The arctic is melting and is on fire


Isn’t this a lovely example of a catastrophic threshold effect? Humans produce excess carbon in the atmosphere, warming the planet; warming the planet dries out gigantic swathes of peat in the arctic, which catches fire and releases more carbon into the atmosphere. The Earth has all these colossal reservoirs of sequestered carbon, and we burn through one, the buried fossil fuels, and it unlocks all the others, such as the peat bogs.

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, leading to the desiccation of vegetation, which fuels huge blazes. Fortunately for us, these wildfires typically threaten remote, sparsely populated areas. But unfortunately for the whole of humanity, so far this year Arctic fires have released some 121 megatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, more than what Belgium emits annually. That beats the previous Arctic record of 110 megatonnes of CO2, set in 2004—and we’re only in June.

Yes, that article is from June, and being late in paying attention to it by a mere two months feels like I’m disgracefully tardy. We’re talking about climate events on a planetary scale, and they’re moving so fast that we need to be talking on a time scale of months. Usually, scientists and science reporters are telling you that geology moves incredibly slowly, but humans have effectively goosed the planet into bringing change so fast that we’re seeing it in a fraction of a lifetime.

These fires are largely happening where few people live, so we don’t see the effects directly. Aren’t we fortunate that we have satellites that let us see what destruction we have wrought?

All those fires are producing clouds of soot that darken the arctic ice, absorbing heat from the sun and increasing warming and melting. These are “some of the biggest fires on the planet”, and I don’t think anyone is going to put them out.

Meanwhile, back in the American fantasyland, we have a leadership that is denying that climate change is occurring, or that it’s entirely natural, or part of a normal cycle, and besides, even if it is happening, it would hurt the economy to do anything about it. Someone ought to explain to them that gradual change can lead to a crisis point and catastrophe…and that can happen in politics, too. There are fires smoldering everywhere.

Comments

  1. Ridana says

    Meanwhile, Bolsonaro is on track to burn another 20% of the rainforest within the next 15-20 years, which will tip it past the point of no return. It’s already no longer a carbon sink, but is now a carbon polluter. With the Bumblefuck in Chief’s tariffs pushing China to buy soybeans from Brazil, that’s only going to accelerate the slash and burn.

    Really, I’ve lost all hope at this point. We just can’t move fast enough to stop the people bent on our destruction anymore.

  2. jrkrideau says

    My thought has been ” F** the economy.” I would prefer a world where humans are still alive.

  3. thirdmill301 says

    Ridana, I don’t think they are bent on our destruction so much as they don’t care about our destruction if it interferes with their profits. The people who are making lots of money from the things that cause global climate change will be dead by the time the worst of it hits, so they have no reason to care. If there were some way to end climate change that didn’t interfere with their bottom line, they’d probably be fine with it.

  4. unclefrogy says

    it will be interesting to see what president Pinocchio will say and do now with the stockmarket sending messages on dire events coming.He is right on track to be “presiding” over another bankruptcy, this one will be on a scale of such magnitude that he will be remembered in history as the guy who ushered in the conditions that precipitated the collapse. If the deniers are afraid of the economic damage that would occur if we did some of the more “radical” thing proposed just wait to see what the real effects of the climate change that is headed our way will be.
    There is nothing in history nor prehistory we can compare to what is coming unhindered by any action could take.
    uncle frogy

  5. leerudolph says

    and besides, even if it is happening, it would hurt the economy to do anything about it

    …and (no doubt) it’s GOD’S WILL.

  6. blf says

    mailliw@6, Thanks for the heads-up !

    Note that in addition to Sept 20th, the 27th is also a strike date. As the site says, “As young climate strikers have shown, there is huge power in sustained action week after week to match the scale of the climate emergency. […]
    Different groups in different parts of the world are mobilising on either or both September 20 and 27 for different reasons […]”.

  7. Ridana says

    3) @ thirdmill301:
    Their motives don’t matter when everything is dead.

