Climate, the science, politics, economics and anything else


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  • #75687 Reply
    ET

    I’ve found much of the commentary on various topics on CM’s blog to be informative, sometimes provocative, sometimes nonsense but generally helpful in honing my thoughts. Covid has been the topic I most participated in. There was a lot to unpack in the various discussions. In my opinion, it was mostly healthy discussion in which I found it useful for myself to partake. One very current topic that appears under-represented here is climate.

    So, I’m going to try start a discussion thread about it. I hope to be directed to resources of which I am currently unaware and expand my knowledge. Undoubtedly, if there is any interest in this thread there will be people who agree with the IPCC’s assessment and those who vehemently disagree and many inbetween. If you are expressing a view and refer to links, videos please try to synopsise what is expressed in the videos or links.

    I’m going to kick off with an article on MOA’s site:
    There Is No Will To Fight Climate Change

    The meat of the article is the contradictions coming from the US administration:

    “The Biden administration is now on track to approve more oil and gas drilling on public lands—activity that accounts for a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions—than any administration since George W. Bush. Climate envoy John Kerry has balked at the idea of committing the U.S. to a coal phaseout. Politicians who call themselves climate hawks are still going out of their way to make clear that there’s a vibrant future ahead for the companies that funded climate denial, whose business model remains built around burning up and extracting as many fossil fuels as possible. Administration officials, meanwhile, have talked repeatedly about the need to cap warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

    All talk but no useful action and indeed action that is detrimental.
    In the comments below the line most of the view points are expressed and there are some useful links to some good information.

    So, what do you think? All points of view welcome 😀

    #75706 Reply
    Clark

    I intend to be in London with Extinction Rebellion on August 23:

    Climate change must be considered integrally with destruction of biodiversity; the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef, is already half dead, and that die-off all occurred in recent decades. It is well worth reading the article at the third link of ET’s Moon of Alabama article:

    https://theconversation.com/climate-scientists-concept-of-net-zero-is-a-dangerous-trap-157368

    Currently, the two most efficient biofuels are sugarcane for bioethanol and palm oil for biodiesel – both grown in the tropics. Endless rows of such fast growing monoculture trees or other bioenergy crops harvested at frequent intervals devastate biodiversity.

    – It has been estimated that BECCS [Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage – a major requirement of the Paris 2 degree scenarios] would demand between 0.4 and 1.2 billion hectares of land. That’s 25% to 80% of all the land currently under cultivation. How will that be achieved at the same time as feeding 8-10 billion people around the middle of the century or without destroying native vegetation and biodiversity?

    It is worth remembering that the struggle to stop emissions is also the struggle against war and propaganda – all three are one and the same. The wars are almost entirely for control over hydrocarbon resources, and the US military is the single organisation with the greatest emission on Earth.

    – – – – – – – –

    “One very current topic that appears under-represented here is climate”

    Craig’s blog has always attracted a lot of conspiracy theorists, as you, ET, will have noticed regarding covid. Any mention of climate change on the main threads tends to provoke a lot of climate change denial that derails legitimate discussion of Craig’s posts, so moderators quickly delete it before it gets out of hand. Denial is likely to be posted on this thread too, so here are a few of the most often needed refutations:

