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Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

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  • Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

    Ooops, in my ignorance as a Junior Member, I did not dig deep enough into the "Economics" topic to find that there is a separate heading for "Energy" issues. My bad, very sorry. Rather than repeat my lengthy post about nuclear power, which I placed under "Education and Resources," I'm just going to put a link from Energy to my post.

    (Any moderator has my permission to move or otherwise edit/change that nuclear power post, of course.)

    To comment on nuclear power, please see:
    http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=16626

    Thanks, --necron99

  • #2
    Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

    Necron99 -

    I just re-read a post of yours on 'Are You a Doomer' and was impressed all over again by your acuity and your totally politically agnostic approach putting Gary Alexander under a microscope This is the example everyone clamoring within polarized left vs. right political debates in an increasingly divided America could learn from.

    You have won a fan in me, as I see continual tired, mentally lazy position taking on 'the left' and 'the right' while no-one feels free to take each issue as a separate issue purely on it's own merit.

    Spot on Necron99 !

    ____________

    You posted:

    06-19-07, 09:04 AM
    necron99 vbmenu_register("postmenu_11428", true);
    Special Member
    Join Date: Jun 2007
    Location: Santa Fe, NM
    Posts: 21
    Credits: 748


    Re: Are You a Doomer?
    I've been a lurker on the iTulip site for about three years now, and I am deeply ashamed that my first post must contain a lot of negativity. But the article by Gary Alexander was so egregious that I had to register in order to set right some falsehoods. The introduction by Eric Janszen expressed a tremendously prudent, rational, wise attitude, so I was really looking forward to reading a well-written article explaining why we're not doomed. Unfortunately I was sorely disappointed by Gary Alexander's piece.

    First permit me to analyze the structure of his argument. Mr. Alexander writes over 3600 words detailing his many failures of judgment in the past. Then he coughs up a few numbers to show that the stock market has risen. And then that's it; that's literally the entire basis with which he urges us to trust his judgment now, and dismiss any concerns about future problems. Based on what, his past track record? Was this article edited or excerpted from a longer piece? Because his past track record inspires little confidence, and neither does his grasp of science.

    The first red flag came early in the article when Mr. Alexander said, "I wrote other articles supporting the ban in DDT, which I am ashamed to say, has caused the deaths of millions of Asians and Africans since then." Well good news, Mr. Alexander: you can forget about the shame, because that statement is a pure political talking point without factual merit.

    The fact that the DDT Ban Treaty contains explicit loopholes which allow any country, right up to the present day, to spray DDT for "Public Health" reasons ( http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/note2000-15.html ) is only the first in a very, very long list of reasons why that statement is false. The treaty is actually well- and efficiently-written to ban the spraying of DDT on crops against agricultural pests while still allowing DDT's use to combat insect-borne diseases. You can read the rest of the list at ( http://timlambert.org/2005/10/crime-of-the-century/ ).

    Then we encounter the tired canard that we can't trust scientists about Global Warming today because they predicted Global Cooling 30 years ago. As Mr. Alexander himself argues, just because Newsweek published a story on something doesn't mean it's true; so we should not be surprised that when Newsweek said scientists were "almost unanimous" in predicting global cooling, Newsweek was wrong.

    Only a few scientists ever predicted global cooling, and it was based on a small amount of evidence. (Newsweek eventually issued a rather self-serving retraction, at

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15391426/site/newsweek/ ).

    Today it's the scientists, not Newsweek, who claim a concensus; and there is a huge cornucopia of numerical evidence for Global Warming today, compared to the predictions of the 1970s.

    You can read more at

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php...-cooling-myth/

    and

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php...-cooling-again .

    By the time I got to Mr. Alexander's Bibliography, I was fully expecting to see the books by Bjorn Lomborg, Dennis Avery & Fred Singer there, and Mr. Alexander did not disappoint. While those authors served a valuable purpose by encouraging debate -- rational debate eventually reaches some sort of conclusion, and the conclusions have gone against Mssrs. Lomborg, Avery, and Singer. See:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php...pable-hot-air/
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?art...F6809EC5880000
    http://www.americanscientist.org/tem.../assetid/17791
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming...mentalist.html
    http://education.guardian.co.uk/high...539739,00.html

    When one analyzes the contents of speeches and presentations by Mssrs. Avery, Singer, Lomborg, Michael Crichton, Sentaor Inhofe, and now Mr. Alexander, one finds -- discounting the false pseudoscience like the DDT Ban talking point -- they actually contribute virtually nothing positive to the debate.