    But Bolsonaro in particular doesn’t seem to be motivated by profit so much as a childish, “You’re not the boss of me, so I’ll do whatever I want” attitude. Trump as well, but more self-centered and less power-mad. I.e., he’s too stupid to even understand what he’s doing, he just likes to bask in the praise of his base who cheer his “pwning the libs.”

    And of course there are the “true believers” who both like the profits in the present and can’t wait to fulfill prophecy by ushering in the Apocalypse with its plagues, famines and boiling the seas.

  8. GerrardOfTitanServer - formerly EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Friendly reminder that many leading climate scientists like James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, and others say that it’s the Greens, not the climate change deniers, who are the biggest stumbling block to fixing climate change, because of their opposition to nuclear power. James Hansen in particular notes that fossil fuels, especially natural gas, are a major funder of Green orgs because they’re useful for attacking the only real competition, nuclear.

    https://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/jim-hansen-presses-the-climate-case-for-nuclear-energy/

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110729_BabyLauren.pdf

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/10/29/top-climate-scientists-warn-governments-of-blatant-anti-nuclear-bias-in-latest-ipcc-climate-report/

    https://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists-letter/index.html

    http://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2018/10/25/open-letter-to-heads-of-state-of-the-g-20-from-scientists-and-scholars-on-nuclear-for-climate-change

    http://www.pewresearch.org/science/2015/07/23/elaborating-on-the-views-of-aaas-scientists-issue-by-issue/#energy-issues

  9. Rob Grigjanis says

    Gerrard @9: Thanks for the links. Some interesting stuff, especially the folks criticizing the IPCC report…

  10. DanDare says

    Windscale
    Chernobyl
    Threemile Island
    Fukashima
    Nuclear waste storage
    Vs
    Large scale wind, solar, tidal, geothermal with energy storage and generators closer to consumers. Some locations in the world are already 100% renewable energy.
    Why would there be a bias?

  11. Rob Grigjanis says

    DanDare @11: Lists are not arguments. Also, most places with near-100% renewable energy use hydro sources.

  12. GerrardOfTitanServer - formerly EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Windscale. Maybe 33 excess cancer deaths according to the first source I found.

    Chernobyl. Maybe 4000 excess cancer deaths at worst according to WHO. Depending on how you parse the reports, that’s only 4000 excess cancer cases, and most of the cancers will be thyroid cancer because it’s mostly from the radioactive iodine, and thyroid cancer has like a 90%, maybe 99% survival rate with treatment, and so that number drops drastically.
    https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr38/en/
    These numbers are also derived using the discredited pseudoscience LNT model, which means that the real number of deaths could be as little as 50.

    Three Mile Island. No one died. No one was exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. There was no noteworthy amount of radionuclide release. The only reason you mention it in that list today is because it happened mere days later after the propaganda movie “The China Syndrome”, starring a famous anti-nuclear activist actor.

    Fukushima. The estimates for the number of expected cancer deaths is much smaller than Chernobyl.
    https://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/a_e/fukushima/faqs-fukushima/en/

    Nuclear waste, especially nuclear waste in dry casks, and especially especially nuclear waste in proper permanent underground disposal, will never hurt anyone. The likely number of deaths from civilian power plant nuclear waste over all of humanity’s future is pretty close to zero. The problem here is that the Green orgs have lied to the general public about the real dangers of radiation to human health, and they say “it might leak”, and that’s true, but they never bother to tell you about the actual consequences of a leak, which is “nothing”. The Green orgs rely on their public audience having this fantastical understanding that radiation is infinitely dangerous and harmful, no matter how small the quantity, and no matter how deluded, in order for nuclear waste to seem the least bit scary.
    https://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/
    More broadly, also see:
    http://thorconpower.com/docs/ct_yankee.pdf

    Please especially see:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world

    If you want to compare death counts without context, hydro is one of the most dangerous way to make energy. A single dam accident killed hundreds of thousands of people almost instantly, and displaced millions, maybe tens of millions, more.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam
    100,000~ vs 50~? It’s clear to anyone which is safer.

