Tag Archives | Climate Change

Environmentalists Have an Irrational Hatred of Nuclear Power

The first American nuclear reactor of the 21st century, Watts-Barr will soon begin operating west of Knoxville in Tennessee.  This reactor will almost continuously generate 1,150 megawatts of electricity for the next 60 years at $0.06/kWhr, with near-zero carbon emissions (over the same period a coal plant would release 500 million tons of CO2, for reference the US releases 6,526 million metric tons CO2 annually).  With this happy marriage of steadily satisfying consumer demand yet generating very little CO2, one would imagine that greenies everywhere like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund and thousands of other environmental groups would be out in the streets rejoicing and calling for more nuclear plants!  However, it seems that environmental groups roundly and universally decry the vast potential of nuclear technology.  But why?
We in the pro-nuclear community have yet to collate and diagnose the almost-dogmatic hatred of nuclear power in the environmental movement, but it seems to stem from several uninformed but understandable complaints:

1) People seem to widely conflate ‘nuclear power’ with ‘nuclear weapons,’  however the danger of a nuclear explosion occurring at a power plant is the same danger as a 1988 Ford Pinto going 250 mph, that is, not any danger at all.… Read the rest

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The Short, Strange Era of Human Civilization Would Appear to Be Drawing to a Close

Arian Zwegers (CC BY 2.0)

Arian Zwegers (CC BY 2.0)

Noam Chomsky writes at In These Times:

It is not pleasant to contemplate the thoughts that must be passing through the mind of the Owl of Minerva as the dusk falls and she undertakes the task of interpreting the era of human civilization, which may now be approaching its inglorious end.

The era opened almost 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, stretching from the lands of the Tigris and Euphrates, through Phoenicia on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to the Nile Valley, and from there to Greece and beyond. What is happening in this region provides painful lessons on the depths to which the species can descend.

The land of the Tigris and Euphrates has been the scene of unspeakable horrors in recent years. The George W. Bush-Tony Blair aggression in 2003, which many Iraqis compared to the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, was yet another lethal blow.

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The Higher Side Chats welcomes Randall Carlson to the Cipher

Today on The Higherside Chats we talked largely about sacred geometry, cosmic patterns, Earth cycles, golden ratios, astronomy, astrology, and the ancient past.

In the Plus show, Randall talks about the public school system, his contributions to home schooling, tracing sacred geometry through history from one group or secret society to another, Catastrophism, ancient sites, and some underlying truth about climate change that the establishment has omitted from it’s study.

Check out Randall’s amazing website, classes,  and wealth of knowledge at: http://sacredgeometryinternational.com/

Join Visionary scholar Randall Carlson and David Metcalfe for a journey into the Cataclysm Fields!

 

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The US and China Just Announced a Huge Deal on Climate Change

via Mother Jones:

In a surprise announcement Tuesday night, the world’s two biggest economies and greenhouse gas emitters, United States and China, said they will partner closely on a broad-ranging package of plans to fight climate change, including new targets to reduce carbon pollution, according to a statement from the White House.

The announcement comes after President Obama met in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and includes headline-grabbing undertakings from both countries which are sure to breathe new life into negotiations to reach a new climate treaty in Paris next year.

According to the plan, the United States will reduce carbon emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, nearly twice the existing target—without imposing new restrictions on power plants or vehicles.

Tuesday’s announcement is equally remarkable for China’s commitment. For the first time, China has set a date at which it expects its emissions will “peak,” or finally begin to taper downwards: around 2030.

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Geoengineering Climate Change

Today’s New York Times has a lengthy front page (A1) story focusing on geoengineering “tools” to change our climate (hopefully for the better, although a devastating Snowpiercer-like scenario must surely be at the back of most people’s minds):

UTRECHT, the Netherlands — The solution to global warming, Olaf Schuiling says, lies beneath our feet.

For Dr. Schuiling, a retired geochemist, climate salvation would come in the form of olivine, a green-tinted mineral found in abundance around the world. When exposed to the elements, it slowly takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Olivine has been doing this naturally for billions of years, but Dr. Schuiling wants to speed up the process by spreading it on fields and beaches and using it for dikes, pathways, even sandboxes. Sprinkle enough of the crushed rock around, he says, and it will eventually remove enough CO2 to slow the rise in global temperatures.

3196b Olivine-Linosa.jpg

Olivine. Photo by Psammophile (CC)

 

“Let the earth help us to save the earth,” said Dr.

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We’ve got 86 years to stop using fossil fuels—and even that might not save civilization

Mikael Miettinen (CC by 2.0)

Mikael Miettinen (CC by 2.0)

via Quartz:

In its latest desperate attempt to convince the world to do something about climate change, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said to avoid “severe, pervasive and irreversible” consequences, the majority of the world’s electricity should produced by renewable energy by 2050, and the use of fossil fuels must be eliminated by 2100.

The scientific consensus is that keeping global temperatures from rising above 2 °C is the threshold for acceptable levels of global warming. The IPCC outlined various approaches to meet this target—but they all end with the elimination of coal, oil, and gas by the end of the century. It is the fourth report that the IPCC has issued in the past 14 months.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon described the IPCC report as the most comprehensive appraisal of climate change ever taken and added a personal touch to the proceedings based on his eight years at the top of the organization.

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Liberty and the Environment

Peter aka anemoneprojectors (CC by-sa 2.0)

Peter aka anemoneprojectors (CC by-sa 2.0)

via The New Atlantis:

Human activity is remaking the face of the Earth: transforming and polluting the landscape, warming the atmosphere and oceans, and causing species to go extinct. The orthodox view among ecologists is that human liberty — more specifically economic activity and free markets — is to blame. For example, the prominent biologist-activists Paul and Anne Ehrlich of Stanford University recently argued in a British science journal that the environmental problems we face are driven by “overpopulation, overconsumption of natural resources and the use of unnecessarily environmentally damaging technologies and socio-economic-political arrangements to service Homo sapiens’ aggregate consumption.” The Ehrlichs urge the “reduction of the worship of ‘free’ markets that infests the discipline” of economics.

But the notion that economic activity and free markets are antithetical to the flourishing of the natural world is complicated by the fact that the countries with the biggest environmental problems today, and the least means and apparent interest in addressing them, are not the liberalized ones with advanced capitalist economies but the ones with weak or nonexistent democracies and still-developing economies.

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Why Republicans Keep Telling Everyone They’re Not Scientists

Florida Governor Rick Scott 1

Gov. Rick Scott

Hint: “I’m not a scientist” = “I don’t want to talk about that.” Coral Davenport investigates the new Republican mantra for the New York Times:

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, a Republican who is fighting a Democratic challenge from former Gov. Charlie Crist, was asked by The Miami Herald if he believes climate change is significantly affecting the weather. “Well, I’m not a scientist,” he said.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is locked in a tight re-election race, was asked this month by The Cincinnati Enquirer if he believes that climate change is a problem. “I’m not a scientist,” he said.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, when asked by reporters if climate change will play a role in the Republican agenda, came up with a now-familiar formulation. “I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change,” he said.

“I’m not a scientist,” or a close variation, has become the go-to talking point for Republicans questioned about climate change in the 2014 campaigns.

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