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Occupying McConnell's Office, 'Climate Champions' Demand Action Over Denial


#1

Occupying McConnell's Office, 'Climate Champions' Demand Action Over Denial

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Rebuking Republicans' climate denial, survivors of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma occupied the office of Sen. Mitch McConnell on Wednesday morning to denounce the fossil fuel industry's impacts on their communities and demand a just transition to a clean energy future.


#2

Needless to say the fight against the climate resistance imbeciles is one that cannot be lost, the survival of Earth’s creatures is in the balance, one that is inching, at a quickening rate, towards extinction. There are no do-overs, no climate engineering feats to rescue greedy short sighted idiots from their folly except, as rapidly as possible, get off fossil fuels; the military used to secure them, murdering rain forests to grow meat, agricultural devastation with GMO’s and the poisons to grow them, poisoning the oceans with continent sized plastic islands, the list is long indeed. Until even these modest items are addressed as soon as tomorrow humans won’t survive more than a century or two, maybe less. Keep fighting because this is a war that can’t be lost, ever.


#3

Where was Mitch, hiding under his desk?

I applaud the words and actions of these young people. They give me hope for eventual change.

As long as Congress is controlled by the Republicans, as long as their voters keep re-electing them,
I am afraid any change that they approve of will be in the wrong direction!


#4

The ignorance of these activists is mind blowing. “survivors of hurricanes Harvey and Irma denounce the fossil fuel industry’s impacts on their communities” Really? So they denounced the construction of all buildings, roads, bridges etc?; they denounced all food that was grown with fertilizer?; They denounced all clothing that includes synthetic fiber?; They denounced the very signs they held that were made out of plastic and paper?; They denounced all forms of transportation they took to occupy McConnell’s office?

This idea that fossil fuels have done nothing but harm communities is outrageous fallacy.

Furthermore these is no such thing as clean energy. Those wind turbines you want are literally made out of petrochemicals. Those electric cars you demand, still require petrochemicals to manufacture the rest of the car besides the battery. Those solar panels you want, still require a structure to install them on, which uses petrochemicals in manufactured materials for construction.


#5

Actually the rainforests with the largest % loss are located in Africa and the South Pacific, where animal agriculture is very low. Also you lose all credibility of appealing to science, when you are against GMOs.


#6

If everyone denounced at least 50% of those things as non-essential those activist could probably be at home with their families instead of spending their time advocating for environmental justice. The added bonus is they wouldn’t have their neighborhood industrialized with toxic and hazardous refineries.


#7

Ok so you want to get rid of refineries. What is the substitute? The solution is not elimination of fossil fuels, as that is realistically impossible. Renewables do NOT produce refined goods- they just generate electricity. There is no renewable or “clean energy” solution for ethylene or polypropylene, or ether ketone, or xylene or benzene; and we DEMAND these products every single day. You just might want to solve this problem, before you charge into someone’s office and chant about change.


#8

Well Paul it is not my problem to solve, I just agree with the messenger. If you think time is on your side you might want to take a closer look at Houston, Port Arthur Texas and Puerto Rico.


#9

“Its not my problem to solve” That’s exactly what all of these activists have been saying for decades. Sure they will chant and hold parades for calls of change, but when it comes down to actual planning and creating a solution- they are dead silent…


#10

I gave you my resolution which I accomplished many years ago and you just ignored it. I don’t operate within the fossil fuel industry and I use it as little as possible. So good luck. What are you doing here trying to get more people to use fossil fuels? You have a lot of work to do your industry is a mess.


#11

Actually my industry is nuclear, and no I do not want people to use more fossil fuels. Rather I want people to look for ways to find substitutes for fossil fuels and be smart about how to determine appropriate solutions for better sustainable technology. Instead of chanting about change I want people to do research and plan how to fix the problem we have. I would much rather read articles about this than this topic post’s crap.

For example, while there is not a “clean energy” substitute for petrochemicals there are people who are actually working to find solutions. I find this article to be much more appealing and providing of far more character than any of these activists:


#12

Additonally, you may note in the article that there is discussion of using bioethanol, which can be converted using biomass gasification. However, I do not support biomass as this source is not even carbon neutral and thus does not realistically solve our problems. Biomass gasification has many purposes, but cannot be scaled up to meet consumption as current petroleum and natural gas refineries. This is a concern as we seek to find a solution to ammonium production.

