The Nobel acknowledges global warming, again


This year’s physics Nobel goes to Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann, and Giorgio Parisi for “for the physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warmings” and “for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales” and for giving us something more to talk about in our Saturday podcast.

And yet, there are still people — Republicans, mainly, who I will grudgingly admit are still “people” — who deny the science.

Let’s be fair, though. There are also a lot of Democrats who are dragging their heels and refusing to do anything but the bare minimum they can get away with.

Comments

  1. snarkrates says

    We’ve reached the point where the denialists really don’t bother to come up with any sort of coherent argument trying to refute the science. The evidence is against, and all but the most blinkered realize it. It’s gotten to the point where some of the morons challenge the validity of statistical and probabilistic reasoning before questioning the science.

    Most, however, just change the subject–much like Kristen Sinema and Joe Manchin are doing with the spending bills. I’m pretty convinced that Manchin and Sinema are holding the bills hostage to get as much spending on addressing climate removed as possible. They won’t say it. They’ll just hum to themselves over in the corner and keep saying “No.” We have to increase the number of Democrats in the Senate to push these two back into the irrelevance they so richly deserve.

  2. imback says

    Note that these laureates did the bulk of their work before 1980. The atmospheric physics has been known for decades, and yet more than half of the carbon anthropogenically emitted into the atmosphere has been done since 1990. We really have no excuse being in this situation.

    P.S. I am glad Eunice Foote gets a mention in the scientific background for this prize (pdf). She is the first to publish the laboratory observation that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Her work was rediscovered just a few years ago, and until then John Tyndall had gotten all the credit.

  3. citizenjoe says

    Well, Republicans are still people. And they are responsible for making a lot of folks still people.
    Very still.

  4. stroppy says

    @1

    Yeah, Manchin is in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry and is fiscally right wing.

    Not sure what the deal is with Sinema, apparently know one knows for sure. I suspect she dug a hole for herself and doesn’t know how to get out on her own without loosing face, and has gone too far down the rabbit hole for anyone to throw her a rope.

    Politics in DC is not like a state legislature, or the voters she pitched to to get elected (“moderate” conservatives, independents, and middle-of-the-road Dems). Just my guess: Total leveling up fail.

  5. stroppy says

    I might add that I wouldn’t put it past Sinema to be grandstanding; she does have a touch of P. T. Barnum about her.

    She is… unusual.

  6. consciousness razor says

    stroppy, #4:

    Not sure what the deal is with Sinema, apparently know one knows for sure.

    Kyrsten Sinema – opensecrets.org

    Currently, for 2021-2022:
    #1 recipient for payday lenders
    #2 for airlines and air transport
    #3 for finance/credit

    And lots more money from numerous other sources like pharma, insurance, etc. All of them are getting a great deal.

    I suspect she dug a hole for herself and doesn’t know how to get out on her own without loosing face, and has gone too far down the rabbit hole for anyone to throw her a rope.

    ??

    She’s been bought. The people who threw her a rope are getting exactly what they paid for. If she loses her next election (pretty likely), she will have no trouble finding another “job.” She’s just not interested in governing, much less in doing so “on her own” whatever that means.

  7. consciousness razor says

    As for Manchin, he’s not just bought by somebody else in fossil fuels. He’s very directly involved in it himself:

    For decades, Manchin has profited from a series of coal companies that he founded during the 1980s. His son, Joe Manchin IV, has since assumed leadership roles in the firms, and the senator says his ownership is held in a blind trust. Yet between the time he joined the Senate and today, Manchin has personally grossed more than $4.5 million from those firms, according to financial disclosures. He also holds stock options in Enersystems Inc., the larger of the two firms, valued between $1 and $5 million.

    Not just him and his son either. Fun for the whole family:

    Heather Bresch, the former president and CEO of the drugmaker Mylan, worked directly with the CEO of Pfizer to keep prices of the company’s EpiPen product artificially high, according to new documents released as part of an ongoing lawsuit.

    The documents also show Bresch approving a scheme to force customers, captured by the company’s monopoly, to purchase two EpiPens at once, regardless of medical need. The EpiPen is an auto-injectable device that injects epinephrine into the body and can be the difference between life or death for a person suffering a severe allergic reaction.

  8. stroppy says

    @6

    Yes. However, for instance, TNR’s click baity headline.

    Kyrsten Sinema Is Corporate Lobbies’ Million-Dollar Woman
    She’s raked in cash from the Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and others trying to gut the reconciliation bill. Connect the dots.

    then proceeds to a more nuanced conclusion

    “There’s no way to prove definitively how much influence these donations have had on Sinema, if any at all. But the donations, along with the opinion shared by Sinema and these organizations that the reconciliation bill is too big, are a clear indicator of where their interests align. And it’s worth keeping an eye on what she has to say about corporate tax rates.”

    No doubt those same organizations hedge donations through packs to most all candidates, including Dems.

    More to the point, where the rubber meets the road, there is some concordance with what you say. But you see that there is more going on than just that:
    http://politicsthatwork.com/voting-record/Kyrsten-Sinema-412509

    She’s a creature of Arizona, and Arizona prefers their politicians “mavericky.” It’s not clear how far she’ll go with this game and what she’s willing to give up to bring negotiations to a close.

    Just to be clear, I’m in no way apologizing for this foolishness. If she ends up scuttling the deal there will be hell to pay.

    Lay your money down, and we will see what we shall see.

  9. says

    The phrase “bare minimum they can get away with” is kind of infuriating because what they’re doing really isn’t the bare minimum they can get away with. We are seeing the catastrophic consequences of global warming now, which means we’re one well-placed heatwave away from seeing hundreds of thousands dead on their conscience (most likely in South / Southeast Asia). That’s something they’ll have to feel – whether or not they can escape political criminal or financial repercussions.

  10. PaulBC says

    stroppy@8

    Lay your money down

    If I have “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” playing in my head for the rest of the day, I’m blaming you.

  11. consciousness razor says

    There’s no way to prove definitively how much influence these donations have had on Sinema, if any at all.

    I’m reading that, and I don’t get what’s important about this kind of “nuance.” So what?

    That’s not a standard we ever use for anything except mathematical theorems. And yet life goes on. We still have very strong evidence for all kinds of beliefs which are definitely true (but not “definitively proven”).

    She’s a creature of Arizona, and Arizona prefers their politicians “mavericky.”

    What makes AZ different from anywhere else? What’s so special about it?

    Why doesn’t Mark Kelly also have this same excuse and appeal to these supposed preferences?

    And look, if John McCain wasn’t really “mavericky” enough and needed help from a mavericky Sarah Palin (from a different state starting with the letter “A”), then what does that say about this whole silly narrative that people are interested in telling themselves?

    Just to be clear, I’m in no way apologizing for this foolishness. If she ends up scuttling the deal there will be hell to pay.

    Not so sure about that…. Like I said, there’s no “hell to pay” but a very soft landing after losing the seat. I guarantee she will be just fine after her career as a Senator is over, whether that happens sooner or later. Same with Manchin.

    Lay your money down, and we will see what we shall see.

    I bet the reconciliation bill will pass in some form or another. They can still “win” by making it appear to their most right-wing donors/fans that they fought very hard against it. All of the blithering and hand-wringing is just for show. And it’s already been gutted to a large extent, compared to proposals from this spring and summer. Plus, they’re getting the bullshit infrastructure bill out of this entire mess too.

    So it doesn’t really seem like they’re losing anything here, unless merely passing a version of the reconciliation bill counts as a loss. (And when that happens, I’m counting on some to report it as if it were a total failure.)

