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  1. #1
    Bammer's Papa
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    Secondary Consequences

    Writing in another thread, I described a proposal to make a dent in our energy needs by roofing every parking area in the country with solar panels/shingles -- supposedly it would reduce our imports by somewhere around 8%.

    I envision all the parking around sports stadiums and malls and universities and government buildings turning into sparkling expanses of silicon (or whatever they're making panels with these days). Then I thought that this is a wonderful idea in two big ways: that's a lot of energy, and lots of people wouldn't have to worry any longer about being rained on while getting in and out of their cars. The second one there is what we call a side effect, i.e. a secondary consequence.

    But there's another secondary consequence that could be big: in all those places, rain would no longer be hitting the ground. Where those parking areas aren't paved (for example around many stadiums), that's going to change the whole ground water and runoff equation. That could be a bad consequence, depending on the area, but it lends itself to something else: since it's being intercepted above the ground, that water is subject to collection, and could be used as a source for water supplies.

    Of course that would require storage, which would bring further effects....


    So the topic here is issues today, and proposed solutions which would have secondary effects, some good and some bad. Comment on the one above, or add your own.

    As to why, I think it's a good idea to stop and realize how liunked things are, given how we spend so much time looking at things in isolation.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  2. #2
    JUB Addict andysayshi's Avatar
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    Re: Secondary Consequences

    Why would you create new roofs for solar panels, rather than just put them on existing structures and roofs?

  3. #3
    GiancarloC
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    Re: Secondary Consequences

    Yes, we have enough roof tops here in SoCal... so we could just install them on present buildings. I think it would be wise to do so. I mean this is something Jimmy Carter did during his Presidency in the White House and the big oil republicans removed them.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...ar-panel-array

    We wouldn't be so dependent on oil if it wasn't for the Reagan republicans who gutted all the federal funding for such programs.

    Carter had this idea more than 30 years ago... it's too bad this nation didn't capitalize on it. Such little progress has been made since then. Three pro-oil republicans didn't help.

  4. #4

    Re: Secondary Consequences

    I do think we have to be practical and cold -blooded about both solar panels and wind power - the amount of power produced is relatively minor and no real competition to others . Would suggest though , have recently developed this idea , that the internet as the ubernetwork supernetwork eliminates the need for most business and government travel .There is really no practical reason to have an international conference or meeting ever again . Branch offices , the foregn civil service - as I put it unnecessary duplication . Ecology the internet which is totally electric replacing transport which is almost exclusively internal combustion .

  5. #5

    Re: Secondary Consequences

    the amount of power produced is relatively minor and no real competition to others

  6. #6

    Re: Secondary Consequences

    moreover we do not consider the general ecological problems of batteries - lithium , cobalt , cadmium .

  7. #7

    Re: Secondary Consequences

    so major drop in use/demand versus increase in production .

  8. #8
    JUB Addict andysayshi's Avatar
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    Re: Secondary Consequences

    Here in Australia there are now strict regulations in many regions with regard to environmental components of new and renovated homes. Most local councils require all new homes to have rainwater and grey-water storage tanks. Most require solar hot water heating systems. Many require solar electricity panels on rooftops. Many State and Federal Government subsidy schemes have encouraged solar panel installation on suburban homes and businesses, and excess power can be returned to the main power grid, which is metered and discounted off your power bill.

    The Federal Government is also spending a lot of money (around 50 billion) on a National Broadband Network, which will provide fibre-optic internet to 97% of Australian homes. The more remote 3% will get satellite broadband at discounted rates. I'm a video editor, and use dozens of package couriers every month to transport large amounts of data between facilities. With true fibre to every location, I'll almost never need to book a car or motorbike courier again. I'll work from home more.

    None of these factors will result in our coal fired power stations closing any time soon, but they are incremental changes that will pay huge dividends over time.

  9. #9

    Re: Secondary Consequences

    Also policy thinking . If transportation is drastically reduced international trade in oil will drop as a socio-political issue .

  10. #10
    auribus teneo lupum Stardreamer's Avatar
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    Re: Secondary Consequences

    Quote Originally Posted by andysayshi View Post
    None of these factors will result in our coal fired power stations closing any time soon, but they are incremental changes that will pay huge dividends over time.
    Truth.

    If the intent is to end the use of fossil fuels and reduce both pollution and green house gases, these steps need expanded as much as practical and the coal plants replaced with nuclear power.
    Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 - 1956)

  11. #11
    Bammer's Papa
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    Re: Secondary Consequences

    Quote Originally Posted by andysayshi View Post
    Why would you create new roofs for solar panels, rather than just put them on existing structures and roofs?
    That was a different study.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  12. #12
    PerScientiam AdJustitiam bankside's Avatar
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    Re: Secondary Consequences

    I'd put a roof over the parking lot because driving directly on top of the solar panels is not recommended.

    And I'd collect the water, use it, and then discharge the grey water through a constructed wetland and back into open storm drains that have been "daylighted" (an awkward verb for a good concept) in the same location that the water came from (or at least within the same local watershed.)

    Also, do you have stadiums with unpaved parking lots?
    Americans need to keep their guns so they can protect themselves from gun violence just like Nancy Lanza did. And like Chris Kyle did. And like Gabby Giffords did. And like Tom Clements did. And like Michael Piemonte. And Joseph Wilcox.

  13. #13
    Bammer's Papa
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    Re: Secondary Consequences

    Quote Originally Posted by bankside View Post
    I'd put a roof over the parking lot because driving directly on top of the solar panels is not recommended.

    And I'd collect the water, use it, and then discharge the grey water through a constructed wetland and back into open storm drains that have been "daylighted" (an awkward verb for a good concept) in the same location that the water came from (or at least within the same local watershed.)

    Also, do you have stadiums with unpaved parking lots?
    I was going to use the water for parks and other green spaces, but the local use idea is the same. Constructed wetlands are an excellent choice for treatment, of course -- and that water can even be recycled for other purposes.

    I know of a couple of universities which have mainly paved parking for sporting events, but when the crowds are really big the rest goes into gravel-surfaced. Student parking is often the same. There are experiments now with pavement that actually lets the water through, though I really don't understand how that could work in climates with winter freezing.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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