Ladies and gentlemen…the American senate!


Upholding the dignity and nobility of the most elite of the American legislative bodies, Senator Mike Lee, Republican from Utah, member of the Federalist Society, Tea Party representative, Mormon saint, and all-around dumbfuck, rose up to mock the Green New Deal with cartoons.

Ironically, while he thought he was being a comedian, these were pretty much all bog-standard memes and talking points used in Trumpistan. I guarantee you that there are right-wing assholes rushing to buy copies of that picture of Reagan riding a dinosaur and firing a machine gun to hang on their wall, to own the libs and declare their love for rotten politicians. The Green New Deal is not perfect, but it is a serious proposal to confront a serious problem…and Lee is a clown trying to use jokes to encourage further inaction from an already corrupt and useless senate.

He did get serious for a moment to admit that climate change is no joke, but I don’t see him offering alternative approaches. Oh, wait, that’s not quite true: he has a classic Mormon solution that he presented quite soberly.

The solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places: fall in love, get married and have some kids.

I did all that. I’ve got a happy home life. But guess what? Not all people want that particular life, and even those of us who do have found that it doesn’t treat global climate change. In fact, it makes it worse. What a pompous asshole.

Of course somebody fired back. And of course it was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This is what I want to hear from the entire Democratic leadership, and once again it’s up to one of the most junior representatives in congress to do the actual leading.

“Science is not partisan,” she says, but it has become partisan, because the Republican party has abandoned and denied it.

Comments

  1. F.O. says

    How is it possible that there is only one AOC?
    Where are the others?

    (Also, didn’t the DNC just change its rules to make it things a lot harder for primary candidates it does not endorse? This is a take over of democracy, why aren’t Dems up in arms?)

  2. whywhywhy says

    The rest of the Dems are more concerned about re-election and campaign donations from corporate interests. The leadership (Hoyer in particular) are very much corporate Dems and they are a key reason that the blue collar vote went to Trump. He was providing an alternative (a horrible nasty alternative) while Clinton was way too cozy with Wall Street and the establishment.

    (Now these same blue collar Trump voters are also at the very least OK with rampant racism and sexism, because this is America.)

  3. petesh says

    Right on, AOC! Her closing line is THE summary. Boiled down: “The costs of acting are much less than the costs of not acting.”

  4. stroppy says

    I’d like to think Republicans felt ashamed after that, but we know that’s highly unlikely.

    Actually same goes for Democrats. They’ve been asleep at the switch for decades while the right wing has been structurally attacking democracy from top (Federalist Society, ALEC…) to bottom (Rush Limbaugh and his every wannabe and ditto head, Fox News…) bashing, mocking, misleading and generally poisoning the body politic. There’s more to it of course, but holy crap on a stick, is America maladaptive or what?

    But nah, why learn from AOC’s example. Let’s all get together and make some vague pronouncements about how everybody should just be nice, and oh by the way, here’s a very nice story about a warm hearted puppy fixing people, or a smiling disadvantaged person overcoming odds, or a soldier coming home and surprising his/her kid in a gymnasium– so settle down, go back to sleep, we can all rest assured everything will sort itself out for the best.

    And now for some very exciting commercials. Later, when we come back, more bread and circ…er…news.

  5. cartomancer says

    Thank you very much for giving us Britons someone to look down upon in terms of political competence. We sorely need that service right now.

  6. Chris Capoccia says

    GND needed a better name if Democrats wanted bipartisan support. The whole point seems to be writing a resolution that never goes anywhere and accomplishes nothing but gets a lot of attention. A real environmental plan would include the positive contributions from nuclear power.

  7. unclefrogy says

    that the argument is defending science as not elitist is the most depressing thing about the whole subject.
    #7 you can stop selling any time

    uncle frogy

  8. raven says

    Mike Lee is just what I expect for a Mormon senator from the Morridor state of Utah.
    Very creepy and just plain dumb.

  9. raven says

    The solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places: fall in love, get married and have some kids.

    This is really cosmically stupid and a non sequitur.

    My cat could do that.
    In fact, my cat’s mother did do that.
    It really has nothing to do with anything.

  10. xmp999 says

    I’m a little bit surprised that in that painting, Reagan is carrying a Soviet RPG

  11. Ragutis says

    F.O.

    27 March 2019 at 8:41 am

    How is it possible that there is only one AOC?
    Where are the others?

    Someone’s got to be first. (A better question would be “What took so fucking long?!”)

    And someone that fired up and passionate will only inspire more. There’s a reason Faux News and Republicans are going nuts trying to slander, ridicule, and diminish her. A freshman congresswoman is already drawing almost as much attention and ire from conservative politicians and their trained nutjobs as Obama did as a candidate or even fricking POTUS. They’re scared.

    I think that I read recently that the millennial generation is about to be or already a bigger voting block than boomers. Any youthful optimism I had has all but drained away after 30-some years of watching US politics, but I do cling to some hope that this new generation will be a rebirth of sorts. Those who grew up with the U.S.S.R. and nuclear war as the “Big Bads” are dying fading and now there’s a new existential threat to address. Now, will we devote as much attention, innovation, and spending to it as we did nukes? Washington needs new blood, new thinking, and a new determination to face this. This isn’t something we can just bomb away. I hope there’s enough AOCs in the pipeline to make a real difference.

    Again, I hope. My optimism bar is blinking red. Need to refill it.

  12. Chris Capoccia says

    #12 whywhywhy
    nuclear is not included because resolution 2C says: “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources…” & nuclear is not renewable. https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/sites/ocasio-cortez.house.gov/files/Resolution%20on%20a%20Green%20New%20Deal.pdf

    also there were news stories like this one from NPR that contacted Ocasio-Cortez’s office and confirmed that the plan would be to transition away from nuclear https://www.npr.org/2019/02/07/691997301/rep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-releases-green-new-deal-outline

    Having a solid plan that Pelosi could have worked to get passed in the House would have gone a long way towards showing the clear difference between sensible Democrat agenda and Republicans. Instead AOC had her bungled FAQ document and the details of her resolution aren’t even something all Democrats want to support. So instead of being able to show Democrats as reasonable, McConnell tried to force a vote in the senate to show who was ready to put their name down for being crazy. Democrats wisely voted “present” and McConnell’s plot fell apart.

  13. unclefrogy says

    well yes it is not going to be a “Bi-Partisan” plan that reached across the isle that would be a republican plan like all of the previous ones that have already accomplished so much in slowing and preventing climate change.
    uncle frogy

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Chris #15. I have a nuclear plant in the process of being decommissioned near me (within 10 miles). The waste is being stored on site without a permanent method for its storage/recycling. Until you and other nuclear advocates can point having that waste removed, and either permanently stored or recycled, no new nuclear plants should be built. The waste is within a half mile of Lake Michigan, which is the drinking water for millions of people (including me). It, the waste should have been gone by now. Point to your solution that exists at the moment, or shut the fuck up.
    Until the waste disposal process in in place, I, otherwise a nuclear advocate, will remain opposed to building more nuclear plants.

