Posts Tagged ‘fossil fuels’

Smoking Us Blind With Carbon Capture And Storage, The Demo-Rats Are…

August 17, 2022

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is supposed to capture carbon dioxide emissions from industrial sources and pump them deep underground where the CO2 can be imprisoned under huge pressure, or, if pressurized into cracked basalt, as found in Iceland, CO2 quickly combines into rock. Indeed, CO2 can be dissolved into water as bubbly, acidic champagne. Basalts contain high concentrations of calcium and magnesium ions that chemically react with CO2 to make rocks such as calcite, dolomite, and magnesite. Stuff champagne, get rock. The process takes as little as two years. This is all true, and it is used on a very small scale in Iceland… a place full of pressurized CO2 and basalts…

Carbon Capture and Storage was a big winner in the climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, signed into law during August 2022. But that version of CCS is a complete fake-out… Because the USA is not Iceland…. In the US, CCS is used to AUGMENT CO2 production. No way the clowns around Biden don’t know this.

 

C.C.S. is widely used by the FF industry, to boost the production of oil and natural gas. Natural gas processing facilities separate carbon dioxide from methane CH4, they are always mixed, similar bacteria producing  both. Some of these plants then pipe the “captured” carbon dioxide into what are known as enhanced oil recovery: it is re-injected into oil field reservoirs to increase their pressure and extract additional oil that would otherwise stay trapped underground.

 

Observe the cynicism of that conspiracy: CCS is presented as a climate solution, when actually it makes the situation worse!

 

Carbon Capture And Storage (CCS) is one more Public Relation way to sell Fossil Fuels (FF). 

On closer inspection, it’s just CO2 reinjection for FF, an old FF industry trick.

 

There are other ways to insure the survival of FF, such as so-called renewables without anything to store the energy they produce… except for ecologically, economically and financially expensive, inefficient batteries… which cannot be scaled up at the scale required, from lack of primary materials!  

 

Pseudo-ecologists have pushed for that renewables-battery trick, knowing full well it could not work at a sufficient scale for a positive climate impact, while extolling the virtue of Putin’s oil and gas, and hating nuclear solutions (except nuclear based in Russia or China).

 

Renewables, as they stand, are useless for transportation: no plane will move enough from windmills and solar panels on its back: the plane needs fuel. And that fuel can be obtained from renewables with pretty much only hydrogen. 

 

A gigantic infrastructure of renewables, and only renewables means intermittent energy, thus requires a full FF infrastructure capable of ensuring 100% production when there is no sun and no wind (a condition so frequent that it has a name the barometric swamp). If one has 100% of an extremely expensive equipment, one will use it.

 

CCS makes no sense at the most basic physics level: FF extracts Carbon C from the ground thn combines it with oxygen in the air, making CO2 and heat. CCS proposes then to return the C, with added oxygen into the ground. On the face of it, that looks circular: get C out, combine it with O2, then return CO2 into the ground. The latter step requires energy… On the face of it, as much energy as extracting C to start with, as it is to the same place it goes (and that makes no sense… except, as said above, if it is to pressurize a oil or gas field…).  

 

It is true that CCS works for special reasons in a particular place in Iceland. But they also have a new volcano in the area there: Iceland is a very special place (which produces enormous amounts of CO2 from its volcanoes). It is entirely possible that the capital of Iceland will disappear under a lava flow… propelled by CO2. But what is totally impossible is that CCS helps the world survive the present CO2 crisis…

 

That the Biden administration imposes on us this smoke and mirror is reminiscent of its promotion of women’s rights in Afghanistan… Carbon Capture and Storage is an example of conspirational, Machiavellian, plot. There is no way that its promoters do not know that this Fossil Fuels masquerading as “green”, or CO2 abating… Because CO2 augmentation is the way it is used right now, and no other usage is profitable.

Ah, but I forgot, there are no conspiracies, our masters told us, and if we think there are, we need to have our heads examined….

Patrice Ayme

This latest Iceland volcano produces up to hundred of thousands of tons of lava a day, all CO2 propelled. CO2 volcanic production prevents snowball Earth tendencies…. Notice the public on the slope, watching… In the Meradalir valley, 40 kilometers west of Reijavik…

Where Greenhouse Hypocrisy Comes From

July 1, 2022

Myths abound in how to deal with the Anthropogenic GreenHouse Gas Crisis (AGGC): electric cars, a bit of wind, carbon credits, mysterious “carbon capture”. One of the myths, indeed, baked into the United Nations’ IPCC models, is that we will remove billions of tons of CO2 from the air within decades. Problem: no established, economical, scalable method to do this exist, or is even plausible with existing technology. That could be done, as with many AGGC consequences only if we had massive amounts of free energy…

Massive free energy is plausible when thermonuclear fusion works very well: just freeze the CO2 out of the air, and geomorph it into rocks at suitable locations… but that won’t be for generations (or as soon as thermonuclear fusion or other nuclear provides with giant energy).

Reducing basalt into dust, or injecting CO2 deep in the right rocks is not presently economically viable, until that point (except in a few special places, like the very special island of Iceland, and on a small scale). Meanwhile gimmicks, such as proclaiming forests as carbon sinks, as California did for years, as an illusionist, literally went up in smoke during the last two summers, with fascinating orange skies and the world’s most polluted air on much of a continent.

What nobody says is that many leaders do not not view the worst case scenario as plausible, nor think that it would be terrible. Russia would love to warm up by ten degrees centigrades. That many Russian cities would be deep under water looks unimaginable, so is not imagined…. The fault there is from scientists, who are paid to optimistically renew the fossil fuel industry with hopelessly optimistic fake climate “models”. 

By the same token, a two meter sea level rise, which is now guaranteed, within a generation, will be an unimaginable disaster, so it’s not imagined. In general, nonlinear effects, where the land and oceans warm-up by themselves, from releasing latent heat stored in land and sea, CO2, CH4, and reducing albedo, are viewed as distant possibilities… whereas there is evidence they have already kicked in.

Overall, people get elected as “representatives” when big money and big power have selected them. And as 84% of the energy comes from fossil fuels, that’s where the power is. Our “representatives”, and our media, are as smart, good and diligent as the fossil fuel money who bought them.

French Windmill, as tall as Eiffel tower, being installed. For old broken bladeless rusty ones, check the coast of Brittany. They are ten times smaller, but the sea got and gutted them. Problem: enormous cost to dismantle. How does one deal with an old carbon fiber, 100 meter long, stronger than steel blade? Burn it? Just kiffing, I’m a great humorist.

Wind energy has a future, perhaps, but, even more than solar, it needs storage, or this is all only fossil fuels in disguise… And storage means hydrogen and derivatives (although gravity storage, tried in Switzerland and with dams, is an existing, albeit limited, method…)

The correct climate policy must involve financing massively fundamental research in nearly all domains pertaining to energy. Biden said he would, he didn’t. Part of the plot?

Patrice Ayme

Putin And The Ape In Us

January 27, 2022

Ecologically Cornered, Putin Wants To Attack, Kill, Occupy… As Primitive Humans Always Did. When Eco-Stressed. But We Have Better Ways Now.

