I just want to raise an objection to a one-sided view of solar. Many opponents to solar energy just don’t like to see money spent on building solar energy plants because they under-perform for the money spent but those same people should be supporting conservation and it is not trivial how much can be saved through sensible housing and building construction that insulates and that holds in cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter. Besides insulation, white rooftops, geoexchange heating and cooling there are other ways to build. Homes built in valleys near flood zones should be discouraged or maybe even made illegal. Homes built to withstand high winds are becoming more important. How about digging into the earth for protection. Fully or partially submerged homes have automatic advantages. With more and more weather extremes we have to get smarter about how to use our environment and how to construct our living and work spaces to our advantage.
Is Global Warming caused by Carbon Dioxide increasing?
I didn’t ask is technology causing global warming . That’s a more complex question.
This Video called “The Great Global Warming Swindle” gives some credible arguments suggesting that sun spots and cosmic rays both caused by the sun have a far greater affect on the earths temperature.
There is a good page at BraveNewClimate.com that debunks some of this
The biggest surprise to me was that CO2 makes up less than 1 percent of the earths atmosphere.
I’d like to know how the sun’s activity is measured because they have data going back hundreds of years.
So one fair conclusion to draw is that many people take for gospel that Global warming is caused by CO2 and one might ask “What good does it do to prove that is false?” Not a lot really. But it’s nice to know the truth. It’s also possible that if I was more vocal about this that I’d be helping the anti-nukers to delay the growth of Nuclear Energy.
Some points made in the video as fact
1. That CO2 is only about .54 % of the atmosphere (it’s more like .038 %)
2. That Margaret Thatcher offered scientists money to prove that CO2 was causing Global warming.
3. At a relatively low period of industrialization in the first few decades of the 1900′s we had a far greater increase in CO2
4. There is evidence that CO2 increase is caused by Global warming and that there is a time lag and that Al Gore’s theory did not dig deep enough to see the patterns. (Gore did get some of it wrong but what’s important is his call to action – after all CO2 is an enabler for temperature change so what came first before humans were causing it is not so relevant)
Questions unanswered and a couple of strange and unlikely facts. The ocean has a memory and temperatures are very slow to respond to influences as much as 300 years.
Also what about Ozone and if we’re not worried about CO2 then is there something we should be worried about?
I have quoted DV82XL before since he has many insightful comments. This one was on Depleted Cranium
July 25th, 2010 at 11:52 am
I’m a bit more optimistic. The public opinion of nuclear energy in the US and many other Western nations is quite good and is rising.
Unfortunately positive public opinion, and public support are not the same thing.
One of the major revelations for me on this issue is that real public opinion on nuclear matters is nowhere near what both the antinuclear side, the media, and the governments claim it is. The fact is that very few polls have been done, and even fewer that have be done with the sort of rigour that one would expect for such an important subject. Those that have been done like the Eurobarometer survey carried out for the European Commission’s directorate-general for energy and transport on the subject have yielded surprising results, yet policy in most of the EU on nuclear energy has remained little changed, with politicians claiming that there is no public support.
Much the same in happening in Canada with projects being squashed in the planning stages, even in the face of positive public opinion. Look at the current efforts to build a merchant NPP in New Brunswick, or the attempt by Bruce Power to begin a study on replacing Nanticoke with a nuclear power station, or the stymied plans to build a NPP at the Whiteshell.
In the US its beginning to look as if the best that can be accoplished is that new builds will keep up with old plant retirements, which have been eroding the total percentage of nuclear supplied power for some time now. Nuclear will be lucky if it grows to 25% in the next thirty years, if things continue as they are.
In terms of what has to be done to achieve significant reductions in burning carbon-base fuels, next to nothing is being accomplished and growth in nuclear energy such as it is is little more than token efforts, accompanied by much hand wringing over the collection of false issues (like proliferation, and waste management) that have been carefully cultivated by the opposition to be trotted out whenever there is danger of real progress.
All of the so-called problems are simple creations of propaganda. The proliferation issue has been done to death, as has the radiation issue and the LNT nonsense it’s based on. All of them are false dilemmas, designed to create the illusion of problems where none exist. First and foremost it seems that few understand that the debate is not really centred on technical issues, nor is it centred on public fears as delineated by antinuclear forces. As a consequence there is no “designing around” these perceived issues, in fact attempting to do so only allows the other side to claim these efforts validate these problems.
