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Earth's Carbon Concentrations Have Soared to Levels Not Seen for 800,000 Years


#162

And you should learn to understand what a comment is saying. Im arguing against the statements you are making, because they illustrate a lack of understanding.

You say that Germany doesn’t need nuclear because of its production of solar, but my argument is that if the entire purpose of solar was to reduce CO2 then this plan of action has ultimately failed, because even though Solar has increased in Germany its CO2 emission reduction rate has greatly stagnated as nuclear has largely been replaced by coal production and natural gas supply from Russia.

You comment that our nation doesn’t have enough time to wait for nuclear waste, but I contend this is a problematic argument as long lived radioactive material emits less radiation. If your entire concern is high levels of radioactivity then the significant amount of time it takes for these isotopes to decay should not be a deterrent for nuclear energy. I also expand on my counterargument by explaining that if you are more concerned about the amount of time it takes for radioactive materials to decay, then we have technologies that can rapidly decrease the decay rate. As an another example Americium 243 has a 7,400 year half life, but if you put this material in a burner reactor and induce burning than the isotope gains a neutron producing Americium 244 that has a 10.5 hour half life.

If 74,000 years is too long of a wait, how does 1 week sound?


#163

Hi Paul. Yes, I get that their are some geoengineering projects, that are not horrid… so, I guess I was just asking to see WHICH geoengineering projects you are behind… some very “natural” … if that is what you want to call them… like massively planting trees, I guess is fine, as long as there is some preliminary work done about it’s overall effects and how many would be “good”… etc… so, no in general, I do not disagree… I guess… I get “funny” about there being a BIG… overall PROMOTION (?)… for geoengineering, because, it will be received by so many as… "See, “they” are going to fix this… the world will be fine… "… and everyone will go on about their business… continuing to spew CO2… nitrous oxide and methane into the air… because they will think “WE ARE SAVED!”…


#164

WOW!.. Didn’t know you are pro nuclear power… you mention how Germany’s emissions are now stagnating, instead of decreasing from their use of solar. You say they shut down their nuke plants and starting up coal again…so they are spewing more co2 into the air… okay. But, your pro nuke points… are not a good sell. I cannot see HOW people think nuclear power is “clean”… ALSO… WHY IS IT THAT I NEVER HEAR ANYONE TALKING ABOUT POWERING DOWN… so, why would we not consider getting rid of SO MUCH FRIVOLOUSNESS in our cultures… we SHOULD HAVE totally reinvented our whole world economies, cultures… drastically reduced flying, no more mass production of really frivolous crap… no more professional sports… no casinos… it sounds like I am “picking on” these things… I am not… BUT, IF… we had wanted to SAVE OURSELVES… we would have USED SOME DISCIPLINE… people can play ball in their back yards… we do not need to have 1,100 PRIVATE JETS flying to one Superbowl…… SO, WHY NO MENTIONING EVER… OF THIS STRATEGY?.. and FYI … it is too late now anyway… this would have been great… 30 -40 years ago…


#165

Clean is relative. All of our energy options right now have some component of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, but nuclear is already as clean on both counts as most renewables, and all renewables and nuclear are way cleaner than fossil fuels. Beyond that, nuclear has the potential to be the cleanest and have the smallest environmental impact and the smallest extraction footprint of any other option. For example, right now, multiple teams are developing molten salt fast reactors, with several teams looking to have operational reactors up in less than seven years. And all of these look like they have a good shot at being substantially cheaper than today’s nuclear. So when these start going into operation, old-tech nuclear builds will stop, at which point uranium mining will have reached its peak. Mining will continue to serve the legacy reactors and maybe to supply bomb fuel, but as the old reactors retire, uranium mining will start shutting down. The molten salt fast reactors won’t need any mining, because their supply of fuel is already lying around in the form of current spent fuel and depleted uranium. (They would also be good for burning up nuclear bomb fuel.) These latent fuels that we are not using–in fact, we currently consider them trash–contain over a million gigawatt years (electric) worth of energy. To put that into context, that is about three times as much as all of the energy we’ve ever gotten from coal, oil and gas combined in all of human history. Let that sink in for a moment.

So that would be several centuries worth of fuel without any need for uranium mining. The main reason uranium mining would continue is that there are some forms of mining for which uranium is a byproduct–like the massive Olympic Dam copper mine (which is currently one of the world’s largest sources of uranium–even though the uranium is a tiny fraction of the copper it produces). Not removing the uranium from the copper mining tailings would only result in more radioactive tailings.

Moreover, these reactors will also be able to burn thorium as a fuel extender, and the amount of thorium we throw away each year from rare-earths mining has more energy value than our total world energy consumption. Rare earths mining, as it is done in China is very dirty and toxic, but that is because they are trying to do it on the cheap. It could be one of the cleanest forms of mining (scoop up a bunch of monazite sands, remove the thorium and rare earths, and out the back end comes sand which is less radioactive than it was before) but that costs a bit more. But that would be economically viable if thorium was converted from being a massive financial liability (which it is now) into a recoverable, revenue-producing asset.