  15. jrkrideau says

    @ 2 colinday

    That looks more like a grenade launcher than a machine gun.

    Machine pistol in right hand, RBG on back.

  16. Ragutis says

    jrkrideau

    27 March 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Machine pistol in right hand, RBG on back

    That looks nothing like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though I’m guessing she would have been on Reagan’s back had she been on the SC at the time.

  17. jrkrideau says

    I wonder if anyone in the Senate understands just how bizarre this looks to the rest of the world? The USA has become something of a laughing stock, albeit a terrifying one, already (See Trump, D) but Senator Lee is outstanding. Any parliament will have its share of nutters (Hi George) but this is a senator of the most military powerful county on earth and this is terrifying.

    US politicians seem to forget that some stupid grandstanding for domestic consumption will seen, read, analyzed and dissected in Tokyo, Paris, or Moscow or Tehran as in Las Vegas. Government specialists in those capitals must be going, “I am not sure what that was about but it looks like the US Govt has lost whatever minor grasp on reality it ever had. I don’t think sir/madame that we can expect anything but bizarre, delusional and completely irrational behaviour.”

    I would expect this video will be seen by a few hundred million people around the world by morning time in Washington, more once it gets sub-capitoned into local languages.

    This sort of thing cannot be good for US foreign policy.

  18. stroppy says

    Green deals. It makes sense to me, in theory at least, that all options should be on the table including nuclear power. But for instance, this does give me pause:
    https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/cost-nuclear-power

    Now I don’t particularly want to get embroiled in an argument about nuclear energy. I don’t have the technical chops for that. I have noticed however, that on other sites massive amounts of heated, thread-killing verbiage have been spilled over just this topic by passionate proponents, with not much to show for it except distraction.

  19. asclepias says

    Wow. I seem to be timely in my choice of posts on my blog. I just wrote about nuclear energy over the weekend (it took me a full afternoon as I knew absolutely nothing about it and spent a lot of time on research). It’s definitely not a long-term solution. The problem with us humans is that once we find a short-term solution we act like it will work for the log haul. There are tons of problems with nuclear energy, beginning with the fact that the uranium has to be mined and carrying right on through to what to do with the waste. On the other hand, it is something that can be done right now. But then, so is decentralized solar.

  20. Chris Capoccia says

    #17 Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    Isn’t this Zion, that is storing the waste in dry casks? How exactly is the radioactive material going to get out of the cask and into Lake Michigan? https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/dry-cask-storage.html

    #21 stroppy
    I’m also more of an “all ideas on the table” person, and your link is correct that the current economic threat to nuclear is cheap natural gas coming from fracking. GND wants to replace all nuclear, gas-fired & coal power with only renewable which would require not only a dramatic buildup of renewable but also a completely new grid control to allow renewable to provide baseload

  21. ridana says

    #6 cartomancer:

    Thank you very much for giving us Britons someone to look down upon in terms of political competence. We sorely need that service right now.

    Funny you should say that. Just yesterday I was telling someone that Brexit was oddly comforting to me just to know that we’re not the only ones who’ve lost our collective minds and are royally fucking everything up just to pwn the opposition. Australia, while less in the news, is kind of going off the deep end as well.
    I blame Rupert Murdoch, who controls the conversation in all of the English speaking world. And…there goes what little comfort in misery I felt.

  22. stroppy says

    I encourage anyone interested in nuclear to go ahead and check out the short USC cost overview at
    https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/cost-nuclear-power
    and then explore all the OT context, subtleties, and wrinkles you can stand.

    Interesting factoid (well interesting to me anyway); I was in the five mile radius when the Unit #2 reactor at Three Mile Island decided to have an episode. I was just sitting down in a math class at the local CC when the instructor came in and announced that we had the option to leave… because episode. I stayed, but it was freaky enough that that moment lives vividly in my feeble memory to this very day. And it was pretty freaky for quite a while after that as well.

    And no, nobody started to glow from drinking radio active milk, and there was no government conspiracy to hide the real magnitude of the event. There was independent monitoring and plenty of studies.

    Still, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.”

  23. ck, the Irate Lump says

    F.O. wrote:

    How is it possible that there is only one AOC?

    Because it’s not just Republicans that are gunning for people who speak out like she does. A few Democrats have expressed interest in seeing AOC primaried in the next election. AOC praised Corbyn once and again, the so-called moderates came out claiming she was clearly antisemitic and renewing calls that she should be removed.

    Not many people are going to be willing to throw themselves into a situation where both your enemies and those who are supposed to be your allies are attacking you. For an especially good example of this, look at the treatment of Rep Illhan Omar over her criticisms of Israel.

  24. VP says

    The simple reason why nuclear is currently a waste of an option is that it’s the most expensive. Further, it has a negative price curve, where nuclear, unlike wind and solar, has historically gotten more expensive with time.

    Both solar and wind are now cheaper than new coal, and in some states, are cheaper than existing coal plants. Nuclear is significantly more expensive.

    Nuclear potentially has a role to play as baseload power, but the reality is that coal, and especially natural gas, plants are not gonna disappear overnight. Until there is a significant contingent of fossil fuel baseband sources, nuclear isn’t needed.

    Assuming battery technology does not become much cheaper by then, nuclear will likely only be useful after a few years of exponential solar and wind growth, where the need for clean baseload energy becomes essential.

  25. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To PZ
    The Green New Deal is not a serious proposal. It might be a serious proposal to address wealth inequality and other things, but it’s not a serious proposal to combat cliamte change and ocean acidification. We’ve tried this before, and it’s never worked, including California, and the US at large with the New Apollo Project, Scottland, Germany, and so forth. Excepting poor countries and countries with access to lots of hydro, there isn’t a single success story for renewables despites decades trying and hundreds of billions of dollars. Whereas, France and Sweden show if you spend comparable amounts of money on nuclear, you can solve the problem regarding CO2 emissions for electricity production, which is a necessary first step to addressing the whole problem.