    • The arctic ice is rapidly melting away; at the current rate of loss summer sea ice will fall to zero between ten and thirty-five years from now. This cannot be fake; dozens of passenger aircraft crews overfly the Arctic every day, and shipping companies and fossil fuel companies are investing in the new shipping lanes and oilfields that are becoming accessible. Diminishing ice conclusively proves that the world is accumulating additional heat. The same is true of sea level rise; it could not be happening without additional heat.
    • The previous point shows that climate change is NOT merely a matter of computer modelling. Simple, direct observation proves that climate change is happening right now, and has been for decades.
    • One of the strongest tests of the soundness of a scientific theory is its ability to predict. In 1988 James Hansen testified to the US government that global warming had begun. Climate science predicted global warming, and that prediction has been thoroughly confirmed in a host of different ways. Claims that in the 1960s climate science was predicting an ice age are merely an urban myth, as has been demonstrated by systematic reviews of the scientific literature.
    • Beware statements such as “3 centigrade increase by the end of this century“. Any increase above 2 centigrade this century will not flatten out until around 2300, at a considerably higher level.
    • “The climate has always changed” – Untrue. The climate has changed before, usually sporadically, but with long periods of relative stability in between. It has never changed nearly as fast as carbon dioxide and temperature are rising now. The whole of civilisation has arisen since the last ice age, and would collapse with any comparable change in climate. The climate 30 million years ago, or just 3 million years ago, is in no way relevant to civilisation’s current imminent danger. Here is a nice little cartoon illustration to provide perspective.
    • “Two degrees increase is insignificant” – Well the last ice age was only four degrees colder, and it brought the polar ice as far south as where New York now is. Boston’s location was covered by a mile of ice.
    • “Increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is caused by temperature increase, not vice versa” – The first statement is true, but the second is false because each causes the other. That is always the case for any system which displays positive feedback.
    • “Go protest in China” – China indeed produces the most emissions now, but

      (1)  with 17% of the world’s population, China’s per capita emissions are well below the USA’s;

      (2)  Considering historical emissions, China still has a long way to go before catching up with the USA and Europe;

      (3)  Much of China’s emissions come from producing all the stuff us richer nations buy from there; and

      (4)  Around 15% of all investment in fossil fuel extraction comes from the City of London.

    There are bound to be some that I have forgotten; the fossil fuel companies have funded reams of such nonsense.

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    #75732 Reply
    michael norton

    Almost anything that is bad in the environment is caused by just a few things.

    1) population growth
    2) consumerism
    3) greed

    Some countries like India actually encourage increased family size, that is political as a riposte to China and its domination.
    Dumbing down the news to almost the lowest level, the incessant advertising and an imposed modern mind-set of group-think.

    People need to think for themselves, what makes you happy should not be even more plastic crap made of oil/coal transported by oil from China.

    #75765 Reply
    Clark

    On population, there’s very good news. Globally, the birth rate peaked years ago. It is approaching or even below the replacement rate nearly everywhere except Africa. The population is still increasing, but that is because people are living longer ie. a decrease in the death rate rather than an increase in the birth rate. Population is set to stabilise. The causes are generally accepted to be empowerment and education of women and their access to contraceptives, the spreading of modest affluence, and reduced child mortality due to medicine and reduction in poverty.

    However, population had indeed become very high before its increase started to slow.

    But a related problem is increasing. More and more people are eating more and more meat and other animal products. Livestock now outweighs the human population several times over, and farming of animals has crowded out wildlife and the biodiversity essential for keeping the ecosystem in balance.

    Animal products are grossly inefficient in terms of calories and land; several times as much land is needed to derive as many calories from animal products compared with eating plant-based food directly. This is good news in a way; it means that there’s plenty enough land to feed everyone, so long as the richer populations don’t insist upon eating loads of animal products. Governments could help address this with economic incentives; it’s crazy that my vegan sausages cost over twice as much as the meat ones, even though the meat ones require far more resources to produce. But no; governments hugely subsidise animal farming, mostly due to historical reasons and lobbying.
    – – – – – – – –

    Michael, I very much agree regarding greed, consumerism, dumbing-down, advertising, groupthink and imported plastic crap. But media is supported primarily by advertising, so of course it encourages greed with its endless stories about the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous, and dumbs everything down – you wouldn’t want the punters to start thinking critically, would you? They might start spending less money on pointless dross…

    #75797 Reply
    ET

    “People need to think for themselves, what makes you happy should not be even more plastic crap made of oil/coal transported by oil from China.”