  12. consciousness razor says

    Besides, the polls simply don’t agree with narrative about Sinema merely doing what is allegedly desired by her (apparently idiotic) constituents:
    https://morningconsult.com/2021/10/04/sinema-manchin-approval-rating/

    Among Democrats in the state, her net approval rating has dropped 41 points since the beginning of the year. Then, it was 67% approve and 20% disapprove (+47). Now, it’s 46% approve and 40% disapprove (+6).

    So, I don’t know how anyone can believe the real answer is that she’s totally oblivious to all of this and that it’s got nothing to do with her rich donors. That is not a plausible explanation.

  13. flange says

    How else could two unremarkable slugs like Manchin and Sinema achieve such importance, such fame? To have fawning colleagues begging them to change their minds? The heady, intoxicating, addictive attention.

  14. stroppy says

    I’m reading that, and I don’t get what’s important about this kind of “nuance.”

    Um.

    What does the extent to which Sinema is in anybody’s pocket matter if it doesn’t have consequences; and if there are consequences, what are the measurable outcomes?

    Unless it’s a purity, all or nothing thing…?

    And look, if John McCain wasn’t really “mavericky” enough and needed help from a mavericky Sarah Palin…

    ?

    I didn’t say mavericky was necessarily a good thing for it’s own sake. Word games aside, McCain did buck the party on Trump, for instance.

    Either way, to borrow a figure of speech, in politics perception is reality. Votes matter.

    Like I said, there’s no “hell to pay” but a very soft landing

    Yeah, politicians are pretty thick and rubbery, but they really don’t like to lose. You can tell by how whiney they get. That said, If the whole thing collapses, I think it could just about kill the Democratic Party with unpredictable ripple effects and “unrest.” Just IMO.

    All of the blithering and hand-wringing is just for show.

    There is grandstanding, kabuki, panto, and tomfoolery galore.

    So it doesn’t really seem like they’re losing anything here, unless merely passing a version of the reconciliation bill counts as a loss.

    The legislation is chock full of pieces. According to the Republican agenda, any Democratic failure is a win. Democrats need to deliver as many concrete pieces as they can.

    Once all is said and done, we can sort through the rubble and count up the points.

    @12
    She may be oblivious to the voters. She may have drastically miscalculated*. She may have painted herself into a corner. She may have a peculiar ideology. She may be beholden to her donors to some extent (I never said otherwise). And as pointed out, her base isn’t just Democrats.
    All those things, and probably some others I can’t think of at the moment.

    (* I.e., not a narrative about Sinema merely doing what is allegedly desired by her constituents but rather what she thinks is desired by her constituents.)

  15. unclefrogy says

    I suspect that the hell to pay will be we the people, as usual, these senators will be OK personally. Though they may get un-elected or “retire” from the senate.

  16. PaulBC says

    I.e., not a narrative about Sinema merely doing what is allegedly desired by her constituents but rather what she thinks is desired by her constituents.

    There’s evidence that most US politicians across the spectrum believe that their constituents are more conservative than they are. (Unless things have changed by all that much since 2013: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/03/politicians-vs-constituents-charts/317779/ )

    A cursory read still suggests that we’re better off with Sinema than Martha McSally.

    Sinema could be acting on a combination of factors including being bought out by donors, misreading her constituents, and wanting to be seen as a “maverick.” The donors argument is the most straightforward, so… sure, I’ll buy that.

    I’m not sure how I am supposed to act on any of this. Biden may have bought some time, though it seems like less now than it did before. The next unforced error will be Justice Breyer delaying his retirement until the GOP is in total control of his replacement. The filibuster should be eliminated, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen. It’s just the usual mistakes all over again.

  17. unclefrogy says

    Yeah, politicians are pretty thick and rubbery, but they really don’t like to lose. You can tell by how whiney they get. That said, If the whole thing collapses, I think it could just about kill the Democratic Party with unpredictable ripple effects and “unrest.” Just IMO.

    well clearly the republicans can be seen as going through some kind of “re-alignment” and it is becoming pretty clear that there are significant “factions” growing within the democrats as well. it is like we are becoming a 3 party state, the reactionary racist kleptocracy party, the progressive socialist green party and a center traditionalist party a status quo but get things done party.
    these are interesting times for sure,

  18. PaulBC says

    I was just reading Krugman’s latest column about Very Serious People and it struck me (not that this is new or deep) that to be a “very serious” person you must look at any set of options carefully and determine which will leave most Americans worse off (or at least limit yourself to those if there are more than two). By choosing the worse option, you prove your street creds. It is a brave course of action to favor only things that will make life worse for your constituents.

    After all, only silly head-in-the-clouds ninnies would go for anything that improved people’s lives. This explains clearly why some issues (like the deficit) matter to VSPs and others (global warming) do not concern them in the slightest.

  19. PaulBC says

    me@18 And, of course, Sinema and Manchin both want to be seen as “very serious” (I neglected to add)

  20. stroppy says

    “I’m not sure how I am supposed to act on any of this.”

    Yeah, at the end of the day, a lot of this is just spectator sport. For some reason I can’t look away.

    Martha McSally was truly awful.

  21. consciousness razor says

    And as pointed out, her base isn’t just Democrats.

    Maybe it isn’t, but then it would still be a case of “miscalculation.” Let’s look at the rest of the numbers, not just among Democrats (same source as before)….
    Overall: from +13 to +0 (down 13)
    Democrats: from +47 to +6 (down 41)
    Independents: from +11 to -3 (down 14)
    Republicans: from -18 to -2 (up 16)

    That last one is at least an improvement: -2 is better than -18. However, it’s also still a negative number. An actual Republican could easily do better than that in the next primary and election. So it’s not like Sinema could even think switching parties would be helpful somehow, or anything like that.

    And overall, she is down 13 points. Among independents, she is down 14 points. So, if “down 41 points among Democrats” sounded like it still leaves her some kind of space to have support among other groups, then there you have the rest of them. But it doesn’t look good.

    It looks roughly the same with Joe Manchin and West Virginia voters, since Arizona isn’t actually that weird or special:
    Overall: from -6 to -9 (down 3)
    Democrats: from 24 to 0 (down 24)
    Independents: from -19 to -19 (unchanged)
    Republicans: from -19 to -6 (up 13)

    Again, the only upside (if you can call it that) is with Republican voters. But getting all the way up to a whopping -6 net approval with them (and -9 overall) is not a way to win elections. We’re not talking about some kind of rookie mistake here either. The dude’s been in WV politics since 1982, so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing by now.

    They just don’t care what ordinary voters think about anything, regardless of ideology. But they do have plenty of time to listen to you, if you’ve got the cash.

  22. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Greens like to hide behind the mantle of science, but they’re just as anti-science as the climate change deniers, and they’re a much bigger danger to society compared to climate change deniers.

    Green-aligned politicians, activists, and ideology is more to blame than climate change denial for climate change because they’re proposing plans that won’t work. There is no solution to climate change without lots of nuclear power. When Green-aligned politicians come to power, they shut down perfectly good nuclear power plants and replace them with coal and natural gas – see California, Vermont, Germany, etc. This is not just my opinion, but it’s the expert opinion of leading climate scientists like Dr James Hansen and Dr Kerry Emanuel.

    The brute fact is that if Germany had spent its projected spending by 2025 on nuclear instead of renewables, even at Hinkley C or Vogtle prices, it would be enough for all of its electricity demand and also enough to electricify all of its cars too, and it would have gotten built sooner too. Remember that France only took 15 years to convert most of their electricity to nuclear.

    The Green energy movement is a sham. It’s a cult. It’s filled with liars. Many of them have tricked themselves into believing that a technological fix is impossible, and worse, many believe that a technological fix is undesirable. Most of them believe that the only solution is to be found by going backwards in time to an era where we consumed less energy and lived in harmoney with nature. That makes it textbook reactionary conservative – imagining that the solution to our problems today is to regress to a simpler time in the past which never actually existed. If you think I’m exaggerating, consider what KG said to me in a previous thread on this topic:

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2021/09/14/i-regret-asking-the-question/

    The whole world can sustainably live well – better, with more sophisticated technology, longer lives, and more leisure and choices than anyone lives now – but not like contemporary Americans or even Europeans. Radical change is necessary (indeed, radical change of some kind is coming), and there is no technological fix that will prevent it – only ecosocialism can enable the world to avoid disaster.