    We haven’t even talked about coal. What Germany is doing is a travesty. Shutting down nuclear power plants and replacing them with coal power plants is the worst thing that you can do. Worldwide, 7 million people die every year from airborne particulate pollution, and about half of that is coal. Every 10 minutes or so, coal kills more people than all of the nuclear power plant accidents put together. Airborne particulate pollution is near the top of leading causes of deaths worldwide – 1 out of every 8 deaths is due to airborne particulate pollution.
    https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/

    We can also compare and contrast that to the toxic waste left over by solar cells and wind turbines, and that’s real, and unlike nuclear waste, it actually kills people.
    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/

    But because it’s all in China, or Bangladesh – out of sight of the ignorant, pampered, selfish, regressive luddite, anti-human neo-Malthusian, western Green persons in their ivory towers – they don’t seem to care. It’s just the latest form of racist exploitative colonialism. Also because the toxic and dangerous waste of solar and wind doesn’t have the magic word “radioactive” attached to it, people’s emotional reactions take over out of all proportion of the real scientific facts of the matter.

    Concerning “Large scale wind, solar, tidal, geothermal with energy storage and generators closer to consumers. Some locations in the world are already 100% renewable energy.”
    To quote the preeminent climate scientist James Hansen:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110729_BabyLauren.pdf

    Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needsin the foreseeable future? It is conceivablein a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.

    The Green energy dream is a religious cult. Again, this is not just my belief. Again, to quote the preeminent climate scientist James Hansen:
    https://youtu.be/KnN328eD-sA?t=2041 (transcribed by me)

    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.

    I have a lot of reasons to believe that the Green energy movement is comparable to a religious cult. For example, they keep citing academic frauds as “experts”, such as Mark Jacobson. I think that’s the real dealbreaker for me. To this day, I regularly see Mark Jacobson cited, which means that they have no inclination or ability to police their own. For example, our blogger on Oceanoxia cited Jacobson, and I tried to explain to explain to them on numerous occasions that Jacobson should be considered a fraud, and I provided all of the information to clearly support this contention, and the Oceanoxia blogger refused to admit to any of this, refused to admit error, and refused to retract their citation, and refused to apologize for their error. It’s really quite disheartening. It’s standard religious cult thinking at work.

    PS:
    There are plenty of reasons to be pro-nuclear. Climate change is the number one on my mind, but there’s plenty of other good reasons to go nuclear that have nothig to do with greenhouse gas emissions. There’s also providing cheap, clean, abundant energy to raise the rest of the world out of poverty, which is also the best way to stop population growth which is really required for many reasons. Also, raising people out of poverty is its own moral reward. Also, raising people out of poverty with power that doesn’t release greenhouse gases is one of the best things that we can do for the environment – it’s rich people that can afford to have a clean water act, a clean air act, an endangered species act, etc., and because it also typically takes more power to recycle something than to make it from virgin materials. By going nuclear, we also stop the holocaust of 7 million people dying every year from entirely preventable airborne particulate pollution, and we can also prevent the needless deaths and harm to the environment from the toxic waste from massive solar and wind projects. We also give countries better national security by giving them control over their energy supply, and this also reduces the need for resource wars. We can also use the clean, cheap, abundant energy of nuclear to solve a bunch of other problems, such as water scarcity through desalination.

  13. bcwebb says

    Nuclear shmooklear.

    You can argue that it makes sense to not shut down nuclear plants prematurely but it is much less clear that we should be building a lot of new ones. A new plant takes 20-40 years to design and build and that it far too long. There have been several efforts to build “THE” new standardized replicable plant with passive safety but these have all faltered and failed. There is not a drop in nuclear solution. Ten or even five years ago when Hansen was speaking, wind and solar were still too expensive and storage was too far away. That is no longer the case – solar has dropped in price by a factor of 20 from 15 years ago to the point it competes with natural gas and is far cheaper than nuclear. You could argue that nuclear should be cheaper but the industry crapped the bed by being unwilling to acknowledge the hazards of the high pressure designs and by concealing problems. The meltdowns at Chernobyl and Fukashima and accidents at Three mile island and Hanford were claimed to be 1 in 1000 year events of which we have now had four or more examples. Fukashima was only not massively deadly by narrow chance, the desperate decision to pump in sea water was nearly too late.