Currently in the USA 99% of all hydrogen is produced through a process called steam reforming, which uses methane from natural gas and naphtha (a refined petrochemical). Hydrogen is necessary to be combined with nitrogen to form ammonium and ammonium is crucial in the production of all fertilizers in the world. Fertilizer is the single most life saving invention over the last 300 years, and is responsible for enabling all developed societies to produce food.

According to the US Department of Energy, biomass gasification could potentially replace 30% of production within the next 50 years if proper funding were committed, but that doesn’t really solve this issue fast enough now does it? That’s why I support a process called High Temperature Nucleo-electrolysis or the process of separating hydrogen from water using nuclear reactors operating at 1200-1400 degrees C. Currently there is only one reactor of this kind in a joint program with University California Berkley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The US Department of Energy recognizes that this process could replace hydrogen production up to 80% in 50 years if the proper funding were committed.

However, none of these activists support this project because its nuclear, and according to them and their proclamation nuclear is not “clean energy”. You know why I despise these activists? Because they are nothing more than dogs obeying lobbying orders from organizations. They don’t think for themselves, and they support actual science. None of their decisions are based in the scientific method for reasoning or planning. They just want change, and they only want change that they like the idea of. They don’t want to find solutions, because they are not committed to actually discovering them or researching ideas on how to fix our problems. That’s the difference between them and me. If you support them, that’s the difference between you and me.


#13

Forgive my assumption but your industry is in a mess too. Forty years of nuclear waste and no place to put it. I’m not sure we can rationally discuss this.


#14

I’m not even talking about GMOs… I’m talking about fertilizer that even your organic crap requires. If you find waste concerning I suggest perhaps looking into vitrification, synroc conversion and pyroprocessing, and yes all of these technologies currently exist today. As for waste treatment sites I encourage you to look into Yucca Mountain, SWaB and SALINE facilities.


#15

I know you are talking about fertilizer, but organic is more than a sum of elements. It is a life cycle. A natural cycle that if left alone is the basis of all life on earth. What you purpose is a cheap imitation that destroys that balance. Nuclear power would not even exist without government subsidies and tax payer funded stranded costs. Yucca mountain is how many billion dollars over budget and oh my another earthquake fault discovered. Nuclear power plants are illegal in my state and that helps me sleep at night.


#16

I know you have a lot of information and it would be great if you could use it in a beneficial way. I have a lot of information too but it is quite a bit different from yours. A leading biotech physicist that recently retired and became an organic gardener made a one of his best discoveries. We all learn in different ways but your industries want to dominate not discuss or be compatible.


#17

Ok so you want to have this discussion then.

  1. The FDA has never classified organic before, and do you know why? Because there is no consensus or way to determine that the food you call organic is actually organic at all. After all that natural cycle is purely dependent on what chemicals already exist in the soil and many of them are artificial even as you plant “organic” crops. Even without pesticides or other additives your organics are artificial due to human agriculture methods over the last 500 years. This isn’t necessarily bad either, as before there were additives added to soil and enhanced into our food Native Americans would die decades before modern day man from natural diseases that the food was exposed to on a daily basis.

  2. What I propose is saving an invention that is responsible for saving over 10 billions lives over just the last century. The ability to help save crops that feed civilizations.

  3. In regards to nuclear power not being able to exist wihtou government subsidies that applies to every type of energy as they produce at mass scale. However, before you go and make these statements you might want to consider the fact that solar and wind actually receive more subsides than nuclear, natural gas, and coal per KW/h produced. https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf

See the problem with subsidy comparison is that renewables like to compare based on net amount alone, but illustrates a very misleading picture.
For one it compares subsidies of multiple industries (transportation, construction, manufacturing, chemical processing etc) to the single industry that renewables produce in- electrical generation. When you actually compare subsidies based solely in the electrical generation industry there is a far different picture.
Secondly, renewables like to exclude subsides for additional costs that other industries don’t have to pay such as intermittency. When you add the additional costs for storage to renewables the price tag is much higher.
Third of all, much of the way that we calculate the net costs for energy in combination with subsides is largely misleading. We have several analytic methods, but each have their downfalls and in my opinion largely do not account for all costs to energy. Now this is not just for renewables, but all energy sources. http://www.theenergycollective.com/gail-tverberg/2409208/researchers-underestimating-cost-wind-solar

  1. In regards with specifics to nuclear, this industry is plagued with higher cost estimates not because of actual engineering difficulty or scarcity of resources but a large amount of the cost is due to liability of public response. See nuclear pays a very large cost because it has to triple assure people that it is safe, even if the data suggest that it is. Today we even have safer technology, but part of the reason it is so difficult to introduce this technology into commercial societies is due to lobbying groups and PR that refuse to acknowledge the science behind nuclear.

This problem is what infuriates me the most, and in reality its our world’s greatest irony. In reality all energy sources are nuclear. Wind, solar, water, tidal all come from the sun, which only exists due to nuclear fusion. Geothermal derives its heat energy from nuclear fission reactions and decay heat in crust and mantle. All elements that exist in our universe and on earth are only present due to stellar nucleosynthesis and supernova nucleosynthesis, so this also means that petroleum, natural gas, coal and biomass are really just eventual byproducts of a nuclear reaction. Everything came and continues to function due to nuclear. We are scared of the very process that enabled our existence.

Now this does not mean that we should not seek measures to reduce the potential safety hazards of these reactions. After all this process involves the greatest releases of energy in the universe. However, in terms of the amount of safety procedures and techniques taken to ensure a safe environment no industry on earth has taken these steps as that of nuclear. In fact out of all the energy industries on earth with the most fatalities caused by emission, waste, workplace safety and other detriments nuclear actually has the lowest rate. Yet we are still scared of it. In reality this emotion is not based on facts, or data or science, but its purely out of misunderstanding.

I do not support the current plants that we use, but this does not mean that they are not acceptably safe. Instead I support molten salt reactors, because of their ability to remove the issue of pressure in reactor vessels. Every single major nuclear accident that has occurred in human history was caused not be the material, but by pressure. In Chernobyl the reactor ran under a positive void coefficient, which allowed gas to form in the coolant of the reactor. Gas is a poor moderator of neutrons, and as such the reactor experienced surging, but this is not what blew the reactor apart. As surging resulted in higher temperature the reactor was under high pressure, and with the added heat the pressure ruptured the reactor vessel causing the release of radioactive material. In Fukushima the reactor was under a similar situation, where added decay heat increased the already pressurized reactor vessel and in order to prevent what happened in Chernobyl the operator chose to release the materials through a venting line. However the gas was still pressurized and hydrogen was able to escape, thus reacting to oxygen in the building’s air resulting in an explosion and release of material.

All current reactors exist under pressure, because we use water as a coolant. Water has a boiling point of 100 degrees C, and our reactors operate anywhere from 300-900 degrees C, so in order to keep water a liquid to ensure neutron moderation we pressurize our reactors. Molten salt solves this problem, as molten salt mixtures of fluoride (preferably), sodium and chloride salt have boiling points ranging from 1200-1650 degrees C. This is much lower than the operating temperatures, so there is no need to pressurize the reactors. This makes the reactors much more safer. This in combination with other passive safety measures can make our reactor walk away safe thus removing all fears over the reactors, which in turn would drastically reduce their costs for initial construction and operation.

  1. In regards to the Yucca Plant in particular the project has been declared safe for decades, but with congressional pushback from Nevada the project hasn’t been able to be completed. This is not the fault of the industry, it is ridiculous to claim otherwise. In regards to the concern of earthquakes, the fault lines in question are located from 2-5 miles away from the location. Furthermore the probability of an earthquake damaging the location are statistically zero. So this concern is really not valid.

However, in my opinion I do not even support the Yucca Mountain facility. Why dump all the waste to sit for thousands of years, when you can use it. All of our elements were created through nuclear processes, and nearly all of our waste can be used for societal benefit.