    It’s like pulling teeth to get Greens to admit what they really believe, and they frequently refuse the proper labels for their positions: Luddites, regressive, reactionary conservative, romanticist. Green energy advocates are often more than happy to use the same tactics of dishonesty of climate change deniers and pseudoscience when it suits their needs.

    Further, consider what actual leaders in the Green movement have said:

    Amory Lovins, Preeminent Green energy writer:
    https://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/amory-lovins-energy-analyst-zmaz77ndzgoe

    But even if — contrary to most fusion experts’ expectations — fusion turns out to be a clean source of energy as advertised, I think we would lack the discipline to use it with restraint. 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. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won’t give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth or to each other.

    David Brower, founder of the modern Green anti-nuclear movement:
    http://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2018/1/11/jerry-browns-secret-war-on-clean-energy

    Sierra Club’s Executive Director, David Brower […] As the Sierra Club board started to clamp down on Brower’s spending, he started attacking the Board’s decision to support the building of Diablo Canyon. “If a doubling of the state’s population in the next 20 years is encouraged by providing the power resources for this growth,” Brower said, California’s “scenic character will be destroyed.”

    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.”

    And more:
    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.”

    The truth of the matter is that you have been lied to regarding the plausibility of solar and wind and renewables, and lied to regarding the real and supposed downsides of nuclear power.

    100% renewables worldwide physically cannot work. It’s comparable to trying to run our society on literal hamsters in literal wheels attached to generators. The extremely low energy density plus the intermittency means that it very probably will never work.

    Nuclear waste has not and never will harm anyone, and any plausible leak will be absolutely harmless because of the tiny amounts involved plus dillution. Radiation is not as dangerous as you think it is.

    Nuclear power plant accidents are not as bad as you think they are. Hundreds of people returned to their homes in the Chernobyl exclusion zone shortly after the accident, and they’ve lived there the entire time, and with no apparent negative health effects. Workers returned to the Chernobyl site every day after the accident for the next 10 years to operate the other three reactors at the site. The Chernobyl exclusion zone might as well be a wildlife refuge; it has among the highest biodiversity of all of Europe. The W.H.O. and every other reputable source says that, the liquidators at Chernobyl with the highest exposure are, at most, predicted to have a 3% excess cancer rate. You’re at a higher risk of premature death from air pollution in most major cities. Most people have completely overreacted to the dangers of radiation. Again, I have to repeat this for emphasis: You are at a higher risk from death from air pollution from fossil fuels just by living in a big city than if you were part of the most exposed group of cleanup workers at Chernobyl! Chernobyl had an impact comparable to the Bhopal disaster. Bhopal didn’t make us stop building pesticide plants, and Chernobyl shouldn’t make us stop building nuclear plants.

    Nuclear power can be built cheaply and on time. One simply needs to remove the obstructionist Greens and their policies, and start building nuclear again, with the same designs, with the same workers. That’s how you get learning curve cost reductions. That’s what you see in places like South Korea where costs have decreases year over year for like 30 years. Costs are so high in the West today because of many kinds of market structures and regulations, but also because we’re dealing with first of a kind designs and people who have never built a nuclear reactor before. Cost overruns are expected in that kind of situation. It’s also expected that as you built more of them without the obstructionist government policies, then costs will come down just like any other product.

    We’re not in any danger of running out of uranium. (And even if we were, we need to do nuclear now to allow more time for R&D to figure out some other solution to our problem because we don’t have any other solution. Even if we run out of nuclear fuel in 50 years, nuclear power would have been a fabulous success and a necessary stop-gap.)

  23. birgerjohansson says

    I would have no problem with the existing nuclear powerplants being used thorough their estimated life times, providing adequate maintenance and safety upgrades are done.
    The inherent complexity led to major safety failures like Fukushima, so any new reactors would preferably have passive safety features (see “molten salt reactors” and compareable designs).
    .
    If reactor waste is processed to separate actinids (not feasible back in the 1970s), the long-term radioactive waste can be annihilated in an appropriate reactor.
    The medium-term half life isotopes need much shorter storage.
    The remaining low-intensity waste has the same radioactivity as the original uranium ore.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    Thorium reactors would be more straightforward to use if an amount of U235 was mixed with the fuel, but with the decline of the nuclear weapons, uranium enrichment plants may be able to keep up.

  25. snarkrates says

    Gerrard, Fuck off. The adults are trying to have a conversation about climate change, and we don’t really feel like skipping over your column-feet of copy-pasta nuclear bullshit. You are utterly incapable of staying on topic, so, please, go jerk off in the corner.

  26. Kagehi says

    “There are also a lot of Democrats who are dragging their heels and refusing to do anything but the bare minimum they can get away with.”

    Sadly, I have come to the conclusion, as someone else above pointed out, that this is kind of an exageration – its not the “bare minimum” they could get by with, and the reason seems to be a fear that if they actually did anything they wouldn’t get reelected, and thus someone worse would get elected instead. That this freaking happens all the time anyway, because the public gets pissed that they don’t actually do enough of anything to make them stand up and go, “Oh, wait, this person really did help me! Maybe we should reelect them, or elect more from their side, instead of just voting for the next ass to pander to something I am annoyed about (or was made annoyed about by lies and propaganda) next election.”, and throw them out. Heck, they can’t even seem to comprehend it in the cases where their “party pick” was tossed out on their ass by someone deemed “too radical to possibly win”. And, sadly, since that “too radical” person is probably going to do shit all that anyone will care about, once in office (Biden – I am looking at you and your claims about reforming the police, and other matters, not that you where the “too radical” one in this case), odds are, sadly, that the next election will see someone “less” radical (or full on conservative) being elected to replace them.

    Its like watching two idiots, one promising to build a new theme park in your city, and the other to level several residential blocks to put in an expensive hotel, and you vote for the theme park, but what you get is golf course. Its not what was promised, everyone freaking knows it, but the moron is standing there going, “Well, at least it wasn’t a hotel! I promised that wouldn’t happen!” Yep, that sure was the, “minimum they could get by with”, and not a complete betrayal of what they promised….

  27. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    snarkrates. I am staying on topic. You are scapegoating others for a problem that is really your own. The Greens are why we still have uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions. Stop blaming others for your own problems.

    Tuatara, radioactive waste is not as dangerous as you think it is. If you were really concerned about future generations, you would be demanding building nuclear as fast as possible to avert climate change. Climate change is going to hurt a lot of people. Those mountains of coal ash are never going to be contained. That’s going to hurt a lot of people in the future. Nuclear waste will never hurt anyone. You have been lied to. Learn the facts.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://thorconpower.com/docs/ct_yankee.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwj6-5fRhrrzAhVwlWoFHRg1DGEQFnoECAYQAQ&usg=AOvVaw0SrXhmfN7Ozyi-J2Dlc8t3

    There are two two keys to understanding the nuclear waste problem:
    1. The quantities involved.
    2. The difference between gamma and alpha radiation.

    and

    The dose from standing 1 m away from a 500 year old,
    completely unshielded fuel assembly for an hour will be 0.125 mSv. That’s about one-third of a mammogram. At 2 m from the surface, the dose rate will be 1 mSv/d, which is less than the
    limit for astronauts. It is also below the level at which we have reliably observed any negative health effects.

    This is what you’re worried about. It’s ridiculous. Please read that document, and other reliable documents such as from the IPCC, WHO, UNSCEAR, etc, and not from pseudoscience orgs like Greenpeace.