    Yes it would take a massive amount of wind and solar to power America but it can be built incrementally and rapidly and is happening everywhere. Like nuclear, it has large upfront capital costs but low operating costs. There are now already five times as many renewal employees than in whole coal industry. About 1/4 of energy employees work in wind or solar.

  14. says

    Proponents of nuclear power are always liars, who want everyone to believe that there’s a fast, easy solution which will work perfectly This Time, unlike all the previous ones. And, of course, that’s what they said all the previous times. The fact that nuclear power is hugely profitable for the same kinds of shady dealers who currently make a bundle off of fossil fuels is something they never ever mention, and some of them seem to be totally unaware of it.

  15. John Morales says

    GerrardOfTitanServer – formerly EnlightenmentLiberal, might as well drop your surnym by now.

    (Those to whom it may matter already know, and to others it does not matter.
    Your transition can thus be completed)

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    Gerrard @13:

    I have a lot of reasons to believe that the Green energy movement is comparable to a religious cult.

    The Vicar @16:

    Proponents of nuclear power are always liars

    I just love the exchange of ideas in this place.

  17. GerrardOfTitanServer - formerly EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To bcwebb
    France vs Germany shows that’s a lie. France converted half of their electricity to nuclear, from start of construction to finish of construction, in 15 years. They also have cheaper electricity than Germany, and their electricity supply is more stable than Germany who is experiencing frequency and voltage regulation problems which has been causing problems for certain industrial users that require stable electricity supply. Germany has had almost the same amount of time and comparable amounts of money, and they have made very little progress. History shows that it’s much faster, and cheaper, to build nuclear than solar and wind.

    It takes that long to build a nuclear power plant now because of poor economic and design choices, and also in huge part because the Green movement has successfully demonized nuclear power and created a whole legal and regulatory scheme in almost every western country that makes it incredibly hard to built at time and at cost. All you have to do is look at the historical data, such as the anecdote that I provided about France above, but also the full data of overnight construction costs year over year. When you do, you see that costs basically tripled overnight in the US and Europe after Chernobyl and especially Three Mile Island. This is not a coincidence. The Green movement used these events to force through their legislative and regulatory changes. Compare that specifically to South Korea, which made correct economic and design decisions when building their nuclear power plants, and which wasn’t excessively burdened by the Green movement, and you see overnight construction costs decreasing year over year, comparable to the learning curve for solar.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516300106

    For a bunch of citations that show it actually is the fault of the Green movement, see the links below in this post when I respond to The Vicar.

    I’ve looked it up, and the Green advocates have been saying the same thing for 50 years straight. They have been feeding us the same obvious lie that solar and wind have only just recently become cheap enough to replace fossil fuels. Do you know the story about the boy who cried wolf? Or how about the saying “fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice…”. What if you are fooled for 50 years straight with the same line?
    https://www.johnlocke.org/update/renewable-energy-has-been-almost-there-since-the-1970s/
    https://lockerroom.johnlocke.org/2017/09/26/how-can-your-almost-there-industry-still-need-several-decades-worth-of-tax-credits/
    https://www.americanenergyalliance.org/2015/07/wind-fail-20-quotes-for-30-years-of-false-hopes/
    https://www.masterresource.org/romm-joseph-climate-progress/joe-romm-solar-wind-competitive/

    See also:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/06/11/if-nuclear-power-is-so-safe-why-are-we-so-afraid-of-it/

    In 1966, misanthropic conservationists within the Sierra Club had embraced Malthusianism. Writes Rhodes:

    The small-world, zero-population-growth, soft-energy-path faction of the environmental movement that emerge across the 1960s and 1970s knowingly or unknowingly incorporated the antihumanist ideology of the neo-Malthusians into its arguments… “more power plants create more industry,” [the Sierra Club’s executive director complained,] “that in turn invites greater population density.”