Fires have been burning in Siberia even with temperatures as low as minus 61 Centigrades (that’s minus 78 F)… The permafrost caught fire, and keeps on burning below the snow… the frozen ground is full of desiccated carbon rot and methane… As the water is frozen solid, firefighters have been reduced to stomping the ground with their boots, or shovels. A strange scene, 10,000 kilometers east of Moscow and its reigning tyrant, Putin… who logically enough, would prefer to invade in a westerly direction… These so-called “zombie fires” have appeared in the last few years in quickly warming polar regions. They are 100% caused by the CO2 calamity. Polar regions are warming up at four times the average of the rest of the planet [1].  

Basically the permafrost transforms itself into dry peat, and then burns. Peat fires are a serious problem. Serious science is now considering them, while they smolder from Siberia to Indonesia, releasing billions of tons of CO2 yearly (total fossil fuel burning is 35 billion tons CO2 per year). I have long claimed such fires could become so severe as to cause PLANETARY HYPOXIA… COVID for the entire biosphere…. (French president Macron repeated the claim, and was derided by corrupt scientists…)

Fires In Siberia are becoming a serious worldwide problem, be it only because they emit lots of CO2. They also heat up the permafrost, relaesing CH4 which is orders of magnitudes more of a greenhouse gas than CO2…

Tyrannical regimes generally care about themselves: stealing is a full time job, and they can’t afford any other, lest justice catches up with them.

So we are facing ecological devastation. we are facing a sixth mass extinction, and it has started. But, for the human species, it’s more of the same. Humans have changed the environment drastically, since the genius of this genus became dominant, say, two million years ago (when Homo Ergaster colonizing Eurasia started to wear animal furs to survive the cold winters). 

These human driven changes generally led to local extinctions, through ecological exhaustion, and were probably resolved the old fashion way, through mayhem… the case of the Maya is examplary: a civilization which had lasted millennia collapsed, from ecological devastation, after getting a first warning, and immediately after achieving its peak!

If a species causes problems, culling it, crashing its population, will solve said problems. Such is the human dilemma: prosperity requires calamity. So it is to be feared that one of the oldest most established human instincts is self-destruction: the ferocity of adult humans against humans creates a homeostasis which enables the human genus to avoid termination events, paradoxically, through war. 

Thus the way Putin behaves, lashing out at neighbors while his frozen tundra burns, is the oldest trick: if eight billion humans damage Earth, maybe one could reduce their numbers by 90%, and sprinkle the whole thing with radioactive dust?  Humanity has long profited from lunatics such as Putin, with a reduced sense of risk (this trait of Putin was uncovered by his KGB handlers).

Putin emotes to facilitate conflict and mayhem, because that trait has proven so evolutionary advantageous, that this self-destruction inclination is one of the oldest human instincts. So paradoxically the termination schock Putin, and the climate calamity bring to his country, invites Putin to risk further wrecking his country. One would think that, confronted to the climate calamity, Putin would opt for resilience, as more and more political leaders do [2].

Other leaders will be encouraged to choose resilience once everybody realizes that Putin has opted for basic primatology, bashing the neighbors, instead of thinking creatively about the huge problems at hand.

Eco-logy is the logic of the house. The house Putin built is full of fossil fuels. Russia is a monoculture of fossil fuels. It depends upon selling its CO2 generating fuels to Western Europe. So Russia a la Putin is condemned in the medium term, as we will have to stop the CO2 nonsense (we are at 600 ppm of CO2 equivalent, according to my computations, and we should reach 1,000 ppm, which is probably as much as at the peak of the Jurassic).

Putin is cornered, so Putin is a bad, very bad ape, he runs around all agitated and wants us to be all very afraid. We need a tranquillizer gun… France and Germany are trying to soothe him through the “Normandy Format”[3]

Hopefully, the ape will regain his senses… before things end up the old fashion way…

Patrice Ayme

[1] NYT Friedman wrote a good editorial on replacing resistance motivated leaders by resilience motivated leaders. Biden told President Vladimir Putin that Russia has something much more important to worry about than whether Ukraine looks East or West — namely, “a burning tundra that will not freeze again naturally.”

My translation: Yo, Vladimir, while you’ve been busy putting your “little green men” into Ukraine — all those masked Russian soldiers in green uniforms without insignia — little green shoots have been popping up in your warming tundra. Siberia had a totally freakish, hyper-extreme weather event — a forest fire that firefighters had to stomp out with their boots because the local water sources were all frozen.

I’m pretty sure this was the first time a U.S. president ever tried to persuade a Russian leader to get out of his neighbor’s front yard and focus instead on saving his own backyard — because as Siberia is affected by climate change, it will threaten Russia’s stability a lot more than anything that happens in Ukraine.

Alas, Putin is part of a generation of world leaders who know how to build their popularity only on the strength of their resistance to enemies abroad and at home.

***

[2] From Friedman rolling out what serious leaders should do, resilience to resist the climate calamity: …”the energy-water deal that Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates…. The U.A.E. — whose leader, Mohammed bin Zayed, is the most prominent Arab ruler working to build his stature by delivering resilience — would finance the construction by an Emirati firm of a huge solar power plant in Jordan that would generate cheap electricity for Israel, which would build a desalination plant on the Mediterranean and send water to an increasingly parched Jordan…. EcoPeace Middle East is an alliance of Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists that has been pushing for a regional strategy called a Green Blue Deal. It would build on the Jordan-Israel-U.A.E. accord but also include the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza and extend to both fresh water and electricity…

***

[3] Pressure on Putin is exerted not just from the “Anglo-Saxons”, but also NATO itself (30 countries, some of which were occupied by Moscow for centuries and still survived… Ukraine, since the 17C, but also Poland and the Balts are among them), and the “Normandy” task force (France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia)… 

Why Renewables Without Storage Are A Trick To Go On With Fossil Fuels; So Is Imaginary Carbon Capture!

September 14, 2021

(Pseudo-) Ecologists and associated politicians go all around, claiming “carbon net zero” will be achieved soon, brandishing various dates: 2035, 2050, 2060. The latter number is that recently proposed by China. It is, like the others, a lie: pretending that China will stop emitting CO2 by 2060 depends upon equipping fossil fuel plans with mystery “Carbon Capture” mechanisms… Which do not exist (as plausibly economical candidates; right one could inject all the CO2 one produces underground, but that’s possible only in particular geological formations and rocks, and would eat up most of the energy produced…).

In the “West” the myth has it that plenty of solar panels and windmills will solve everything. What about times, in winter, when there is no sun, and no wind, for months sometimes? Oh, no problems say the fools, we have gas and coal, and oil. So basically the fools say that, if one has windmills and panels all over, one needs to keep a 100% fully functional fossil fuel industry as a back-up. But it cost energy to build windmills and solar panels (using energy from coal in… China…) Are they foolish, or are they dishonest? Maybe both…

Anyway, here is the result: one can see British power prices get multiplied by more than 12 (twelve) in a year or so… And German power prices by more than six…

The peaks are caused by wind dropping over Britain. Britain has the most windmills and many are in parks at sea. Wind has been known to be variable since windmills started to be used massively… more than 1,000 years ago…

So is the solar panel plus windmills revolution just a deliberate trick to keep fossil fuels around longer? Making projection of non-existing, and hard to conceive, “Carbon Capture” part of “Carbon Net Zero” predictions, is certainly such a trick: it enables China to build one new energy producing coal plant each week… while claiming they will become no net emitters of CO2… soon… thanks to the mystery CC mechanism… Much of that coal energy is used to build US solar panels…

Nuclear energy is a full replacement for fossil fuels, 24/7. Solar, plus windmills, plus hydrogen (or derivatives: ammonia, methanol, etc.) can work, too, but… one would need to develop an entire “green hydrogen” economy… It can be done, like nuclear and thermonuclear… But money has to be spent. Instead, the crafty Biden wants to spend 74 billion dollars on electric plugs and nearly thirteen thousand dollars in subsidies for each electric car that the wealthy will purchase… Presumably so the latter can drive around in fake ecological style…  In truth, all these spending on useless pseudo-ecology enables to persist with fossil fuels. Right now in California, under an order of governor Newsom, electricity is generated from oil. So, right now, electric cars, in California, are mostly propelled by oil… rather inefficiently… even before considering they are enormously heavy vehicles, thanks to their battery packs… hard to launch and hard to stop… 

But let little African children digging for cobalt enable righteous hyper wealthy ecologists drive around in show-off, pseudo-ecological vehicles: this shows how powerful they are, and great their virtue!

