9:22:13 AM PDT by Kevin J waldroup
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2017389/posts


48 posted on 08/26/2009 7:04:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Eva
the dam was capable of providing electricity for most of the West coast, but the power goes unused. She said that Puget Power buys the power from just one turbine, but there is much more available.

The environmentalist were much more concerned about the unsightly wires to bring the power to them, than having any concept of the price that they would pay going without that access.

49 posted on 08/26/2009 7:08:35 PM PDT by antonia (A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. - Edward R. Murrow)
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To: OldDeckHand
You'd have to see Three Gorges to believe it, but it really is at least three times the size of Grand Coulee. And, the Chinese are getting ever kilowatt of potential that they can get out of it, as they don't have any rabid environmental concerns to satisfy.

When they lick their QC problems, i'll pay attention...JFK

50 posted on 08/26/2009 7:14:55 PM PDT by BADROTOFINGER (Life sucks. Get a helmet.)
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