Archive for the ‘Absolute Worth Energy’ Category

Nuclear War Is An Argument In Favor Of Civilian Nuclear Power!

August 30, 2022

That sounds counter-intuitive. However, “renewables” would shut down during nuclear winter, making a bad situation way worse. Those who hate nuclear civilian energy apparently never thought carefully about nuclear war, nuclear winter, and V7 volcanic eruptions. Or then they do as if they never heard of them: these large scale, “renewables” extinguishing catastrophes are not over their mental horizons. After trying to addict us to Putin, now shallow thinkers and the emotionally frayed, may prepare for us an even more ominous fate… 

Indeed “renewables” partisans, meaning getting energy from sun and wind, as in the High Middle Ages, never seem to contemplate what will happen when it doesn’t shine and blow. One such occasion is nuclear war and its accompanying “nuclear winter”. “Nuclear winter” is an ancient notion which got reinvigorated recently with new simulations (in the famous scientific journal Nature, August 2022). 

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Volcanic eruptions can have drastic impacts on atmospheric composition and climate. They, furious igneous province volcanism, caused the greatest mass extinction ever. Powerful explosive eruptions can inject large amounts of SO2, ash, water vapor and various other chemical species into the stratosphere. Volcanic SO2 injected into the stratosphere is chemically converted to sulfuric acid vapor H2 SO4 over a timescale of days to months, causing substantial new particle formation and aerosol growth by condensation. This can be long lasting, with particle concentrations remaining substantially enhanced for several years in the case of tropical eruptions: Krakatoa’s magnificent sunsets were well documented, worldwide, for three years after 1883.

 

Pinatubo, a VE6 eruption in 1991, injected 10 million tons of SO2 in the high atmosphere (according to simulations), The stratospheric veil Pinatubo created lowered temperatures worldwide by one degree Celsius, slowing down the human GreenHouse Gas catastrophe.

 

In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia next to Bali, unleashed the largest known volcanic eruption in documented history. The volcano’s elevation reached more than 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) high. Now it’s only 2850 meters: it lost its upper mile. The region, over thousands of miles, was plunged in total darkness for four days. In the following months, Tambora’s ash and sulfur dioxide clouds rose and spread worldwide, blocking enough sunlight to produce “the year without a summer”— in 1816 that resulted in massive crop failures and famine across the globe. Europe froze in July and August. Tambora was a VE7 volcanic eruption. VE7s volcanic eruptions occur every 125 years on average (over the last 100,000 years. Better: every 10,000 years or so, on average, earth is graced with a VE8 eruption.

 

No more solar, and no more wind either, both being activated by solar energy which can’t reach the ground when it’s blocked in the stratosphere (above 12 kilometers altitude). 

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Some may object that Vulcan will be favorable in the next few centuries, and produce no VE7 eruption, out of deference for humanity. Maybe. However one will also need Mars to be favorable, and organize no nuclear war. As the Russian dictator’s hysteria has shown, one little tyrant can blackmail the entire planet into nuclear submission, or at least try to. 

Many scientists have considered that fires ignited by hundreds or thousands of nuclear explosions would release millions of tons of soot, blocking sunlight and inducing global environmental effects. I am not as pessimistic as they are (soot should not get as high as SO2 from Pinatubo, Krakatoa or Tambora). However, what the most recent studies by the most prominent “nuclear winter” study group show is the following. 

 

A few years after a nuclear war between the United States, its allies, and Russia, the global average calories produced would drop by about 90%—leaving an estimated 5 billion dead from the famine, the research group reported. A worst-case war between India and Pakistan could drop calorie production to 50% and cause 2 billion deaths. The team tried to simulate the impact of food-saving emergency strategies, such as converting livestock feed and household waste to food. But in the larger war scenarios, those efforts did little to save lives.

 

An obvious solution to nuclear winter in the most advanced economies would be to produce food in shelters, using hydroponics and artificial lighting. However, that requires lots of energy… which will then not be available from renewables!  

In general, the AWE (Absolute Worth Energy) of modern technology has been ramping up: it costs more and more total absolute energy to make increasingly sophisticated machines, such as a smart phones or flying machines. Data themselves are requiring more and more energy: giant servers are installed in Arctic regions to reduce the cost of cooling them, etc.

Intermittent blow and shine renewables are leading to war, but have not experienced full world war yet. Instead intermittent blow and shine renewables are cannibalizing the entire energy sector, trillions of subsidies at a time… precisely because humanity has not experienced a VE7 or nuclear winter recently…

So we see that depending upon intermittent blow and shine renewables to too great an extent is a strategic error (strategos means general in Greek). Worse even it freezes us in the present situation: a huge dependency (84%!) on fossil fuels, and a rising dependency on “renewables”. As the invasion of Ukraine has shown, the world economy is highly dependent, for food and energy upon peace and transportation.

The solution, once again, is to develop nuclear technologies, without forgetting Thorium (which could warm up Norway, as its name indicates). Thorium, which is fertile, not fissile, has a great, and safe, future. 

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It is thrilling to see that pseudo-ecologists and various other hypocritical peaceniks, in their urge to foster their pathetic view of the universe, are causing the very conditions they claim to be determined to avoid. 