    A lot of crap is made in China to be sold in the west commissioned by western companies. The world’s manufacturing base is China because western companies wanted to take advantage of the cheap labour. However, a lot of stuff that isn’t plastic crap is made in China and Taiwan, South Korea, Japan. Most of the high end tech stuff is fabricated in these countries. Again, initially this was to take advantage of cheaper labour. It’s not just China, we import a lot of food stuffs from elsewhere and export our own. 40 years ago my mother succeeded in feeding me very well with what was available then. Mostly seasonal, Irish produced food with some imported things maybe. Most folk were somewhat in tune with what was in season etc. Things like bread were generally baked by local-ish bakers, maybe county wide and similarly with milk with local dairies. Supermarkets and economies of scale have fucked all this up.

    As for China, read post 40 in the MOA article I linked in the first post by someone named d dan. I hope he /she doesn’t mind me pinching some of what is stated.

    “Fun facts about environment in China.

    1. China is the country that grow the most forest (afforestation) in the world [1].
    2. China has the most installed solar photovoltaics in the world (more than the next 3 countries combined) [2].
    3. China is the largest producer of wind power in the world (more than the next 9 countries combined) [3].
    4. China is the largest hydropower producer in the world (more than the next 4 countries combined) [4].
    5. China has the longest high speed rail (more energy efficient than plane or car) in the world (more than the rest of the world combined) [5].
    6. China has the largest green investment in the world (more than the next 4 countries combined) [6]
    7. China produces and uses most electric cars in the world.
    8. In addition, the trends will continue and may accelerate for all the above, and the gap between China and others will keep growing.”

    In the post references to data are given.

    #75813 Reply
    michael norton

    Once the United Kingdom was the workshop of the World, now it seems it is China. But the World/Environment is paying too high a price. China are the biggest polluters, they are re-opening many coal fired power stations, they have taken the handbrake off.
    It is full-coal-steam-ahead for Environmental catastophe.

    #75815 Reply
    michael norton

    ET the largest forest ecosystem in the World is the Boreal Forests, these spread over Russia and Canada.
    So the largest forest in a single country is the Taiga of Russia.
    If the World becomes increasingly warmer and wetter, this biome will massively increase, on its own.

    #75876 Reply
    Clark

    It’s easy to blame China, and if China is to blame, “we”, ie. us in the nations that industrialised earlier and already burned more carbon than China, “we” shouldn’t have to do anything about the problem. So let’s just pretend there isn’t a problem.

    #75893 Reply
    Clark

    15% of world investment in hydrocarbon extraction comes from the City of London, and the UK government still spends more on subsidising hydrocarbon extraction than it does on renewable energy.

    Then there are the US wars for control of hydrocarbon reserves that Europe and the UK participate in, the US base in Qatar and the UK base in Bahrain – count these in, and UK spending on hydrocarbons is enormous.

    But expose those wars’ crimes and you’ll end up like Assange. China has no monopoly on repressing dissenters either. If you want to protest in London you’ll need advance permission from the police, or it’s an illegal protest.

    #75894 Reply
    Pigeon English

    a)  I grew up in socialist country and how electricity was charged was totally opposite the way UK does it.
    First X amount was cheap and the rest was expensive. In UK first X amount is expensive then very cheap.
    Apart from “Market dogma”(discount on quantity ) and provider’s interest it does not make sense. There is not much of incentive to save.

    b)  What is more likely?
    EU + UK + USA honouring (achieving) their commitment or China? I am sure Boris will have the most ambitious program😀 and all media will report it!

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    #75902 Reply
    ET

    China is also bringing online the most coal burning power plants so it isn’t all good. If on a per capita basis the chinese population were using the same amount of energy we in the west use per capita we’d be f**ked.

    “If the World becomes increasingly warmer and wetter, this biome will massively increase, on its own.”

    Indeed, and the warming tundra will release billions of tons of methane and CO2 thus further increasing temps and releasing yet more.

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    #75915 Reply
    Clark

    Pigeon English, (a) is a very good point.

