Intelligent Design

The promise and (under)performance of green technologies — and the lesson for us

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First off, let me say that I would be delighted if green technologies could be made to work and could account for much of our energy (leaving aside the politics and powertrip that seem to lure many who push green technologies). That said, these technologies have consistently underperformed in relation to the hype used to promote them.

This disconnect between promise and performance of green technologies is emblematic of how easy it is for ideology to subvert science. We see this all the time in the evolution-design debate. In any case, here’s an instructive infographic that underscores the consistent failure of green technologies. The lesson for the ID community is simply to be aware of how widely ramified is the abuse of science.

The Green Fail
Source: Master of Engineering Degrees

6 Replies to “The promise and (under)performance of green technologies — and the lesson for us

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Quick note, in a rush: promising technologies often have teething troubles, and commercial success is never a given in early days. The same happened with aircraft, cars and computers — a similar chart made at the right time would have made these look v bad, too. Alternative energy technologies are needed [the ongoing annual energy purchases subsidy to Jihad alone is a decisive consideration, much less the issues that traditional energy technologies are unsustainable . . . ], and I think a serious look at geothermal energy, modern nukes (pebble bed modular reactors and molten salt reactors have looked good to me), OTEC, and good old fashioned hydro are well worth a look. Wind has limited utility and so far, solar PV. We need fuels, and I think algae, butanol [a gasoline substitute], biodiesel and long run hydrogen are well worth a look. KF

  2. 2
    Jerad says:

    I quite agree with KF, at the very least it make sense to NOT use up non-renewable energy sources if possible. It’s always a good idea not to pollute if you can avoid it. And you never want to put all your eggs in one basket as the saying goes.

    Ignore the hype, look to the science. Many ‘green’ things are faddish and not viable. But it’s always worth looking.

  3. 3
    tembew says:

    agree with above posts. Not time to start bashing them yet. Early days

  4. 4
    johnnyb says:

    tembew –

    It is true that it isn’t time to start bashing them, but there is no reason to support them, either. If they become dominant because they are good — that’s great! But right now they are working on the taxpayer’s dime, and that’s a losing proposition. If the market doesn’t see the value, it’s much easier to convince a government to spend someone else’s money.

  5. 5

    This whole infographic has really gotten me inspired. If I had the photoshop skills I would love to make a series of graphics similar to this one…

    http://sententias.org/2012/06/.....-design-3/

    …but addressing several specific topics where the arguments can be easily summed up in such a chart.

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    haha, nice chart

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