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Old 07-15-2015, 01:52 AM   #21
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I like the oil eating super bacteria. I DID read a book with that as a theme. It was interesting.


Easy enough to set it up-experimental bug being designed for cleaning up tanker spills gets out of the lab. Mutates into a stronger version.

Yeah there is a book w/ this theme. In this case the unstable scientist hid the fact that the bacteria could not be contained ( and could go airborne even )


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Old 07-15-2015, 05:17 AM   #22
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Never? Much of the world's naval fleets are nuclear. The U.S. army used to have 8" nuclear artillery shells. I've seen several conceptual drawing of thorium reactor powered cars. If we can build fissile personal vehicles with 1950's technology, I bet we could build fusion powered vehicles at some time in the future.
About 68 US Navy submarines and 11 aircraft carriers are nuclear powered, as are some Russian, British and French subs. What they all have in common is that they use nuclear power as a source of heat to power a conventional steam plant. The steam cycle at its best will never be as efficient as the worst internal combustion engine, nor as small. Add in necessary shielding against radiation and it is unlikely that you could make either a fission or fusion power plant fit in a vehicle any smaller than a submarine. We deem it worth the enormous expense to use nuclear power for subs because it allows them to stay submerged and hidden for as long as the food lasts. Similarly, we use it in aircraft carriers so they don't need to refuel from an oiler. But, by and large, nuclear power is used worldwide for base load electrical generation, at which it really excels.

In any event, my point was that knocking out oil may play havoc with transportation and the economy, but it likely won't lead to rolling blackouts or an increased need for electricity, which is the problem that is most likely to be solved by a fusion device.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:52 AM   #23
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I need it to be vitally important that the world get this device, so I need the world to be in the midst of a huge energy crisis. Major rolling blackouts, $100/gallon gas, etc.
Unexpected rapid global warming, so anything producing CO2 is extremely heavily taxed. As a trigger you can use the methane clathrates https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_gun_hypothesis

Doesn't address solar / wind as alternatives, but given that it's 2020 you can conceivable say the ramp-up isn't fast enough.

I don't see any other way. Oil reserves are too spread out, and you have huge supplies of coal & gas too.

Downside is that you're using an environmental trigger, might put some people off.

You can also flip it around maybe: Let's say solar output suddenly starts dropping fast. Energy demand will explode I'd guess, and you might risk suffocating everyone if you burn only coal/oil.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:05 AM   #24
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The Evil One World Government cabal finally flips the switch and martial law is enacted worldwide, gas is decreed to be $100 a gallon. Price fixing is established, new living sectors set up, massive relocating of populations, all for the *good of the people*.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:31 AM   #25
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Yes, the oil-eating bacteria is definitely in.
Found these books:Ill Wind
Darkness Falls
Petroplague.

>That many EVs in just five years? Not very plausible at all.

Yeah, I agree. My idea would be that someone comes out with a cheap, easily produced battery with five times the current capacity. You could just swap them into any existing EV. So, the car companies need only ramp up their current production lines, and use the new batteries. Demand skyrockets since, with the petroplague, gas is $80 a gallon.

IOW, I could put together a perfect storm of several catastrophes.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:42 AM   #26
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A rogue nation explodes an EMP device knocking out our energy generation and transmission grid. In addition non-hardened computer networks are shut down leading to chaos.

If that is not enough the Yellowstone volcano erupts filling the atmosphere with toxic materials and twilight.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:15 AM   #27
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We descend into another "Little Ice Age" due to the sun hitting another Maunder Minimum (Solar Variability and Terrestrial Climate - NASA Science). Tie that into a war in the Middle East and/or a terrorist attack as mentioned above and the need for energy will skyrocket.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:52 PM   #28
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Yes, the oil-eating bacteria is definitely in.
Found these books:Ill Wind
Darkness Falls
Petroplague.

>That many EVs in just five years? Not very plausible at all.

Yeah, I agree. My idea would be that someone comes out with a cheap, easily produced battery with five times the current capacity. You could just swap them into any existing EV. So, the car companies need only ramp up their current production lines, and use the new batteries. Demand skyrockets since, with the petroplague, gas is $80 a gallon.

IOW, I could put together a perfect storm of several catastrophes.
Ill Wind is the book I read. Not great, but entertaining.

Here is one. Nuclear winter/Asteroid Crash/Yellowstone Explodes causing the Earth to get so cold that oil freezes and gasses gel. They can still be used, but it becomes more difficult and expensive. Think Cormac McCarthy's The Road, only a good deal colder.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:20 PM   #29
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Not to steer you off topic, but do you ever get worried about getting on a "list" when researching these topics for your books?

Maybe I am a bit Big Brother paranoid, but I do wonder if they track people who search for "how to disrupt the power grid" or "how to cause widespread panic"

There are times where I want to know some bit of information, just for my own curiosity, but have been afraid to do a search. Mostly when watching movies where they blow open a door using toothpaste and bleach or some such nonsense.
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:11 PM   #30
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Not to steer you off topic, but do you ever get worried about getting on a "list" when researching these topics for your books?

Maybe I am a bit Big Brother paranoid, but I do wonder if they track people who search for "how to disrupt the power grid" or "how to cause widespread panic"

There are times where I want to know some bit of information, just for my own curiosity, but have been afraid to do a search. Mostly when watching movies where they blow open a door using toothpaste and bleach or some such nonsense.
All the time! Sometimes I go to private browsing before searching.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:29 PM   #31
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All the time! Sometimes I go to private browsing before searching.
You do know that only keeps your computer from storing info, it doesn't keep your provider (or Google, or the black helicopter people) from being able to track your use.

