Lewie, A few more things. "You'd need to cover an area the size of Arizona to power the US grid" The number that I have seen cited is "the size of " but be that as it may, How many acres of roof is there currently in N. America? Just because a large area of solar is required doesn't mean it can't/shouldn't be done! In fact decentralized Pv is a better alternative in that it reduces transmission loses. Quote: you wrote: "Sorry, that dog won't hunt. The last generation of environmental regulations have turned the US into a service economy instead of being manufacturing based." To which I replied: "Please explain and cite why you think this is true? If we can't manufacture "clean" stuff but others off shore can is that an indictment of the regulations or our corporate culture?" And you: Er, why regulations and Progressive government policy, of course." Excuse me, but this is opinion, not citation. What environmental regulation(s) specifically caused us to become a service economy? Hint,, it was cheaper off shore labor more, coupled with cheap containerized shipping IMHO. "Come on, you know that research and deployment on fission have been shut down in the US for political reasons. If France, of all places, can power 80% of their national grid with fission, why can't we? Yucca Mountain was killed by these same political "green" forces." The reality is that there is not yet (and nothing on the horizon) a system or technology to safely deposit waste for the time required to make is safe. It is fine to place large amounts of nuke waste deep underground in stable geology, but what I don't trust is the human element. We worry about a "dirty bomb" now. What would it be like if someone were to break in and remove nuke waste 300 years from now? Like I said before, when the USSR collapsed there was (and still is) great fear about nuke issues.(and that was only ~50 years worth). When someone has figured out to make the stuff save, and or secure for it's dangerous life, it is a risk that I am not willing to take. "Any schemes to address these problems that aren't "market based" will require the coercive force of big government to implement. You trust "Big Government", don't you? I don't. I think that Government has its purposes, for example, funding nuclear fusion research, but I think they stopped even that." I wouldn't have any problem with "market based" solutions IF there were indeed a level playing field or a free market. The reality is there is neither. If you don't believe that conventional energy choices are subsidized you are misinformed. Additionally, even if we don't calculate in the CO2 cost of energy, there are considerable costs that are not reflected in the meter cost of energy. Hydro from existing high facilities usually have never "paid the cost" of lost of fish habitat for example. A multi-billion dollar salmon harvest system has gone completely away as a result of the Columbia River dam systems for example, and while some on going mitigation costs are paid it is only a small fraction of that which was lost. I am not arguing that there was/is benefit, but the net/net of the equation is not clear. Coal fired grid power comes at huge environmental costs. Costs of mountain top strip mining, water quality degradation, ash heap leaks etc. These cost are not reflected in the meter price of power,, they will be left to future generations. Nukes (which seem to be your favorite) have such huge legacy costs that no investor will touch a nuke plant. The reason no one has built a nuke plant in the last generation has as much to do with the fact that no one can afford to build one (even with subsidized insurance!) So fuel cost of nuke power is cheap, the legacy cost makes it's meter cost off the end of the scale. You guys like to make the comment that alternatives can't cover the nut, and to some extent I agree. That said, there is another side of the coin. In the solar consulting business we advice that every dollar spent on conservation saves ~$10 in Pv costs. (actually a bit less as the price of Pv has fallen in the last year or so.) Conservation is easy, it is cheap and it has huge, usually fast payback. I know that many like to think it is "going back to the stone age" but simple things like,,,properly inflating your tires as we see here on PC pay big dividends. Simple, cheap steps make a real difference. As I have said over and over again, we use ~1/6 as much power as the average household, and we do it with no draconian or medieval lifestyle choices. I don't have much faith that government can/will solve these problems, but I have less faith that corporate america will either. The reality is the impetus must come from you and me, and actions and examples are our best tools. Even if you don't believe in AGW, one can have an effect on the outcome buy doing simple things,,, like not driving a single occupancy hummer to commute!