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Europe’s Love Affair with Fossil Fuels

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/21/europes-love-affair-fossil-fuels

Calling for the end of fossil fuel subsidies is a suspicious diversion from a better understanding of exactly what changes in our energy production and use would entail. How such specific changes are paid for is a Wall Street profit motive priority.

The classic protest sign “Question Internal Combustion” - after actually questioning internal combustion in motor vehicle engines - leads me to conclude that plug-in hybrid PHEV tech offers more potential to reduce fuel/energy consumption than all-battery BEV tech such as the Tesla ‘S’ road lizard sedan. It’s more than a counter-intuitive claim; it’s a demonstrable fact.

Meanwhile, France is virtually 100 percent CO2 free in it electric generation - and sells a lot of this clean electricity to its neighbors. Guess how they do it?

75% nukular, 24% hydro-electric, “centralized” power systems with miles of long-distance transmission line and vast regional utility grids vulnerable to power failure and less capable of reducing energy consumption than “decentralized” power systems of rooftop solar matched to household EVs.

your civilisation is entirely dependent on converting explosive forces into rotary motion. Yes folks, it really is that basic.

Norman Pagett (The End of More, on Amazon)

Ha, lets see how much they like it when the next massive solar flare makes Europe uninhabitable for 10,000 years or so… “Oops!”

Studies done of the radioactivity at Chernobyl show its not getting weaker as the rules had predicted.

What are the spin doctors trying to do? Convice people its not unhealthy, not prevent more disasters from happening.

We need to realize there is a huge one in eight risk per decade of a global power grid disaster that could cause a massive global plague of meltdowns all at the same time.

This biggest risk is from a CME, a coronal mass ejection, LIKE THE ONE THAT NARROWLY MISSED THE EARTH IN July 2012

It would wipe out the world’s energy grid with a DC pulse that simultaneously would detroy thousands of trnsformers, putting the chain of events into motion. Nuclear reactors have to be cooled. This means that paradoxically they have to be supplied with energy - power - usually to pump water to keep the cores and also spent fuel cool. If it stops, it may go critical. This is called “loss of the ultimate heatsink” or “meltdown” How would the Earth deal with 500 major nuclear reactors going critical at the same time? It wouldnt, it would be impossible to address the disaster.

This is why we should not build more nuclear fission power plants an we should work hard in removing the ones we have from operation and dealing with the spent fuel. Otherwise its only a matter of time until this happens. As I said we just narrowly missed this happening to us on July 23, 2012

Like in a game of Russian Roulette, this flare narrowly missed the Earth. This time.

But a space probe recorded its ferocity. Had it hit us many of us might not be here today.

Dont let lobbyists for the nuclear industry deceive the world into more of this insanity.

They are trying to push technology we already know doesnt work. Just to get a government handout.

Why cant we take nuclear power out of the corporate arsenal of things that cause potential emergencies they can and will seriously screw up and make the public pay the bill.

We need to downsize energy generation moving it to the consumers and communities. We should save all our fossil fuel for emergencies like volcanic eruptions which arrest hydropower by reducing rain and wind and wave power in an entire hemisphere all at the same time. Sometimes for years. Otherwise people will freeze. We can live on a tiny fraction of the power we use.

Almost all other people on the Earth do!

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How many poeple live in detached houses and have to money to generate and store their own solar power, much less an EV? Aren’t we supposed to be getting rid of cars in all urban spaces? This decentralization of a vital utility that should be available to all sounds like privatization on steroids to me.

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It should be obvious by now that no leadership takes the climate crisis seriously. This is nothing new. I knew as early as 1970 we have a major crisis looming in the near future. Well that future is here and governments especially the EU, the UK, and more especially here the USA’s government will lets things continue on until the the inevitable collapse of industrial civilization occurs with perhaps the end of humankind itself. I myself think it’s already too late to avoid complete collapse. It’s just a matter of how fast and in which decade it will occur. So far the 2020’s look like a very likely candidate. Just like the UN said. Just like many climate scientists have said over many years. Just like the Extinction Rebellion have said. Oh well it was a beautiful Earth while it lasted and will be beautiful again in the future, sans hubristic humans.