    These links are from Michael Shellenberger, who was one of the main advocates that got Obama to agree to spend that money on renewables as part of the New Apollo Project. After he saw practically no progress, and due to other outside factors, he reconsidered and changed his anti-nuclear stance into a pro-nuclear stance.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/06/13/carbon-emissions-rose-in-2017-despite-record-solar-wind-proof-renewables-cant-save-the-climate/
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/09/11/had-they-bet-on-nuclear-not-renewables-germany-california-would-already-have-100-clean-power/
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/02/08/the-only-green-new-deals-that-have-ever-worked-were-done-with-nuclear-not-renewables/

    I can also quote James Hansen who says that the Green movement is quasi-religious, and felt so passionately about it that he and 3 other leading climate scientists wrote a public letter to the environmental movement organizations asking them to reconsider.

    https://youtu.be/KnN328eD-sA?t=2041
    – PRESS CONFERENCE – Dr. Jim Hansen – Nuclear Energy
    – Citizens’ Voice at the Paris Climate Talks
    – Published on Dec 4, 2015

    Well, I can point out one or two points. What you find if you advocate – You know, frankly, I’ve spoken to many scientists, and by far the majority agrees that nuclear needs to be part of the solution. However, when you stand up and say that, there’s an anti-nuclear community, which I would characterize as quasi-religious, which just hammers you, and you have to spend a lot of your time trying to deal with that. I’ve even found that some of the – you know that I’m no longer a government employee I have to raise the funds to cover my group of four people, and there are a number of foundations [???] foundation that have been my most reliable source while I was a government employee because I like to speak out is not part of my government job but so I had to prove that I was not using government funds, so when I traveled I had to get non-goverment funds to pay for that. Well, the foundation that provided the funds now will not give me a dime because they are anti-nuclear, and so there’s a lot of pressure on scientists just to keep their mouths shut, but we’re at a point where we’d better not keep our mouths shut when we can see a story which has become very clear, and that is that it’s a .. mirage to think that all-renewables can provide all of the energy that we need, and at the speed we need. China and India are using tremendous amounts of power, almost all coal for their electric plants, and there’s no way that they can power their steel mills and all the other factories that they’re building products for us on solar panels.

    James Hansen says that believing that renewables without nuclear can effectively fight climate change is like believing in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. He also correctly notes that a lot of modern environmental group funding is from fossil fuel interests – they provide a large portion of the funding of the Green movement because the Green movement would rather shut down a nuclear power plant than a coal power plant or nat gas plant, and every build-out of solar and wind also comes with lots of natural gas to cover for the intermittencies, which means that the fossil fuel lobby and the Greens are perfect allies – the Greens being the “useful idiots” of the alliance. Citation:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110729_BabyLauren.pdf
    Yes, that’s really James Hansen, as made clear by many other sources, such as:
    https://bigthink.com/age-of-engagement/james-hansen-on-the-easter-bunny-myth-of-renewables-and-his-plan-for-a-carbon-tax

    To Nerd of Redhead
    Your problem is that you wrongly think that nuclear power is nigh-infinitely dangerous, and that any small leak would be catastrophic. That’s not true.

    Just a few hundred people have died or will die from Chernobyl.
    https://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/backgrounder/en/
    https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr38/en/
    (Reminder: The number “4000” is the number of additional cancers predicted according to the linear no-threshold model. Sometimes that’s incorrectly reported as “deaths”. The first link correctly reports this, and the second does not. Most of the cancers would be thyroid cancer, and thyroid cancer has approx 99% survival rate with treatment, and that’s how you arrive at a number like a few hundred or less.)

    Those numbers assume the linear no-threshold model. However, the linear no-threshold model is false, and therefore we can conclude that the number of deaths from Chernobyl is even smaller, probably less than 100. Concerning the claim that linear no-threshold model is false.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043938/
    https://journals.lww.com/health-physics/Abstract/1995/02000/Test_of_the_Linear_No_Threshold_Theory_of.2.aspx
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3315166/
    http://news.mit.edu/2012/prolonged-radiation-exposure-0515

    So, what would actually happen from a link, especially with a good repository? See this:
    https://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/
    See also:
    http://thorconpower.com/docs/ct_yankee.pdf

    Compare that to coal electricity power, which kills about maybe 2 people every minute from premature deaths, or about 91 an hour, or about 800,000 per year, just from premature deaths from airborne particulate pollution. I’m not even counting coal ash, miner deaths, ocean acidition and climate change from CO2 emissions, etc. Worldwide, airborne particulate pollution causes 7 million premature deaths every year. That’s more deaths every hour from normal operations from airborne particulate pollution alone compared to deaths from radiation from civilian nuclear power over the entire history of nuclear power. When you exclude Chernobyl, which was a horrifically bad design that would have never been allowed in the West, worldwide, more people die every several minute from airborne particulates compared to deaths from radiation from civilian nuclear power worldwide over the entire history of nuclear power.
    https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/

    25 March 2014 | Geneva – In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

    https://www.who.int/airpollution/en/
    https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/household-air-pollution-and-health

    The nuclear waste disposal problem is a farce. Global warming and ocean acidification are big enough reasons on their own to go nuclear as fast as we can, but even without that, we have plenty of reasons to go nuclear, including this one – the cause of 12% of all human deaths worldwide.

    To asclepias
    Please show me your blog post. If you want, we can argue further about it there.

    Nuclear power is a long-term solution. With breeder reactors, nuclear fuel supply is as inexhaustible as the Sun.
    https://energyfromthorium.com/energy-weinberg-1959/
    In addition to burning everyday rock, seawater extraction might also work.

    Nuclear power requires uranium mining. What about solar and wind, which require hundreds or thousands of times more mining? It’s all about power densities; because solar and wind have such a smaller power density, they require much more mining for the same actual output. Solar and wind mining is a huge environmental disaster compared to mining for nuclear power. Also, no one talks about the “decommisioning” of solar cells either. It’s a flagrant double standard. When you look at the real evidence, nuclear wins on environmental safety and cleanness by a mile.
    https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/wind/big-winds-dirty-little-secret-rare-earth-minerals/
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/05/23/if-solar-panels-are-so-clean-why-do-they-produce-so-much-toxic-waste/

    As I’ve explained before in this post, the waste is a complete non-issue. The issue is basically a complete fabrication, and it’s repeated by those who don’t know any better and who foolishly trust the so-called Green experts.
    https://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/
    http://thorconpower.com/docs/ct_yankee.pdf

  26. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    PS:
    To stroppy
    Nuclear power is expensive because society has chosen to make it expensive. In countries that don’t have silly regulations, and that pick a proper design and keep doing that design to gain learning curve benefits instead of first-of-a-kind cost overruns, nuclear power is like 4x cheaper compared to the West. I’m talking about South Korea. Citation:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516300106

    For an example of specific details of specific regulations that add to the cost, see:

    https://atomicinsights.com/opportunity-use-science-establish-radiation-standards/
    https://atomicinsights.com/petition-stop-wasteful-practice-of-using-lnt-as-basis-for-illogical-regulations/
    https://atomicinsights.com/cost-increasing-results-of-accepting-the-linear-no-threshold-lnt-assumption-of-radiation-health-effects/
    https://atomicinsights.com/reducing-nuclear-operational-and-capital-costs-by-improved-technology/
    https://atomicinsights.com/evidence-suggesting-lnt-fabricated-purposeful-effort-hamstring-nuclear-technology-development/

    Honorable mention:
    https://atomicinsights.com/foes-manipulative-legal-strategy-closing-nuclear-reactors/

  27. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    PPS:
    Oh, sorry, I forgot this link, which is also crucial to understand a big reason why many companies are shutting down nuclear power plants in America.

    https://atomicinsights.com/why-cant-existing-nuclear-plants-make-money-in-todays-electricity-markets/

  28. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    PPPS:
    Can’t help it. Sorry. I’ll be done for a while after this:

    “Science is not partisan,” she says, but it has become partisan, because the Republican party has abandoned and denied it.