    Amory Lovins reveals his regressive luddite Malthusian beliefs:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/02/14/the-real-reason-they-hate-nuclear-is-because-it-means-we-dont-need-renewables/

    “Even if nuclear power were clean, safe, economic, assured of ample fuel, and socially benign,” said the god head of renewables, Amory Lovins, in 1977, “it would still be unattractive because of the political implications of the kind of energy economy it would lock us into.”
    What kind of an energy economy would that be, exactly? A prosperous, clean, and high-energy one. “If you ask me, it’d be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it,” explained Lovins.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/10/09/anti-nuclear-bias-of-u-n-ipcc-is-rooted-in-cold-war-fears-of-atomic-and-population-bombs/

    When asked in the mid-1990s if he had been worried about nuclear accidents, Sierra Club anti-nuclear activist Martin Litton replied, “No, I really didn’t care because there are too many people anyway … I think that playing dirty if you have a noble end is fine.”

    Quoting bcwebb:

    That is no longer the case – solar has dropped in price by a factor of 20 from 15 years ago to the point it competes with natural gas and is far cheaper than nuclear.

    This is simply not true. Society needs reliable, dispatchable, on-demand power. The cost of transforming that intermittent, unreliable, non-dispatchable solar power into dispatchable power is cost prohibitive.

    Quoting bcwebb:

    You could argue that nuclear should be cheaper but the industry crapped the bed by being unwilling to acknowledge the hazards of the high pressure designs and by concealing problems.

    Conventional high pressure light water reactor designs are still miles better for human health and miles better for the environment compared to solar and wind.

    Quoting bcwebb:

    The meltdowns at Chernobyl and Fukashima and accidents at Three mile island and Hanford were claimed to be 1 in 1000 year events of which we have now had four or more examples. Fukashima was only not massively deadly by narrow chance, the desperate decision to pump in sea water was nearly too late.

    Come on. Chernobyl plausibly only killed 50 people. Fukushima would not have been that much worse than that. Stop getting your information from professional liars like Greenpeace. Your understanding of the effects of radiation on human health is basically completely wrong – or it’s off in scale by a factor of thousands, if not millions. Again, this link is very instructive:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world

    To The Vicar

    Proponents of nuclear power are always liars

    I can’t do anything with that non-argument.

    who want everyone to believe that there’s a fast, easy solution which will work perfectly This Time, unlike all the previous ones.

    It did work. Look at France. You cannot ignore France.

    Whereas, you don’t have a single example for your solar and wind fantasies. Every single example you can cite is a failure, or is almost completely hydro, or has the appearance of working because they’re being a leech on their neighbors reliable electricity supply.

    Nuclear would have have continued to work too if not for the Western world-wide Green movement that effectively regulated nuclear out of competition.See:

    Greens are the cause of nuclear being expensive and nuclear being in decline.

    http://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/3/28/why-the-war-on-nuclear-threatens-us-all

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Masses:_Opposition_to_Nuclear_Power_in_California,_1958%E2%80%931978

    https://www.ohio.com/akron/editorial/michael-shellenberger-end-the-discrimination-against-nuclear-power

    Nuclear costs so much in the west in large part because of the needless safety regulations.

    https://atomicinsights.com/evidence-suggesting-lnt-fabricated-purposeful-effort-hamstring-nuclear-technology-development/

    https://atomicinsights.com/petition-stop-wasteful-practice-of-using-lnt-as-basis-for-illogical-regulations/

    https://atomicinsights.com/opportunity-use-science-establish-radiation-standards/

    https://atomicinsights.com/reducing-nuclear-operational-and-capital-costs-by-improved-technology/

    https://atomicinsights.com/cost-increasing-results-of-accepting-the-linear-no-threshold-lnt-assumption-of-radiation-health-effects/

    Nuclear is also expensive because of legal delaying tactics by Greens which drive up nuclear costs.

