[Marxism] privatizing the grid--a local perspective

Rod Holt rholt at planeteria.net
Mon Feb 6 12:07:16 MST 2012

It is sad when a discussion degenerates in the manner of this one. I gave a simple illustration of a system for heating water (to take a shower) that Hans or most other people could build in their back yards. The example illustrated that "efficiency" could be made as close to 100% as we like. I have heard no reply to this simple illustration. I meant by "efficiency" the ratio of energy embodied in the end product (heated water for taking a shower) to the energy irreversibly consumed from the source. Since every change in anything and everything increases entropy, I made no claim for simultaneously heating water while leaving overall entropy unchanged. I simply showed that every joule available from the chemical reaction of methane in air ends up in the water. I know I can't do better than that. Can anybody else? I have the feeling that the notion of "efficiency" is drifting toward a strange metaphysical ideal.

On Feb 6, 2012, at 7:43 AM, ehrbar at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> Rod wrote:
>> Heating hot water by burning natural gas is as efficient
>> as we might like.
> This is only true if you talk about energy efficiency calculated
> according to the first law of thermodynamics, not if you talk
> about second law efficiency or exergy efficiency.  Look it up
> in Wikipedia or if you have an engineer friend ask him about it.
>> Sometimes I feel that I'm shoveling shit against the tide.
> It is sad that a mailing list called Marxism allows people
> to make fundamental thermodynamical errors and being proud
> of them without anyone saying a peep (except me).  This
> shows how much out of step Marxism has become.  I am
> teaching a class about energy policy and I am telling my
> students that it should really be called exergy policy.
> Energy is a conservation quantity, it is conserved whatever
> policy you follow, but exergy is what we are really
> interested in and exergy can indeed be wasted (for instance
> when you use natural gas to boil water).
> Hans
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