“The classic protest sign “Question Internal Combustion” - after actually questioning internal combustion in motor vehicle engines - leads me to conclude that plug-in hybrid PHEV tech offers more potential to reduce fuel/energy consumption than all-battery BEV tech such as the Tesla ‘S’ road lizard sedan. It’s more than a counter-intuitive claim; it’s a demonstrable fact”

Walking and biking reduces fuel/energy consumption even more

That’s a fair question; I’ll estimate more than 90% of single family houses and multi-family apartments own at least one car and have space on rooftop or carport for PV solar array. I live in a central city 170 unit apartment tower with only 20 car spaces. In central city districts like mine, transit is more important than a car for every household. My building has a backup diesel generator that loudly cycles on and off solely to maintain readiness for a utility grid power failure. Could a battery backup power system replace diesel generators? Lastly I’ll just add that my arguments for doing anything never start with how much money will it cost. The sad truth is it will cost too much to save the world from global warming, catastrophic climate change and species extinction.

Of course I agree extensive sidewalk infrastructure, safer crosswalks and bikeways reduce fuel/energy consumption. But I’m making a distinction between all-battery BEV and plug-in hybrid PHEV technology. Which reduces fuel/energy consumption most? The Tesla ‘S’ BEV offers motorists no incentive (nor disincentive) to drive further distances. The Prius PHEV is rated an effective 110mpg. The Chevy Volt is rated 150mpg. PHEVs gain their incredible mileage only by driving less. Shorter average distance drives inevitably support the growth of local economies whereby more trips become accessible without having to drive. Changing the nature of neighborhoods also leads to mass transit gaining a more reliable local base of patronage. Car dependency is built into our communities from the get go. Reducing car dependency requires more than merely converting our car fleets to electric. There’s a good dozen reasons to make this case for plug-in hybrid tech. And the ruling class want you to believe their case for all-battery BEV and their even more ridiculous case for “driverless” AV tech.

Yea ! This would weaken the stranglehold the Big Utilities now have on us. I see the tag team operating in favor of nuclear - no surprise there.

Coronal Mass Ejections - The National Academy of the Sciences put out a paper on that years ago - it’s a major concern alright - worldwide.

The list of things we know about and systematically fail to address in a meaningful way is long indeed Zed.

This failure to address is a system failure of the first magnitude - which will destroy us if we cannot find a new system or at least a workaround.

We are all living on borrowed time.

The problem is the disaster capitalism mindset within which some short sighted rich people automatically assume they will make lots of money off of disasters that wipe out large numbers of poor people.

It might hold true for the last two world wars and many other disastrous events but it cant always work out that way. For example, a huge solar storm might not have caused any notticable disruption in the pre-electronic, pre-telegraph era, back then they were noted for the brilliant displays of Northern and Southern auroras as far towards the Equator as the tropcs.

But now a CME might wipe out power throughout the world for long enough to cause multiiple meltdowns, which could make further cleanup impssible for humans, even robots have great trouble functioning in highly radioactive environments, where they are subject to all kinds of problems.

This was dramatically shown in Japan - one of the most capable countries in the world as far as robotics, which was humbled by the recent nuclear disaster.

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And still is - as is the Ukraine, site of the Chernobyl meltdown.

The list of environmental disasters still ongoing is a catalog of human suffering too long to list here.

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That’s what the backup generators are for. Transformer failures, fires, and explosions have happened at nuclear power plants before (Salem, Oyster Creek–twice, Indian Point–twice, Limerick, Gentilly (due to CME), etc. It knocks the reactors offline, and they have to shut down, but at most, this qualifies as an unusual event–the lowest rung on the nuclear incident scale.

“If it stops, it may go critical.”

I’m guessing you don’t know what that means.

“This is called “loss of the ultimate heatsink” or “meltdown”.”

Loss of transformers has happened at nuclear power plants and severed their connection to the grid on multiple occasions. Have you ever heard of a single case where that resulted in a meltdown?

“This is why we should not build more nuclear fission power plants”

What about fission plants which cannot have a meltdown?

“What could possibly go wrong!”

Which reminds me, I thought about you the other day when I stumbled across a paper, I have to find this for you. Its linked in this article, I think…

Did you know the exclusion zone in Chernobyl is not getting less radioactive the way it was supposed to.


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Let me think - OK - got it:

"The other three, at Fukushima Daiichi, lost power at 3.42 pm, almost an hour after the earthquake, when the entire site was flooded by the 15-metre tsunami. This disabled 12 of 13 back-up generators onsite and also the heat exchangers for dumping reactor waste heat and decay heat to the sea. The three units lost the ability to maintain proper reactor cooling and water circulation functions. Electrical switchgear was also disabled.


You’re a nuclear troll Trog.

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Great news. Thanks for pointing that out.

So in other words, not caused by the loss of transformers, and not related to the CME and geomagnetic storm scenario.

Priceless… bookmarked…

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