The waste issue is a case in point. The uncontrolled and persistent wastes from combustion driven energy is by many orders of magnitude a greater problem than nuclear wastes could ever be. Rather than go on the offensive and push this fact at the public, nuclear has tried to fix this non-existent problem by planning, and in some cases, creating ridiculously over complicated disposal sites. The upshot of this tactic however is that first it corroborates the belief that these are necessary, and second, as illustrated neatly by the farce surrounding The Yucca Mountain Repository is the United States, a convenient target for the opposition. Similar efforts are facing organized protests in other countries as well.
How often does it have to be repeated that the reasons given by antinuclear forces objecting to nuclear power are contrived, and they will not accept any ’solution’ – they are not interested in one, and nether is the general public, because in fact they don’t care. Consider this: how often do you see protests at dry-cask storage sites left over from decommissioned nuclear plants? The reason you don’t is that as far as the public is concerned they ARE a solution, and the protesters know that getting people worked up would be a hard sell.
(Even the subject of this thread is contrived to the point of being ludicrous: Even if a nation with a nuclear weapons complex the size and calibre of the ones in Nuclear weapon States could, theoretically build a device with RGP that might, under idea conditions, and a lot of luck, go supercritical, this still wouldn’t be a weapon. An explosive device isn’t a weapon until it is deliverable, reliable, and deployable in militarily significant numbers. The whole argument becomes sterile if this factor taken into account.)
As well, there is not a nuclear industry per se; almost every company involved in nuclear, also have energy interests in other sectors. They will act in their shareholders best interests, and if that means they can make more money building windmills than reactors, that is what they will do. Thus is is a waste of time to attempt to curry the favour of these players. No help whatsoever can be expected from this quarter.
Furthermore, too much hope is being put in the new entries into the reactor market. Even those that are legitimately looking to introduce new designs, face an almost unscalable wall of regulation, and the hostility of those firms that have obtained type-approval for their products, and will not likely stand still if the bar is lowered for newcomers. And like it or not, there are players in the small reactor sector that are more about attracting investment, than they are about bringing a product to market.
In a similar vein, debate about what GenIV design is superior is at best premature, but is certainly becoming divisive. the product cycle for GenIII and GenIII+ designs is not done, and will be twenty years before GenIV technology will be launched. During that time several new reactor types will be tested and it is likely that in the end a mix of designs will be the outcome, rather than one type taking all. At the moment getting new NPP built with existing technology should be the major thrust of everyone’s effort. There is no point drawing knives on each other now over this; it is a very sterile issue.
The deployment of nuclear energy cannot be accomplished by cultivating political support, and looking for a legislative solution. The enemies of nuclear energy simply have pockets too deep and have ingratiated themselves too firmly into government to allow a small group of elected officials to overcome the influence these interests can apply. The only hope is create a groundswell of public support and very few in the pronuclear movement seem to want to do anything more than pay lip-service to this, hoping it seems, that there is some short-cut that will see some ‘Manhattan Project’ launched from the top down to bring about a nuclear revolution.
This is not just the case in the States, but all over the West. If a real Nuclear Renaissance is what we want, it is going to have to be a popular movement – it is just that simple, and anyone thinking there is a short cut is deluding themselves.
Emanuele Ottolenghi from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies said this recently.
“If the Iranians had this wonderful technological edge over the rest of the world, and they were about to produce a nuclear reactor that does fusion in a commercially viable fashion, bless them … But, the fact that nobody else has done it so far suggests that maybe the Iranians are up to just playful banter. However, if one looks at what the reality of a military program is, if you want to have thermonuclear weapons, you need to master the technology for fusion. And while fusion is not commercially viable for civilian purposes, fusion allows you to build infinitely more powerful nuclear weapons.”
I’m no expert but this appears to be an unfair way to discuss Iran’s research into fusion. The fusion in a bomb is
quite different than the fusion in a reactor. Am I right you experts out there?
“Recycle” adds a new twist to explain a special kind of reprocessing to remove proliferation risk.
And the LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) is the answer. The Molten Salt Reactor testing
was proven highly effective back in the 1960′s but back then they wanted more nuclear bombs
not less. Now we’re moving in a pro-nuclear direction for energy we can fix our bad karma. We
can use the weapons and convert them to nuclear energy to solve the energy crisis and replace
the coal plants which are mostly responsible for climate change. The LFTR can also assist in the
creation of more biofuels and hydrogen fuel. Too bad managing money always gets in the way
of real progress.
Here’s what I posted on the Spokesman news website regarding an article calling the
Yucca mountain project a waste of money and years of planning and research.