A preferred method to renew conspiracies, is to play dumb. But conspiracies are not plots, or, more exactly, not everybody engaged in a conspiracy is conscious of the unfolding plot…

So most ecologists involved in the conspiracy to renew fossil fuels thanks to renewables, may be too dumb to guess that there is a plot in the works, indeed. In this case the plot is to act renewable, when actually what is promoted, in the end, is ever more fossil fuels…

Patrice Ayme

***

From Wall Street Journal:

Energy Prices in Europe Hit Records After Wind Stops Blowing
Heavy reliance on wind power, coupled with a shortage of natural gas, has led to a spike in energy prices.

Natural gas and electricity markets were already surging in Europe when a fresh catalyst emerged: The wind in the stormy North Sea stopped blowing.

The sudden slowdown in wind-driven electricity production off the coast of the U.K. in recent weeks whipsawed through regional energy markets. Gas and coal-fired electricity plants were called in to make up the shortfall from wind.

Natural-gas prices, already boosted by the pandemic recovery and a lack of fuel in storage caverns and tanks, hit all-time highs. Thermal coal, long shunned for its carbon emissions, has emerged from a long price slump as utilities are forced to turn on backup power sources.

The episode underscored the precarious state the region’s energy markets face heading into the long European winter. The electricity price shock was most acute in the U.K., which has leaned on wind farms to eradicate net carbon emissions by 2050….

[Meanwhile Europe, with Biden’s assent, augmented its dependency upon Russian gas delivered by autocrat Putin… By building a new pipeline… Trump had frowned upon it…] 

In electricity markets, the cost of generation at the most expensive supplier determines prices for everyone. That means that when countries derive power from thermal plants with comparatively high running costs, it boosts prices for the whole market. Operating costs at fossil-fuel power plants are high right now after a relentless climb in prices for gas, coal and carbon permits.

Energy prices could shoot even higher if cool temperatures stop gas stores replenishing before the period of peak winter demand, said Tom Lord, a carbon trader at U.K.-based Redshaw Advisors. “You’ve got a gas market that’s extremely tight,” he said.

Electricity, gas, coal and carbon markets have a way of feeding on one another. High gas prices prompted utilities to burn more coal, so they had to buy more emissions allowances. Expensive carbon permits then prodded energy companies to turn back to gas, whose price rose again because the fuel is in short supply.

The feedback loop has the potential to ripple into the broader economy. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde this month referred to energy markets as one of the main forces driving inflation higher.

Wind accounted for about a quarter of Great Britain’s power last year, according to the system operator National Grid. After the wind dropped this month, National Grid asked Électricité de France SA to restart its West Burton A coal power station in Nottinghamshire. That won’t be possible in the future: The government has said all coal plants must close by late 2024.

In France, most electricity is produced by nuclear power. So Britain imports French electricity. However:

To be sure, abundant wind power has at times led to periods of cheap electricity. This month, however, U.K. wind farms produced less than one gigawatt on certain days, according to Mr. Konstantinov. Full capacity stands at 24 gigawatts. Maintenance work on subsea cables restricted electricity imports from France….

Winners include U.S. and Russian companies exporting gas to Europe… Shares of Cheniere Energy Inc., a major U.S. exporter of liquefied natural gas, have risen 47% this year.

Science The Only Way Out Of Fossil Fuels

July 21, 2021

Abstract: Some fashionable academics advocate violence to get rid of fossil fuels. That’s a category error: fossil fuels are not used from lack of violence, but from lack of alternatives which ecologists have been willing to use. Those alternatives have not been used, in great part because most persons presenting themselves as ecologists are against nuclear, and never heard of hydrogen. Also they are naïve about getting huge quantities of ore out of atrocious regimes, providing batteries, or what’s needed to make them thanks to dictators and human traffickers enslaving children, or abusing millions. Other technologies, such as carbon capture (although used successfully in precise places for special geological reasons) simply cannot be deployed now as a mass solution (although the Chinese energy plan pretends they carbon capture will be deployed on 980 gigawatts… that’s a lie, we don’t have the tech; Chinese planners say this, to keep building one new coal plant a week…). The wind power and battery route seems unsustainable as a world solution from needing too much special toxic elements.

The only sustainable solution is better minds and better science, thus a better educational system producing better youth. Out of it will arise better energy systems and then fossil fuels, which have been used for 80,000 years, will be dropped. violence is not the solution out of our ecological crises, only future science is. 

*** 

The science on climate change due to CO2 increase has been clear for four decades. Yet despite decades of expensive world conferences, mass street protests, petition campaigns, and homilies to world peace, we are still facing a booming fossil fuel industry, rising seas, rising greenhouse gases emission levels, rising temperatures, dying seas and acidifying oceans. With the stakes so high, why haven’t we moved beyond peaceful protest? Could it be that… There is no other solution than keep on keeping on, and that, after all, the stakes are not that high?

The answers are not those US, Canadian, Australian and many other ecologists want to hear. France uses just a quarter of the CO2 emissions as Australia, per person. However, France uses nuclear and carbon pricing massively. Small cars too. And living in some of the densest cities on Earth (Paris in particular is that way). Plus sky high taxes and government spending relative to GDO, highest in the world. This powerful brew has been concocted while French know-how went down… Brute force has its down sides…  

A very close friend of mine, head of drilling at an oil giant (!), conducted, thanks to his technical knowledge, very efficient eco-sabotage against heavy equipment of a massive construction company in the Calanques (it was around 40 years ago!) The authorities never found who did it. This violent action gained time, enforced protection, and enabled the ultimate creation of the Calanques National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site (aside from stunning scenery, it has world famous undersea-access prehistoric sites). So I know and approve of justifiable eco violence… But not the sort Malm is advocating… which is grotesque, counterproductive, indiscriminate, hypocritical, a lie… and constitute mass murder, even genocide, as civilization cannot work without fossil fuels at this point…

***

In the ridiculous manifesto “How to Blow Up A Pipeline”, claimed saboteur of SUV tires and coal mines, Andreas Malm, a Marxist-like climate change opportunist from Lund University in Sweden, makes a call for the climate movement to escalate its tactics into violence in the face of ecological collapse [1].. We need, he claims, to force fossil fuel extraction to stop– by destroying its tools… start blowing up some oil pipelines. Now, as I point out in the note, and millions of words of my writing testify, I am no shrinking violet… And was personally advocating for ecological violence, in specific and extremely justified cases, when Malm was not even born… But “specific and extremely justified” is the important qualifier. Ecological lessons from Sweden, a country who could not help clear the environment from the Nazis, and got wealthy from them, always smack of consummate hypocrisy.