So by consuming spent fuel and depleted uranium, and by cleaning up other kinds of mining which we are going to do anyway, we could easily have a thousand years supply of energy. And long before we make a dent in that supply, we’ll probably figure out how to make fusion practical and economically viable, which would add tens of trillions of gigawatt years just from the deuterium in seawater. And that’s just one of the fusion fuels we could use.

“ALSO… WHY IS IT THAT I NEVER HEAR ANYONE TALKING ABOUT POWERING DOWN…”

Because billions of people are currently living in energy poverty, and they would like to have the standard of living those of us in energy-rich countries enjoy. So all of the mainstream energy forecasts are for energy consumption to double from what it is now by the middle of the century, and that takes into account projected increases in efficiency and energy conservation measures in the first world. But if we could get that energy without the choking pollution, without burning whole forests, without scraping off the landscape, without displacing agriculture, without the massive spills, without the greenhouse gases, and if we could actually deliver that energy (and also do water desalination) while also powering some large carbon sequestration projects to help drive CO2 levels down to more hospitable levels, why would we not want to do that? How would that be a bad thing?

“so, why would we not consider getting rid of SO MUCH FRIVOLOUSNESS in our cultures…”

Because we are humans, and most of us would not enjoy an ascetic lifestyle.

“and FYI … it is too late now anyway… this would have been great… 30 -40 years ago…”

Earlier would have been better, but we might as well do what we can. I think it’s premature to call it hopeless at this point. Some of the new reactor designs are remarkably simple, and look like good candidates for mass production. If they can be rolled out quickly and cheaply, and the fuel is basically free, that has all the ingredients needed for a market-driven technological revolution, and those can take place very quickly once they are underway.


#166

You MISSED MY POINT…it is THIS… WE NEED LESS ENERGY…!!..or you can say it this way… WE NEED TO DO LESS … WE NEED TO STIP … we need to not have the economy we have which allows for, creates the need for and promotes the action toward. Stupid, frivolous, ridiculous manufacturing of stuff and …activities. THEREFIRE. WE WOULD NOT NEED. NUCLEAR. OR RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF RENEWANKES. HOWEVER. I know…we will NOT …sacrifice our precious economic system …to be RWALLY SERIIUS about reducing emissions…we never start from the perspective that we should NIT WANT .so much EKECTEICITY in the first place…OR ENERFY IN GENERALL …for FLYING …MILITARY DESTEUCTION …ETC… now. Get that picture… ?


#167

At this maybe we should be a little thankful to the powers that be.They are at least letting some of the newest battery technology onto the market.
But I suspect they are just letting us have a peak at improvements so that we are complacent with our modern electronics.
There is likely technology that would run your lap top or i-phone for years on end.
But as long as they can keep having you plug into the grid, they will drag on. G


#168

I saw your point. I just didn’t see any rationale or justification for your point.

"it is THIS… WE NEED LESS ENERGY…!!..or you can say it this way… WE NEED TO DO LESS …

It looks like you have made a leap in logic from “we do not need to consume as much energy as we do” to “we need to consume less energy than we do”. The latter is not a logical implication of the former. It is pretty clear that we do some things that we don’t need to do–in other words, they are not crucial to our survival. But it doesn’t follow that we therefore need to stop doing those things. The logical gap would have to be filled with another premise, namely, “it is crucial for our survival that we don’t do anything which is not crucial to our survival.” And that seems like a counterintuitive premise at best. That leads to examples like: Dancing is not critical to our survival, therefore it is critical to our survival that we not do any dancing. That’s just plainly wrong. And if the premise can lead to examples which are plainly wrong, then you need independent grounds to show why it is not wrong when applied to energy. Why does our survival depend on not expending energy on anything unless it is needed for our survival?

“we need to not have the economy we have which allows for, creates the need for and promotes the action toward. Stupid, frivolous, ridiculous manufacturing of stuff and …activities.”

Same leap, from “we do not need to have the economy we have” to " we need to not have the economy we have". The problem here is that any kind of economy is not necessary for our survival because there are always other kinds of economies we could live with. But if any kind of economy is replaceable, and therefore not necessary, then making the leap you propose would mean that it is necessary not to have each and every kind of economy. In effect, that is saying “the existence of other kinds of economies we could live with establishes that there are no kinds of economies that we can live with”, which is a self-negating proposition.

“THEREFIRE. WE WOULD NOT NEED. NUCLEAR. OR RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF RENEWANKES.”