    They are rarely anything but reactionaries whose only tactic is to shout "NO!" into the faces of people who know the science better than they do. This leads them into some interesting ironies. For example, calling Al Gore an "Apocaholic" at the very end of the article.

    Anyone who had taken the (admittedly difficult) effort to read or listen to virtually any Al Gore speech through to the end, would know that Mr. Gore is convinced that the technology and resources to surmount these environmental problems already exist right now, today, and that the only thing we lack is the decision to apply those things.

    And furthermore, that we can make money doing so, not lose money. (Mr. Gore frequently cites the Rocky Mountain Institute, which is entirely dedicated to that proposition:

    http://www.rmi.org/images/PDFs/Clima...limateProb.pdf )

    Whether Mr. Gore is right about that or not, does that sound like an "Apocaholic" or "Doomer" to anyone? I'm no fan of Mr. Gore, I voted against him in two of his three national elections. But it seems obvious that Mr. Alexander is attacking a media caricature of Mr. Gore, without even coming close to addressing Mr. Gore's factual points. I wouldn't take financial advice from someone with that type of behavior.

    Nothing I have written above can in any way prove the "truth" of any so-called Doomsday scenario. But that's because the iTulip editors have already staked out an eminently reasonable position: that we still have time, resources, and tried-and-true American ingenuity on our side to resolve these problems. But by using shoddy science and talking-point arguments, "Denialists" like Mr. Alexander seek to blind us not only to good, trustworthy science which predicts these problems; but also, to good economics, such as the Rocky Mountain Institute noted above.

    The ultimate irony is that, by insisting upon inaction and willful disregard of science, "Denialists" such as Mr. Alexander may be the people most directly responsible... if and when these difficult but resolveable problems eventually become the total calamities which Mr. Alexander refuses to believe in anymore.

    I am consistently pleased with the things that the iTulip moderators themselves write on the website. But if any iTulip member shifted their investements around based on the contents of Mr. Alexander's speech... well, frankly, the best you can hope for is that you accidentally wound up right for the wrong reasons.
    Last edited by necron99 : 06-19-07 at 09:11 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

      A few thoughts on nuclear power:

      1.) More than anyone else to-day, the eco-nazis who killed nuclear power in the 1970s and 1980s are to blame for the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. So, if there is any global warming caused by carbon-dioxide, these eco-nazis should hang their heads in shame and not point fingers at anyone else but themselves.

      2.) The world has run-out of cheap fossil fuels, and no-one but a millionaire can afford to heat a home and drive a car to-day. So, the world has no choice but to build nuclear power plants. Freezing in the dark waiting for windmills to provide cheap electric power is not a viable option, at least not for me.

      3.) The next step in this worldwide depression will be food shortages. Truckers will not drive trucks to haul groceries because of the cost of fuel.

      4.) Much of the eastern US and Canada still burn fuel oil to heat homes. Instread of using fuel oil, homes in these states and provinces could heat with electricity produced by atomic power plants. But this is going to take a continental energy plan and new thinking on the part of governments.

      Starving Steve,
      Watsonville, California

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

        Originally posted by Starving Steve View Post
        A few thoughts on nuclear power:

        1.) More than anyone else to-day, the eco-nazis who killed nuclear power in the 1970s and 1980s are to blame for the doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. So, if there is any global warming caused by carbon-dioxide, these eco-nazis should hang their heads in shame and not point fingers at anyone else but themselves.

        2.) The world has run-out of cheap fossil fuels, and no-one but a millionaire can afford to heat a home and drive a car to-day. So, the world has no choice but to build nuclear power plants. Freezing in the dark waiting for windmills to provide cheap electric power is not a viable option, at least not for me.

        3.) The next step in this worldwide depression will be food shortages. Truckers will not drive trucks to haul groceries because of the cost of fuel.

        4.) Much of the eastern US and Canada still burn fuel oil to heat homes. Instread of using fuel oil, homes in these states and provinces could heat with electricity produced by atomic power plants. But this is going to take a continental energy plan and new thinking on the part of governments.