  28. tuatara says

    Gerrard.

    You have missed the point. My sentiment is not one of nuclear or radioactive waste per se. By assuming so you have placed your words into my mouth again. Please stop doing that. It leaves a foul taste.

    That cartoon contains one human wielding a stick, some trees, and some bottles. There is no wildlife. The human carries a book to help identify the bottles. The bottles are of course our waste. Wilderness it littered with our trash. You interpreted this to mean that the bottle was the nuclear waste. That is the result of the filter you use. I have a different filter.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, I am not a scientist or academic.

    In fact, I am just a human. An indigenous human, so my view of existence may well differ from yours. To be precise, as an indigenous human my view is that my body and the earth are the same. My body and the bodies of every other life form here are the same. When the earth is polluted, our health is impossible because we are the earth. That is a simply as I can put it. That is the surface that I can show you. I really don’t expect you to understand it in the way I do, but you appear to understand chemistry and evolution and other pertinent concepts enough to see part of it.

    I am concerned that the fat fuckers (capitalists) will use abundant cheap energy to fuck the place even more than they already do. This is why I believe in tempering a future of abundant cheap energy with the reality of the world in which we live, and approach the future with caution. Use what we have for just what we truly need, not to make some billionaires even more money. I think this is partly why your dreaded greenies caution against abundant cheap energy. Our economic system cannot be trusted to not misuse it.

    Given what the billionaires are currently up to one could be forgiven for believing that we are in a race to build the biggest dildo to fuck the world with on our way to Mars, which seems to be the current use to which our limited terrestrial resources are put to by those with enough cash to fix sooooo many of the issues facing us here on earth. Instead, they are in a small cock big cock competition. This we really don’t need.

    Just because we have different views of the same problems, Gerrard, and different ideas on what to do doesn’t mean we are enemies. Those fat c**ts need to feel our ire, not each other here in this forum. Most of us here appear to share many of the same concerns. That is why we are here participating.

    I don’t doubt that nuclear waste can be processed at the end of its useful life into a form no more threatening than natural deposits of uranium ore. I woukd assume it will require no small anergy input to do so, which will have a cost. My doubt therefore is that the ones who will invest in building the plants can be trusted to not have monetary profit as their prime motivation and will therefore not take good care when a plant is decommissioned. We have a history littered with abandoned industrial sites, many of which are so contaminated as to be uninhabitable.

    When GDP is the measure of success instead of eliminating poverty, improving education, healthcare and societal cohesion, justice, etc we will continue to see our one and only home in this essentially infinite universe exploited to death by unscrupulous actors for the benefit of a few.

    There are undoubtedly several important reasons that tons of nuclear waste were dumped in the oceans in the twentieth century. I would guess that one reason was to prevent “bad actors” from ever getting their hands on it. How can we be sure this is not still occurring or will not occur again in the future?

    Climate change, collapsing insect and bird populations, habitat destruction so those who want them can eat beef burgers (I certainly dont), mountains of coal ash as you pointed out, coca cola bottles and all the other ubiquitous plastic packaging, unfixable appliances (designed obsolescence), the list of things that upset me about the world just goes on and on. The little I can do by reusing, recycling, or not buying, seems ineffectual in the face of the threats that are before us. We in the west (such a stupid term unless you are a flat earther) can live quite well with much less while hopefully allowing those who struggle with little to have a much better time of it.

    I doubt it will ever happen though because people continue to vote with shallow intent for politicians who lie and cheat all the way to their comfy retirement.

  29. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    tuatara
    I think you’re an elitist and unwitting colonialist. You live a relative life of comfort compared to most of the world who don’t have clean drinking water, refrigeration for safe food and medicine, abundant fertilizer and tractors and irrigation for abundant food. You strike me as someone who is incredibly shallow and heartless for forbidding these things to the poor world which is largely non white. It’s easy to say these things when you don’t have to personally suffer for it.

    I know that you don’t think that is what you’re doing, but that is what you’re doing.

    Let me quote now the greatest person to ever live, a person whose life work saved a billion loves from hunger, talking on basic facts from his life work, whose testimony in this regard is about as close as it comes to gospel for me. I speak of Norman Borlaug.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/01/forgotten-benefactor-of-humanity/306101/

    Environmental lobbyists persuaded the Ford Foundation and the World Bank to back off from most African agriculture projects. The Rockefeller Foundation largely backed away too—though it might have in any case, because it was shifting toward an emphasis on biotechnological agricultural research. “World Bank fear of green political pressure in Washington became the single biggest obstacle to feeding Africa,” Borlaug says. The green parties of Western Europe persuaded most of their governments to stop supplying fertilizer to Africa; an exception was Norway, which has a large crown corporation that makes fertilizer and avidly promotes its use. Borlaug, once an honored presence at the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, became, he says, “a tar baby to them politically, because all the ideas the greenies couldn’t stand were sticking to me.”

    Borlaug’s reaction to the campaign was anger. He says, “Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.”

    This is what your ideology does to people in the world. It’s why I say that your ideology is the most dangerous and harmful ideology in the history of humanity and the planet.

    One more thing for you to think about. The USA has a clean water act, a clean air act, an endangered species act, etc. Poor countries don’t. Why? It’s because rich countries can afford to do so. It was the transition from wood for fuel to coal that allowed many forests to grow back in the western world. We have much more forest cover now compared to a few hundred years ago. It’s the rich countries that protect the environment the best because they have reliable sources of food, water, and medicine, and have spare labor, machinery, and energy to take care of the environment.

    It often takes much more energy to recycle something compared to digging up new materials.

    We need to use more energy to have less harm on nature.

    You’re romanticism around the “noble savage” myth is sickening because of the profound harm that it does to humans and to nature at large.

    Also also, you should be concerned about human overpopulation. Keeping people poor has the unexpected consequence of rising population sizes. By making people rich, and especially the knock on effects of emancipation of women, access to birth control, and possibilities of careers other than housewife, we can lower population sizes. Already, practically every industrialized country has a birth rate per woman below break-even. This is a good thing which we need to export to all other countries so that we might morally and slowly and responsibly reduce total human population sizes to something more easily manageable on this planet.

  30. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    If you want to reduce land usage, mining, and pollution, then you must move from low energy density fuels to high energy density fuels. Compared to nuclear, solar and wind require much more raw materials and mining, and they require much more land, and they will produce much more toxic waste. Solar and wind will also ensure that people remain poor, which to you is a benefit, but to me it’s definitely not. I think the rest of the world should have clean drinking water, abundant safe food, medicine, indoor cooking that doesn’t cause significant indoor pollution which is one of the major killers of the world (a few million per year from dirty indoor cooking fuels like coal, wood, and animal dung). I want to improve the lives of these people and protect the environment, but I can’t because of people like you who are scared of the future and want to burn it all down.

  31. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    The solution to the capitalist ownership of the means of production is not to burn down the means of production.

  32. John Morales says

    tuatara, you’re not the first person to try to communicate with Gerrard.

    Alas, Morton’s Demon has him in its grip.

    (And yes, I imagine it must be irritating to be called colonialist as an indigenous person)

  33. chigau (違う) says

    It often takes much more energy to recycle something compared to digging up new materials.
    Like aluminum, for example.

  34. tuatara says

    I asked you to stop putting words in my mouth. When have I ever promoted the myth of the noble savage, or preached that the poor should be denied clean water, food, education, or those other things you bring up? Huh, when? Never. You just think that because I dont support the intellectualist wank that is your marxist ideology I must be a murderous colonialist.You however appear to wish to colonise the world with your nuclear powered central fuckwit committee. You are an ignorant and hipocritical wanker. Go fuck yourself.

  35. tuatara says

    By the way, my last comment is of course for Gerrard.