Sweden has lots of forest, lots of hydro power, and is very wealthy (by dealing with, and profiting from, Hitler… and escaping WW2 devastation). 

In his core section, “Breaking the Spell” (p 65-132) Malm argues for direct violence as ethical. Malm accepts the prevailing view that property damage is a form of violence, but distinguishes violence to property and violence to people. He makes the utilitarian argument that given the failure of corporations and governments to act, the climate movement must begin to escalate its tactics to shut down the fossil fuel infrastructure. He does not seem to realize that shutting down energy shuts down civilization, thus lives. Because he misses the point: there is no alternative to fossil fuels, except a cocktail of nuclear, hydrogen and renewables… That most ecologists reject… allowing them to be de facto for fossil fuels while claiming to be against them..

*** 

We cannot blow up all the pipelines, that’s fantasy. Because we cannot get rid of fossil fuels, at this particular juncture.If we did, that would be criminal: think about all the innocents dying from cold or failing machinery.  I do not like fossil fuels, and I have screamed about planetary heating for decades… but things have to be kept in perspective. 

Saying that “nothing else worked” is tantamount to beating one’s head on a wall, because nothing else worked. Other methods to reduce fossil fuel usage exist: France does with one third of US per capita CO2 production than the USA. Europe with less than half, per capita, per year. 

French CO2 is around the world average. But this hides the fact that more than half the world population emits neglectable amounts of CO2. As that half starts to produce more power, be it only for irrigation, desalination, air conditioning, food production from adaptation to a heating planet, or just living better, they will need energy.

A solution is photovoltaics, but they will need storage, thus the infernal cycle of more precious metals, for batteries, which cannot clearly be done… So we need to develop hydrogen massively… and safe nuclear, thermonuclear or fission. So it is an engineering and science problem.

Patrice Ayme

***[1]. If Malm had really committed eco-terrorism, he would be more discrete about it. I have known eco-terrorists. They were extremely efficient, sabotaging heavy equipment to stop a development, the area concerned is now the Calanques National Park in France (I am saying this as the main organizer was the head of drilling at Total, the French oil giant!!!!!!!!!!!! This friend of mine committed suicide later…). Malm is a scholar of human ecology, teaching at Lund University. He is the author of The Progress of this Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World and Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming, which won the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize. So Malm is establishment… Need I say more? The establishment is excellent at promoting buffoons who want to destroy it, thus making people believe that only buffoons with idiotic ideas and reprehensible anger want to destroy it…

This undermining the opposition of the plutocratic governance by ridicule it itself promotes is a variant of the classical method of the “agent provocateur”. Malm is there to incite people to cuddle pipelines

It Should Be An Economy, Instead It Is An Ecocaust

January 28, 2020

Not to say an Ecocide, and US Politicians have made it so:

Eco-nomy means house management, it’s not eco-caust, burning the house. So how come it’s happening nevertheless? Because brains are washed with petroleum media.

The world is dominated by a monopoly, the financial plutocracy, which is entangled with another, the fossil fuel plutocracy.

For example fracking was financed by Wall Street. Both are even entangled with Literal Islam (Wahhabism, etc.)… thanks to a conspiracy by FDR on the Great Bitter Lake in 1945 with the Abdulaziz, founder of Saudi Arabia.

Is it greed, or outright thievery by, and addiction from, fossil fuel pushers? Because finance and oil control media: how else to explain nuclear killed nobody at Fukushima, while fossil fuels kill ten million a year, and still everybody is indignant about the former?

Obama The Great Fossil Fueled! As one can see Obama/Democrats made the fossil fuel orgasm of the USA possible as never before (with preliminary work from Bush Senior to Bush W) to make US fracking profitable to Wall Street

Or how to explain Obama killed hydrogen… which was massively used in Europe already in the 1950s (“urban gas/gas de ville)? Hydrogen, and its derivatives (ammonia, etc.) would enable the storage of renewables, and could be used all over in transportation. Instead Japan, Germany, are closing nuclear, and switching to coal. Germany fear periods, which can last two weeks, with no wind and no sun.

The correct solution should be “green hydrogen” (hydrogen from renewables). Expanding these new technologies will cause a formidable economic expansion. Fossil fuel economy and finance are fundamentally fascist economic activities: they require only oligarchs, a few workers. Renewable economy is the exact opposite

Patrice Ayme

***

***

And yes, it will all burn, this is how climate will change!

A simplified version of the above comment was finally published by the NYT, after much tergiversations, apparently, as a comment to Paul Krugman… Except the New York Times sat nearly 48 hours on my comment before publishing it, long after the other comments. That tells me they read it very carefully, while making sure nobody else would read it (hide your sources, if you want to pass for a genius, as Einstein would say). Now the Paul Krugman editorial was pretty good, and he said things I have said for years… So I reproduce big chunks of it below, as after all, this is mostly what I have long said (and which was many times carefully read at NYT, before being censored…). As usual, Trump is accused (more or less implicitly, of Obama’s policies (look carefully at the graph above!), or policies of the US Deep State, in place for a century). Here is Paul Krugman:

Greta Versus the Greedy Grifters
Why a 17-year-old is a better economist than Steve Mnuchin.

I’ve never been a fan of Davos, that annual gathering of the rich and fatuous. One virtue of the pageant of preening and self-importance, however, is that it brings out the worst in some people, leading them to say things that reveal their vileness for all to see.

And so it was for Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary. First, Mnuchin doubled down on his claim that the 2017 tax cut will pay for itself — just days after his own department confirmed that the budget deficit in 2019 was more than $1 trillion, 75 percent higher than it was in 2016.

Then he sneered at Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist, suggesting that she go study economics before calling for an end to investment in fossil fuels…

… burning fossil fuels is a huge source of environmental damage, not just from climate change but also from local air pollution, which is a major health hazard we don’t do nearly enough to limit.

The International Monetary Fund makes regular estimates of worldwide subsidies to fossil fuels — subsidies that partly take the form of tax breaks and outright cash grants, but mainly involve not holding the industry accountable for the indirect costs it imposes. In 2017 it put these subsidies at $5.2 trillion; yes, that’s trillion with a “T.” For the U.S., the subsidies amounted to $649 billion, which is about $3 million for every worker employed in the extraction of coal, oil and gas.

Without these subsidies, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would still be investing in fossil fuels….

But maybe Mnuchin thinks that the I.M.F. should also take some courses in economics — along with the thousands of economists, including every living former Federal Reserve chair, dozens of Nobel laureates, and chief economists from both Democratic and Republican administrations, who signed an open letter calling for taxes on emissions of greenhouse gases.

In short, Greta Thunberg may be only 17, but her views are much closer to the consensus of the economics profession than those of the guy clinging to the zombie idea that tax cuts pay for themselves.

But could the economics consensus be wrong? Yes, but probably because it isn’t hard enough on fossil fuels.

On one side, a number of experts argue that standard models underestimate the risks of climate change, both because they don’t account for its disruptive effects and because they don’t put enough weight on the possibility of total catastrophe.

On the other side, estimates of the cost of reducing emissions tend to understate the role of innovation. Even modest incentives for expanded use of renewable energy led to a spectacular fall in prices over the past decade.