#18

People love to talk about how scary plutonium’s 20,000 year half life is. Would you be less scared if instead 20,000 years it was only 390 days. Instead of dumping plutonium 239, lets separate it from nuclear waste and fission it. You can separate Pu-239 from nuclear waste using pyroprocessing (we already do it today at government facilities using PUREX). Once we separate the material we can fission it in fast spectrum reactors which have a 70% high probability of fission than thermal for PU-239.

The most common fission products of Pu-239 are Xenon 134 (which is stable) and Zirconium 103 (I say most common, because everything in nuclear is a probability and there is always a probability for fission fragmentation). Xenon 134 is stable and can be used by the space, film, energy, and medical industries. Zirconium 103 has a half life of 1.3 seconds. From Zirconium we have 6 more decay cycles til we reach a stable isotope (keep in mind each decay cycle reduces radioactivity)

Zr 103 -> Nb103 (1.5 s lf) -> Mo 103* (67.5 s hl) -> Tc 103* (54.2 s lf) -> Ru 103 (39.3 d hlf) -> Rh (stable)

Molybdenum 103 is radioactive, but can be sold for use in the medical industry
Technetium 103 is radioactive, but can sold for use in the medical industry.

After 10 cycles, all fissioned plutonium is stable after about 390 days. How does that sound as opposed to a hole in the ground for 200,000 years?

Now the irony of being scared of plutonium, is the fact that 97% of all high level nuclear waste is actually Uranium 238 unspent fertile fuel. each reactor cycle only has a probability of fission, which means there is a probability that Uranium 238 will transmute into Uranium 235 for fissioning. As a result the majority of all nuclear waste is actually nuclear fuel. Instead of throwing away this waste, how about we use it again and again and again until its all been transmuted and fissioned? That way we don’t have to keep mining it from the ground causing environmental damage.

Some countries already do this like France, India and China. However reprocessing is doesn’t exist on the commercial level in the USA. It used to until 1976, when under Jimmy Carter the procedure was banned for nuclear proliferation concerns with India. It didn’t stop the Indians, which is why the order never made any sense in the first place, and as a result after more regulations on the procedure the process has become too uneconomical for commercial industries to start it again. However, with a new process called pyroprocessing we can separate all materials at the same time for less cost. http://www.ne.anl.gov/pdfs/12_Pyroprocessing_bro_5_12_v14[6].pdf

This solves the waste issues for nuclear fuel, but what about other waste like spent fuel waste? The reality is we already use these waste materials in industry. Materials like Strontium 90 are already used in industrial construction for gauging depths in concrete. Cesium 137 is already used by the agriculture industry for food irradiation in the removal of e coli of foreign products. Iodine 131 is used to treat cancer in the medical industry. Technetium 99 is used for neurological imaging in the medical industry. All of these have uses, and we are just planning to throw it in the ground. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv-mFSoZOkE&t=351s


#19

Well now that we started this but I still have reservations because we barely communicate because of our differences.

The FDA will probably never classify “organic” and why they use “substantial equivalence”. They do certify organic by the absence of things like growth regulators, and a host of other ills from in our food supplies. Anyway, they are not the authority when it comes to organic. By organic standards land has to be fallow for 5 years before you can use it as organic. No, not the best but growing something without toxic pollution increases every decade. I would add that the dust bowl was created by chemical fertilizer. All this industry does is try to fix the problems it in fact created. Lets leave Native Americans out of this, they still exist you know.

Two billion lives is an unsubstantiated claim but even if it were true then you could also take credit for the sixth greatest massive extinction on the planet.

It doesn’t matter how you compare subsidies, nuclear power is not cost effective or sustainable. I’m being irradiated from the last melt down as we speak. Your model uses externalized costs which puts the cost at enormous.

This might seem normal on paper in the real world nuclear power is not safe or sustainable. They already use the waste in munitions that just increase radioactive pollution and harm people and the environment.


#20

Most people are scared of plutonium because it is one of the most deadly things on the planet. I know you have thought a great deal about this and hopefully you will find a better use for this information. I prefer the health benefits of growing and interacting with organic soil and abundant plants. If everyone did that there would be far fewer people with cancer.