    This is undeniably true. However, on the issue of energy policy, the left are the science deniers by embracing renewables and grossly exaggerating the dangers of nuclear power. The Green movement is predominantly left-leaning, and the Greens and Democrats at large, and their counterparts around the world, are the single biggest reason why we don’t have nuclear power and why we’re wasting time and money on renewables, because of their multifold pseudo-scientific beliefs regarding renewables and nuclear.

    The Greens and the leftists are the primary problem on this immediate and severe issue of climate change and ocean acidification. I can sell nuclear power to the Republicans and conservatives for plenty of reasons that don’t involve climate change and ocean acidification. I can sell them on less human impact from drastically reduced airborne particulate pollution, plus an assortment of other metrics of environmental safety, environmental impact, and human health impact. I can sell them on energy security and national independence – not needing to depend on foreign countries for our energy supply. Whereas, it’s the Greens who would rather shut down a nuclear power plant and replace it with coal and natural gas, as has been done and continuing to be done in Germany, California, and elsewhere where Greens gain power and Green policies become enacted.

  29. John Morales says

    EL, your stimulus-response reflex has been activated. Be wary.

    Also:

    Just a few hundred people have died or will die from Chernobyl.

    I’m not the most sensitive guy in the world, but I for one am very well aware of the heroism of first- and second-responders who attended the aftermath. To save so many, many others. They were many of those who directly died.

    You disrespect those people. You lose respect.

  30. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John

    They were many of those who directly died.

    See:
    https://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/backgrounder/en/

    According to UNSCEAR (2000), 134 liquidators received radiation doses high enough to be diagnosed with acute radiation sickness (ARS). Among them, 28 persons died in 1986 due to ARS. Other liquidators have since died but their deaths could not necessarily be attributed to radiation exposure.

    A little over a hundred got sick from acute radiation sickness, and 28 died from it, and some corresponding number more will develop cancer because of it, and some fraction of those will die from the cancer.

    “28” is not “many” for the purposes of this discussion. About that many die like every 10 minutes from airborne particulates worldwide. I can also do research and tell stories about the deaths from environmental poisoning from solar and wind. I can tell the story of 230,000 people who instantly died when the Banqiao Dam broke.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam
    Perspective is needed.

    I fail to see how reporting the facts about their heroic work and sacrifice brings dishonor to them. What you did is just a kind of tone trolling.

  31. F.O. says

    @Ragutis #14
    Indeed “What took you so fucking long” is implicit in the question.
    I hope you are right.
    I hope that we try to find the way to have more people like her and support her.
    I hope it will inspire people outside of the US.

    @ck, the Irate Lump #26

    Not many people are going to be willing to throw themselves into a situation where both your enemies and those who are supposed to be your allies are attacking you.

    Good point.
    I hope the need will push more people tho.

  32. F.O. says

    Would be nice to have a thread where we can collect evidence for and against nuclear.
    I hear wildly different opinions from people I respect and trust.

    I’ve been in the Australian Greens, and while they match my values really well, there is an anti scientific undercurrent (for example, on GMOs).
    In Italy, the defunct Green party was a staunch supporter of homeopathy.
    So no, I don’t trust the Green movement to side with science on this.
    Italy rejected nuclear power in a 1987 referendum, and the result is that today we import electricity from France.

    This and the fact that the climate disruption is so bad make me lean towards nuclear, but it’s just an opinion I wouldn’t be able to support with facts.
    My take would be to remove subsidies to fossil fuels and support both renewables and nuclear.

  33. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    EL, lying again like a True Believer™. Waste disposal is the Achilles heel of nuclear. Until there is a permanent solution for the waste in place, I, who otherwise would support nuclear energy, don’t want to continue to accumulate waste that will stay in the environment. Can you guarantee that nothing radioactive or poisonous will never escape? Or be used by terrorists? And in the case I mentioned, it is near a source of fresh water for millions of people. The answer, of course, is you can’t at the moment.

  34. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Wow! We managed to get a whole 27 comments into the thread before Enlightenment Moron hijacked it with his obsession about nuclear power! A pity, as there were some decent comments up to that point.

    Once EL shows up, the oxygen is gone. Time for intelligent life forms to depart.

  35. numerobis says

    We only got to #7 before the nuclear bugs ran in and declared that everything AOC proposed is forever invalid because she was mean to nuclear power.

  36. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Numerobis,
    Yeah, but Chris is a drive by. EL is incapable of simply stating his case and withdrawing gracefully. There is a case to be made for having nukes (especially of modern design) in the mix of energy solutions to address climate change. To claim that is “the solution” is just flat stupid. There is no single solution. There aren’t even any “good” solutions left. We’ve squandered 40 years to delay and denial, and those 40 years were the majority of the time we had to come up with solutions before things get really bad. So, now we’re stuck with a lot of unpalatable options–including nukes, geoengineering, enforced austerity… And that is just to buy time for coming up with real solutions.

    The irony is that I’m not particularly anti-nukes. I realize that an exploding nuke plant will be in the form of a steam explosion rather than a mushroom cloud. I realize that the real risks of nukes remain:
    1) nuclear waste
    2) the threat of proliferation, especially if you use a breeder reactor system to increase nuclear fuel supplies
    3) the finite supply of nuclear fuel if you don’t use a breeder reactor
    4) the problem of human stupidity, which views failsafes as challenges to circumvent.

    And the tap dancing that EL and his like do around the problem, along with his divisive rhetoric actually make me view nukes with a more jaundiced eye. He seems to be much more interested in bashing the Greens than he is in coming up with realistic solutions–a characteristic that I’ve noticed to be common among those who view nukes as “the solution” to climate change.

  37. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Before I retired, I worked for a place that dealt with potent chemical compounds. Needless to say, there are strict rules on how the waste is handled, how it is stored on site, how long it can be stored on site, and how it is to be disposed of. I also served on the safety committee for years.
    I have no problem with waste at the nuclear plant being decommissioned for the moment. But temporary storage next to Lake Michigan will end when? The sooner it is moved, the better for everybody who lives near the lake.

  38. Chris Capoccia says

    #38 numerobis
    There are several places in GND with the clause, “as much as is technologically feasible”. Power is not one of these places. There is no accommodation for feasibility. Just an absolute of getting rid of nearly everything in our current electrical grid and rebuilding the whole thing with only renewables.