I still often find people — both right-wingers and climate activists — asserting that sharply reducing emissions would require a big decline in G.D.P. Everything we know, however, says that this is wrong, that we can decarbonize while continuing to achieve robust growth….

The bigger issue, however, is sheer greed.

Given the scale of subsidies we give to fossil fuels, the industry as a whole should be regarded as a gigantic grift. It makes money by ripping off everyone else, to some extent through direct taxpayer subsidies, to a greater extent by shunting the true costs of its operations off onto innocent bystanders.

And let’s be clear: Many of those “costs” take the form of sickness and death, because that’s what local air pollution causes. Other costs take the form of “natural” disasters like the burning of Australia, which increasingly bear the signature of climate change.

In a sane world we’d be trying to shut this grift down. But the grifters — which overwhelmingly means corporations and investors, since little of that $3-million-per-worker subsidy trickles down to the workers themselves — have bought themselves a lot of political influence.

And so people like Mnuchin claim not to see anything wrong with industries whose profits depend almost entirely on hurting people. Maybe he should take a course in economics — and another one in ethics.

Science Too Mighty For Its Own Good?

June 16, 2015

The science section of the NYT has its cover article lauding a full professor at Harvard for spending her time demonstrating that the fossil fuel industry has influenced prestigious scientists who have “become merchants of doubt”. In other words, paid liars.

That the fossil fuel industry tells Americans how to think is an obvious, and therefore uninteresting, fact. The USA is completely in the grip of plutocracy, which spent handsomely to influence minds (although even Exxon admits human guilt on climate change). Saint Bill Gates can invest in the dirtiest things, including $1.4 billion in fossil fuels, and it does not make a dent in the reverence Bill gates’ gets. Worrying about Gates of hell does not put bacon on the table, indeed.

Shale Fracking Revolution: Sky The Limit, Watch Those Poles Melt

Shale Fracking Revolution: Sky The Limit, Watch Those Poles Melt

[This graph is pretty, but a bit old: 2006. If anything, thanks to the USA’s Shale Revolution, the production of fossil fuels has augmented, although the USA is now lowering its CO2, thanks to… CH4… from fracking. The graph above ought to be interpreted RELATIVELY: the true CO2 emissions according to Wikipedia are four times greater (34 Gt), and according to me, even the CO2 EQUIVALENT TOTAL is six times greater, up to 50 Gigatons per year.]

However the fossil fuel industry in Europe has admitted that fossil fuels are slowly cooking the biosphere. Some of these European companies which admits human guilt about fossil fuel are major investors in carbon free energy generation. France is scrambling to finish by September the world’s largest Solar PhotoVoltaic plant. Machines install 7,000 panels, each day. In the end the plant will have one million panels, on 250 hectares, and produce 300 Megawatts (a third of a big nuclear reactor). The real cost is as cheap as the (subsidized) fossil fuel industry.

On the way to a nuclear future, Solar PhotoVoltaic happened…Polls show 69% of Americans are worried about climate change, a rise. Maybe people are more anxious doing away with the threat of climate change, now that a clean, cheap solution is at hand. Thus they allow themselves to get more worried about it.

The same Science section has an article on scientific fraud: it’s on the rise. Or, at least observation of it as on the rise. Science, Now Under Scrutiny Itself:

“The crimes and misdemeanors of science used to be handled mostly in-house, with a private word at the faculty club, barbed questions at a conference, maybe a quiet dismissal. On the rare occasion when a journal publicly retracted a study, it typically did so in a cryptic footnote. Few were the wiser; many retracted studies have been cited as legitimate evidence by others years after the fact…”

So scientific fraud, as I have long said, is a problem with science itself. That Copernic, rather than Buridan, is attributed the heliocentric revolution, is a problem with how we think that the mind works. Buridan’s main insight, impetus, was attributed to Newton, thus messing up what is the proper epistemology.

“…an increase in retractions that has alarmed many journal editors and authors. Scientists in fields as diverse as neurobiology, anesthesia and economics are debating how to reduce misconduct, without creating a police-state mentality that undermines creativity and collaboration.

“It’s an extraordinary time,” said Brian Nosek, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, and a founder of the Center for Open Science, which provides a free service through which labs can share data and protocols. “We are now seeing a number of efforts to push for data repositories to facilitate direct replications of findings.”

But that push is not universally welcomed. Some senior scientists have argued that replication often wastes resources. “Isn’t reproducibility the bedrock of science? Yes, up to a point,” the cancer biologist Mina Bissell wrote in a widely circulated blog post. “But it is sometimes much easier not to replicate than to replicate studies,” especially when the group trying to replicate does not have the specialized knowledge or skill to do so.”

Indeed. It’s the difference between correcting an already written text, and starting from scratch.

What we believe to be really true, and demonstrably so, is science. However that’s now very important, so important that it gets polluted by politics, big time. And it did not start yesterday. As the “New Horizon” probe is approaching Pluto, it does this thank to… Plutonium, naturally enough. However, space exploration is stalling in part because such Plutonium generators are not made anymore (the last one was used by the Franco-American Curiosity rover). Just because of Plutonium-phobia (not to be confused by highly desirable plutophobia).

Meanwhile, probably what is the USA’s most prominent characteristic that made it the world’s richest nation is again revealed: the USA is (again!) the world’s greatest oil producer, surpassing both Russia and Saudi Arabia. The graph is striking: the old oil production peaked at 9.1 million barrels a day, and now it has barreled through the old record, to average 11 million barrels a day in 2015. Is Pluto generous with its servants?

Patrice Ayme’

Outlaw Carbon Burning

December 11, 2014

Abstract: Uncertainties of climate scenarios from human pollution are so great, and potentially so catastrophic, that the only reasonable course is to outlaw carbon burning. Replacement technologies already exist. We have ten years to catastrophe. This is the bottom line for the world climate talks right now in Lima, Peru.

***

The USA and its dictatorial poodle, the People’s Republic of China, cause 44% of the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emission in the world.

The European Union causes only 11% of said emissions. The spectacular relative decrease of European Union pollution exacted a heavy price in comparative advantage.

Great Acceleration: World Ocean Temperature Record, September 2014

Great Acceleration: World Ocean Temperature Record, September 2014

Of all excess heat caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gases, 93.4% goes into oceans. Thus the temperature of oceans has reached new records, month after month in 2014.

The average September GLOBAL ocean temperature marked a record high for that month in 2014, at 0.66°C (1.19°F) above the 20th century average, breaking the previous record that was set just one month earlier.

The American and Chinese economies are progressing by leaps and bounds, greatly from their wild and cheap carbon burning. But the price on the planet will be heavy.

China and the USA are progressing by leaps and bounds, or, at least their plutocrats are: President Xi’s family has hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate, in Hong Kong alone. The climate crisis is entangled with the plutocratic crisis.

Right now, the CO2 density in the atmosphere augments by 1% a year. CO2 blocks Infra Red (IR) radiation. Thus the heat of the ground, instead of fleeing back to space, is blocked in the first few kilometers of the atmosphere (yes it should lead to a decrease of temperature at very high , stratospheric altitude, and it, indeed, does).

The rise of temperature next to the ground heats up the oceans, liberating water vapor, H2O, itself a potent greenhouse gas, which amplifies the CO2 greenhouse effect blanketing the ground.