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

    Nuclear is also less profitable in many current western countries because the markets have been carefully regulated in order to favor solar and wind and natural gas, including large subsidies for solar and wind, and laws that prioritize the “using” of solar and wind, and laws that subsidize solar and wind even in oversupply situations, and laws that outright forbid nuclear from competing properly because the law explicitly requires a certain fraction of generated electricity to be non-nuclear renewables.

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

    When you remove all of that baggage, you get South Korea, where nuclear costs have decreased substantially over the last 30 years, year over year, and now overnight nuclear capital costs are like 4x to 8x cheaper in South Korea compared to the west. See following source.

    The following source also clearly shows a massive spike in overnight nuclear capital costs in the west right after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, which is further evidence that the massive cost we see today is due to regulations (and many of them are unnecessary).

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

    Also, South Korea also benefited from choosing a single decision and building it over and over again, with the same people, to gain standard learning curve benefits, unlike many projects in the west which are first-of-a-kind reactors, built by new people, and in that kind of situation, we should not be surprised by substantial cost overruns.

    The fact that nuclear power is hugely profitable for the same kinds of shady dealers who currently make a bundle off of fossil fuels is something they never ever mention, and some of them seem to be totally unaware of it.

    Citations please. What I see in my home state of California is an unholy alliance of Green groups working with natural gas interests to do a run-around on the state energy board to try to shut down our remaining nuclear power plants earlier than normal.

    Fossil fuel, especially natural gas, love the Greens, because the Greens shut down their only real competition, nuclear. Natural gas in particular loves solar and wind, because wherever you built solar and wind, you almost always back it up with large amounts of natural gas because of the high ramp rate of natural gas turbines.

    For example, again from my home state of California. The biggest solar plant in California is called Ivanpah. It’s a concentrated solar thermal design. Did you know that it also happens to burn a lot of natural gas? Like, a lot of natural gas? “Why is that?” you ask. Well, they have to heat the working fluid up to operating temperatures every morning, and they use natural gas to do that. They use so much natural gas, that it’s about 12% as much as a comparable natural gas turbine, and I haven’t even counted yet the other real natural gas turbines that they have in place to cover its remaining intermittency. When I first learned this, I actually shouted “fuck me” out loud at work – I was that angry.

    See:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/03/28/the-dirty-secret-of-renewables-advocates-is-that-they-protect-fossil-fuel-interests-not-the-climate/
    https://atomicinsights.com/why-cant-existing-nuclear-plants-make-money-in-todays-electricity-markets/

    See also the following sources about how the few Green academic “experts” is being funded by fossil fuel money, specifically natural gas.

    https://atomicinsights.com/following-the-money-whos-funding-stanfords-natural-gas-initative/
    https://atomicinsights.com/stanfords-universitys-new-natural-gas-initiative/
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/03/28/the-dirty-secret-of-renewables-advocates-is-that-they-protect-fossil-fuel-interests-not-the-climate/

  18. GerrardOfTitanServer - formerly EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Sorry, important typo:

    See also the following sources about how one of the few Green academic “experts” is being funded by fossil fuel money, specifically natural gas.

  19. bcwebb says

    The issue with nuclear power is a persistent mix of political, economic and technological problems that appears insurmountable. Ten or twenty or thirty years ago, I would have said, yes, the companies will admit the problems with present designs and unite on a simple, stable, passively safe, replicable design and we can build them up to replace fossil fuels. That didn’t happen and I think that ship has sailed. You see the ideal that the nuclear industry could be; I see the reality of the slipshod, slimy and dishonest industry that we have. It is the industries own fault that it has failed, not some tiny group of mythically powerful “Greens;” costs were driven up with alterations and redesigns every time there was a fire in a control room that was unanticipated or steel and concrete were untested or there was a near miss from a flaw somewhere. We no longer have time to change the American system of business and governance. The AEC should have never been both regulator and promoter. France is largely a government operation – not gonna happen here and yet France has had some close calls, one resembling the Fukasima cause in that control systems were disabled by flooding.

    Your assertions that solar and wind are highly subsidized, especially considering that the public has borne both insurance and bond guarantees for nuclear are nonsense.