  39. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Nerd of Redhead
    I agree that the perceived waste disposal problem is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, public perception problems about nuclear power. However, the brute facts are that the dangers are wildly exaggerated by many orders of magnitude. I linked above to a thorough scientific study of a good repository approach which examined the consequences of a leak, and found that the consequences were like 6 orders of magnitude below the threshold of risk to human health. Here’s the link again.
    https://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/
    It is not enough to say “it will leak”. Of course it will, somewhere, sometime, someplace. Nothing is perfect. The coal ash ponds that we have now leak all the time. The similar waste lakes in China from rare earth metal mining for neodymium is also leaking. The difference is that these leaks cause real and substantial negative effects on human health, and practically all of the real analysis of the consequences of leaks of nuclear waste is zero effect on human health. For example, some people in the discussion are quick to bring up Hanford, even though it’s not civilian nuclear waste and so chemically and radiologically it’s quite different, and even then, they just say “it’s leaking!” and leave the rest up to the active imaginations of the public who have been lied to regarding the real scale of the dangers of radiation. No one ever says how many people have been harmed at Hanford, because the number is probably very close to zero. Just like Fukushima. Even at Chernobyl, the real number of people actually harmed by radiation is in the low hundreds at worst. The public perception of the harms of nuclear power are exaggerated by like 10,000x or more compared to the real threat that it poses – i.e. 1 million people dead from Chernobyl according to leading Green advocate and conspiracy theorist Helen Caldicott, compared to the W.H.O. reports, Lancet reports, and countless other scientific reports that suggest that the total number of deaths is just a few hundred or less.

    To a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    To claim that is “the solution” is just flat stupid. There is no single solution.

    This is just a religious creed with nothing to back it up.

    1) nuclear waste

    Complete non-issue.

    2) the threat of proliferation, especially if you use a breeder reactor system to increase nuclear fuel supplies

    Exaggerated, but real. I acknowledge this as one of the two real problems with nuclear power (the other being persistent land contamination from nuclear power plant reactor accidents). The internal safeguards of the IAEA are pretty good, and the historical data doesn’t realy suggest a strong association between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. IIRC, all countries who obtained nuclear power via the non-proliferation treaty did not develop weapons, and all (or almost all?) countries that obtained nuclear weapons were not members of the non-proliferation treaty and started with little to no nuclear power plants. Yes, the knowledge transfers to some degree, but the plants themselves don’t really. It’s typically easier for a nation to simply build a bunch of centrifuges or custom-purpose reactors compared to repurposing a civilian reactor.

    Also, not all breeding is the same. Some of the pyro reprocessing techniques and some of the molten salt reactor breeder techniques may actually be resistent to proliferation. Not immune – that was a common refrain by my side about 10 years ago and that was wrong – but resistent enough that with IAEA safeguards and with the inherent engineering difficulties, it would still probably be easier to just build new centrifuges or new reactors to get weapons material.

    I again point out that there is not a single nuclear bomb ever made from weapons material from a single-purpose civilian nuclear electricity plant, and again, that’s because it’s not as easy to do as many point out, and if a nation wants the bomb, they just do the obvious approach which is to built centrifuges or a custom-purpose reactor for the plutonium.

    And finally, the genie is out of the bottle. Look at how well the current approach did for a country like North Korea. If a country wants a bomb, they’re going to get it, no matter whether the rest of us use nuclear power or not. And then, the question becomes, does having a bunch of reactors allow for clandestine making of weapons material, and the answer is far from clear and it’s not an obvious “yes”, and some data suggests otherwise.

    I admit that I am out of my depth here, and I don’t know. I just want to point out that your argument is not obviously correct, and there appear to be good reasons to suspect that it’s wrong in part or in whole.

    3) the finite supply of nuclear fuel if you don’t use a breeder reactor

    I’d rather run out of fuel in 20 years, having stopped 20 years of CO2 emissions, than do nothing at all. That’s because I care about global warming, ocean acidification, etc. That’s 20 more years of continuing R&D into other solutions. I’m pessimistic about the odds of those solutions, but at least 20 more years of R&D is better odds compared to not having those 20 more years.

    4) the problem of human stupidity, which views failsafes as challenges to circumvent.

    This is true of every technology. And yet, even with all of the fuckups, and failures, including Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island, Windscale, Handford, and the rest, nuclear is still the safest and cleanest technology. Radiation and nuclear waste – while exceptionally dangerous – is not as dangerous as you think it is. IIRC, I need to double check this, but the LD-50 from acute radiation sickness of nuclear waste is comparable to that of nerve gas. Nerve gas is very dangerous, but with enough dillution, it’s not dangerous. That’s the way that we need to be thinking, and we need to compare it to the alternatives, which is fossil fuels and consequent climate change and ocean acidification, or pretending to do something with renewables while actually doing nothing at all and still fusing fossil fuels along with the consequent climate change and ocean acidification. These are the options before us. Again, to use the words of James Hansen, to believe that we can do it with renewables alone is as silly as believing in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.

    He seems to be much more interested in bashing the Greens than he is in coming up with realistic solutions

    Realistic plan:

    1- Continue substantial government R&D funding into all remotely plausible and promising technology.

    2- Do what France did with their electricity. It took them less than 20 years, and they were not in a particular hurry. Also follow the approach of North Korea to keep costs down – namely, pick a design or two, and keep building the same design with the same people as much as possible, in order to gain standard learning curve benefits for cost. That gets our electricity down to like 1% of current CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuels.

    3- Continue funding for deployment of electric cars, electrified train, and other substitutes for fossil fuels for transport.

    3b- In particular, dump a lot of money into the several promising approaches for pulling CO2 out of the air or oceans to make standard gasoline from them.
    If that works out, then we can continue with our current supply chains, cars, trucks, ships, and planes – using CO2-neutral synthetic gasoline. Of course, all powered with nuclear electricity. I’ve seen a lot of reports that the price of pulling CO2 out of the air or oceans has dropped dramatically, enough so that using standard and well tested technologies at industrial scale, we could manufacture gasoline from electricity, air, and water, and it could be cost comparable to what end-users currently pay at the petrol pump. For example, just like Germany did in World War 2 at scale. They used coal as their source of carbon, and we would use CO2 from the air or ocean instead, and that’s the only step which needs R&D and work to see if it can work on the same large-scale industrial-scale.

    4- Maybe do something about the remaining 15% of human CO2 emissions, such as aggriculture. I admit that I know very little about this sector and how bad it is. Also, I don’t know how bad methane emissions are relative to CO2 emissions.