    #75927 Reply
    michael norton

    “If the World becomes increasingly warmer and wetter, this biome( Northern Coniferous Forests) will massively increase, on its own”
    — michael norton

    “Indeed, and the warming tundra will release billions of tons of methane and CO2 thus further increasing temps and releasing yet more.”
    — ET

    However, the massively increased biome of the Northern Coniferous forests will suck in a lot of Carbon.
    One of the places, likely to Green-Up, is Greenland, currently there is just one natural forest in Greenland, about twenty years ago the locals started to grow potato and other root crops, the Vikings did some farming in Greenland for five hundred years

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    #75961 Reply
    Clark

    There must already more CO2 than vegetation can take up or atmospheric CO2 concentration couldn’t be rising.

    An increase of heat this fast is completely uncharted territory; this is what it looks like since the last ice age:

    https://cdn.antarcticglaciers.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/shakun_marcott_hadcrut4_a1b_eng.png

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    #75965 Reply
    michael norton

    The usual limiting factor for tree growth is liquid fresh water. So in Greenland the Spring/Summer/Autumn is short, the rest of the year there is unlikely to be liquid water available, so growth of trees will be rather slow. When/if the trees get bigger more CO2 will be taken in.
    But the real bonus will be the increase in acreage of plants, gradually evolving to become massive forests. This will probably take many hundreds of years, creeping North from the present tree line. Eventually the extra CO2 will be in living things.
    But how quickly, who knows?

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    #75991 Reply
    Pigeon English

    On some posts, regarding energy,commentator named Natasha would advocate nuclear energy.

    I am inclined to believe that is the way forward despite bad connotation. Some times Greens get it wrong!

    #75990 Reply
    Pigeon English

    Michael N

    talking about trees you might like to watch and get perspective in the following Video.

    One of my favourite (science-related) youtubers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqht2bIQXIY.

    It will take about 10 Billion new trees (per year?) to offset the USA’s yearly CO2 emission

    #76003 Reply
    Clark

    Grief, don’t get me started on nuclear reactors. The history of nuclear power is a tragedy – “Alvin, if you’re so concerned about reactor safety, we think it’s time you left atomic power”.

    Tip: if you want to minimise high level, long-lived radioactive waste, don’t put 97% U238 in your reactors. It’s not a fuel, it’s an impurity.

    #76005 Reply
    Clark

    Here’s what was possible in 1956. A government information film of the construction of the Dounreay Fast Nuclear Reactor, YouTube, 35 minutes. From a bare, remote site to the most complex stainless steel construction ever built, in just three and a half years.

    #76018 Reply
    michael norton

    I do not like Nuclear. Far too long term, far too dangerous. It is normally hyped up by people who work for the industry.
    When Hinkley Point C goes live, all any country has to do to wipe out England is to send one Nuclear bomb to Hinkley. That would effectively be the end.

    #76034 Reply
    Pigeon English

    MN
    what about 1 Nuclear bomb to London or 1 Nuclear bomb in North sea triggering Tsunami! How about Dozens of Nuclear bombs?

    #76036 Reply
    Pigeon English

    There are 400 + nuclear reactors in the world and about 100 in USA and we are stll talking Chernobyl and Fukushima.
    How much of Energy is needed for One Wind turbine and how many turbines are needed to produce energy as one reactor?

    #76043 Reply
    ET

    If someone starts firing nukes then I think nuclear reactors are the least of our problems. The strategic nuclear posture means any first strike (aside from being MADness) will be multiple missiles with multiple warheads each for fear that many will be destroyed before finding their target. A spray and pray approach. Any adversary seeing those launched will equally launch multiples of their own. We’d have much more immediate concerns than reactors in such an event and as such that isn’t a reason to object to nuclear power. A terrorist strike would be more pertinent.