There are ways around that tracking, but I never looked into it...no reason too... Honest, don't even bother looking! ... It's all just dog photos and cat videos!
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:54 PM   #32
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You do know that only keeps your computer from storing info, it doesn't keep your provider (or Google, or the black helicopter people) from being able to track your use.

There are ways around that tracking, but I never looked into it...no reason too... Honest, don't even bother looking! ... It's all just dog photos and cat videos!
I would not trust a software workaround on the tracking, whatever type of tracking they do or do not do. See, now I am actually curious how the government can track your searches but I am afraid to search for how they track you in fear of the black helicopters!

If I wanted to be as secure as possible, I would put on sunglasses and a hat, go to walmart and buy a cheap laptop and a straight talk wireless mifi pre paid device with a few GB card, pay cash for everything, then spend only a few minutes in random locations far from my home while I do the searching.

But I am not paranoid or anything.
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:12 PM   #33
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See, now I am actually curious how the government can track your searches but I am afraid to search for how they track you in fear of the black helicopters!
Basically backdoors at your local telco.

They have all the info, including IP and physical address, and everything you send out including mails, searches etc .. can be intercepted at that level.

And if you don't work from home they can still correlate your machine signature (which browser version, OS, settings, cookies if available, checking mail) with what they've seen before. It's pretty hard to avoid detection by interested parties.

Private browsing mostly helps to hide your activities from other users on the same computer. As in, you don't want your wife finding out you are looking into a new russian mail order bride
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:23 PM   #34
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:10 PM   #35
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Here's the first draft of this part of the book. Let me know if you think it's reasonable (the power part).

Viviana is a woman who traveled in time from 1980 to 2020. She is Romanian.

The main character can read people's thoughts, and they are punctuated in italics with <> around them.

Viviana pointed. “Look, power went out. What is happening?”

You have no idea?”

Memory is fluffy, remember? Please tell.” She hugged my arm tighter.

I pictured taking her in my arms. Concentrate. “You don’t know anything about the oil infection or the new electric cars?”

Am all ears.”

Okay, I’m going to pretend you have been asleep for the last ten years.” I examined her face out of the corner of my eye.

She didn’t react, but in her mind: <Ha ha.>

Ha ha? “Okay, here’s what’s going on. A one-two punch caused an energy catastrophe for the world. Years ago, scientists developed an oil-eating organism to clean up oil spills. It worked great, but then the organism infected oil wells, and the infection spread. Oil production dropped and prices skyrocketed. With me so far?”

Am foreigner, not idiot.”

I chuckled. “Fair enough. The second punch was the development of a new battery. After years of minimal breakthroughs, a small company came up with a new, miracle battery. It could store surprising amounts of energy, resulting in much improved range for cars. This battery could be produced quickly and cheaply, and was plug-and-play with existing electric cars.”

What is “plug-and-play?”

Sorry, it means that you could just replace existing batteries with the new ones with few modifications necessary.”

New battery sounds like good thing. Not punch.”

Right. You’d think so. Except that this battery requires more energy to charge. Much more. And because of the high price of gas, everyone wanted a car that ran on it. Not only did car companies ramp up production of electric cars, but every neighborhood had someone who would convert your gasoline car to run on batteries.”

So, power plants in trouble, yes?”

Exactly. Especially since many of them rely on oil. As a result …” I gestured toward the dark area of San Francisco.
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Old 07-31-2015, 02:42 PM   #36
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...
“So, power plants in trouble, yes?”

“Exactly. Especially since many of them rely on oil. As a result …” I gestured toward the dark area of San Francisco.
Well, it's fiction, but...

What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? - FAQ - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Quote:
Major energy sources and percent share of total U.S. electricity generation in 2014:

Coal = 39%
Natural gas = 27%
Nuclear = 19%
Hydropower = 6%
Other renewables = 7%
Biomass = 1.7%
Geothermal = 0.4%
Solar = 0.4%
Wind = 4.4%
Petroleum = 1%
Other gases < 1%
I suppose 'many of them rely on oil' would be correct for Hawaii - but San Francisco, or anywhere else?

-ERD50
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Old 07-31-2015, 04:09 PM   #37
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Well, maybe the organism needs to eat oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, oh and perhaps poop beavers that clog up the dams.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:42 AM   #38
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Well, it's fiction, but...

What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? - FAQ - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)



I suppose 'many of them rely on oil' would be correct for Hawaii - but San Francisco, or anywhere else?

-ERD50
Excellent, thanks. I will remove that reference.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:38 AM   #39
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Not to steer you off topic, but do you ever get worried about getting on a "list" when researching these topics for your books?

Maybe I am a bit Big Brother paranoid, but I do wonder if they track people who search for "how to disrupt the power grid" or "how to cause widespread panic"

There are times where I want to know some bit of information, just for my own curiosity, but have been afraid to do a search. Mostly when watching movies where they blow open a door using toothpaste and bleach or some such nonsense.
Here's a relevant article:

A Plea From Gini Koch: I’m Not A Terrorist, I’m An Author! | Del Rey and Spectra - Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Graphic Novels, and More
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