    John Morales, it is indeed insulting to be called a colonialist, moreso by Gerrard. I cannot fathom him. He is beyond reach. He is very good at building scarecrows though, I will give him that.

    I give up.

  36. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    chigau
    As you should know, metals are typically an exception. It would be profitable to recycle many metals even without government subsidies. That’s not true for most other things.

    tuatara
    You’re the one arguing against clean, cheap, abundant power for the rest of the world while still benefiting from cheap abundant energy yourself. I’ll stop calling you a colonialist hypocrite as soon as you stop using plumbing, refrigeration and modern medicine, abundant food from fertilizer and irrigation and tractors, etc. However, you are a colonialist hypocrite, just like most Greens. It makes me sick. Of you really believe it, then disconnect from the electricity, go back to subsistence farming and well water, and stop using modern medicine too. And then justify the death of fully half the world’s population if we followed your ignorant anti-human prognostications as half of the world starves. There’s not enough farmable land in the world without modern agriculture techniques, especially inorganic fertilizer.

    It’s insulting? Good. I meant to insult you and everything you stand for because it is the vilest ideas that exists. It will lead to untold misery and suffering for humanity and destruction of the natural environment. At least the Nazis were not for runaway climate change. I really do mean it when I say that the Green ideology that you hold is the most dangerous and destructive ideology ever because of the imminent threat of climate change and because the Greens are the primary obstacle to fixing it because clean cheap abundant energy is the enemy of Green ideology.

    PS: why anyone denies that Green ideology is regressive anymore is beyond me.

  37. John Morales says

    The dreaded Green ideology.

    Green politics, or ecopolitics, is a political ideology that aims to foster an ecologically sustainable society often, but not always, rooted in environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice and grassroots democracy.
    […]
    Supporters of green politics share many ideas with the conservation, environmental, feminist and peace movements. In addition to democracy and ecological issues, green politics is concerned with civil liberties, social justice, nonviolence, sometimes variants of localism and tends to support social progressivism. Green party platforms are largely considered left in the political spectrum.

  38. snarkrates says

    Gerrard, OK. I’ll be nicer. Please, fuck off. No. You are not on topic, because you only ever discuss one topic. You have latched onto nuclear power as a simple solution to the complex problem of greenhouse warming. You have done so because you are too cowardly to face the facts and not intelligent enough to understand the problem.

    Your monomaniacal copy-pasta screeds advocating nuclear power as a panacea have probably done more to discredit nukes as a solution than the entire green movement. Please. Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

  39. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    snarkrates
    I have the scientists on my side. On your side, you have a bunch of regressive colonialists and pseudoscience mongers like Greenpeace. You should rethink your life choices. When the greatest human being who ever lived says that Green ideology is the single most important factor for continued widespread hunger in Africa and said that many/most Greens are elitists (explicitly) and colonialists (implicitly), it should be time to rethink your life choices.

    chigau
    Everything that’s not a (pure?) metal. Wood. Paper. Paint. Plastic. Solar cells. Wind turbine blades. Concrete. Literally everything else, or most of it. For everything that’s not a metal, it’s very often cheaper to dig up new stuff to make a new thing compared to recycling an old thing.

    Preemptively: For concrete and (nearly all?) plastics, one can “recycle” it by using the degraded form for other uses, but it’s more expensive to try to make the same grade of concrete or plastic with input recycled concrete or plastic. I don’t think it’s a circular economy when we “recycle” concrete to make lesser grades of stuff like pavement. It’s not actually circular. It’s a downwards flow from high quality to low quality. If we want a real circular economy, that means we need of clean, cheap, abundant energy in order to make that recycling feasible.

  40. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John Morales
    You forgot the part where it’s based on the anti-humanist idea that everyone in the world needs to stay poor, and that clean cheap abundant energy would be a bad thing.

  41. consciousness razor says

    When the greatest human being who ever lived says that Green ideology is the single most important factor for continued widespread hunger in Africa and said that many/most Greens are elitists (explicitly) and colonialists (implicitly), it should be time to rethink your life choices.

    At first, I thought you were talking about me, misguided as you are, but of course I never said that.

    Anyway, the greatest human being who ever lived said that you should try a little tenderness. Also, although he wasn’t the first to say so, he did say that he was dancing with his baby to that Tennessee Waltz when that old friend he just happened to see — didn’t even know he was going to meet him that day. And he introduced him to his baby. And while they were dancing, that dirty dog stole his baby away from him. He remembers that night and that beautiful Tennessee Waltz.

    He was very clear about all of this. Shame on you, for so despicably misrepresenting his stated position on this matter.

  42. tuatara says

    Gerrard, not only are you an ass, you are a racist too.

    There was no such thing as a noble savage beyond the sick fantasy of another intellectualist wanker. It is a racist caricature, far from reality. Bringing it up just because I tell you I am an indigenous person shows your racism very clearly.

    Perhaps you don’t realise it but I suspect that you actually do know what you are, and are proud of it, and I expect you will now double-down and dig your hole a bit deeper.

    In fact racism suits you. It goes well with all the other authoritarian tendencies you exhibit.

    When you say that you intended insult you prove that you are an insensitive asshole who is not worth listening to.

    Do yourself a favour and try, as Consciousness Razor says, a little tenderness. It wont work on me though.

    Because you have revealed your racist colours so clearly I will never read another word that you post here and will never address you again. I will actively work against everything you stand for just because you stand for it. Fuck you, you radioactive racist.

  43. John Morales says

    In the news: Queensland announces plans to use hydrogen to produce green ammonia on industrial scale in Brisbane

    A major partnership has been announced between Incitec Pivot and Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), aimed at producing green ammonia on an industrial scale in Brisbane.

    Speaking at the company’s Gibson Island facility in Brisbane, Incitec Pivot CEO Jeanne Johns said a feasibility trial would be conducted in the state into green ammonia, with the potential to secure 400 jobs for “decades”.

    Ammonia is manufactured for fertiliser and explosives and is a greenhouse-intensive industry.

    Fertiliser production is currently responsible for about 1.5 per cent of global carbon emissions.

    Green ammonia uses hydrogen derived from water electrolysis instead of hydrocarbon-based hydrogen, meaning its production is virtually carbon-dioxide free.

    […]

    “We will investigate building a new plant on site to produce about 50,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen that will in turn be turned into green ammonia, for both the Australian and the export markets.

    “Not only is Incitec Pivot one of the world’s biggest producers of ammonia today, here at Gibson Island, we have an existing facility, its infrastructure, and its highly skilled workforce that can be put to this use.”

    Mr Forrest described green ammonia as a “zero-pollution” fertiliser.

    (Damn Greenies!)

  44. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    consciousness razor
    No idea what you’re talking about. I assume you’re trying to do a poor form of rebuttal by parroting the argument back to me to highlight a supposed absurdity. Or you’re just trolling me. Whatever.

    tuatara
    I’m the one arguing for empowered and enriching the poor non-white parts of the world. You’re the one arguing to keep these non-white people poor. Who’s the racist? Also, what is the color of the sky in your world?

    You didn’t answer my earlier questions. Are you willing to live in conditions that you wish to impose on others? Do you have a connection to the grid? Do you have indoor plumbing? Do you eat food? Do you take any medicine of any kind? All of these things are only possible due to today’s high energy consumption. If you believe so strongly that this is how others should live without these things, then why aren’t you leading the way? Fucking hypocrite.

    John
    The same Green orgs and “experts” have been making the same lies for 50 years now. It wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now, and it won’t be true tomorrow either.