    The problem with solar is that the panels are inefficient, take up land, only produce during the day and require rare earth metals themselves and have a life span. Once they reach that end of life there is all that waste to consider. Yes it probabl;y can be recycled somewhat. Efficiency is unlikely to increase substantially for a long time yet owing to the innate limitation of band gap. Yes, you can layer different wavelength photovoltaics but currently that is enormously expensive and complex akin to producing computer chips requiring lithography. Solar undoubtedly has a role n places where the sun shines a lot but not really in the UK or Ireland except perhaps in residential settings.

    Wind power has similar issues taking up land, requiring lots of steel and only producing when the wind blows. They also have a maintenance complexity and a life span and produce waste.

    Blue hydrogen production produces more greenhouse gases than a coal power plant producing similar energy.

    Nuclear seems to me to be the only sane answer alongside as much renewable as is reasonable given its limitations.

    #76056 Reply
    michael norton

    There is nothing but insanity with Nuclear.
    Ever heard of Fukushima?
    Hinkley Point C is being constructed in the shadow of 1607 Tsunami.
    Another Tsunami, will come along, one day.

    #76079 Reply
    michael norton

    While the risk of similar (1607) events in the foreseeable future is considered to be low, it is estimated that the potential cost caused by comparable flooding to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural property could range from £7 billion to £13 billion at 2007 insured values. There has also been concern that the nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point and Oldbury could be endangered. Then there were the three Storegga Slides, are amongst the largest known submarine landslides. Although some time ago, why only three, was that it or could it happen again?

    #76084 Reply
    Clark

    Three meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, and two hydrogen explosions. Proper end-of-the-world TV; watch two nuclear power stations blow up. One of the explosions blew tonnes of spent fuel about a mile in the air; the design was that the pool for cooling fresh spent fuel was in the space above the reactor.

    I don’t think it killed that many people though. The tsunami was far worse, and washed a load of other toxic industries into the ocean too. Nuclear is just part and parcel of everything else we’re doing, more and faster all the time.

    Nuclear power could be done far better than it is.

    #76086 Reply
    ET

    I believe that the Fukushima reactors themselves were intact and resiliant to the tsunami but the cooling infrastructure was debilitated enough for the reactors to overheat. There are a number of other reactors nearby which had no incident. You can read all about it here though I guess they have a bias.

    Like a lot of things we need context. Nuclear accidents are somewhat like aircraft accidents, spectacular, sensationalised but infrequent and statistically still the safest way to travel. How may people die or are injured in the oil industry or mining industry that we never hear about?

    I’ve posted this YT vdeo before from David MacKay who has since sadly passed away from cancer. It’s approx 20 mins and in it he summarises the limitations of current renewables.

    “Nuclear power could be done far better than it is.”

    Yeah, I see China is bringing online a small test molten salt reactor this month for operation in September. The USA looked into thorium molten salt reactors back in the 50’s but abandoned it. Perhaps materials science has caught up enough to allow them?

    #76124 Reply
    Clark

    “I believe that the Fukushima reactors themselves were intact and resiliant to the tsunami but the cooling infrastructure was debilitated enough for the reactors to overheat.”

    Yes. An inevitable design problem with pressurised water reactors; cooling must continue no matter what caused reactor shutdown or heat from the fission products will melt the core causing complete loss of control of the reactor.

    I have read, but not confirmed, that the height of the land was actually lowered when the Fukushima site was built, so that less powerful seawater cooling pumps could be used. Had the original height been retained the diesel generators would not have been swamped and the reactors would have shut down in good order.

    “The USA looked into thorium molten salt reactors back in the 50’s but abandoned it. Perhaps materials science has caught up enough to allow them?”

    They had already solved the materials science problem, as demonstrated by the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment MSRE at Oak Ridge, 1964 – 1970:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten-Salt_Reactor_Experiment

    Nixon had it shut down – (1) to save money, (2) because it wasn’t intended to produce plutonium for weapons and (3) it wasn’t in his home state. Weinberg was sacked for promoting it rather than Pressurised Water Reactors, another of his own inventions, which he described as “not safe enough for civilian use”.