        Starving Steve,
        Watsonville, California
        to point 1: In the 1970's there was no good disposal/cleanup plan for nuclear waste. Even now waste from nuclear plants is limited. So the "eco-nazis," as you call them, provided a service to you by making sure you didn't get cancer or a third eye by the age of 7.

        2. I'm 30. I make 60k a year. I can drive my car and heat my home. My parents aren't millionaires, but they are retired and can also drive and heat their homes. My good buddy I'm going to have thanksgiving with has a wife and a kid. He makes more than me, but he also can afford 2 cars and to heat (and cool) his home.

        3. Um..... ?

        4. Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't that oil different from the gas we put in our cars? Also, heating imo isn't such a big issue, it's transportation and industry that's the issue. Humans lived for millenia by heating their homes with wood and fire, and many choose to do so today.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

          Nice of you to provide us with a snapshot of your earnings profile DemonD. I presume it's intended to put "Starving Steve" in his place? :rolleyes: Shall we all consider ourselves soundly rebuked then?

          With regard to this:

          << 4. Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't that oil different from the gas we put in our cars? Also, heating imo isn't such a big issue, it's transportation and industry that's the issue. Humans lived for millenia by heating their homes with wood and fire, and many choose to do so today. >>

          I respectfully submit your take on this is somewhat ingenuous. The holes and misperceptions regarding everything from future total energy budgets available, to the quantity of forest available to replace oil consumption, to it's carbon footprint, are perhaps too numerous to do more than mention here.

          We can only wait for time and the developing circumstances to impress that upon you. But by then doubtless you'll be earning 120K a year and be able to ignore what many of your countrymen will be struggling with.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

            One way or the other, I plan to stay warm this winter. So staying warm just might mean that I will burn more wood in my wood-stove, and that will be just wonderful for the environment: more CO2, more arsenic, more sulfur-dioxide, more nitrous-oxide, more particulates, and FEWER LIVING TREES on Earth.

            The last one, fewer living trees on Earth, is the kicker. Fewer living trees would mean less CO2 absorbtion, less oxygen generation, and a host of other god-awful environmental consequences.

            And so it all goes back to killing nuclear power, doesn't it? The no-more-nukes-policy has meant no more cheap electricity, which has meant no more electric heating, which has in-turn meant more wood-stoves, which has meant more illegal tree-cutting, which has meant more damage to the environment.

            Meanwhile, the eco-frauds up and down the West Coast from British Columbia to California shag-about with their carbon credits and carbon tax proposals. And these eco-frauds propose to build more government- subsidized windmills and government-subsidized solar roofs --- which only will serve to increase our dependence on OPEC oil.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

              Originally posted by Starving Steve View Post
              One way or the other, I plan to stay warm this winter. So staying warm just might mean that I will burn more wood in my wood-stove, and that will be just wonderful for the environment: more CO2, more arsenic, more sulfur-dioxide, more nitrous-oxide, more particulates, and FEWER LIVING TREES on Earth.

              The last one, fewer living trees on Earth, is the kicker. Fewer living trees would mean less CO2 absorbtion, less oxygen generation, and a host of other god-awful environmental consequences.

              And so it all goes back to killing nuclear power, doesn't it? The no-more-nukes-policy has meant no more cheap electricity, which has meant no more electric heating, which has in-turn meant more wood-stoves, which has meant more illegal tree-cutting, which has meant more damage to the environment.

              Meanwhile, the eco-frauds up and down the West Coast from British Columbia to California shag-about with their carbon credits and carbon tax proposals. And these eco-frauds propose to build more government- subsidized windmills and government-subsidized solar roofs --- which only will serve to increase our dependence on OPEC oil.
              i see this is your 3rd post and you joined this month so... welcome!

              spot on comment. i got a wood stove, too. love it! love the smell. mmmmm. that smell of burning chemicals. where's the itulip bumper sicker...


              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

                Where do I sign up? Can I get one of those cool bumper stickers too?


                Originally posted by metalman View Post
                spot on comment.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

                  Starving Steve: I don't understand or relate to your post. I cannot speak for the itulip community, only for myself.

                  I'm a realist - I try to view reality with as much honesty as possible. When you (or anyone) makes comments without any evidence to back them up, I have absolutely no respect for your point. I may agree or disagree, but I won't take you seriously. All you would need to do is to look at Necron99's original post. Yes it is well-written, but he also uses actual public documents to back up his statements. Also, while I may disagree with some of Luke's point of views, many of his posts are backed up with links off-site that point to evidence in support of his arguments, so I have a high level of respect for his posts.