    5- After we accomplish the above goals, we can start seriously considering negative CO2 emissions, powered with nuclear electricity. The brute force carbonate solution looks promising.
    https://www.energycentral.com/c/ec/carbonate-solution-part-1-brute-force
    We’d start R&D immediately, but we should devote our industrial resources to prevent as many CO2 emissions as possible in the first place because it’s cheaper and quicker compared to this approach to achieve negative emissions. I think any serious plan needs to achieve drastic reductions, circa 99% from electricity, heat, and transport, before we should consider negative emissions.

    That’s my plan. It’s the best plan that I know.

  40. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Shit, Typo. I meant:
    Also follow the approach of South Korea to keep costs down

  41. tinkerer says

    Is there a way of hiding posts from a particular commenter? Normally I can just scroll past those who have demonstrated themselves to be full of shit after a quick skim to see if they’ve made any useful contribution for once, but EnlightenmentLiberal seems to be on a hair trigger and their walls of text tend to dominate any discussion once something sets them off..

  42. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I know if you’re using firefox, killfile works.
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/blog-killfile/
    I don’t use it myself. I saw it suggested on The Atheist Experience blog a bit ago.

    PS:
    I find that saying “you’re wrong about basically everything” and “you and other misinformed people like you are the primary reason that the biosphere is going to shit” tends to go over rather poorly to the standard Greene cultist. I tried to keep it short and let the plethora of citations do most of the work for me.

  43. Chris Capoccia says

    Compare with this from Bill Gates, supporting a bipartisan Senate bill on nuclear power: “To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we need to reach near-zero emissions on all the things that drive it—agriculture, electricity, manufacturing, transportation, and buildings—by investing in innovation across all sectors while deploying low cost renewables. Nuclear energy is one of these critical technologies. It’s ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day.” https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/03/senate-re-introduces-bill-to-help-advanced-nuclear-technology/

  44. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    EL: “Complete non-issue.”

    Sorry, dude, but I think I’ll take the word of people who have actually worked on the issue over some random troll on the Intertubes. The people who actually understand this shit say it is an issue, and as a physicist, I understand why they are concerned.

    Hint: Try to keep water out of a given volume inside Earth’s crust for 10000 years.

  45. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    What experts are you talking about?

    I have already cited, several times, a particular paper that does the real modeling and math to estimate the dose rate that would be received by humans as a result of a leak in a worst case scenario.
    https://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/
    The estimated dose rate was about 10,000x below background rates.

    As I’ve already explained, the standard modus operandi of the Greens is simply to say “it will leak!” without actually explaining the real consequences of that, and instead they rely on the reader to fill in that gap according to the perception that radiation is magic and infinitely dangerous in the most extreme dilutions – a wrong-headed perception that the Greens have been carefully cultivating for 50 years. It’s a lot like homeopathy really.

    What are you, and your experts, basing your concern off of? I doubt that you’ve spent much real time looking over this, and instead have relied on sensationalist reporting, particularly from Green sources, which are filled with well known liars, frauds, and conspiracy theorists. I prefer to get my data and analysis from the scientific community instead of conspiracy theorist Green movement so-called experts. For example, leading Green advocate Helen Caldicott is on record as saying that there’s an international conspiracy that includes the W.H.O. and most other academic sources for a coverup of the real health effects from Chernobyl. Again, I prefer to get my data from reliable sources.

    At a minimum, I’m going to need to see something that looks scholarly that attempts to derive the dose rate to humans living near the site after a leak. If you don’t have that, then because of my sources, I safely conclude that you have nothing but baseless pseudoscientific fearmongering.

  46. says

    Who made you judge and jury? We’re not here to convince you. You showed up here with the apparent notion of bowling us all over with your superior knowledge, and now you’re acting like you’re the arbiter of everything.

    Go! Be unconvinced!

    Somewhere else.

  47. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    EL, the threat is not from direct radiation due to a leak, but from contamination of groundwater. You are SUCH a tool! And a dull one at that.

  48. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    Of course we’re talking about movement of radionuclides from water and not from “direct exposure” through hundreds or thousands of feet of rock. Why do you think otherwise? And my paper takes that into account.

    To Kip T.W.
    Yes. I showed up to convince everyone else. I’m trying to “break the spell”, to borrow a phrase from someone else. That’s why I cited a bajillion sources, some peer reviewed papers, some not.

  49. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Kip T.W.
    If you want to engage with some of my fact claims (and also my implicit and explicit value claims), then I can say something sensible. However, I don’t know what to say to such vacuous and obvious tone trolling. Sorry.

  50. says

    Don’t apologize to me. Apologize to everyone you’re boring with your interminable screeds in every single thread you invade. Well, I guess that includes me.

    Here’s a suggestion: “Oh, I didn’t realize just how tedious I’ve become with my one-note wheezing and puffing about evil Greens and the misguided scientific establishment that just goes along with them for reasons I, with my superior enlightened galloping, cannot fathom.” Of course, you’ll want to make it a lot longer and include a bunch of quotes.

  51. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I will not apologize for trying to correct misinformation and lies when I see them when it concerns the most important issue facing humanity today.

    tl;dr fuck you

  52. John Morales says

    EL, so you too have a problem with Green New Deal, not least in principle.

    (Be aware of which side you thereby support, despite your protestations)

  53. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    E. L., Ooh! It’s a modeling paper. Golly Ned! How impressive! Do you have any idea how crappy most of the studies have been on this topic. I had family members who worked on Yucky Mountain and regale us with tales of incompetent and biased modeling specifically designed to give regulators the answer they wanted!
    The problem is that modeling transport of fluid in porous rock is a very tough problem that depends critically on the properties of the rock–and, among other things, waste casks produce enough heat that they actually induce contact metamorphosis in surrounding rock! So sorry, your carefully selected paper that says waste isn’t an issue doesn’t impress me! And particularly when responsible scientists recognize that waste is probably the single biggest unresolved liability affecting acceptance of nuclear power. So, yeah, fuck off.

  54. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    Nicely done dismissing a paper, and not even substituting your own. Seriously, have you even see a paper that says that you should be concerned? Has anyone that you trust even claimed to have produced such a thing? Or are you just assuming that it exists? Or are you assuming that it’s a problem in spite of published papers to the contrary?

  55. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    EL,
    The fact remains that there is no place for nuclear power plants to dispose of their waste–this, despite the fact that the government spent over $15 billion trying to develop such a site at Yucca Mountain. That site is over 20 years late opening–mainly because they couldn’t come up with a workable scheme.

    You keep claiming that nuclear power is economical–and yet, nobody’s building nuke plants. You keep claiming that nuclear waste is not a problem–and yet, the waste is sitting in pools outside the plants waiting to leak.

    Frankly, E. L., technophilic Pollyannas like you are more to blame for the failure of nukes to progress than the greens, because you stubbornly cling to the notion that there are no problems with the technique rather than looking for realistic solutions to those problems. And no, wearing a single publication as a fig leaf is not a solution.