Indeed, the policies pseudo-ecologists promote, the toxic mix of fossil fuels, wind and sun make the world increasingly dependent upon… fossil fuels  (total coal usage is at its highest ever in 2022, and projected to rise further in 2023!). One of the reasons the Kremlin dictator attacked is that he believed Europe could not be without Russian fossil fuels, and thus would submit to his will. 

Fossil fuels are dictator friendly, because they are capital intensive (hence plutocrat friendly, and plutocrats love dictators, being themselves of the same ilk)… and yet require relatively few highly skilled workers (geologists, engineers, technicians)… Nuclear is also capital intensive, but requires a huge academic background (especially in the present situation: deploying high temperature reactors, or Thorium reactors, optimally, bring in the need for massive fundamental research)… Thus nuclear energy deployment would be brain intensive… exactly what the world’s plutocratic order doesn’t like.

The more dependent upon dictators the world is, the greater the danger of war, thus, nuclear war (nukes make bigger booms). The more fragile the world economy is, the more susceptible to blackmail by bellicose dictators the world is… And the more brainless from too much pseudo-ecology, pseudo-democracy, pseudo-philanthropy by self-obsessed sharks, the world is, the more trouble there will be. 

The cost of brainlessness is war

Make no mistake, as the hypocritical Obama would say, I am all for solar power (wind, not so much)… As long as it is accompanied by (green and, or nuclear) hydrogen and nuclear power… Only thus can we significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels (which are used for all sorts of plastics, not just burning). The needed balance between intermittents (plus hydrogen!) and nuclear should be such that, in the case of complete failure of blow and shine for months (from a VE8 or a strong nuclear winter), the civilian nuclear sector could marginally hope to provide enough power for the basic services, including food production.

No, pseudo-ecologists and partisans of the return to the Neolithic, you can’t put nuclear energy back into the bottle as in one of these movies which constitute most of the culture you have. Nuclear energy has been militarized, and was launched by French partisans of world peace as early as 1938, because the Curies, who were as intellectual (Nobel prize winners!) and humanistic (early development of nuclear medicine; communists and fanatical partisan of world peace) understood that it was moral to nuke the Nazis, and that it could turn in an existential necessity.

Want world ethics? Want planetary safety? Put more real intelligence in charge

Patrice Ayme

Tonga Volcano Ash as seen from the International Space Station, January 2022. The top plume of that 10 megaton explosion reached 55 kilometers. That was a VE5! A VE7 (like Tambora, every 125 years on average) could explode with 1000 Megatons at its worst moment. Ash would be one hundred times more… Multiply all this by ten for a VE8… Recently the frequencies of VE7s has been augmented. A so far unidentified VE7 or two, (or an impactor?) affected very adversely the reconquest activities of the Roman empire in the Sixth Century…

We Need An AWEsome Economy

February 9, 2022

Xenophon defined Eco-nomy: it’s House-management. Now our house, Earth, is on the fire: we have a CO2 crisis, heating up the atmosphere, and lethally acidifying the oceans; and there are also several other extinction crises, unfolding their termination shocks now [1]. 

Models vastly underestimate the potential imminent damage to planet Earth because what they can’t compute with, they ignore (such as the possible sudden and catastrophic melting of the under sea level areas of Antarctica… which is most of it…). I am charitable, saying this: methinks truly that academics do not want to displease too much the governments which feed them, by searching too enthusiastically for the real truth: this is why the UN’s IPCC deliberately underestimated the CO2 and greenhouse crises [2].   

The immediate conclusion is that we need to decarbonize primary energy production (84% fossil fuels). But we can’t do that only with ancient energy sources such as sun and wind. 

So the only solution is to invest in various new technologies which have not been invented or developed yet. We need to evaluate how much they really cost [3].

More generally we need to change currency… Because our present currencies have no meaning in terms of their true energy cost, or in terms of how much they cost our biosphere, or in terms of their human cost. We need a currency reflecting how much real energy content a product or service contains (the product could be a solid state physics PhD; or a pound of coal which costs little to produce, yet much to burn, thanks to its nefarious consequences).

This currency, called Absolute Worth Energy, would evaluate the energy content of every single product or service, from first principles of physics. Enormous computing power and subtle theories would enable us to evaluate exactly how much various aspects of civilization cost.

So the cost of things would be based on how much they cost the planet. Economics would become a more exact science by adopting, similarly to physics, energy as its fundamental unit, a unit independent of man. Economics would have AWE as its fundamental unit. Economics would acquire meaning.

Patrice Ayme

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[1] Under various shocks entire oceanic zones are becoming devoid of any life. A foretaste of things to come, obviously. A big reason is our inability, and unwillingness of our powerful masters, to compute how much cost is associated with the ways they impose on us. 

***

[2] The fossil fuel industry and its finance and power connections still rule the world: consder the Ukraine crisis. If oil was one dollar a barril, dictator Putin would have no army, and no blackmail.

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[3]. Not just how many Uyghurs killed per battery made in the Chinese dictatorship… but also how much coral could be killed by New Caledonia nickel extraction, and how much it would cost in energy to reconstitute the destroyed ecosystems.

***

P/S: This is slightly elongated version of a comment to Krugman: Paul Krugman, When Do We Need New Economic Theories? Feb. 8, 2022. Paul published it right away… Thanks!

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