    PS: I do have hopes for power to gas as a solution for transport fuel, but you can’t run that on solar and wind, just like a lot of other industrial chemical processes. You can’t just start the PEM cell instantly from cold start to approx 100 C and back again whenever you get an hour of extra wind or sun. This equipment needs to run 24-7. For PEM cells in particular, constant cycling causes drastic wear and tear on the equipment which causes drastic drops in efficiency. Anyone with a modicum of background in engineering would know this, and would know that the Green plans are pipedreams, but no one listens to the real experts, and instead they listen to drivel like your source.

  45. John Morales says

    you can’t run that on solar and wind

    Yet, strangely enough, the private companies that are spending billions and billions of dollars on such proposals (there are a number of them just in Oz) are sure they can, and their motive is profit, not ideology.

    (But what would they know, compared to you, right?)

  46. consciousness razor says

    Gerrard:

    No idea what you’re talking about. I assume you’re trying to do a poor form of rebuttal by parroting the argument back to me to highlight a supposed absurdity. Or you’re just trolling me. Whatever.

    My remarks were about his most worshipful excellency of the highest magnificence, the greatest human being who ever lived, peace be upon him (the GHBWEL, for short).

    “Whatever”?

    This should be of considerable importance to you, as a person who believes in the greatness of the GHBWEL and who so righteously constructs the soundest of arguments out of statements made by such an incontrovertibly esteemed individual. I believe you, sir, are sailing in very treacherous waters if you ever pause to question this, and I ask you to watch your tongue, lest you think something you may come to regret.

  47. John Morales says

    PS Gerrard, I just looked (clickety-click!):

    Our Silyzer portfolio: the optimized solution for your requirements
    Generating sufficient amounts of hydrogen requires innovative solutions – like the Silyzer product family from Siemens, an innovative PEM electrolysis system that uses wind and solar energy to produce hydrogen and is totally CO2-free. That makes Silyzer twice as useful – and twice as clean.

    https://www.siemens-energy.com/global/en/offerings/renewable-energy/hydrogen-solutions.html

    (But hey, what would Siemens Energy know about this stuff, compared to you?)

  48. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John
    Only simplifying a little, the only profits from solar and wind today are from government subsidies, direct and indirect.

    (But hey, what would Siemens Energy know about this stuff, compared to you?)

    Well, let’s do some research. I might have been wrong in significant part, but also right in significant part. More research needed.

    PEM electrolyzers have a quite fast cold startup time, something around 5 to 15 minutes. See:

    “Current status of water electrolysis for energy storage, grid balancing and sector coupling via power-to-gas and power-to-liquids: A review”
    by Alexander Buttler, Hartmut Spliethoff
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwi--9_N58XzAhW1KH0KHW8wAw0QFnoECAIQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.semanticscholar.org%2Fpaper%2FCurrent-status-of-water-electrolysis-for-energy-and-Buttler-Spliethoff%2F5f33f613c2160dc7b9efa2730b3b2f0994ed1213&usg=AOvVaw2_henXX1qRRmkcSSFSiaSI

    Another paper,
    “Impact of Intermittent Operation on Lifetime and Performance of a PEM Water Electrolyzer
    By: A. Weiß, A. Siebel, M. Bernt, T.-H. Shen, V. Tileli, and H. A. Gasteiger
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1149/2.0421908jes

    talks about a seemingly good strategy to avoid the huge degradations involved in frequent cycling because of intermittent supply. Basically, the strategy is never shut down. Always keep the thing hot and with a proteective current to avoid the degradation. The following paper mentions a power requirement of less than 1% of max power, but it seemingly doesn’t include the power to keep it at operating temperature, but some quick googling on residential hot water heaters (sue me) suggests that the additional power requirements to maintain operating temperature is probably something like another 1% of max power, meaning that this is a plausible strategy when combined with battery backup. So, I think I was mostly wrong about the PEM electrolyzers. My bad.

    However, note that this is all experimental and lab-scale. It’s far from proven.

    Further, the Haber process to turn that H2 gas and air into ammonia? That takes days to start from cold shutdown. Days. We’re talking about a process that has different chambers at 400+ C and -30 C, and chambers at 140 atm. This sort of thing cannot be stopped and started anywhere near as quickly as the electrolyzers. Starting from cold shutdown takes days. You can’t run that on intermittent energy. See:

    “Current and future role of Haber–Bosch ammonia in a carbon-free energy landscape”
    by Collin Smith, Alfred K. Hill, and Laura Torrente-Murciano
    https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/ee/c9ee02873k

    In general, processes with chains of high pressure compressors, extensive heat integration, and sensitive catalysts are unable to operate outside steady-state […]

    It is important to note that the above paper goes on to say that there is ongoing research into improvements and alternatives to the Haber process. See that paper for more information, or see the blog article:
    “Improvement of Haber-Bosch: Adsorption vs. Absorption”
    By Trevor Brown on December 1, 2017
    https://www.ammoniaenergy.org/articles/improvement-of-haber-bosch-adsorption-vs-absorption/

    However, all of this is experimental scale from the last few years, which brings me back to my earlier point, which is that betting the planet on radical breakthrough unproven technology, when we have proven technology ready to go (e.g. nuclear), is the most irresponsible thing that I have ever heard.

  49. consciousness razor says

    You already do more than enough to make your own claims ridiculous, so there’s not really anything for me to do. That’s on you, Gerrard. And sorry, but I don’t think savoring the experience is quite the same thing as trolling, nor is there any shame in it.

    If anyone wastes their money paying you to smear “Greens,” then I think you should strike and demand they provide better working conditions. Or, find a better hobby.

  50. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    If anyone wastes their money paying you to smear “Greens,”

    I’m just repeating what the leading experts in their respective fields are saying, e.g. Norman Borlaug, James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel. The Greens damn themselves with their promotion of pseudoscience and anti-human neo-Malthusianism. The real question is – why do you believe the Luddites instead of the scientists?

  51. consciousness razor says

    I’m just repeating what the leading experts in their respective fields are saying

    That’s what you think you’re doing.

    But is someone else doing something too, such as paying you? Is this important to your career in any way? You can say “yes” if that’s the case, and I will appreciate the honesty. I swear it.

    The real question is – why do you believe the Luddites instead of the scientists?

    A dumb question. I shouldn’t believe only the handful of scientists you happen to like.

    I do think technology can be quite dangerous, and it is rarely examined carefully enough before it brings disaster.

    However, your complaints are about people who focus on developing new technologies for clean renewable energy, in order to spare us the worst parts of a disaster that we already in. Hardly the stuff of Luddism.

    Also, for that to make any sense, you’d have to believe nuclear energy is (1) this new thing which is (2) harming the workforce and disrupting more traditional ways of life. But that’s not true either. A bad analogy. It’s like you’re begging us to fucking hate nuclear or something. It’s false, incoherent, and an idiotic way to get people to on board with any nuclear at all, much less convince them it should dominate the entire energy sector. I’ve always been on the pro-nuclear train, but I’m being entirely serious when I say that if anything could convince me to get off at the next stop, it would be your shitty, presuppositional, tone-deaf arguments. William Lane Craig would make for a better spokesperson.

    Anyway, the capitalists who suppressed and murdered actual Luddites in the 19th century? They were assholes. If you think of them as positive role models, you’re an asshole too.

  52. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    However, your complaints are about people who focus on developing new technologies for clean renewable energy, in order to spare us the worst parts of a disaster that we already in. Hardly the stuff of Luddism.

    There are two regulars here which both openly proclaimed that the developed world needs to significantly reduce energy consumption, and one that clearly said that clean, cheap, abundant energy would be a bad thing. This is not a strawman. Up-thread, I cited many leaders of the Green movement, historical and today, that also say the same thing. Please stop pretending that it is a strawman. I know you can read.

  53. consciousness razor says

    There are two regulars here which both openly proclaimed that the developed world needs to significantly reduce energy consumption

    It does need to do that. Count me as a third regular. I bet there are a lot more.