  20. GerrardOfTitanServer - formerly EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To bcwebb
    I notice that I’m posting citations for my arguments, and you’re posting the same debunked a million times Green dogma that you get from professional liars like Greenpeace.

    That didn’t happen and I think that ship has sailed

    What is this? A reality TV show? Did we vote nuclear off the island? What are you talking about? What do you mean “the ship has sailed?”. Is this a sunk-cost fallacy? Are you saying that convincing people that they’re delusional regarding energy production and the (non)-dangers of nuclear power is too hard and we shouldn’t try? Well, I think that convincing people that they’re wrong is going to be a lot easier than changing the laws of physics, which is what I really believe would be required for renewables to replace fossil fuels.

    You see the ideal that the nuclear industry could be; I see the reality of the slipshod, slimy and dishonest industry that we have.

    All industry has such examples. Why single out nuclear power? According to the historical record, nuclear power is safer and environmentally cleaner than all alternative sources of electricity, and that comparison includes solar, wind, and hydro. Again, I don’t understand why you single out nuclear power for special scorn and reprimand when it’s already the best by a substantial margin. It seems to be an unjustifiable double-standard. One impossible standard for nuclear, and a rather lax and permissive standard for the harms caused by solar, wind, hydro, etc.

    It is the industries own fault that it has failed, not some tiny group of mythically powerful “Greens;”

    This is simply false. Again, look at the data.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516300106
    It is not a coincidence that overnight-capital costs nearly tripled overnight in the West immediately after Chernobyl and especially Three Mile Island. It is because the Greens latched onto this strategy, and regulated nuclear power out of existence. See above for the many examples of regulations that needlessly increase the cost of nuclear power and also make nuclear power uncompetitive. Many have to do with the “as low as reasonably possible” standard for radioactive release to the environment, and as it’s interpreted in practice, this raises costs drastically for no gain for the public or the environment. It also has to do with the ability of natural gas, solar, and wind to flood the electricity markets with lots of energy, creating low-cost or even negative cost conditions, which push nuclear power plants to excessively ramp down, leading to xenon transients, meaning that they need to wait a few days before restarting, giving solar, wind, and natural gas exclusive access to the market, and able to reap great profits. Again, links above explaining all of this.

    This is also no secret. We have the “secret memos” from the leading Green orgs from the 1960s and 1970s. Also some links above for that. They said what they were going to do, and they were wildly successful with it. It was incredibly fortuitous for the Greens, Jane Fonda one of them, that her movie, The China Syndrome, was released in theatres mere days before Three Mile Island. The movie, like the HBO Chernobyl series, gives information to the audience about the dangers of accidents which are thousands, and often millions, of times exaggerated. When the real accident happened just a few days later, all of the newspapers around the country were primed because of The China Syndrome, and nuclear has never recovered from this moment of incredibly bad PR. Which is ironic because Three Mile Island as a thing didn’t hurt anyone.

    costs were driven up with alterations and redesigns every time there was a fire in a control room that was unanticipated or steel and concrete were untested or there was a near miss from a flaw somewhere.

    Again, all unsourced. Notice that I provided more than half a dozen sources as to the real reasons why nuclear is expensive. You’re just talking out of your ass.

    We no longer have time to change the American system of business and governance.

    Then we’re screwed, because solar, wind, et al, are not an alternative. They’re a fantasy.

    France is largely a government operation – not gonna happen here

    It’d better, because the alternative is the real potential of the end of human civilization from climate change.

    Your assertions that solar and wind are highly subsidized, especially considering that the public has borne both insurance and bond guarantees for nuclear are nonsense.

    Just another Green lie.
    http://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2018/4/12/new-jersey-votes-to-subsidize-solar-at-rate-18-to-28-times-greater-than-subsidy-for-nuclear
    https://atomicinsights.com/quantifying-the-price-anderson-subsidy/
    https://atomicinsights.com/real-story-about-nuclear-plant-liability-insurance/

Leave a Reply