    MSRE never actually ran on thorium because thorium, like U238, is not quite a nuclear fuel; it is just short of being able to sustain a chain reaction. Thorium and U238 are ‘fertile’ not ‘fissile’; they become fissile when irradiated in a reactor – thorium becomes U233 which is fissile, and U238 becomes plutonium, which is fissile. This is how ‘breeder’ reactors can “make more fuel than they consume”; by nudging a fertile material just across the line into becoming fissile.

    MSRE was the most versatile power-production reactor ever built. Without requiring redesign or major reconfiguration, they ran it on U233, U235 and, to an extent, plutonium. It could be possible to develop the design to “cook down” spent fuel; if so, there are a couple of centuries of free electricity as a by-product of disposing of existing “nuclear waste”.

    #76129 Reply
    michael norton

    I had thought, that it was now generally accepted that there had been a MELTTHROUGH at Fukushima.

    #76131 Reply
    michael norton

    Meaning the RPV is breached and hot nuclear material escapes.

    #76133 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, I haven’t looked into the situation at Fukushima for some years; there’s only so much bad news I can take, you know? There were four power stations at Fukushima; one was already shut down for maintenance when the tsunami occurred. When I last looked, it was generally accepted that all three running reactors had melted down. Investigations were proceeding trying to locate the melted core masses, but the radiation kept frying the camera robots they were sending in. It was widely assumed that the melted cores had melted their way out of the reactor vessels and into the ground beneath, but confirmation had been impossible to obtain.

    Yes, that could be called a “meltthrough”, or three meltthroughs, though the term hadn’t been coined at the time.

    As Pigeon English stated (August 20, 21:56 above), there are over 400 power reactors worldwide, most of which are on the coast and near sea level, to use seawater for cooling. But sea level is rising and weather events are becoming more extreme. Additionally, due to lunar orbit cycles, we have a decade of extreme coastal flooding approaching:

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/study-projects-a-surge-in-coastal-flooding-starting-in-2030s

    I wonder how many of them should be de-fuelled? I think nuclear power may soon incur an enormous unforeseen cost.

    #76135 Reply
    michael norton

    I believe the French, Framatone or whatever they are called today, part owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, but essentially a creature of the French Regime had to “review” the specifications of their European Pressurised Reactor after the meltthroughs of Fukushima, Japan.

    #76139 Reply
    michael norton

    Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered “melt-through”, Japan admits
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jun/08/fukushima-nuclear-plant-melt-through
    Fuel rods have “probably” breached containment vessels – a more serious scenario than “core meltdown” – according to report.
    The report, which is to be submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said fuel rods in reactors No 1, 2 and 3 had probably not only melted, but also breached their inner containment vessels and accumulated in the outer steel containment vessels.

    Or in laymans terms they are fucked.

    #76145 Reply
    ET

    I guess my point was that the Fukushima reactors themselves were not the primary point of failure, but the on-the-cheap cooling system was the primary point of failure, and that needn’t have happened if they had thought through their design. The end result is however the same.

    That is the drive for molten salt reactors, they are inherently safer because runaway overheating can’t occur. If they do start to overheat the molten salt which contains the radioactive material will be forced out of the reactor carrying with it some of the radioactive material thus reducing the reaction and containing the runaway. However, I am not a nuclear physicist so I may not be aware of inherent dangers in these types of reactors that are not in the current ones.

    My overall point is that if we are going to move away from burning fossil fuels to produce our energy we need a replacement. Our energy needs are not going to decrease. Right now, renewables simply are not enough.

    #76151 Reply
    Clark

    Yes, breaching a containment layer is worse than meltdown, though it’s pretty much what would be expected after a full meltdown of a typical power reactor. I don’t know how bad a situation like Fukushima could get. Whether, for example, the core material could burn its way right out of all containment and start contaminating ground water or the ocean. Apparently that’s not happening and just capping them over will contain them, like Chernobyl. Officially, they were declared to be in “cold shutdown” in December 2011 – somewhat ironic as no one can get near enough to take a proper look. Here are some reports from 2017 onwards:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster#20_June

    I don’t like water cooled reactors. Water is an unsuitable coolant because its boiling point is far too low; it explodes at nuclear reactor temperatures. It was a steam explosion that blew the 1000 tonne lid off the Chernobyl reactor.