  56. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    I’m still waiting for you to explain why you think that there is a problem, and/or what you think that problem is in specific terms like dose rate.

  57. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Dude, you aren’t listening. That’s the problem. You can’t solve the problem reliably enough to get a dose rate. That means you can’t bound the risk. Here’s the scenario.
    1) The vault has to be secure and dry for thousands of years.
    2) To know that, you have to be able to predict seismic activity over a comparable time frame. Oops! They thought they understood the geology, but they keep encountering faults they didn’t know existed and whose stability they have no way of assessing.
    3) Well, Nevada is dry, at least. Right? Except when it’s not. Even during the excavation, they found that seepage was a problem. Turns out the rock was much more permeable than they thought.

    Modeling only works if you understand the system. To date no country has developed a successful nuclear waste storage/disposal process that meets the need to isolate the waste for thousands of years. None. And anyone who says otherwise is blowing sunshine up your skirt.

  58. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    Typically, the two relevant questions are “what do you believe?”, and “why do you believe it?’. You’ve done really well answering the first question, but you haven’t even pretended to answer the second question. I’ve asked the second question like 4 times already. Are you going to give me an answer? For example, you could say “I am citing my own topical expertise”. You could say “I am relying on this specific paper”. You could say “I got this information from a reliable source, but I do not remember that source right now”. Or something like that. I’d like an answer to my question. I am not going to take you at your word when all of the reliable papers that I can find strongly disagree with you. Moreover, I’d like to try to convince you that you are wrong (or I’d like to realize that I’m right), and to do that, I need to understand your actual reasons for your beliefs instead of just hearing “you’re wrong, trust me”.

  59. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ugg, obvious correction:

    or I’d like to realize that I’m wrong

    Sorry.

  60. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    EL,
    I am relying on discussions with scientists who worked on Yucky Mountain and found the approval process to be an utter complete clusterfuck. I am relying on following the issue for over 40 years, since I was an undergraduate. I am relying on the fact that I read the fucking news, and no government has developed a satisfactory solution to the waste disposal problem BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION.

  61. Jazzlet says

    To go back to the more important problem, getting more people like AOC standing and winning, one essential is that they have good support systems that can help them through the shit that will be poured on them. That is something we can all do for our local good people, if you know them support them directly in any way you can. If you don’t know them send them messages of support along with promises to work for their re/election. In some ways messages of support from strangers are more meaningful than friends. Every time the shit hits the fan be there with supportive actions and messages.

  62. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To a_ray_in_dilbert_space
    Ok. To see if we’re going to have a productive conversation, do you find anything disagreeable when I say that the number of people killed by radiation by Chernobyl, including acute radiation sickness and also cancers, in the past and future, will be less than 300 total?

    What’s the worst case scenario in your mind for leaking nuclear waste in the very long term? Is it going to be worse than Chernobyl?

  63. lochaber says

    I got into a conflict with EnlightenmentLiberal in a previous thread, where they claimed that the “Greens” spent more money on anti-nuclear propaganda then was spent on climate-denial propaganda.

    After repeated requests for some sort of citation on this particular issue, EnlightenmentLiberal eventually backed down with a weak excuse.

    EL seems more interested in insulting and demonizing “Greens”, “Liberals”, “leftists”, and “environmentalists” then in actually having some sort of productive discussion.
    And, they’ve once again brought up extracting uranium from seawater. When I questioned this on the previous thread, they switched to something about mining uranium in bog-standard granite. Which may be an option, but I haven’t seen anything about trials and real-world results, just some theoretical proposal more then half a century ago.

    EL keeps comparing nuclear to coal, which isn’t the issue here. They also keep promoting nuclear as the only option, based on largely theoretical and unproven tech, whilst dismissing renewables based on tired arguments and ignoring cutting edge tech.

    I’ll concede that I’m hardly an expert on nuclear energy generation, and that it likely has a very prominent place in most serious plans to drastically reduce carbon emissions. I do not think it’s the only option, and tend to reflexively reject anything pushed forward as the “only one true option”

    I’m also very concerned about hand-waving away the storage of nuclear waste. I’m incredibly skeptical of any attempt to account for the cost of storage and security of a substance for a period of time that is far longer then any human government.

    Diverging a bit here, but I don’t think the key issue is power generation so much as it is energy conservation and efficiency. It’s just staggering how much energy is wasted in the U.S., and I feel that a large part of that was the combination of cheap fossil fuels and the promise of “free nuclear energy” in the 70s or so.
    It reminds me of living in the desert, and daily seeing rivulets of water running down the gutter, because somebody’s lawn irrigation is broken defective. Nevermind we shouldn’t even have lawns or running waste water in the desert, but, well, we do…

  64. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    And, they’ve once again brought up extracting uranium from seawater. When I questioned this on the previous thread, they switched to something about mining uranium in bog-standard granite.

    This is wrong. Please go back and reread that thread. Specifically post 68. Here’s a link and quote:
    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/03/07/doom-doom-doom-doom/comment-page-1/
    “Second, with next-gen reactor tech, i.e. breeders, nuclear fuel supply is infinite, even accounting for the EROEI analysis. We’ve known since the 50s or 60s that the nuclear fuel supply is infinite. They did the work all the way back then to know that granite rock is the most common kind of rock in the continental crust, and that it contains some number ppm of uranium and thorium, and when burned in an efficient breeder reactor, it produces more than enough energy to pay for mining and processing that granite for the uranium or thorium. When burned in a breeder reactor, a volume of everyday granite rock has more useful energy than same volume of coal x20. We will never run out of nuclear fuel.
    https://energyfromthorium.com/energy-weinberg-1959/

    Also people seem optimistic about seawater extraction.”

    I spent almost all of my opening talking about granite extraction, including source, and I followed up with a single throwaway line about seawater extraction.

    Strike one.

    Which may be an option, but I haven’t seen anything about trials and real-world results, just some theoretical proposal more then half a century ago.

    Have you looked?

    Also, the paper didn’t mention a mere theoretical possibility, but it cited real evidence that this sort of process is commonplace in industry, including the energy costs for doing so, in order to show to the reader that it’s sustainable.
    https://energyfromthorium.com/energy-weinberg-1959/
    “With respect to uranium and thorium, the situation is also favorable, provided we burn all the uranium and thorium, not just uranium-235. About 1/2 of the uranium and thorium or 3 grams/ton is contained in rather easily leachable portions of the granite, according to Brown and Silver. The energy content of this “easily” recoverable uranium and thorium is equivalent to about 10 tons of coal or 260 GJ heat per ton of granite. The energy required to recover this 3 grams/ton of uranium and thorium is estimated by Brown and Silver to be equivalent to from 25-30 lbs of coal as seen in Table 3.”