We’ve been using energy since we first harnessed fire. Energy made civilization possible, and we’ve found it so useful that we have come to depend on it. There are many instances where people would literally start dying if we cut energy to essential services. But the energy we’ve been using has been dirty and destructive, and now it represents a threat. If we want to retain (and extend, and expand) the benefits of energy without the polluting aspects of the energy we have, then we need clean energy to replace the dirty energy. But if we eliminate the environmental downsides for essential energy, we can simultaneously eliminate them for recreational energy. And at that point, it has to be asked, why would we need to eliminate the recreational uses for energy if we can get the energy from non-polluting, non-destructive sources?

“HOWEVER. I know…we will NOT …sacrifice our precious economic system”

We won’t sacrifice the benefits of having energy–even if some people consider some of those benefits not absolutely necessary. We could accept a different economic system if it did a better job of delivering or distributing those benefits,

“…to be RWALLY SERIIUS about reducing emissions…we never start from the perspective that we should NIT WANT .so much EKECTEICITY in the first place…OR ENERFY IN GENERALL …”

Correct. We don’t start there if we want to be really serious about emissions reductions, because being really serious means recognizing that we cannot eliminate the emissions from the energy we have merely by reducing consumption to essentials–even if we could convince everyone to do that (which we can’t). And that’s definitely not an option for the billions who are currently struggling to survive in a state of energy poverty. The really serious solution is to make the transition to forms of energy which have very low emissions.


#169

This has been factored into your numbers already (a roughly even contribution between transportation and livestock). Methane does have a shorter lifespan in the atmosphere though.

I wish everyone would become vegan - I’d have more to choose from at restaurants and the earth would take less of a hit from our being here.


#170

“But, your pro nuke points… are not a good sell”

Again it was never my intention to sell you on nuclear energy, but rather to counter your own arguments. If I was going to sell you on nuclear energy I would take far more time discussing how:

  • Nuclear energy releases/ produces far more energy than any other source in the known universe.
  • Nuclear energy requires the least amount of materials to generate comparable amounts of energy to other sources.
  • Nuclear energy is statistically one of the safest forms of energy production
  • Nuclear energy is one of the least geographically constrained energy sources, especially with the inclusion of non-LWRs
  • Nuclear energy is one of the lowest emitters of GHGs/KWh
  • Nuclear energy has a massive amount of innovative designs that can effective eliminate many of the largest concerns facing the industry today and these designs has more than 40 years of analysis by the greatest scientific departments our country has to offer.
  • Nuclear energy can be configured in different arrangements to effectively solve the energy storage crisis and to reduce the USA’s reliance on fossil fuels for large industrial processes such as water desalination and steam reformation at competitive scale.

#171

Itnis really funny…sometimes…when a person who thinks they are so smart…and who tries to use logic to debate something…really nice not so smart… Does going out in one’s back yard to dance . Require huge amounts of mass produced energy?..Even if one invites guests to join himnor her… There is no real need for Mass produced w erfy… Especially if done on a full moon… Does it require mad produced energy to invite the guys to your house to play base ball or foot ball or e wn go to the park to do so… One thing would be required… Mowed feasa… However. There could be new “games” developed in which that would not be required . But. .I am tired of explaining a broad concept that someone who thinks ks he is so smart should understand … our ancestors managed to have plenty of art and entertainment out fossil fuels . And …I am mainly talking anout the hunter gatherer cultures .because as the stored food became a “thing” than Citi stares AND SLAVWS. THEN YES. mass produced energy was a way for some room have MORW RIME. for leisure. But …WHY does it take a whole electricity debouring mas comes called DISNEY WORLD. for modern “man” to “have fun”…???


#172

BUR. .never mind …this was my stance when I thought we had time to fix this. A good few years ago. …and . Before I realized that humans are incapable of saving themselves. It is too late now.


#173

Typing this on my damn phone…my computer is broken… So …I will apologize for the typos. …have an appt…so short on time…and didn’t check …leaving to go …now…


#174

Yes and for all of the nonsense in your comment you consider your position to be more just because you believe the simple solution to the externalized cost of pollution and waste of energy is simply to use less energy. Unfortunately such a position is unsustainable due to a basic understanding of human progression throughout evolution. There is no historical evidence that humanity has ever decreased consumption of energy to improve our conditions. The combination of necessary population growth to continue our existence with the motivation to make our society a better place requires inevitably larger amounts of energy consumption.


#175

You know, you actually could survive without a phone, or a computer, or an internet connection. Just ask the Amish.

" …have an appt…so short on time… …leaving to go …now…"

And did you go on foot?


#176

Please, go on vacation to Fukushima and compare it to that solar tragedy in Bowling Green.


#177

Please let me know if this is fake news. I didn’t take time to confirm: https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1K91OO


#178

And did a tsunami hit Bowling green or are you comparing completely unrelated events again?


#179

And what is your point by using this article which has nothing to do with generation and comparing CO2 emission reductions before and after nuclear power?

http://www.eiu.com/industry/article/1205236504/is-germanys-energiewende-cutting-ghg-emissions/2017-03-20

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/german-carbon-emissions-rise-2016-despite-coal-use-drop