    But the Fukushima power stations were over forty years old, and they’d even been re-licensed beyond their design lifetimes. There are much safer reactor designs now. I’d like to see some molten salt and other designs prototyped, but for half a century power reactor development has stagnated, often due to public opposition.

    These days, wind and solar electricity are cheaper. In particular, the growth rate of installed solar capacity is exceptionally high. But massive, international expansion of the grid is needed to take advantage of wind and solar. Nuclear power’s natural place is probably heavy industry’s centralised, continuous requirements – replacing coal for smelting steel, for instance.

    #76164 Reply
    michael norton

    Part of the problems are mindset, advertising, over consumption, greed and built in Obsolescence/upgrading.
    My car is 30 years old and has done 200,000 miles. I bought my washing machine about eight years ago, second hand. I just bought a new push bike, the other one I bought new 28 years ago. I did buy a new T.V. and satbox as I could barely ever watch T.V. as the signal was so weak. I almost never throw clothes away, I do get through a pair of walking boots about every two years as I am always out walking. My couch cost nothing, a neighbour gave it to me. Almost everything I have is rubbish but so what, status is meaningless. You should not need or desire more stuff.

    If people could understand that ever more stuff is killing our World, could they be convinced to repair stuff, make stuff themselves. Convincing everybody in the World to buy a new $40,000 Tesla, will mean dumping hundreds of millions of I.C. cars, before they are worn out, more and more power stations will be needed to be constructed using concrete, to match the new need for electricity, concrete is bad for the atmosphere.
    Where will this push to have new stuff lead?

    #76173 Reply
    michael norton

    In the tense days ten years ago when smoke rose around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power station as if from a battlefield, when hydrogen explosions tore the reactor buildings apart and workers fought for their lives and Japan’s future, it seemed as though we might be watching the death throes of the nuclear dream.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17287740

    It was after this group of disasters that France decided to revise its plans for the European Pressurised Reactor, The French President Hollande & Ségolène Royal (the mother of his children) put in train, a promise to shutter old Nuclear plants in France and reduce the reliance on France of Nuclear Power, eventually down to 50% from about 70% – 80%. Fessenheim has now closed. Part of the plan was, when the EPR was opened in Flamanville, other, older Nuclear Reactors would be switched off. Flamanville, seems to have had endless problems, including poor welding.

    Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, all have decided they can no longer take the risk of Nuclear Power.

    #76237 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, I very much agree with your August 23, 09:44 comment, about consumerism etc.

    There are of course political issues deeply entwined with the points you mentioned, but right now I am far too miserable to write about them.

    I agree that no more water-cooled power reactors should be built, especially near the rising oceans. If Weinberg had not been sacked, for political reasons, we would probably have clean, safe, inexpensive nuclear power by now. But please don’t get the dangers of nuclear power out of perspective. Mining kills many more people, and burning coal releases more radioactivity. Even hydroelectric has a higher death toll; look up some of the dam failure disasters.

    #76239 Reply
    ET

    So, if we are to stop using fossil fuels what are we going to replace them with? That’s the fundamental problem. Whilst reducing wasted energy, reducing unnecessary goods and transport etc etc will help it won’t be enough on it’s own. If we stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow without replacements an order of magnitude more people will die than covid has caused, if we don’t and climate behaves as predicted the same thing happens.

    #76245 Reply
    michael norton

    I am not against Methane, even Scotland is constructing Methane powered ferries.
    I am not sure what the actual fuel is they use on the newer Royal Navy ships, “gas turbines”
    More and more boats are now using Methane.
    Germany is shuttering all of its Nuclear Plants and going for a mixture of Methane from Russia, Coal from Poland and renewables.

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