View: American energy use, in one diagram - Vox

American energy use, in one diagram - Vox

Amazing diagram - - shows sources of energy and how much winds up wasted (about two-thirds)


Adam GreenAdam Green
A fascinating document. I didn't realize it was so impossibly bad. 
It seems to be too much of an intellectual task for voters to read "unsustainable" and "millions of citizens without clean water or clean air" and infer "we all gonna die!" 
The LLNL suggests 30% is "optimistic" and the total system entropy is more like 13% efficient ... an horrific waste when the energy source is oil, coal or gas ... 
This kind of waste is great for fossil fool industry profits, but has the 'downside' of killing us. Entropy is inescapable, but CO2 emissions can be substantially reduced and eventually negated.  
A good first step would be to get away from euphemisms like "carbon emissions" and stick with good old "pollution" and "destruction" (of the environment) so that voters can see the facts: millions in Africa have reached the day when they have no drinking water, and a billion people in China literally can't breathe the air in their major cities, and Japan is leaking nuclear waste into the Pacific ocean with no way to stop their power plants from failing ... it's one planet ... environmental failure doesn't stop at political borders. 
It's just a matter of one generation before the USA is in the same dire straits as China and India in terms of overcrowding, poverty and crippling pollution. 
The "clue" to the solution is at the top left of the spaghetti infographic: solar ... entropy would be more like 30% to 60% ... a 70% to 40% efficient system ... I just tried to google for a supporting document for those numbers, but couldn't find anything as succinct from LLNL or elsewhere ... it would be great to see a comparison in detail without the blur of 2nd law total system vagaries like idling combustion engines and other usage model waste. 
One example of a sustainable power grid solution is the solar-battery system in South Australia. Although only a "small" 50,000 house system servicing one State, it's amply large enough to model a larger system, not to mention the "who cares when the source is solar?" advantage that total system waste is not causing greenhouse gas or waste emissions (e.g. stationary vehicles with their combustion engines idling.) 
I think it's interesting that Vox makes the political statement (and LLNL certainly implies without overtly stating) that Trump is actively reversing the efforts of US agencies working on pollution and climate. 5/13/18