Reply To: Climate, the science, politics, economics and anything else


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#77865
Clark

ET, Wikipedia citations are a good source of links because editors tend to edit subjects they know about, so they cite good sources. There are some crap sources cited too, but Wikipedia is generally better than the search engines because the citations have been sifted by human intelligence. You can also check articles’ Talk pages (tabs at the top), and for less mainstream opinions, scour article History pages for large sections and citations that have been removed. Shills are busy at Wikipedia, but their tracks remain visible and can be a very useful give-away. Scan down the History of a subject you’re interested in noting the bright red markers eg. “-1536 bytes”, then click “compare with previous revision” on the left to see what someone didn’t want you to see! Often it was removed because it was nonsense, but occasionally you hit gold. Alisher Usmanov’s PR company got caught this way (by me! With help from the Wiki community).

There is vastly more uranium than just the “conventional sources” I mentioned, but it’s all more diffuse. There is a vast amount dissolved in the oceans as uranium salts, so much that dispersing all our depleted uranium into the oceans would raise uranium concentration by about 1%. But extracting and refining this uranium is untried at large scale. After that, it would still need enrichment.

“In terms of deaths per unit energy produced nuclear is far safer than fossil fuels even considering the disasters of Chernobyl and Fukushima”

Whether this is so depends upon what proportion of cancer etc. is produced by radioactive pollution. Certainly the adoption of the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for nuclear weapons indicate that it was regarded as a significant health danger – and bombs have only kilos of nuclear fuel in them, whereas power reactors contain tonnes. However, on any matter concerning effects of radiation upon health, UN rules require that the WHO defer to UNSCEAR, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. This committee has been accused by anti-nuclear campaigners of being comprised of advocates for the nuclear industry, which itself of course has deep connections to the military and the secret services. Few people have even heard of UNSCEAR, and there is very little information about its deliberations or how it comes to its decisions. For such an important body it has a remarkably uninformative Wikipedia page, and note the “multiple issues” and “relies too much on primary sources” tags at the top:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Scientific_Committee_on_the_Effects_of_Atomic_Radiation

I have a vague memory that UNSCEAR was set up because of nuclear industry objections to the WHO’s much higher estimates of radiation risk in the 1950s. Mainstream estimates of the health effects of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters etc. are, of course, based upon UNSCEAR’s figures.

“I think the exclusion of nuclear is a mistake”

I agree. Nuclear has its place, which I think is amid heavy industry, providing process heat to smelt steel, produce glass and many other things like that. A typical nuclear power station converts only about a third of the heat produced into electricity. It would seem sensible to use the heat more directly, thereby relieving other power sources of that demand.