    If you understand what the term “developed world” is referring to, then your implication that this is somehow about hurting the developing world is a ridiculous lie. Or just pure unhinged confusion.

    If you just don’t understand the term, then why are you talking about this?

    Up-thread, I cited many leaders of the Green movement, historical and today, that also say the same thing.

    The Amory Lovins quote doesn’t sound unreasonable. We probably wouldn’t use practically unlimited energy with any restraint. Energy isn’t our only environmental problem, and that’s not even mentioning tons of other political issues. Since fusion almost certainly won’t be a reality any time soon, I have no idea what gets you frothing about this statement anyway. It’s like someone saying that we’d probably act irresponsibly with Star Trek warp drives and replicators. We probably would … but who gives a shit?

    David Brower is making a valid point too. But you want to make it sound like it would be the end of fucking civilization as we know it, if we don’t decide to double the population of California in twenty years as he was saying. I assume you’re familiar with the state’s water and other environmental problems…. Could people live elsewhere? Sure they could, and that would be alright. But no, these things lead your mind straight to “anti-human neo-Malthusianism.”

    Martin Litton sounds like an asshole. But it’s hilarious that you overlook the risk of nuclear accidents implicit in that comment while getting all huffy about his assholish statement. At at rate, you need to get over it, because you have deal with all of the serious/non-asshole arguments that we need to take into account many other social and environmental impacts that our decisions have, not just assume more energy is always better. If you don’t like it, too bad.

  54. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    consciousness razor

    However, your complaints are about people who focus on developing new technologies for clean renewable energy, in order to spare us the worst parts of a disaster that we already in. Hardly the stuff of Luddism.

    EL: There are two regulars here which both openly proclaimed that the developed world needs to significantly reduce energy consumption

    cr: It does need to do that. Count me as a third regular. I bet there are a lot more. […] The Amory Lovins quote doesn’t sound unreasonable. We probably wouldn’t use practically unlimited energy with any restraint.

    I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. I don’t get how you can really believe both of those things. The first quote appears to be reproaching me. It appears to be saying that solar and wind are suitable replacements for fossil fuels and nuclear power. By contrast, the second quote(s) appears to be saying that clean, cheap, abundant energy cannot and is not the solution, and the only solution is to drastically reduce energy usage. Either solar and wind are great because they’re expensive and (effectively) scarce and therefore cannot be exploited by humanity to harm the environment, or they’re great because they’re clean, cheap, and abundant. You can’t have it both ways.

    As for what you say in the rest of the quote, I consider it to be monstrously amoral and evil to drive up energy prices to hurt the poor which strongly appears to be one of your goals.

    You endorsed the David Brower quote, but gave yourself an out by saying that there are better places for the rest of these people to live. First, in the general sense, that’s nonsense, and we both know it. Without more clean, cheap, abundant energy, there’s not enough farmland on the planet to feed half of the human population. I don’t know offhand, but I bet that there’s no easy migration pattern either to solve certain water shortages in certain regional areas either.

    Second, that’s still quite evil, and in some significant ways, colonialist and racist. One reasonable way to interpret what you’re saying is that all of those Mexicans should have remained in Mexico while the American nation exploits the Mexican nation. Denying the free movement of people via immigration controls is IMO inextricably racist and colonialist, and I don’t see how you can dodge responsibility for that.

    We have the technology to help these people, but you would have us not use it. That’s sick.

    What you’re doing – it’s patently and undeniably Ludditism, and regressive, and reactionary conservatism. You are arguing against any and all technological fixes. It could be magical cold fusion – you wouldn’t care. If that’s not Ludditism, I don’t know what is. The only solution in your mind is to regress technologically to a state of society that never existed in the first place. If that’s not textbook regressive reactionary conservatism, then I don’t know what is.

  55. John Morales says

    [I thought the Enlightenment Liberal was an old persona]

    You are arguing against any and all technological fixes.

    Says the person who can’t accept that renewables are indeed a practical solution.

    New storage technologies, vastly improved efficiencies, new transmission methods, reworked distributed smart grids, demand-side management, etc. All beyond some people’s comprehension.

    (As if we weren’t in the 3rd decade of C21, instead of the 6th decade of C20)

  56. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John
    Then I’m not accusing you of being a regressive neo-Malthusian Luddite reactionary conservative. However, KG, tuatara, and consciousness razor are.

    Our disagreement is much more mundane and technical, factual. I, like most scientists, believe that it’s impossible for renewables cannot replace fossil fuels worldwide barring a miracle.

    Please don’t pretend that KG, tuatara, and consciousness razor have not explicitly stated that clean, cheap, abundant energy would be bad.

  57. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I just don’t know what kind of bizarro world that I’m living in. First Trump wins the presidency, and then I realize that the typical Green-aligned voter explicitly believes that we need the Green New Deal because it will make us poor because that’s (supposedly) the only way to protect the environment. Jesus fucking Christ. How is it that the political right is actually completely right on this one regarding their characterization of the Green New Deal. I am disgusted by the thought? I don’t even know what to do anymore. The Republicans might actually have more humanity than the Greens, and that’s another disgusting thought. How can that possibly be true? It’s the twilight zone. At least Republicans don’t have an explicit and open agenda to keep the rest of the world poor. (Oh, Republican policy probably still does that, but at least Republicans are explicitly voting for candidates for that reason AFAIK.)

  58. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Ack, missing a not in that last sentence. Republicans are not explicitly voting for candidates to make the rest of the world poor, so far as I know.

  59. John Morales says

    Gerrard, consider what proportion of energy use in rich, developed economies is not actually needful. You think it’s a small amount?

    (The whole point of being rich is being wasteful, best as I can tell)

  60. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    John,
    Is there “waste”? Sure. No one denies that. We could be more efficient, and in some cases, we should be. However, I don’t see what that observation has to do with the disputes here between me and the Luddites. Increased use of energy efficiency will not change the fundamental calculus that we must increase drastically total worldwide energy usage.

    Are you also going to endorse the position that the discovery of clean, cheap, abundant energy would be a bad thing? Because that seems to be where you’re headed.

  61. John Morales says

    However, I don’t see what that observation has to do with the disputes here between me and the Luddites.

    It’s not complicated.

    We have more than we need, they need more than we have.

    Increased use of energy efficiency will not change the fundamental calculus that we must increase drastically total worldwide energy usage.

    Yes, they also truly need those air-freighted fruits and flowers all year around, for example.

    (Why you imagine avoiding waste is entirely about efficiency is not for me to determine)

    Are you also going to endorse the position that the discovery of clean, cheap, abundant energy would be a bad thing?

    What do you mean, “also”? What you perceive is not what they espouse.

    To appease you: sure, nuclear is relatively cheap, relatively clean, and potentially abundant.

    Not as good as modern renewables, but not bad. For 20th century tech.

  62. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    What do you mean, “also”? What you perceive is not what they espouse.

    Yes it is. All three of them quite explicitly endorsed the position that the discovery or widespread use (or something like that) of clean, cheap, abundant energy would be a bad thing. Please go re-read what they wrote.

    Yes, they also truly need those air-freighted fruits and flowers all year around, for example.

    So, if you believe in extreme frugal assumptions like this paper, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378020307512, one can get a power requirement of 500 watt per person. If you are more reasonable IMO, you’re going to get something more like 2 KW person, which is already substantially less than European standards. 2 KW * 10 billion people = 20 TW. That’s more than today’s total worldwide primary usage, give or take differences in primary energy vs end point energy e.g. give or take heat engine losses. Also, if we’re serious about climate change, we’ll have to add at something in the ballpark of 10 TW more for geo-engineering to pull CO2 out of the air.