These are highly non-linear effects, extremely difficult to compute.

Although we do not understand the details with certainty, paleontological records clearly show that high CO2 concentrations are associated with complete melting of the icecaps, as happened, say, 100 million years ago, or during the Carboniferous era.

Yet, in these cases, the changes were progressive, so life on Earth, and the Gaia system of temperature regulation by weathering of silicate rocks, volcanoes and plate tectonics, had time to adjust accordingly.

The change the present human industry is imparting on Earth is too fast for Earth’s biosphere and geology to compensate.

Hence an extreme risk to launch a run-away greenhouse episode.

The argument has been deployed by fossil fuel partisans that all is fine: OK, the ten warmest years on the record are all since 1998, but nothing much has happened. So what?

Well, the climate is the largest system known, aside from astronomical phenomena. Thus, it has extreme inertia. Yes, it barely moved. So far. But that does not mean that an enormous force is not applied to it. When the climate starts to move significantly, from one year, to the next, it will be unstoppable.

Most of the warming will be concentrated in the high latitudes: the tropics cannot get much warmer, but the poles can get much warmer. And we know that this is what happened in the past: there used to be dinosaurs in Antarctica, and Alaska, crocodiles in northern Greenland.

That may sound pleasant and intriguing, but those dinosaurs had evolved over millions of years to handle months of obscurity.

Right now, the biosphere has no time to adapt (some species will, contributing to further imbalance: for example, some parasites are infesting forests in North America, because of the lack of frigid winter weather; the forests then die, and burn).

What to do?

The case of Europe shows that there a price to be paid for expensive energy.

Europe was caught flat-footed: it decided to cut on its CO2 emissions, but that meant cut on cheap energy, thus on industry…

Proof? As the USA produced cheap energy from fracking, industry in heavy duty fields such as chemicals came back to the USA.

Cutting in European industry meant cutting on the economy, and thus on Europe’s place in the world… And thus in Europe’s influence in the fight against carbon burning.

However sustainable energy, at this point mostly solar and wind, are getting as cheap as fossil fuels.

Yet, they cannot replace fossil fuels completely, because they are intermittent, and we don’t have ways of storing massive energy, besides dams. Building dams and elevated lagoons everywhere is not realistic.

Fortunately, we have advanced nuclear energy. Or, rather, we could have it, had we tried to develop it.

Civil nuclear energy has never killed anyone in the USA, or France. (Even including the expensive Three Mile Island snafu.)

Fossil fuels kill at least seven million people a year, say the World Health Organization, which adds that the unfolding climate catastrophe kills already 500,000 people a year.

Denmark and Germany decided to use fossil fuels for base energy (and French and Swedish nuclear reactors; besides Norwegian dams). That’s the energy they need to produce when the winds die, and the sun cannot be seen.

This is not a correct decision: fossil fuel plants cost are of the same order as an Advanced Nuclear plant. That means that they cost billions of Euros. Once built, they, and the whole energy system they are part of, have to be used.

It is crucial to change the attitude relative to nuclear energy. It is changing.

In May 2011, the Swiss government decided to not build new nuclear reactors. The country’s five existing reactors would be allowed to continue operating, but would not be replaced at the end of their life span. The last would have been closed in 2034.

However, by 2014, the grotesque, and self-contradictory coal circus in Denmark and Germany came to the attention of the Swiss. In December 2014, the Swiss government announced that the lifespan of the nuclear plants would be extended indefinitely, with the same thorough controls every ten years, which presently exist.

Switzerland, once again, shows the way.

Let me hasten to add that the design of the Swiss reactors is nearly seventy years old. Although they probably can be operated safely (once taken into account quakes and terrorism), Advanced Nuclear reactors and Thorium plants ought to be developed. Those could be made safer than a wind turbine.

Uncertainties On Sea Level Rise Are Even Greater Than This 2012 Graph Shows.

Uncertainties On Sea Level Rise Are Even Greater Than This 2012 Graph Shows.

In any case, the worst case climate scenario is what ought to enter the political computation, because not only it cannot be excluded, but it seems all too likely. In that worst case scenario, the impact of the greenhouse gas crisis would not be far removed from that of a large comet.

We can avoid this because the three leading non-CO2 emitting technologies: Wind, Solar and Advanced Nuclear are all cost competitive with the cheapest fossil fuels.

Outlaw carbon burning: it is technically feasible, and it is a precaution we have to take.

Patrice Ayme’

Stealth Climate Deniers

April 1, 2014

The United Nations 300 top climate scientists from all over the world, came up with an alarming climate warming report: the warming is fully on, and its weird effects are showing all over, with changes in winds, the strongest hurricane ever, by a long shot, and even paradoxical situations, such as local cooling offshore, from twice stronger trade winds, causing a high pressure ridge, and a massive drought in the American West. (OK, it’s me observing the latter, not the UN, but it’s true nevertheless!)

There are two types of deniers: the grotesque ones, paid to say CO2 is good, climate has always changed, it’s not warming up, and getting more acid, and anyway, both are good. And then there are the stealth deniers.

50 Billion Tons Of CO2 Equivalent Gases Dumped In Earth’s Atmosphere, Per Year

50 Billion Tons Of CO2 Equivalent Gases Dumped In Earth’s Atmosphere, Per Year

[Observe the important role played by Methane. Although CH4 does not acidify the oceans as CO2 does.]

Stealth deniers are within, say, the media of the USA itself, under an unassuming form. The New York Times wrote several anti-deniers editorials. And yet, the Times itself is ambiguous, at best, about whether there is a CO2 problem.

Take the otherwise honorable Paul Krugman at the New York Times, the self glorified “Conscience of a Liberal”: Krugman talks to no end about providing “liquidity” to his friends the bankers and about the abysmal, pathetic pseudo-reform called Obamacare. That’s socio-economy for Krugman. (Obamacare is a dismally unimpressive tweak in the American greedy health care system that Obama himself, nowadays, tries his best to sabotage!)

However, Paul Krugman, blessed be his name, and all too many economic pundits in the USA, never, ever, talks about the most major economic issue of our times, the necessity to effect a massive transition towards sustainable energy.

By talking obsessively about minor economic issues (success! Obamacare now covers 2% of the population of the USA, 4 years after being passed into law! Sadness! Banks starving for free money so they can’t leverage, and play futures and dark pools as much as they want!), Krugman avoids the most serious of our times, and any times before those. Namely, the poisoning of the Earth, while most of the planet’s effective activities are starving for energy.

Yet, such a transition would provide with millions of jobs in the USA alone (a small and partial energy “change” in Germany provided officially with 400,000 jobs; it is a lame change, as it shot down futuristic nuclear energy solutions, though).

So what’s going on? Comments of mine making this observation were censored at the New York Times. Actually, the New York Times (supposedly left, liberal, with a conscience, blah blah blah, etc.) is shilling for fracking. “U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin… by sending our surplus natural gas to Europe and Ukraine in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the United States …stiffen resistance to Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior.

Forget that the United States currently lacks a capacity to export LNG to Europe… until the 2020s… Just focus on the article’s central reportorial flaw: it fails to identify a single reason why future American LNG exports (which could wind up anywhere) would have any influence whatsoever on the Russian president’s behavior.”