                  Also, when you use inflammatory language (such as "eco-nazi") that raises a warning flag. I don't automatically discount what one might say after saying that, because I like using some strong language at times myself. But it puts me on alert, and the rest of your post just seems like senseless nonsense from where I'm sitting. Explain to me how exactly windmills and solar power will increase fossil fuel usage? With some evidence to back it up? Do that in a reasonable manner and I will be happy to engage you in a logical discourse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

                    Sorry DemonD, I don't buy it. You paint a picture of this place as a forum where everyone meticulously fact checks, posts scholarly reference material at every punctuation mark, with splendid reference bibliographies for all the copious further reading all the stalwart members presumably carry out on every topic.

                    Look around and you'll note a majority of posts here do not bother with substantiating every last viewpoint (don't see you commenting on all those others!) - and frankly that's probably a good thing, because if we were all stolid enough to regard copious footnoting as our most effective form of comunication we'd all wind up bogged down as bleeding librarians.

                    It just ain't so. Tons of stuff posted here is mere opinion. If the person posting has done some reasonably intelligent or even merely astute thinking on the topic a grain of sense can come through with zero scholarly examples, footnotes and other endless clutter. Occasionally references are excellent, but I for one don't wish to see this place become so zealously pedantic that people get caught up in the fervor of seeing who can out-pedantic whom.

                    Common sense can come through easily enough in posts where zero immediate research has been carried out - not always, but it's perfectly capable of it - like for example, my very simple observation that the major part of oil price rises can't be merely a factor of inflation because some outrageous real purchasing power has accrued to the oil exporting nations in this supposedly "all inflationary" oil boom.

                    A sophomore student might have observed that - but all the scholarly and heavily footnoted, ponderously serious posts in this community missed it entirely, for months on end - because even the smartest scholars get bogged down in groupthink occasionally.

                    It's just my militantly anti-pedantic viewpoint, but Starving Steve does not have to substantiate a damn thing. He can state an opinion, just like anyone else around here. If someone reads it and thinks it makes sense, they'll vote for it. He may or may not feel a compulsion to persuade you, but he need not feel he has to persuade you to his views to retain the belief he's credible.

                    I recently had someone else around here "tell me" that if I don't post full disclosure of my "reasons and references" to their satisfaction then "I'm not credible" - well, frankly where I am coming from, I'd suggest that person find someone else to berate on this account. I'm not buyin' it a'tall.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

                      Originally posted by DemonD View Post
                      Starving Steve: I don't understand or relate to your post. I cannot speak for the itulip community, only for myself.

                      I'm a realist - I try to view reality with as much honesty as possible. When you (or anyone) makes comments without any evidence to back them up, I have absolutely no respect for your point. I may agree or disagree, but I won't take you seriously. All you would need to do is to look at Necron99's original post. Yes it is well-written, but he also uses actual public documents to back up his statements. Also, while I may disagree with some of Luke's point of views, many of his posts are backed up with links off-site that point to evidence in support of his arguments, so I have a high level of respect for his posts.

                      Also, when you use inflammatory language (such as "eco-nazi") that raises a warning flag. I don't automatically discount what one might say after saying that, because I like using some strong language at times myself. But it puts me on alert, and the rest of your post just seems like senseless nonsense from where I'm sitting. Explain to me how exactly windmills and solar power will increase fossil fuel usage? With some evidence to back it up? Do that in a reasonable manner and I will be happy to engage you in a logical discourse.
                      Well, in reply, let me try to reason this discussion through as follows:

                      Suppose we try to invent an energy future where governments attempt to drive-down the cost of electricity to 2cents per kwh. Suppose, under this plan (The Emergency Energy Plan for North America ) new 500 megawatt nukes are built everywhere, and electricity becomes so plentiful that electric rates fall to 2c/kwh to encourage consumption.

                      Well, guess what just might be encouraged then:

                      Homes would be heated by electric base-board heaters. Fuel oil would be conserved. In turn, OPEC oil to produce fuel oil (the fuel oil which heretofore has been used throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada to heat homes) would now be able to be diverted to produce more gasoline and diesel, instead of fuel oil. This would lower petrol costs at the pump by increasing fuel supply.

                      Until the new 500 megawatt nukes are built, an interim solution could be to build a new natural gas pipeline to ship natural gas from Alberta to the eastern US and eastern Canada. This natural gas would replace the fuel oil being used presently.

                      Once electricity drops to 2c/kwh, the next step would be to convert cars and trucks to using either electric or electric- hybrid motor propulsion systems. Cheap electric power for such could be dispensed at home, or anywhere. In other words, cars and trucks could be plugged into the electric grid.

                      Some twenty or thirty years on, the last step in this new electric plan could be achieved: Cars and trucks could run on hydrogen.

                      In the hydrogen step, nuclear power plants could provide hydrogen in pellets, and the pellets could be shipped from such plants to filling-stations where they would be dispensed to vehicles.

                      This is the over all direction that North America has to take to solve the oil addiction. The strategy would be: 1.) to convert to nuclear power (with natural gas as an interim solution ), 2.) to drive-down the cost of electricity in order to create time and opportunity for people to convert from fossil fuels to electricity, 3.) then to convert to hybrids and electric motors in vehicles in all vehicles, and 4.) to then convert to hydrogen and produce that hydrogen with nuclear power.

                      Ostensibly (sp?) , going off in other directions and building windmills, solar roofs, solar power plants, geo-thermal, tidal projects, and such may not be a bad thing either, because every new mega-watt of energy produced is helpful. But it is difficult to see how such new adventures would do very much to solve the oil addiction problem because North America requires tens of thousands of new megawatts of electric energy, not a few megs here and there.

                      For more information on this subject, go to Dr. Bill Wattenburg's website from the University of California: www.pushback.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

                        Nice idea.

                        Who'd pay for it?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

                          C1ue -

                          "Who'll pay for it"? The same sources that are happily planning to fund all the starry-eyed solar, hydropower, wind, offshore wind and hydro (just not off Malibu or Nantucket!) thermal, and assorted other cockamamy alternative energy putative "major contributor" power projects that are breathlessly anticipated to 'successfully decouple the US economy from petroleum". Especially in California.

                          You'd be surprised. When the oil really starts getting tight, how the funding will start pouring out of the nooks and crannies to keep the industrial growth paradigm growing and viable. They'll give nuclear power a Hollywood makeover like none of us will believe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?


                            CARBON TAX


                            The IPCC report http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2469 page 17 reflects the same.


                            Energy
                            Supply
                            Improved supply and distribution efficiency; fuel
                            switching from coal to gas; nuclear power;
                            renewable heat and power (hydropower, solar,
                            wind, geothermal and bioenergy); combined heat
                            and power; early applications of Carbon Dioxide
                            Capture and Storage (CCS) (e.g. storage of
                            removed CO2 from natural gas); CCS for gas,
                            biomass and coal-fired electricity generating
                            facilities; advanced nuclear power; advanced
                            renewable energy, including tidal and wave
                            energy, concentrating solar, and solar
                            photovoltaics


                            Reduction of fossil fuel subsidies;
                            Taxes or carbon charges on fossil
                            fuels

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Will Nuclear Power solve Climate Change and Hydrocarbon Depletion problems?

                              Originally posted by Lukester View Post
                              C1ue -

                              "Who'll pay for it"? The same sources that are happily planning to fund all the starry-eyed solar, hydropower, wind, offshore wind and hydro (just not off Malibu or Nantucket!) thermal, and assorted other cockamamy alternative energy putative "major contributor" power projects that are breathlessly anticipated to 'successfully decouple the US economy from petroleum". Especially in California.

                              You'd be surprised. When the oil really starts getting tight, how the funding will start pouring out of the nooks and crannies to keep the industrial growth paradigm growing and viable. They'll give nuclear power a Hollywood makeover like none of us will believe.
                              You might be one of the millionaires in California who can just write a cheque each month to PG & E for $300 or $400 and think nothing of it. You may be one of those who doesn't care about electricity now costing 13cents per kwh. But I am not.

                              To me, every penny per kwh for power counts. Every rate increase for water counts. Every hike in private health insurance counts.

                              I am Starving Steve in Watsonville, California. Perhaps we live on two different planets.

                              On my planet, freezing in the dark is not a solution. And shagging about with windmills and solar power is not a solution, nor are wars for OPEC oil a solution.

                              Comment

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