    I think that it’s probably a political impossibility to convince most of the world to live in the level of poverty that 500 watt would demand. Most of the world would rather burn coal, just like what we see right now. Realistically, worldwide energy demand is easily going to exceed 30 TW (before any geo-engineering requirements) by 2030, and probably 50 TW and plausibly 70 TW before the end of the century. These are the numbers that we must be aiming at if we’re serious about climate change. You’re not being serious about climate change.

    To appease you: sure, nuclear is relatively cheap, relatively clean, and potentially abundant.

    Not as good as modern renewables, but not bad. For 20th century tech.

    I won’t be appeased with anything short of the truth, which is that it’s impossible for renewables to replace fossil fuels barring a miracle, and that nuclear is much cleaner and safer than renewables, and that nuclear can be made cost competitive with coal and renewables, and nuclear fuel supply is inexhaustible with uranium extraction from seawater (experimental) or with breeder reactors (proven).

  63. John Morales says

    All three of them quite explicitly endorsed the position that the discovery or widespread use (or something like that) of clean, cheap, abundant energy would be a bad thing.

    Again: What you perceive is not what they espouse.

    We waste energy like nobody’s business; they’re saying that’s not the way to go about it.

    So, if you believe in extreme frugal assumptions like this paper, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378020307512, one can get a power requirement of 500 watt per person. If you are more reasonable IMO, you’re going to get something more like 2 KW person, which is already substantially less than European standards. 2 KW * 10 billion people = 20 TW.

    That’s a pay-to-view link (BTW, I removed the markup so that it’s actually a live hyperlink people can click on).

    (Hey, does that include air-freighted fruits? Jetskis? Pleasure cruises? Outdoor heating for soirees? Large SUVs? That sort of thing?)

    I think that it’s probably a political impossibility to convince most of the world to live in the level of poverty that 500 watt would demand.

    Well, yes. Thus what you don’t get, because of Morton’s Demon. We, in the rich economies, waste the hell out of our energy resources. Imagine if we reduced our per-capita by those 500W so that the same resources could be used by those who lack them. (A bit socialist, I know)

    You’re not being serious about climate change.

    I’ve told you more than once: electrical energy is not the only source of greenhouse emissions. And you’re so damn set in your loony ideology that to you, the solution to those emissions is to build a shitload of centralised nuclear power plants, as if that would fix things.

    What I am is realistic, and furthermore, informed about the current technology.

    I won’t be appeased with anything short of the truth, which is that it’s impossible for renewables to replace fossil fuels barring a miracle

    So, you think miracles are actual things. Say no more.

    … nuclear fuel supply is inexhaustible with uranium extraction from seawater (experimental) or with breeder reactors (proven).

    So, it’s a renewable? Heh.

  64. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    That’s a pay-to-view link

    Odd. It’s not for me.

    (BTW, I removed the markup so that it’s actually a live hyperlink people can click on).

    I do that to avoid the automatic spam filter that seems to trigger on any post with 3+ embedded hyperlinks.

    I’ve told you more than once: electrical energy is not the only source of greenhouse emissions. And you’re so damn set in your loony ideology that to you, the solution to those emissions is to build a shitload of centralised nuclear power plants, as if that would fix things.

    Yes, and? I’ve covered this before. Electricity is the easiest thing to fix. Other sources of greenhouse gas emissions are much harder. That’s why I focus on fixing electricity. Assuming electrification of transport and replacement of fossil fuel input for most industrial heat and chemical processes, I recognize that this might not be enough. That’s part of why I called out the need for another 10 TW of capacity for geo-engineering, pulling CO2 out of the air and sequestering it.

    I don’t know why you accuse me of not recognizing other sources of greenhouse gases when I have done so numerous times with you.

    Well, yes. Thus what you don’t get, because of Morton’s Demon. We, in the rich economies, waste the hell out of our energy resources. Imagine if we reduced our per-capita by those 500W so that the same resources could be used by those who lack them. (A bit socialist, I know)

    I know you think that, but I don’t think that’s true. Not to the extent necessary to reach 500 W. Here are some choice assumptions necessary from the paper to reach 500 W per person.

    All watt values are yearly-average values.

    15 sq m living space per person. Yikes.

    Consequently only 19 watts per person for indoor heating and cooling for these tiny housing units.

    Indoor lighting allowance is less than 1/2 of a light bulb per person, and only for 6 hours per day, and assuming something like the top-of-the-line LED lights. Comes out to about 1 watt per person. Yikes. (Although I notice an odd discrepency; a factor of 10x difference in that row between some of the numbers.)

    A single cooking appliance for each household of 4. Average 8 watt per person. I think real requirements is easily 4x this; 3000 watt single stove-range element * 30 min / 1 day / 4 people = about 16 watt per person. Not sure what’s going on here.

    Only 1 laptop per 4 people. But 1 smartphone for everyone above the age of 10! Lols. 100 watts for each laptop. Also, I don’t know if they took into account the energy requirements for the servers and infrastructure that run the internet. Gross ballpark is another 100 watts per person to run the internet servers.

    A single fridge-freezer for each household of 4. Average 32 watt per person. Plausible.

    6 watts per person for clean water supply. No idea offhand.

    Residential hot water. Only 37 watts per person. Plausible.

    6 watts per person for all waste disposal. I assume this means trash and sewage. Don’t know. Maybe?

    70 watts per person for food requirements. Plausible based on my incredibly meagre knowledge. Creation of inorganic fertilizer alone is something like 25 to 50 watts per person. I suspect that they’re lowballing this.

    What really strikes me is everything that they’re probably not including. Seems like they’re not including anything else, like street lights, commercial and industrial lights, commercial and industrial indoor heating and cooling. Wonder if their estimate for education includes basic things like indoor lights and indoor heating and cooling. I want to assume that they’re not included embodied energy for their stuff aka not including energy inputs for industrial processes, but no idea if they are or not.

  65. consciousness razor says

    John Morales:

    New storage technologies, vastly improved efficiencies, new transmission methods, reworked distributed smart grids, demand-side management, etc.

    Luddite! It is like destroying textile machinery in protest, since workers were facing unemployment, low wages, and poor working conditions, in order to put pressure on factory-owning capitalists. Or anything that involves such destructive tactics for laborers and unionists.

    Hey, does that include air-freighted fruits? Jetskis? Pleasure cruises? Outdoor heating for soirees? Large SUVs? That sort of thing?

    There’s no other explanation for it. You only think that sort of thing is unnecessary because you’re a Luddite.

    Imagine if we reduced our per-capita by those 500W so that the same resources could be used by those who lack them. (A bit socialist, I know)

    No, not socialist at all — Luddite!

    And you’re so damn set in your loony ideology that to you, the solution to those emissions is to build a shitload of centralised nuclear power plants, as if that would fix things.

    Besides, it sounds suspiciously like the thinking of a Luddite, since I still don’t know what that word means.

    Gerrard, you must simply accept the emissions as they are and let them wash over you like a rain shower on a hot summer day. Why would you metaphorically crush them so, with your brutish tactics and old-timey sensibilities? This is just how things are now — better get used to it.

  66. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    cr
    You of all people should know that words often have usages apart from their etymological roots. I also think that you’re probably lying about not knowing the definition of the word, but I’ll play along.

    From the Oxford languages dictionary.

    Lud·dite
    /ˈlədˌīt/
    Learn to pronounce
    noun
    1.
    DEROGATORY
    a person opposed to new technology or ways of working.
    “a small-minded Luddite resisting progress

  67. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    cr
    I think I still haven’t called John a Luddite, and thus your mockery is a strawman of what I’ve actually said.

  68. consciousness razor says

    You of all people should know that words often have usages apart from their etymological roots.

    Also, you make shit up and use words arbitrarily to attack your perceived opponents.

    I also think that you’re probably lying about not knowing the definition of the word, but I’ll play along.

    Funny, I think your sarcasm detector is damaged beyond repair.

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