Instead, the economic main stream of the USA is going full steam ahead, fracking away. The fracking is causing huge leaks of methane. It’s also impossible to speak of the USA and omit its main factory, China. The tandem of the USA and the PRC are into ever more desperate fossil fuel production. USA coal production is now sent to Germany and China… Giving a biting irony to Obama’s notion of fracking gas playing the role of a “bridge fuel“. A bridge, across the oceans, to disaster, indeed.

Ever More Fossils Burned, Most Of Them, Now.

Ever More Fossils Burned, Most Of Them, Now.

(Meanwhile the short sighted Obama proposes to reduce thermonuclear fusion research by 17%, in 2015, while giving the rich a gift of $7,500, each time they buy a car from the 7 billion dollar boy, Elon Musk; thermonuclear fusion is the one and only long term hope for sustainable energy; all other energy sources, except geothermal, which does not work, are derived from thermonuclear fusion!)

Another point I have made for years: at some point, exactly, the methane tipping point, massive amounts of methane will be catastrophically released from the oceans. Methane is already massively released from USA fracking, and from the oceans. Catastrophic release will involve tsunamis, and greatly accelerated warming. (That has happened in the North Atlantic, 7,000 years ago.) It will start suddenly. It could start tomorrow.

The media of the USA is culprit of not emphasizing that the climate problem is, first of all, an economic catastrophe, and opportunity to smash out of an unsustainable past dominated by fossil fuel plutocrats. But then most of the Main Stream Media in the USA is owned by plutocrats, partial to the present order of things, including the energetic order.

Anyway, as usual, it was an irritating pleasure to be censored by the Times: this way I know what New York plutocrats really care about, where they fear truth the most. It’s a sort of radar to detect malfeasance.

Patrice Aymé

Nuclear Salvation

November 16, 2013

In the minds of some, no doubt, the agonizing Obamacare was how to avoid Medicare For All, and go on with health care gouging. Success. Similarly, in the minds of some, hysteria against nuclear power is a way to go on with the various destructive exploitation schemes fossil fuels provide with.

Continuing hysteria against nuclear power makes humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous changes in the biosphere caused by CO2 impossible. Why? Because it deprives humanity of the only new energy source developed by humanity in the last 100 years.

No Nuclear? Dam That.

No Nuclear? Dam That.

Fossil fuel production can be dominated by a few brutes doing brutish things (Qaddafi, Putin). Burning stuff is perfect for plutocrats. Instead nuclear industry demands a control by advanced science and high standards of regulation and government probity. Nuclear energy is too coldly rational to be a plutocrat friendly environment.

The tides in the gigantic Baie du Mont Saint Michel are up to 14 meters high. The energy therein is that of a several nuclear reactors. Construction cost of a giant dam enclosing the entire bay would be enormous. The river Severn estuary in England has been extensively studied. A dam there could bring more than 8,000 Megawatts (8 standard nuclear reactors).

Windmills, watermills, and even tidal power plants, have existed for more than a millennium, and were massive energy sources in the Middle Ages.

The ancient Greeks used solar energy passively, and Archimedes even used it as a weapon against the Romans, very successfully, during the siege of Syracuse. Nothing new there.

Syracuse fell, and Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier. A Frenchman discovered the photovoltaic effect in the early Nineteenth Century. All this to say: been there, done that.

Wind, solar, current, burning animal waste and wood has been tried before. It’s great. However the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems is, overall, the only practical mean of addressing the CO2 production problem, on a planetary scale. It’s tough, but reality tends to be tough.

True, some regions, such as the famously desiccated and sun struck West of the USA, could do only with solar and wind energy. But such places are few on the planet. They tend to be where people are not, because people need water.

Denmark,  posing as an ecological maven, is trying to go mostly renewable. However that small country is heavily dependent upon electricity from Norway, Sweden and Germany… and coal. It’s even building a new giant coal plant. Moreover, although Denmark is flat, much of its renewable power is stored in Norwegian and Swedish mountain dams.

Mountains, and water to lift up mountains, are not found everywhere (for example, Arabia has plenty of mountains, on a huge area, from Oman to all along the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, but this small continent has no too little water… not coincidentally the first dam ever built was there).

Global demand for energy is growing rapidly and must continue to grow considerably to provide for the needs of developing economies. Those constitute more than 90% of the world’s society. So we are talking about the need to augment energy production by an order of magnitude.

One is not going to do that with a bit of wind in North Sea and a little sun in the Gobi.

The need to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions is becoming blatant, even to the clueless. The hurricane with the most powerful winds ever, by a long shot, just happened.

The CO2 crisis, entailing climate change, and the concomitant population overload, have brought a need for ever more energy. For example a clean water crisis is developing, all over the planet, and, to reduce it, much more energy is needed to produce clean water (say by treatment, or desalination).

We cannot increase energy supply dramatically while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions if the newest power plants keep using the atmosphere as a waste dump. The projections of fossil fuels usage in the next two decades are completely insane, thus doubly irresistible. First insanity attracts, and, as producing the last fossil fuels because ever more financially attractive (like, say cocaine), there is ever more activity to produce more.

The same sort of craziness by greed affected finance, which went from 8% of profits to 25%, as it attracted ever more, the crazier it got! Call that the spiral of greed.

Renewables like wind, solar and biomass will play roles in a future energy economy. However, those energy sources cannot scale up fast enough, or big enough, or everywhere enough, to deliver cheap and reliable power on the scale the global economy requires, especially as the apocalypse unfolds (see Haiyan).

Indeed the coverage of the proposed “renewables” can only be spotty in space and time. Consider Poland, for instance. Poland has plenty of cheap coal. In dreary winter conditions, without wind or sun, the only clean alternatives are coal, or nuclear power (gas is not an option, as it would require Poland to depend upon its historical enemy, Moscow, just when that capital is showing an ever increasing Czarist inclination).

Consider also the energy of the sea: it can be exploited, in a few places, if and when the technology can be invented, but certainly not in the middle of continents. Poland has access to a sea with no significant tides or currents.

For half a century, only one tidal power plant existed, in the entire world, on the Rance river, in France. It produces 240 MW, a quarter of a standard nuclear reactor. The hyper pharaonic project, across the Baie du Mount Saint Michel, was contemplated for a while. Instead, a project going the other way, reinstituting the bay to its original state, was implemented.

It may be theoretically possible to stabilize the CO2 emissions without nuclear power, for a few countries. Say in wind rich Denmark. By cheating, as I just explained. Germany may be able to do so, after huge investments, but, for now, it is augmenting its use of coal.

Switzerland has decided to close one nuclear power plant. A very dangerous plant, I agree. And I want it closed too. However, it will be replaced by a giant coal plant in Germany. USA fossil plutocrats will be happy to sell the coal. Also Mr. Putin will delighted to sell more gas to Switzerland. The more gas he sells, the more dictatorial he can get. To make sure he gets paid, the Russian dictator has just embarked on a hyper paranoiac nuclear weapon program (hey, you want to make sure people fear you!).

In the real world, worldwide, there is no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a considerable role for nuclear technologies. Considering available, or close at hand, technologies.

The only technology that could change everything and could plausibly work, is thermonuclear fusion. Although Korea, in cooperation with ITER, has a crash program, no power deployment will intervene for at least 15 years, at an unknown cost. Whereas very safe fission plants such as EPR, can be deployed now.