    Consequently, I am led to believe that you neither searched for other pieces of evidence and assumed that they didn’t exist and implicitly asserted here that they didn’t exist, and worse, you didn’t even read the original paper to see that far from a theoretical model, it’s a standard and commonplace industrial process. Ex:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_situ_leach

    Strike two.

    EL keeps comparing nuclear to coal, which isn’t the issue here.

    Yes, it is. If you don’t give the developing countries of the world, like China, India, the countries of Africa, etc., something cost competitive with coal, then they’re going to burn coal. It’s really that simple. This is an unavoidable consequence of human behavior.

    They also keep promoting nuclear as the only option, based on largely theoretical and unproven tech, whilst dismissing renewables based on tired arguments and ignoring cutting edge tech.

    What theoretical tech is that? I’ve advocated for building lots of conventional light water reactors, basing our work on the French model (not present day France, but the France that transitioned over half of their electricity in less than 20 years), and also on the work of South Korea which today has capital costs that are between 4x and 8x smaller than the modern Western countries. You pick a good design, and then you build it again and again, to gain learning curve benefits, like South Korea. Then, you also fix the safety regulation so that it’s based on real science e.g. a threshold model of harm to human health with a very conservative value, and you fix the laws to count nuclear as “green” for green energy quotas, and you fix the energy markets to not favor renewables and to properly account for the value that reliable on-demand and rampable power from nuclear can provide. I fail to see how any of this requires “largely theoretical and unproven tech”.

    As for the claim that nuclear fuel is inexhaustible with breeder reactors. 1- That claim doesn’t really matter because what matters is the next 20 years, and there’s enough nuclear fuel for the next 20 years, and so we should do it. (There’s probably a lot more than 20 years. However, without breeder reactors, it is finite and exhaustible in less than a few thousands years at most, and maybe much sooner. Alt: uranium extraction from seawater – maybe.) 2- Breeder reactors are not theoretical despite what you’ve been told by the lying Green sources.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BN-600_reactor
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BN-800_reactor
    Somewhat similar to the American IFR and S-PRISM reactor; I’m not fully aware of the differences.

    Strike three.

    Do you even bother to research assertions that you make before they leave your mouth? I know that I made one mistake in the prior thread, and I apologized and retracted the claim, but that’s pretty good for a whole thread – only one mistake. It’s not like I’m writing a term paper. Whereas, you just failed three times in the space of a single post.

    I do not think it’s the only option, and tend to reflexively reject anything pushed forward as the “only one true option”

    One of the creeds of the Green religion. When Edison “invented” the lightbulb, how would you feel if I said that the lightbulb is the best and only practical way of making indoor light without smoke at night – or something lke that? Why do you reflexively reject that? It sounds like you’re trained as an artist and not an engineer. (I know that in engineering there are often multiple choices, but also as commonly there is a single “best choice” for a wide suite of uses. I suspect that only someone without a proper engineering background can believe something so foolish.)

    I’m also very concerned about hand-waving away the storage of nuclear waste. I’m incredibly skeptical of any attempt to account for the cost of storage and security of a substance for a period of time that is far longer then any human government.

    What about the coal ash lakes? Or the waste lakes from rare earth metal mining? Or the extremely large volume of solar panel waste that’s doing to be dumped somewhere with all of its toxic contents?

    You must come to realize that the mainstream environmentalist movement is a religious cult, and that they have systematically told you falsehoods about practically everything about the possible solutions to global warming. Global warming, climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and the rest is all real, and often woefully underappreciated. However, practically everything else that comes out of a Green’s mouth is just wrong. I am not the only one to reach this conclusion.

    Famous environmentalist George Monbiott saying precisely this:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world
    The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all
    […]
    Failing to provide sources, refuting data with anecdote, cherry-picking studies, scorning the scientific consensus, invoking a cover-up to explain it: all this is horribly familiar. These are the habits of climate-change deniers, against which the green movement has struggled valiantly, calling science to its aid. It is distressing to discover that when the facts don’t suit them, members of this movement resort to the follies they have denounced.

    Leading climate scientist James Hansen calling the Green movement “quasi-religious”
    https://youtu.be/KnN328eD-sA?t=2041 (transcript and youtube video title above)

    Almost everything that you know about this topic is wrong because there has been a 50 year old concerted movement by these people to spread lies.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Masses:_Opposition_to_Nuclear_Power_in_California,_1958%E2%80%931978
    http://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/3/28/why-the-war-on-nuclear-threatens-us-all (which relies on many quotes from the book above)
    Radiation and nuclear waste – while extremely harmful compared to most kinds of waste – is nowhere near as harmful as you think it is. A single leak would not be catastrophic.
    https://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/
    Now, compare that to how we handle coal ash, or the waste lakes from rare earth metal mining in China, or how we’re going to (mis)handle solar panel waste.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/us/coal-ash-spill-dam-breach.html
    https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/wind/big-winds-dirty-little-secret-rare-earth-minerals/
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/05/23/if-solar-panels-are-so-clean-why-do-they-produce-so-much-toxic-waste/
    https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/25/18018820/solar-panel-waste-chemicals-energy-environment-recycling
    Those things actually kill people and harm the environment. Nuclear waste from civilian nuclear power plants hasn’t killed anyone, and the number of people that it could harm, even in the most extreme scenarios, is near zero.

    Nuclear waste is the best kind of waste because they’re so little of it. Because it contains about a million times more useful energy compared to a battery or gasoline or some other chemical process, there’s also like a million times less nuclear waste compared to the volume of waste of solar, wind, coal, etc. Because they’re so little waste, we can safely dispose of it, and because it’s not magic, the inevitable leak will have zero consequence on human health or the environment.

    Chernobyl is great evidence for this. Listen to Green sources for long enough, like the famous Helen Caldicott, and you’ll hear that a million people died from Chernobyl. In reality, the number of people killed from radiation, including cancers past and future, is a few hundred, and maybe less. This is the position of all of the great academic bodies that have looked at it, including various papers in Lancet, the World Health Organization, and so forth. When presented with these facts, leading Green advocate Helen Caldicott said that Chernobyl is the biggest coverup in the history of medicine (source: a scene from the documentary movie “Pandora’s Promise” – George Monbiott also reports the same from another conversation with Helen Caldicott in the source above).

    The foremost Green expert on energy policy is arguably Mark Jacobson, a person who has been caught many times faking his work. He should have been drummed out of academia, but even today he’s held up by the Green movement as their foremost scientific expert in transitioning to renewables. There’s also suggestive evidence that the fossil fuel industry is bankrolling his work, presumably because they recognize that nuclear is their own real competition.

    Who are you going to believe? The scientific community? Or a bunch of fringe conspiracy-theorist religious cultists who believe in the functional equivalent of homeopathy (nuclear waste is extremely harmful even in the smallest amount and in the most extreme dilution)? That’s the real choice that is facing you.

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