Most of the 400 nuclear plants presently in service use 1950s technology that was deployed to maximize Plutonium production. The West, and the so called “Communists”, were getting ready to fight nuclear wars, so they made “civilian” nuclear reactors that were extensions of the military programs. In particular, they produced nuclear explosives (Pu).

Incomparably safer, much more abundant Thorium technology was not developed, because it has no military use.

Fortunately, passive safety systems and other advances can make new nuclear plants, even using the basic Uranium technology of the 1950s, much safer. An example is the French EPR (although it’s expensive, built massively, the cost would go down).

Modern nuclear technology could extinguish proliferation risks. Say by developing Thorium nuclear power. Thorium has no military use, and it reduces the waste problem to insignificance.

If we had scaled-up massive Thorium, it could be proposed as an alternative to, say, Iran. In the future, as the cost of fossil fuels keeps climbing, more and more countries, just like Iran, will desperate to develop nuclear power. As it is they can use only primitive 1950s, military dangerous nuclear technology.

Scientific giants such as India and China have Thorium programs. But the West would progress faster, if it made the crash effort the biosphere needs.

The worst radioactive waste products from the Thorium cycle last only 3 centuries at most, whereas Plutonium’s half period is 25,000 years. Even then, Plutonium can be recycled into a fuel called MOX (for Mixed OXide) and burned again: that’s what France does (and produces MOX for Germany, Britain, Japan and even the USA; although there, weirdly, Congress has made using MOX unlawful).

Hence the radioactive waste disposal problem can be solved by burning current waste, using fuel more efficiently, and using different nuclear processes from different fuels. (Ultimately, more advanced nuclear tech will be able to dispose of all waste, by transmutation, a science discovered by Irene Joliot-Curie around 1932.)

Innovation and economies of scale can make new power plants much cheaper than existing plants.

All energy system have downsides. 200 meters tall windmills are a danger for birds, planes, peace and quiet, and esthetics.

Yet quantitative analyses show that the risks associated with the expanded use of nuclear energy are orders of magnitude smaller than the risks associated with the continued use of fossil fuels. Tyrants, such as Putin, will develop weapons of mass destruction, including of the nuclear kind, the weaker our economy and technology gets, and the more they perceive our decisions to be based on irrational tendencies. Because it’s irrational to hate “nukes” just because it was the most human way to force the fascists controlling Japan to capitulate.

The Chernobyl nuclear explosion was a statement about the Soviet Union, not about nuclear science. That was not the only massive nuclear catastrophe in the USSR. Chernobyl employed a type of nuclear technology deemed extremely dangerous in the West, and not developed, precisely because of its dangerosity.

To make the situation worse, Chernobyl did not even have a containment building. Now, no coal plant has a containment building, and it’s free to spill its mercury, lead, arsenic and radioactivity around the world (so called “bag houses” can capture some of these; I think Obama is trying to impose them through the EPA, and they could price coal out.

Fantasies about Carbon Containment and Capture (CCC) are just this: fantasies. Coal plants are competitive, only if they can spill their dangerous waste, worldwide. Right now burning coal makes 44% of the electricity of the USA, and countries such as Australia, are getting rich selling coal to China (Thorium is abundant in places such as India, which have little Uranium).

While there will be no single technological solution, the time has come for those who take the threat of global warming seriously to embrace the development and deployment of safer nuclear power systems as one among several technologies that will be essential to any credible effort to build an energy system that does use the atmosphere, directly, and the ocean, indirectly, as a waste dump.

The planet’s air, soil and oceans are warming, and the seas are getting dangerously acid, from reacting with CO2, and poorer in oxygen, from the temperature rise. Meanwhile carbon dioxide emissions are rising faster than ever.

We cannot afford to turn away from any technology that has the potential to replace a large fraction of our carbon emissions. Much has changed in potential nuclear technologies since the 1950s. The time has come for fresh approaches to nuclear power in the 21st century.

In truth, there are 100 fission nuclear technologies out there that one could plausibly develop. Thorium and high temperature reactors are particularly prominent, because of their promises, and because both were developed on a very large experimental scale at some point in 1960s and 1970s. We know they work. Only details have to be figured out, such as which materials will be the most efficient in the harsh environment of a mighty reactor.

The fact is, civil nuclear energy killed, over the years, much fewer people than, say, skiing. Whereas the atmosphere that fossil fuels creates kills millions.

London Then, China Today, Earth Tomorrow?

London Then, China Today, Earth Tomorrow?

In the USA alone, at least 200,000 die from air pollution, each year. And this is not the place worst affected.

On December 5, 1952, the winds abated, and London sat in thick smog for 4 days. It is now evaluated that more than 12,000 died, in London alone! The recent abandonment of the electric tram system augmented the pollution.

In truth we are doing this to the whole planet, just more dispersed. The plutocrats have displaced their evil works to friendly China, and the slaves there can breathe what they have been ordered to breathe.

Energy decisions must be based on facts, not on emotions and biases that were inappropriate all along, and now prevent us to address the apocalypse we are facing.

The development and deployment of advanced nuclear energy is not just a no brainier. It will happen, no matter what. The only question is whether it will happen after, or before, Jurassic Park is back to an ocean near you. Very near you.

***

Patrice Ayme


NotPoliticallyCorrect

Human Biodiversity, IQ, Evolutionary Psychology, Epigenetics and Evolution

Political Reactionary

Dark Enlightenment and Neoreaction

Of Particular Significance

Conversations About Science with Theoretical Physicist Matt Strassler

Rise, Republic, Plutocracy, Degeneracy, Fall And Transmutation Of Rome

Power Exponentiation By A Few Destroyed Greco-Roman Civilization. Are We Next?

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

NotPoliticallyCorrect

Human Biodiversity, IQ, Evolutionary Psychology, Epigenetics and Evolution

Political Reactionary

Dark Enlightenment and Neoreaction

Of Particular Significance

Conversations About Science with Theoretical Physicist Matt Strassler

Rise, Republic, Plutocracy, Degeneracy, Fall And Transmutation Of Rome

Power Exponentiation By A Few Destroyed Greco-Roman Civilization. Are We Next?

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

NotPoliticallyCorrect

Human Biodiversity, IQ, Evolutionary Psychology, Epigenetics and Evolution

Political Reactionary

Dark Enlightenment and Neoreaction

Of Particular Significance

Conversations About Science with Theoretical Physicist Matt Strassler

Rise, Republic, Plutocracy, Degeneracy, Fall And Transmutation Of Rome

Power Exponentiation By A Few Destroyed Greco-Roman Civilization. Are We Next?

SoundEagle 🦅ೋღஜஇ

Where The Eagles Fly . . . . Art Science Poetry Music & Ideas

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Artificial Turf At French Bilingual School Berkeley

Patterns of Meaning

Exploring the patterns of meaning that shape our world

Sean Carroll

in truth, only atoms and the void

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

GrrrGraphics on WordPress

www.grrrgraphics.com

Skulls in the Stars

The intersection of physics, optics, history and pulp fiction

Footnotes to Plato

because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

Patrice Ayme's Thoughts

Striving For Ever Better Thinking. Humanism Is Intelligence Unleashed. From Intelligence All Ways, Instincts & Values Flow, Even Happiness. History and Science Teach Us Not Just Humility, But Power, Smarts, And The Ways We Should Embrace. Naturam Primum Cognoscere Rerum

Learning from Dogs

Dogs are animals of integrity. We have much to learn from them.

ianmillerblog

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

%d bloggers like this: