JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Australia can meet it’s 2020 targets with just 35 nuclear power plants or 8000 solar ones!

Roger Pielke, Jr. has looked closely at Australia’s ETS targets and helpfully put some numbers into the hypotheticals.

With all their subsidies, goodwill and fervent wishes, solar, wind, and geothermal produce just 3% of our energy needs. Fossil fuels produce a whopper 94%.   And “energy” on these grand continental scales is measured in quadrillion BTUs which is known as “one quad”. Australians use about 5 quads / year, and to make that we pump out about 400 Mt of carbon dioxide per year. (These kind of big-picture numbers are often hard to find, so I wanted to capture that to keep things in perspective.)

...

Population growth is a big factor in Australia

Carbon Dioxide Emissions= Population * Per Capita GDP * Energy Intensity *
Carbon Intensity

…carbon accumulating in the atmosphere can be reduced only by reducing (a) population, (b) per capita GDP, or (c) carbon intensity of the economy.

One of our biggest hurdles is that the population is growing so fast. Our numbers are increasing, on a per capita basis, about four times as quickly as the UK and the US. (Hence, after nearly two decades of rapid growth with no population debate, it’s finally become an election issue — because everyone has noticed how the roads are clogged, hospital queues are longer, airport parking is a joke, and house prices are astronomical.) The rapid growth of the population means that “cutting” by 5% looks deceptively easy, but even if we held carbon emissions per capita exactly constant (at 19.4 tons per person) by 2050 we’d be pumping out 55% more CO2 than we were in 2000. Ouch.

It seems to compensate for population growth and GDP growth we’d need to cut emissions by about 5% per year each and every year.

Using a bottom up analysis, the combined effects of Australian population and per capita economic growth of 3.0% per year imply that to meet a 2020 emissions reduction target of 5%, 15% or 25% below 2000 levels would require an that the combined effects of increasing energy efficiency and reduced carbon intensity of energy occur at an average annual rate of 4.3%,  5.0% and 5.9% respectively to 2020…

Pielke calculates that we’d pretty much have to stop all coal consumption, and replace it with nukes or renewables. That means 35 nuclear power plants (up from zero) by 2020.

At the moment our total nuclear industry adds up to one small plant — which makes radioisotopes for medical work, and which the Greens would like to shut down. There are exactly no proposals to build a nuclear plant anywhere.

Pielke works the numbers:

It is straightforward to convert the energy mix into greenhouse gas emissions by multiplying the  amount of energy consumed (measured as quadrillion BTUs or one quad) by the amount of
carbon emitted per quad for each fuel.7 According to the US Energy Information  administration(2008), in 2004 Australia emitted about 391 mT of carbon dioxide from 5.3 quads of consumption, with the mix shown in Figure 4. Multiplying the carbon dioxide generated per quad (from footnote 17) by the proportion of energy from each fuel source results in 390 mT of carbon, essentially the same as that reported by the US Energy Information Administration. With this information it is then possible perform a simple sensitivity analysis describing what it would take to decarbonize the Australian economy to a level consistent with a particular emissions reduction target. In 2004 Australia produced 0.83 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per $1,000 (U.S.) (essentially the same as in 2006). For this to be cut in half over the next decade or less – as implied by the 5%, 15% and 25% 2020 targets – would require that nearly all Australian coal consumption be replaced by a zero-carbon alternative such as nuclear or renewable. If an average nuclear plant provides 750 megawatts of electricity (World Nuclear  Association, 2007) and one quad is equivalent to 11,000 megawatts of electricity (American Physical Society, 2010) then about 15 nuclear power plants would provide one quad. Coal provided 2.4 quads for Australia in 2004, meaning that this could be replaced by about 35 nuclear power plants.

Bonus: If Australia’s energy demand increases (as it has been) we’d need another 21 plants.

Of course, Australia’s energy consumption has increased since 2004 and is expected to increase in the future. If Australia’s demand for energy increases by 1.5% per year to 2020 then an additional 1.4 quads of energy will be needed, implying the equivalent of 21 additional nuclear power plants, or a total of 46. These assumptions can be adjusted to explore the implications of aggressive energy efficiency programs or expansion of renewable energy technologies (or other assumptions, such as the expansion of natural gas). For instance, if demand is held constant at 2004 levels and renewable energy comprises 20% of the total mix, then only 13 equivalent nuclear power plants would be needed by 2020.

Hey lets go solar:

The Cloncurry Solar Thermal Power Plant in Queensland provides 10 megawatts
of electricity (Renewable Energy Development, 2008). One quad (at 33% efficiency) of energy implies 3,333 Cloncurry plants. Providing 3.8 quads implies 12,667 Cloncurry equivalent plants, or about 24 such plants coming online every week from 2010 to 2020.

Instead of getting 2.4 quads from  35 nuke stations, we could get it from solar. I make that 8,000 Cloncurry equivalent solar plants (just 16 new ones each week for the next ten years!)

Building just ONE Cloncurry solar plant is proving to be difficult

LOCKED UP: The Cloncurry solar power demonstration area. Picture: Mark Calleja, Story: Courier Mail

The Cloncurry Solar Plant was announced in 2007, supposed to be working early in 2010 and meant to have 8000 mirrors heating a graphite block so water could be heated in it day and night regardless of the weather. Last month, the Mayor of Cloncurry said the town had been “kept in the dark” and “fed lies” about the shortcomings of the solar plan. [Courier Mail]

Months after it was meant to be finished the Solar Plant seems to be missing 7996 or so of it’s 8000 mirrors, and has hit technological issues so bad, it may have to be moved, or dare I say… abandoned.

…three years after its launch… the project consists only of four test panels and a fake tower behind a locked gate.
Boffins are now looking into concerns that residents could be exposed to blinding light from the plant.
“There was a glare issue exceeding what they consider to be appropriate levels,” he said. “If the glare issue cannot be addressed the project will be moved somewhere else in Cloncurry or it will not proceed.” [from the Courier Mail August 12, 2010]
The only good news from it is that so far, tax payers have only lost $900,000.
Anyone want to bet on the chances of building 8000 of these by 2020?

His full report: An Evaluation of the Targets and Timetables of the Proposed Australian Emissions Trading Scheme.

—————————————————————————————————

UPDATE

Commenters think that just 18 Nuclear Plants would do the trick (not 35). Perhaps that’s true. It isn’t any more likely to happen…

Bernd # 9 says:

Based on the four 1.4GW nuclear plants ordered by the UAE from South Korea’s KEPCO at the start of this year, with the last to be completed by 2020, about half the number of plants would suffice; being almost double Pielke Jr’s assumptions. i.e. about 18.

DandyTroll #10 agrees:

In France the new EPR design of 1650 MWe per reactor is “todays” standard for the coming decade, the old “newest” that went into full operation 2000 was the four 1450 MWe.

So 1650 MWe per reactor, four reactors per plant, you need two plants to make sure you meet the 11 000 MWe or 1 quad. 35 reactors at 1650 MWe would cover 5 quads with some room to spare at maximum output, so 18 reactors to cover 2.4 quads.

UPDATE II

co2isnotevil explains why we would need 35 plants

The number of plants required must meet peak demand, not average demand, which is where the larger number comes from. Solar and wind will never satisfy our energy requirements until there’s the ability to economically store and release electrical power at the Gigawatt scale. You will always need to keep to coal and oil plants hot so they can instantly be brought online to keep the grid from collapsing as a cloud passes over. You can’t just shut them down when they are still required transiently, as they will often take hours or days to come up to operating temperature. Keeping them hot burns energy, so you might as well turn it into electricity, rather than dissipate the heat in a cooling tower and it would be better yet to run the plant at a capacity level which optimizes it’s fuel efficiency. I really see no point in solar/wind as a solution to CO2 emissions (not withstanding the fact that CO2 emissions are benign). Owing to spinning reserve requirements, which increases as more transient, i.e. ‘green’ sources are added to the grid, little to no emitted CO2 is actually eliminated.

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Australia can meet it's 2020 targets with just 35 nuclear power plants or 8000 solar ones!, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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228 comments to Australia can meet it’s 2020 targets with just 35 nuclear power plants or 8000 solar ones!

  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Polticians are NOT scientists and only look for council as scape goats to their final decisions.
    Solar technology is extremely expensive and NEVER will pay itself back in costs but love the subsities it recieves.
    Look at the jobs they are creating.
    YAAAA RIGGGGHT!


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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,
    This is another problem to our current situation of GLOBAL population boom and limited resources. Our current political system is an arrogant and totally wastefully outdated to the population.
    How many publicily paid employees are there to the rest of the population? Are they making decicisions for the population? For the country? For this planet? Or for themselves?
    There are huge differences in all these areas of decisions.
    Keeping the life style we have created is getting more and more expensive to the system we have created.
    How many of us can afford the future?
    Even the prison system is looking better. At least they get 3 meals a day and a roof over there heads.


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    cementafriend

    Jo, you may have read this about oil http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3952
    I have done a little geology and have read in text books that oil originated from plankton type living matter but I have wondered how this got to be so deep. Oil is being extracted from depths below 10,000m. It is very warm at those depths and oil would seep upwards not downwards.
    Maybe it is right that oil is not a fossil fuel and oil companies and various political interests want to keep the price up by saying it is running out and/or a tax needs to be imposed.
    Just think about the viability of wind, solar and geothermal energy if the price of oil dropped to $US 30/barrel
    Keep strong


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    cementafriend

    OH, sorry overtype must have been on when I inserted the US. The figure I meant was $US30/barrel


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  • #
    Rick Bradford

    All the politicians are committed to ETS targets and all are equally terrified of trying to introduce nuclear power to Australia. Something will have to give. It will be a salutary lesson when green ideology has to face up to the reality of power generation.


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  • #
    Pete Hayes

    My turn at last Jo and with a humble bow to Roger Jnr.

    Load factor must come into the equation. Average western countries equate to around 1kWh per month per household at around a 40% load factor. That works out at close to 20,000 homes with a supply of just over 100 MW. (I am more used to working out ships generator capacity but from memory I must be close).

    Now let me ask you this about the Cloncurry plant. What voltage do they produce at? I seem to find no information on the Internet about the tech specifications of the production facilities just the “worries about the blinding light”. One would think any light escaping is a wasted of energy but …hey ho, the greens would not allow that…would they? Power lines equals power loss!

    Perspective on solar power? How long would a 25 x 25 cm panel take to rechage my new iPad?

    2.4 quads Jo?…I really must buy a new solar powered CRU scientific calculator…….Hey! Now that’s a good use for solar! Can I get a patent?


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  • #
    Pete Hayes

    Dam! Just did a Google! Blast! Those guys at Casio got there before me


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  • #
    observa

    Let’s revisit that Florida Power and Light analysis again and some recent assessment of Australian demand.
    Just not enough energy density there dense Greenies. Hey wait a minute I’ve just had a blinding flash..


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  • #
    Bernd Felsche

    Jo,
    What is a “mT” doing in here? milli-tesla? How does one measure quantities of CO2 in Tesla? Mt is the official abbreviation for megatonne.

    Science can only fail if we don’t insist on consistent use of units and abbreviations. Unambiguous communication is a corner-stone of good science.

    Based on the four 1.4GW nuclear plants ordered by the UAE from South Korea’s KEPCO at the start of this year, with the last to be completed by 2020, about half the number of plants would suffice; being almost double Pielke Jr’s assumptions. i.e. about 18.

    It’d tax existing global resources to try to build even 18 (more) nuclear power plants in a decade. That is especially so as Australia has virtually no nuclear engineering expertise and the practices in the industry are rapidly evolving. That means that if a target for nuclear power generation were set, the country would have to pay premium prices to foreign companies. That’d cost significantly more than the USD$10 billion that the UAE are paying for each one, build, fuelled, maintained and operated for 60 years.

    And after the focus on renewable engineering expertise in e.g. solar for the past 30 years or more, competence in that field is also wanting. The Engineers are obviously not getting the message through to consumers that they are wasting precious time and resources to produce a false sense of security.

    Back to the quant, absurd mixing of measurement systems.
    Fortunately 1 “QUAD” is near-enough to an EJ (exajoule = 1×10^18 J) of “raw”, potential energy, so we don’t have to deal with British Thermal Units, the latter perhaps measured via the ounces of sweat produced by Jones’ Clydesdale mare, pulling a firkin of water up from Smiths’ well.

    Pielke’s assumptions are based on US DoE publications, which are full of fudge-factors that everybody uses, but few know how they were derived and can judge if the assumptions are valid.

    There’s an implicit conversion efficiency in the deemed value of a QUAD that varies over time and between materials. For coal, it appears that Pielke has that efficiency pegged at less than 35%; from 11GW generated for a year per QUAD of coal.

    A QUAD is a measure of the total energy which might be gained from the resource — assuming a conversion process — in this case, burning. It is of course NOT the amount of energy that can be used in burning the resource. That depends on process efficiency. And that varies over time and from plant to plant. So an “official” figure is used; like the width of a King’s thumb being an inch.

    ["Mt" restored to it's rightful place. Thanks. Appreciate the Exajoule conversion too you may well have a fair point about 18 reactors vs 35, tho' I'd say in the land of 1/3rd of the worlds uranium, (but none of the worlds nuclear power plants) that doesn't make any difference to the reality that it'd be flat out amazing if we have even one nuke working by 2020. But all the same I appreciate the detail. --JN]


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  • #
    1DandyTroll

    I have to object to the number pertaining to nuclear power plants, that’s based upon crap plant screwing up the statistics. Any new plant being built will be to todays standard and those has a much higher output. In France the new EPR design of 1650 MWe per reactor is “todays” standard for the coming decade, the old “newest” that went into full operation 2000 was the four 1450 MWe.

    So 1650 MWe per reactor, four reactors per plant, you need two plants to make sure you meet the 11 000 MWe or 1 quad. 35 reactors at 1650 MWe would cover 5 quads with some room to spare at maximum output, so 18 reactors to cover 2.4 quads.

    [Like Bernd, 18 plants... Interesting --JN]


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  • #

    From my, very limited perspective it would seem that in the long term our energy needs are bound to be met by nuclear power but probably not Uranium. Ironically by the time this happens I think it is very unlikely that it comes about because we wish to reduce our ‘carbon’ emissions… Your readers might be interested in the history – and possibly the future – of Thorium. See this very interesting lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZR0UKxNPh8 – It is 1hr 22mins long…


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  • #
    King Katter

    [snip. King mate, you've had enough fun destroying spelling and posting inane comments to try to make skeptics look silly. Fake name, fake email, fake sceptic... time to move on. OK? -- JN]


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  • #
    Siliggy

    “A large study commissioned by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BFS) found clusters of cases of the blood or bone marrow cancer among children aged under five-years-old living near 16 power stations in the country.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/3321239/Nuclear-power-increases-child-leukaemia-risk.html


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  • #

    No nuclear power plants at all?

    Amazing!

    But they have a great opportunity to go the THORIUM way to nuclear power generation.A great way to have true power production independence since they have a lot of thorium supply to draw from.


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  • #
    MattB

    get thee to bravenewclimate for the numbers and rational analysis of nuclear power.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Apparently, Russia are decommissioning some of their nuclear ice breakers.

    These have light-water reactors that deliver about 35 MW on constant load. They can’t run the reactors for their entire life in a boat, because it looks bad when a nuclear ship runs out of fuel in the middle of the ocean, so they only run them to about 60%

    What to do with the remaining 40% of their projected life?

    Well one idea that the Russians have floated (literally), is to mount two of these reactors on a barge, tow it to port near you, and plug it into the grid.

    Bingo, instant power, and even better, it is carbon neutral because the tug that delivers the barge is nuclear powered too.

    You rent the barge by the hour, and when the reactors are finally depleted, in 20 years or so, they bring you a new one and tow the old one away.

    The company that is developing this idea is Rosatom, and the prototype is called The Akademik Lomonosov, and it is being built at the St. Petersburg’s Baltic Shipyard.

    I wonder what Mr Brown would think of that, for an idea?


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  • #
    Siliggy

    cementafriend:
    September 9th, 2010 at 8:51 pm re Abiotic oil
    Wow! don’t know what to think yet. Thankyou for that. Went searching and found these.
    Here is one that has more info but does not agree:
    http://www.tsl.uu.se/uhdsg/Publications/Abiotic_article.pdf
    Some chatter:
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6661

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnXe-vVSHdo


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    The energy spectrum of Australia is about the same proportion as the US, and the USA energy consumption is about 100 Quad (E+15 But)/year, split somewhat equually between industry, residential and commercial heat and power, and transportation.

    I think you have underestimated the probable contribution of “solar” electric plants compared with the same contribution of nuclear electricity.

    The typical nuclear electricity operation is about 1000-1100 MW of electric power capacity, operating between 80-90% of capacity most of the time.

    The typical “solar” operation (their numbers for on-grid utility electric power are minuscule) has a maximum power output of about 10 MW including storage – and that is a gigantic solar operation. Including electric storage, the typical solar operation has a whopping 25% capacity factor accounting for cloudy days and diurnal sun. Meaning the average large scale solar operation is the equivalent of 2.5 MW reliable electric power to the grid, and so four of them (spread out across the Continent) are needed to contribute 10 MW, so 400 of these are equivalent to one nuclear electric operation of 1000 MW.

    The COST of solar electricity at a Utility scale amortized over 30 years of the life of the operation is today about 10 times the cost of nuclear electricity, which of course has to be subsidized.

    Spain, among other countries, learned that an effective way to bankrupt a country in short order is to subsidize solar electricity.

    Meaning that 10,000 solar electricity operations could never be built, not even in theory, because the money to operate these would never be available.

    Thus greenies are placated by building one or two solar operations for show, and NGO’s multiply and thrive by clamouring for more of them. At least somebody benefits from this scam, consumers are bludgeoned


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  • #
    Colin Henderson

    This “need” to reduce carbon emissions is entirely predicated on the assumption that AGW exists and is caused by CO2. Both these assumptions have been thoroughly falsified, there is no AGW, and the AGW which does not exist is not caused by CO2, so there is no need to reduce carbon emissions.


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Kt x p

    + and mate @12


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  • #
    Dave N

    Has anyone from Labor and/or the Greens actually said how they plan to meet the emission reduction targets, or are the targets there just to achieve a warm fuzzy feeling in the electorate?


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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    Dave N,

    Their plan is the same as the US “plan” – which is simply to halt business and commerce.

    This gives few people a “warm and fuzzy” feeling so the plan is augmented with the promise of creation of “green jobs” –

    That doesn’t happen because the money to support these isn’t there but it sounds good (to some people)

    Witness a steel mill town in Pennsylvania, USA:

    Two steel mills were shut down ten years ago, as a result of rising environmental costs compared with Chinese cost of producing steel.

    2500 workers were idled.

    Headline last year from liberal media: STEEL TOWN REVITALIZED BY GREEN JOBS

    These 100 green jobs were created by a solar panel company cutting and boxing solar panels. The operation went out of business in 11 months.

    These solar panel companies have the average life expectancy of a butterfly


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  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    France, with 58 nuclear plants is the lowest emitter of CO2 per capita in Europe. It is closely followed by Sweden, which has mostly nuclear and hydrolelectric. Guess which is the highest emitter per capita? You guessed it, Denmark, with vast numbers of wind turbines backed-up by dirty coal. Germany, also with vast numbers of wind turbines backed-up by coal is another high emitter.

    What do the greens want? No nuclear and lots of wind turbines. Why?


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    The number of plants required must meet peak demand, not average demand, which is where the larger number comes from. Solar and wind will never satisfy our energy requirements until there’s the ability to economically store and release electrical power at the Gigawatt scale. You will always need to keep to coal and oil plants hot so they can instantly be brought online to keep the grid from collapsing as a cloud passes over. You can’t just shut them down when they are still required transiently, as they will often take hours or days to come up to operating temperature. Keeping them hot burns energy, so you might as well turn it into electricity, rather than dissipate the heat in a cooling tower and it would be better yet to run the plant at a capacity level which optimizes it’s fuel efficiency. I really see no point in solar/wind as a solution to CO2 emissions (not withstanding the fact that CO2 emissions are benign). Owing to spinning reserve requirements, which increases as more transient, i.e. ‘green’ sources are added to the grid, little to no emitted CO2 is actually eliminated.

    Joe: There are jobs created by a ‘green’ economy. Just look at all the new public service jobs to handle all the unemployment insurance claims. Of course, as we all know, the private sector creates wealth as the public sector destroys it, so public sector jobs are probably more accurately counted as negative employment as related to economic strength, especially when their pensions kick in …

    George


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    Phillip,

    What the green’s want is not based on logic, but on an illogal response to guilt and fear.

    [ Or a very logical (selfish) grab for power, no matter what the cost... -- JN]


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  • #
    Phillip Bratby

    co2isnotevil,

    I know (but don’t forget most greens also suffer from ignorance and cognitive dissonance).


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  • #
    co2isnotevil

    I hate it when my thumb hits the damn mouse pad at the wrong time and it posts. The word illog should be illogical in my last post.

    George


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  • #
    1DandyTroll

    @Phillip Bratby

    ‘Germany, also with vast numbers of wind turbines backed-up by coal is another high emitter.’

    Actually Germany covers it’s electricity need with about 30% Nuclear. When it comes to wind turbines, which they have lots and lots of, the number being projected is installed capacity not effective or used capacity, so their coal power is actually backed up by nuclear power still. And they’re about as far away from reaching their initial goal as they were before they even built their first wind and solar powered power plant. This is partially why Germany took it upon themselves to scrap the earlier scrap all nuclear dependency by 2020, now the year to scrap all nuclear power plants is 2045.

    ROFL there’s literally only two countries in the world that baited hook line and sinker on greenpeace crap idea about not building nuclear power plants for the sake of the environment, Kiwiland and down under. Yet all along greenpeace, funded indirectly by oil companies’s organizations went all along using their old outdated cheap diesel engines in their boats until just recently, ’cause it did cost a pretty penny to rebuild all the larger engines, but of course the give fuck all about all the speed boats still. :p


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  • #
    pat

    funny how windsor and oakeshott met with garnaut and nicholas stern before deciding “climate change” was one of two concerns (NBN the other) that caused them to back Labor!

    Andrew Bolt Blog: Garnaut’s dirty secret
    How often we’ve had to endure having Professor Ross Garnaut exaggerate the global warming threat and lecture on our moral duty to do something useless about it?
    But has he just been working off his own guilt?…
    KERRY O’BRIEN, PRESENTER: Perhaps best known as chairman of the Rudd government’s climate change review panel, Ross Garnaut has in recent years urged Australians to take decisive action to reduce carbon pollution in the atmosphere…
    GREGY HOY, REPORTER: …. Lihir Gold Limited, on the island of Lihir off PNG’s north coast, has built one of the world’s biggest goldmines over 15 years under leadership of its founding chairman Professor Ross Garnaut, AO, or Officer of the Order of Australia… Though our requests for pictures and precise figures were simply ignored by the company, each year Lihir is known to dump millions of tonnes of its mine waste and chemically treated metalliferous tailings into the sea; replete with significant traces of cyanide and heavy metals. …
    GREGY HOY: Professor Garnaut also serves as a director of the infamous Ok Tedi gold and copper mine in western PNG ,which continues to discharge 56 million tonnes of metalliferous waste into the nearby river systems each year. …
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/garnauts_dirty_secret/

    add the above to Windsor selling his farm to a coal miner and leasing it back and u get….hypocrisy on a grand scale!

    Australian: Independent MP Tony Windsor in league of his own on farm sale
    THE sale of Tony Windsor’s farm to a coalminer delivered the kingmaking MP a windfall about three times greater than nearby farmers who sold to the company.
    Mr Windsor’s family was paid $4.625 million by Werris Creek Coal in February for the sale of 376ha Cintra, south of Tamworth, reaping about $12,300 a hectare…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/independent-mp-tony-windsor-in-league-of-his-own-on-farm-sale/story-fn59niix-1225911091227


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Sliggy: #13

    Using clustering without identifying the causation mechanism is Bad Stats! (Naughty Telegraph!)

    Try an experiment – take a map of Germany, and mark the position of all nuclear plants in one colour, and all of the major railway stations in another colour. Then take an egg cup full of white rice, and add a thimble full of brown rice, mix them together and scatter them on the map.

    You will find that the brown rice falls in clusters (by purely random means). [If it doesn't, the proportions of rice are wrong]

    Now look at the proximity of each cluster to the nearest nuclear plant. What does that tell you?
    Do the same analysis with major railway stations. What does that tell you?
    Do the same thing with hospitals, high schools, …

    Clustering is a wonderful way of proving whatever you want to prove, in an apparently scientific way, in order to fool the unquestioning masses.

    It is a propaganda tool, not a statistical tool.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    I seem to remember that there was an initiative in the UK to build a small prototype power plant based on burning rubbish (garbage) and capturing the output emissions for other purposes.

    Does anybody else remember that, or know what happened to the idea?

    With all the green pamphlets and brochures that are produced each year, it would be a good way to recycle them.


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  • #
    Binny

    Nuclear is the only current technology that can even come close to seriously reducing CO2 emissions. Yet the Greens and the CAGW bedwetters refuse point blank to even discuss it. What does that tell you about their concerns and whether they really believe there is a problem?


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  • #

    Since nobody else has done so, I’d like to thank the Mayor of Cloncurry for complaining that he’d been ‘kept in the dark’ about the solar energy plant. Who said there was no humour in politics?
    The numbers quoted here only reinforce the earlier demographic study of Green voters conducted by John Black. Mathematics is an utterly alien science unto them.
    And on the subject of numbers: has Australia set a new political precedent with a two-for-one deal?


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    JaniePo

    Why solar hot water panels are the new double glazing: They don’t work much of the time and take 100 YEARS to pay for themselves…

    Read more:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1274784/They-tell-solar-panels-eco-friendly-save-money-The-truth-They-dont-work-time-100-YEARS-pay-.html#ixzz0nPoprxu9


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  • #
    JaniePo

    The Greens have ways to convince you to go solar..

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_greens_have_ways_to_convince_you_to_go_solar/

    The Government’s ‘alternative energy’ policies will be a disaster for the economy…

    http://www.brookesnews.com/102607solar.html


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    MadJak

    The argument for nuclear is simple, IMHO.

    One relative in south korea which uses nuclear power. Power bill for their apartment per month = $10. No I am not kidding.

    That’s it right there. That is what nuclear promised. It is the most cleanest and most efficient way to power an economy (as far as I am aware).

    I think that as a counterbalance to the hypocrosy of the greens MPs and senators with their flying around the country side and even their continued use of the automobile, THIS POWERPLANT should be put in their backyards.


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    Siliggy

    Not sure how true this is?!?

    The Coming Nuclear Crisis
    The world is running out of uranium and nobody seems to have noticed.
    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24414/


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    That’s why Thorium is the nuclear fuel of choice – very, very much more of it and much simpler technology for the power plant – see my earlier post on this


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    Siliggy

    Rereke Whaakaro:
    September 10th, 2010 at 6:58 am
    As a variation of your experiment I tried to find the Comanche Peak railway and failed.

    The cancer rate in north central Texas has increased alarmingly since the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant started up in 1990, the keynote speaker at a University of North Texas conference said Monday.
    http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/news2001/nn11105.htm

    Stuart Huggett:
    September 10th, 2010 at 7:58 am
    When i have 1 hour and 22 minutes that vid will be watched to see if the claims that Thorium is not profitable are true or not.


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    Tel

    It’d tax existing global resources to try to build even 18 (more) nuclear power plants in a decade. That is especially so as Australia has virtually no nuclear engineering expertise and the practices in the industry are rapidly evolving. That means that if a target for nuclear power generation were set, the country would have to pay premium prices to foreign companies. That’d cost significantly more than the USD$10 billion that the UAE are paying for each one, build, fuelled, maintained and operated for 60 years.

    I disagree with the economics argument here. Most technology gets cheaper as it improves and inevitably as more countries switch to nuclear the total market will grow and that also drives down the price. After all, Australia does not make computers either, but we don’t pay premium prices since the computer industry is so competitive.

    In all high-tech areas, the longer you hold off an upgrade, the better equipment you get for less money. Of course, large physical plants have a build time to be taken into account, so you can’t hold off the upgrade indefinitely.


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    Tel

    The Government’s ‘alternative energy’ policies will be a disaster for the economy…

    I’m coming round to thinking it’s the disaster that we had to have.


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    Colin

    Nobody buys fossil fuel to keep it in a museum. Once the stuff is out of the ground it is going to be burnt, that’s as sure as death and taxes. And to ‘Save the Planet ™’ it doesn’t matter whether it is burnt in China, Japan, Korea or your backyard.

    The quantity of fossil fuels burnt, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, is a physical problem that can only be addressed by a physical solution. And the only feasable physical solution is pathetically, blindingly obvious.
    Reduce the quantity of fossil fuel taken out of the ground.

    That would be simple to achieve by government regulation alone, by imposing an annually reducing production quota on the few sources of fossil fuels, the coal mines, the oil and gas wells. Wouldn’t it be easier to monitor 60 mines than 60,000 smoke stacks? And there are no messy cap ‘n’ trade, no bankster skimoffs, no economy destroying taxes.

    Since Australia is a major exporter of coal and gas, we could make a major contribution to ‘Saving the Planet ™’ by limiting production.

    Why has no warmist ever suggested it? It’s the money, stupid!

    The Climate Change Fandango has nothing to do with planetary salvation, it’s all about extracting cash, your cash. Sure, there are overtones of political power grabs and greenie agrarian agendas, but basically it’s about money. So is mining. If we limit mining, some very important people lose money, and hey that’s just not on. So let’s keep on growing our exports and skim the suckers as well, with new taxes. My god, how the money rolls in!


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    Brian G Valentine

    I’m coming round to thinking it’s the disaster that we had to have.

    Unlike a NZ earthquake or typhoon on the QLD coast or any of a litany of others, this one appears preventable by applying the absolutely minimal amount of foresight.

    Some, like Wong or Christine Milne lack that, true, but not EVERYONE in Australia


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    Bulldust

    I think it would be worthwhile to include the following link in the discussion:

    http://www.australianminesatlas.gov.au/mapping/files/australian_energy_flows_2006-07.pdf

    It shows what fuels Australia consumes and how she consumes them along with the energy losses from conversion. I doubt the numbers have changed substantially in the last 3-4 years. For up to date numbers there are the ABARE energy surveys, the latest being 2007-08:

    http://www.abare.gov.au/interactive/energyUPDATE09/

    The statistical tables are here:

    http://www.abare.gov.au/interactive/energyUPDATE09/htm/data.htm

    Australia also has substantial energy resources as we all know:

    http://www.abare.gov.au/publications_html/energy/energy_10/ga_aera.html

    Oil being one of the few for which we are not self sufficient – having said that, there is no reason, if the economics support it, why we couldn’t build coal-to-liquids plants to satisfy that need.


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    Derek

    How could one ever argue against such a highly detailed insightful report like this?

    Joanna, yet another high standard post. Well done.


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    System

    Excellent post. I’m just a bit queasy on the use if quadrillion BTU (British Thermal Units). Today, post steam era, we should use joules (J) as the unit of energy. Yes the same joule that is used to measure the energy in food, usually kJ. 5.3 “quads” = 5.6 EJ

    The relationship to power is: One watt = one joule per second. 1W = 1J/s

    Unfortunately, the electricity industry still uses the confusing kilo watt hour (kWh) to measure energy. One watt hour (Wh) = 3.6kJ exactly, because there are 3600 seconds in an hour. Using kWh is as strange as saying the distance between Melbourne and Sydney is 540 knot hours.

    Why not use joules (J) to measure energy – all forms of it.


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    MattB

    Clearly 4 people above think I oppose nuclear power:) Seriously go to bravenewclimate for many many arguments in favour of nuclear power.


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    Macha

    So glad to see the debate and discussion move from CO2/AGW onto Energy…because that was the real agenda all along – controlling global energy movements. Or a new way of making more money from it at the very least.


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    Siliggy

    System:
    September 10th, 2010 at 9:38 am
    “The relationship to power is: One watt = one joule per second. 1W = 1J/s”

    Why not just use Watts. We need to be looking at peak demand which is an instantaneous power with no time component.


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    JPA Knowles

    Good to see this post Jo. Thanks for raising the issue.

    Clearly there are many problems to resolve re energy security on this planet and it is inevitable that nuclear will play a role but I have doubts about many existing reactors. The Soviets are still running dinosaurs like Chernobyl 4 which lacked an outer containment vessel or an outside power supply. As a UKAEA design engineer my father visited a number of Soviet nuclear facilities in the 80s and said that none of them would have been permitted to operate under UK regs. He reckoned we nearly had a total disaster at Chernobyl (!) and also that the Soviets are lucky that it was a windy day and most of the small particle fall-out was dispersed (diluted) over a very long area reaching as far as Sweden.
    The Brits have extremely tight standards but I note that they don’t have a squeaky clean record either. They’ve had a fire at Calder Hall, flooded part of Hunterston B with sea water costing over £10 million and now they’re losing toxic waste from the Sellafield reprocessing plant and it’s creeping through the sand towards the Irish Sea. Brit Nuc Fuels is just about broke and the EPA are not sure what to do.

    Nuclear does have many +ve points and I think it should be persued.


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    Siliggy:

    Did you actually read the article about the German cancer clusters? Did you see where the cancer epidemiologist thinks this may be due to temporary population influx and virus infection?

    Sternglass is a well known anti nuke nutter and has been for years. His stats on North Texas were carefully adjusted for population growth, lifestyle, wealth, ethnic composition etc? I’ll bet they weren’t. Maybe he could get a job at CRU. Funny how he wants the nukes to be converted to fossil fuels. Coal burning produces more radioactive fallout than a nuke of the same output and it is in the form of particulates which can lodge in your body where they can be dangerous.

    No, we’re not about to run out of uranium. There’s recycling, breeding and eventually extraction from the sea. The Japanese are working on that with considerable success. There’s also Thorium. Once we have a real nuclear power industry all these things will be done with increasing efficiency due to engineering experience and research and development.

    Probably enough fissionables to last longer than civilization has existed so far (thousands of years) at far greater power production rates than today’s.

    In any case with widespread nuclear power we should be able to find out how much uranium and thorium there is in the asteroids. Search for “Project Orion”(the Freeman Dyson/Ted Taylor one).


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    John Watt

    This page is starting to read like something out of the Barry Brook website!

    Ideally energy planning should be left to the experts. Unfortunately it seems that either no one with influence in that area of expertise is still around (possibly due to the re-arrangement of our electricity industry over the past decade or so) or there is a job-threatening component to a rational approach to energy planning.

    While this might seem like an irrational assertion most of these planning experts were qualified electrical engineers who would be able to understand the unanswered Steve Fielding questions from a year or so ago. One would have expected the Fielding questions to have at least caused a ripple in what is left of the energy planning area. If Fielding is on the right track then coal is OK for a good many years and we don’t need to consider more expensive/risky alternatives just yet.

    Essentially bulk energy should be sourced from the cheapest alternative which is a function of fuel type and location versus population location and customer hourly usage patterns. Ideally there should be a co-operative spirit between suppliers and consumers.

    A simple example…It used to be possible to shift much of the load of electric water heaters off peak to enable the cheapest coal fired generating plants to supply such energy…cheaper for the customer and cheaper for the generating company. However in its rush to appear green the Queensland Govt has placed severe restrictions on electric element driven water heaters. Just one policy error that will contribute to higher energy prices!

    One would think that energy companies would have a vested interest in maximising the return from their existing expensive assets. Like Steve Fielding they should be questioning the role of CO2 in climate change. They certainly can afford access to the sort of expertise in the physics/chemistry of atmospheric CO2(as opposed to IPCC/CSIRO proclamations) to answer the Fielding questions.

    While it may be possible for energy companies to extract a profit from non fossil fuel energy generation technologies, the price to the end user will need to be extreme to provide an acceptable return on the new assets. This is largely based on the assumption that consumers’ lifestyle will remain heavily dependent on a steady supply of energy.

    The whole Brook-style exercise seems pointless…if only someone with the ear of government would scrutinise the Nicol analysis, reach the obvious conclusion and answer the Fielding questions!

    Suggestion..Challenge all members of our newly-elected Parliament to produce an expert who can explain quantitatively in terms of basic laws of physics/chemistry how CO2 drives climate change…give them a month to find such experts..if they can’t meet such a requirement then personal integrity demands that party dogma be set aside when the ETS/CPRS legislation is introduced. Honesty in Government??


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    A C of Adelaide

    Nice link JaniePo (at 42 above) Isnt it amazing with all the high speed communications we have these days this sort of information still hasnt arrived in Canberra. Perhaps Windsor isnt the only one who cant use a computer.
    Cash for clunkers comes to mind as well

    I thought Id provide this link to the Danish Wind Farm experience in case there are still people out there who think wind power reduces CO2 emissions.


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    cynic

    I have argued on the site before, that politically, logic does not cut the ice. Yes, lack of power generation capacity is an upcoming problem.
    However, and this is slightly off topic, but I have a *need* to share this.

    I have (at last) found an argument that actually works with many of my pro-AGW friends. The argument goes like this:

    “I have thought for some time that the worst thing about the AGW scam is that urgent environmental issues like heavy metal pollution, rainforest destruction, overfishing, soot in the atmosphere (and too many to list, add power generation here if you like) are pushed off the political agenda.
    The AGW scam has given the worst abusers of our environment a “news free” run.
    A cynic would argue that this is exactly what AGW was designed to do.
    The greens and the left have fallen for the sucker punch. They have spent all their time and effort fighting for a cause which will be ultimately exposed as a scam. In the meantime, environmental abuse that impacts us all is ignored.
    When AGW is finally accepted by the left wing media as the joke that it is, the greens will also be discredited in the eyes of many.”

    Methinks that the way to convince the left about the baloney science of AGW is convince them that AGW is a conspiracy designed to distract them from more important causes.

    For me personally, AGW is discredited by the data fiddlers. The argument stops there. The above quoted argument (or something similar) is the only argument that I have found to change an opinion.


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    wes george

    Great post, Jo. One for the bookmark files!

    Here’s the Green’s Energy usage targets:

    15. Australia to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as is feasible and by no later than 2050 with a minimum of 40% reduction on 1990 levels by 2020.

    16. the reversal of Australia’s growing demand for energy through demand management and increased efficiency of supply and end-use.

    17. future energy needs to be met using sustainable, renewable energy sources.

    http://greens.org.au/policies/climate-change-and-energy/climate-change-and-energy

    There are only two ways that the Greens can meet these goals. The first is a dictatorship of the proletrariat led by a ruthless leadership willing to liquidate all opposition. Major obstacles: We’re a bit short of a proletrariat in Australia, so we’d have to raise immigration levels and Bob Brown isn’t nearly as charismatic as Pol Pot.

    The second way to reduce emissions by 40% on 1990 levels by 2020 is to introduce airborne Ebola virus which according University of Texas professor of evolutionary ecology, Eric R. Pianka, would kill 90% of the population in less than a week.

    http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html

    This would cost a vanishingly tiny amount compared to building 12,667 Cloncurry solar plants, even if that were possible and it obviously isn’t. Killing off 90% of Australians would have other positive side effects for the environment too numerous to list. And as Bob Brown likes to say, we would be leading the world by our shining moral example.

    When a mainstream political party promotes policy goals literally unattainable by any rational means short of genocide and supports it with prophecy of apocalypse, then what are the mentally unstable among us to think, much less do?

    The irresponsibility of the Green energy policy combined with the high tech nature of our society leaves us vulnerable to eco-terrorism on a scale that makes the WTC attack pale in comparison.

    Over the next few years as the public becomes aware of insanity of the Green agenda look for frustrated Greens to increasing let eliminationist, anti-humanist sound bites slip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPIpsIR-Csc


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    allen mcmahon

    Matt @ 51; sad, probably the brain dead serial spammers who now frequent the site.


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    John Brookes

    cynic@59: You don’t get it.

    If the focus goes off AGW, and onto (say) overfishing, then proposals will be made on how to control fishing. Next thing you know, the Murdoch press will be trying to discredit the “unwarranted fish stock scare”, and a whole lot of folksy pseudoscience will appear, pointing out that there were less fish in the past, and that fishing is generally good for fish, and that the people who count the number of fish are doing it wrong, and that even if fish stocks are plummeting, its entirely natural and has nothing to do with us. It really doesn’t bear thinking about……


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    The nuclear option (or some variety or other) is pretty much the only choice we have to replace oil and gas and coal (until we work out how to build Tony Stark’s arc reactor from Iron Man) – as luck would have it, in Oz we have some of the worlds largest uranium deposits and vast tracts of coast where nobody lives – handy things for a nuclear program.

    The power stations could make all the power we ever need, even powering desalination plants or pumps to divert water from the wet north to the dry south to provide all the water we ever need. Trouble is, it’ll take money, a long sighted vision and political balls – none of which we have enough of.


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    cynic

    John Brookes, respectfully, I do get it.

    I am simply pointing out the only anti-AGW argument I have found that works. May I suggest that you try it out on the next pro-AGW person that you meet.

    There is little point in preaching to the converted. Try some missionary work.


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    wes george

    Actually, John, you don’t get it.

    Maybe you should have watched the ABC 7:30 report last night. Turns out Ross Garnaut, Rudd’s Climate scare guru, has raked in millions as CEO of a mining consortium that is raping PNG. Couldn’t get a license for the cowboy mining they do in Australia. Ross’s company has been dumping toxic mining tailing into the ocean on coral reefs and once pristine rain forest rivers!

    Cynics got a real point. the Climate media/industrial complex really does serve as cover for big-shot holier-than-thou enviros to get rich exploiting the planet well out of the spotlight of public scrutiny. Notice that the ABC has known about this for years, out only outed Garnaut long after he and Rudd were history!

    OK Tedi extracts copper, gold and silver from its remote Star Mountains operation in PNG’s Western Province where it reportedly discharges 56 million tonnes of metalliferous waste into local river systems each year.

    Tiffany Nonggorr, a lawyer representing indigenous PNG landowners, says the practice by Lihir of dumping billions of tonnes of mine waste and metalliferous tailings, including cyanide and heavy metals, is a great concern.

    That’s Ross Garnaut”s secret meal ticket. Bloody hypocrite.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/climate-change-expert-ross-garnaut-behind-controversial-png-mines/story-e6frf7l6-1225917066122


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    Speedy

    Morning all.

    With due respect, there seems to be a lot of discussion about the pro’s and con’s of various “solutions” to the AGW problem. Has anyone demonstrated (with physical evidence) that the “problem” really exists?

    Otherwise, we’re just arguing which method of wasting money is more cost-effective.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    co2isnotevil

    Where solar power is most useful is to drive manufacturing processes that require low voltages and high currents and that can also tolerate an intermittent and variable power source. This way, you don’t loose power by turning it into AC, stepping it up, stepping it back down and converting back to DC. Many electrolytic processes like metal refinement and specifically aluminum smelting are good candidates. In Australia, you have massive aluminum ore concentrations in areas which are otherwise far from the grid, but have very high available sunlight.

    This leads to an interesting aluminum based battery, where you manufacture aluminum during the day by directly using the low voltage DC produced by solar cells, and react the aluminum with ferric oxide (thermite) during the night and use the heat to produce steam for power generation, where the waste product is molten iron and aluminum oxide, which can be recirculated back into the aluminum smelters and turned back into aluminum with direct solar power. Post turbine steam can also be used to re-oxidize iron back into Fe2O3, closing the loop. This creates a battery whose reactants and products can be recirculated and the only consumable are carbon and some smaller quantities of material required for the aluminum smelting. Such a plant can produce aluminum bars, iron bars and electricity and can be scaled almost indefinitely. All 3 of these products have value and production can mix and match any combination of product based on demand by trading off any one for another.

    Being far from the grid, you then need to figure out a way to use the continuous power that could be generated. Another expensive manufacturing process that requires large amounts of low voltage, high current, is the manufacturing of silicon, for example, solar cells. Commercial solar panels are comprised primary of silicon and aluminum, so such a plant can manufacture it’s own solar cells, panels and infrastructure (aluminum is also a good conductor of electricity) and even produce these as end products.

    Of course, Aluminum production also produces large amounts of CO2, so a concept as extremely green as this would be met with opposition by greens. In fact, the only products of the complete process loop are aluminum, iron, solar cells, electricity and large amounts of CO2. The only consumable is carbon and smaller amounts of other materials required for efficient AL and Iron refinement from their oxides.

    I will go out on a limb and predict that plants like this will be necessary once we run out of fossil fuels and must replenish atmospheric CO2 to keep agriculture from collapsing.

    George


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    JaniePo

    Global Warming as Religion and not Science

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/religion.htm

    The Population Control Agenda Behind The Global Warming Movement: For The Environmental Extremists At Copenhagen Population Reduction Is The “Cheapest” Way To Reduce Carbon Emissions

    http://thetruthwins.com/archives/the-population-control-agenda-behind-the-global-warming-movement-for-the-environmental-extremists-at-copenhagen-population-reduction-is-the-cheapest-way-to-reduce-carbon-emissions

    I have a title for this.: 75 reasons to be skeptical of “global warming”

    http://joshfulton.blogspot.com/2010/02/75-reasons-to-be-skeptical-of-global.html


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    Colin

    George @ 67
    There is an even more direct way to use aluminium as an energy storage.
    Check out “aluminium air battery” on Wikipedia.


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    JaniePo

    Against the grain with Fred Singer, atmospheric physicist and crusader against human-induced global warming

    Atmospheric Physicist questioning Man-made Global Warming..

    http://incubator.rockefeller.edu/?p=653


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    JPA Knowles

    Personally I like the idea of having some PV plates on my house and I’m constructing a solar water heater to pre-heat my off-peak HWS (as Rereke suggested on another thread I think). However, if the Oz Govt were serious about energy matters they’d devise a pump storage scheme. The UK’s Dinorwig Hydro Power Station is a shining example. It consumes 33% more electricity than it generates but uses up surplus night-time power from the Wylfa Head Reactor which is best kept running at full speed 24/7. During the night they pump up a high mountain reservoir and by day when there is a sudden demand for power they open the gates on some or all of the 6 turbines/pumps and let all that water race back where it came from, producing up to 1800 megawatts for a few hours.
    Christmas Day 1981 I wandered in and had a good sticky-beak, -really interesting, – illuminated tunnels deep inside the mountain, turbine hall, control room, humming machinery, rooms full of switching gear etc. and all devoid of people. Lucky I was not the budding James Bond/terrorist type.
    According to Wonkypedia it cost £425 million and had only a 10 year pay back time.

    Nuclear coupled with pump storage is proven to work both technically and financially and Oz already has the ideal pump storage section in the Snowy Mtns Hydo Scheme. For 26 years the Brits successfully operated a pair of Magnox reactors on a lake at Trawsfynedd inside the Snowdonia Nat.Pk. It’s all been done before and Oz could do well to harness some of the Brits considerable expertise before they become too old and the know-how is lost.


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    Jamie

    Another example of how dangerous and violent these “Greens” actually are!

    ‘Execute’ Skeptics! Shock Call To Action: ‘At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers’ — ‘Shouldn’t we start punishing them now?’

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/1096/Execute-Skeptics-Shock-Call-To-Action-At-what-point-do-we-jail-or-execute-global-warming-deniers–Shouldnt-we-start-punishing-them-now


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    System

    Siliggy,

    Yes, I agree we could use just one unit to avoid confusion. But why not use joules. A 500MW power staion is really a 500MJ/s power station – it can spit out 500MJ of energy every second.

    We pay our bills based on how MUCH energy we use, not at the rate we use it. Check your gas bill – it charges you for how much energy you use in MJ.

    I’m sorry for this very trivial thread, but people are sometimes not clear on the difference between power and energy.


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    co2isnotevil

    Colin,

    Yes, Al batteries would be good as well. The total energy per Kg of Al seem slightly lower for thermite (about 4500 W*hr per kg Al), but it is all released at once. Unfortunately, it’s released as heat and needs to be further converted, although there are manufacturing processes that require heat and electricity. For converting back to electricity, AL batteries would seem more efficient. Of course in either case, you would not use battery or heat generated electricity to produce more Al. Perpetual motion and all that …

    George


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    co2isnotevil

    JPA,

    I would recommend against solar hot water, unless you have no other choice. Back in the day, I took advantage of the tax credits to install solar hot water and it was utterly disappointing. It never paid for itself, even after the rebates.

    George


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    Baa Humbug

    I will only agree to one solution regards limited non-renewable energy sources such as coal. Dig up and sell as much as possible, as soon as possible to as many countries as possible.
    For as sure as night follows day, time will come when we won’t be using coal, rendering whats left in the ground worthless.

    Many people forget how we (humans) got here. We didn’t always burn fossil fuels.
    If the internal combustion engine wasn’t developed, I imagine Australia would be exporting horses and oxen to the world. (And ofcourse the greenies would be pressuring us to take back all the horse shit).

    Those who are advocating the pro AGW stance have no faith in mankind and little knowledge of our past, i.e. it all boils down to greenies hating humans.


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    allen mcmahon

    John @62; so what you are in effect saying is we should waste our efforts on attempting to reducing C02 emissions by an insignificant amount, rather than attempting to address environmental problems that we have the technology and ability to solve. Most skeptics are in favor of responsible environmental policies and its a shame that most AGW fanatics are not.


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    Bulldust

    System @73:

    Yep and we pay electricity bills in “units” in Western Australia where a unit is, in facft, 1 kWh (kilowatt hour). Hence one unit is 3,600kJ or 3.6MJ, depending on which units one prefers.


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    amargi

    Concentrated solar power is being used extensively in California, with no major problems. With other renewables it amounts to 11.8% of its energy (See link below). Traditional Oil Company propaganda says that solar is always going to be more expensive. Rest assured, if it were not more expensive they would make sure that it became so.

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/renewables/index.html

    First, mass production will drive the costs down. Second, let’s say for the sake of argument, that it would cost twice as much no matter what. Well guess what? That’s the price you’re going to pay, whether you now like it or not. What’s more you’re going to learn to love it and consider the price a bargain.

    Otherwise you simply won’t have energy, period. The German military, in a leaked report, states that peak oil arrived this year and predicts that there will be major repercussions 10 to 15 years from now.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,715138,00.html

    As far as nuclear is concerned, how aware is the public that during a heat wave in France, in 2009, 1/3 of it’s nuclear reactors had to be shut down? The reason was that the cooling water the reactor depends on got too hot and would not be able to prevent an eventual meltdown. This occurred in a nation that takes 80% of its electricity from nuclear. They also suffered, in another heat wave a few years earlier, tens of thousands of deaths.

    Now imagine Australia where hundreds died, and the temperatures soared to 115 in the coastal city of Melbourne, relying on nuclear power during one of those heat waves! The power plants could be safely shut down when the water gets too hot. However, that happens just at the very time when people need the electricity the most.

    You just don’t put all your electrical producing eggs in one nuclear basket.

    By the way, I have experienced 117F (42.22C) heat in a residence that had no air conditioner. Fans no longer work in that heat.

    Think things through before applying simplistic solutions and stop pretending that everything but fossil and nuclear power are part of some eeeeeeeeeevil; Fascistic, Anarchistic, Communistic, Trotskyite, Socialistic plot.


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    cohenite

    amargi; that is, I’m afraid, a totally fanciful post; here are the sources of all INTERNALLY generated power in California compared with the total power used:

    http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/total_system_power.html

    As you can see over 30% of California’s power is imported from places like this:

    http://www.pnm.com/systems/4c.htm

    California is, of course, despite being the US leader in renewable use, essentially bankrupt and facing power shortages. There are words for this: hypocrisy, stupidity, cognitive dissonance; but I’m sure you know about them.


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    cohenite

    On another tack; auntie has allowed some criticism of Australia’s public intellectual, Clive Hamilton:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s3008509.htm


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    wes george

    Amargi,

    California is bankrupt, dude. Or haven’t you heard? So is Spain. Solar subsidies are part of the problem.

    Peak oil is a total myth. You want to go there in a debate? Bring it on. You’re a hopeless victim of propaganda. The German Military as experts in oil exploration? ROTFL. Maybe you should have asked the Belgians about the future of man space flight while you were at it.

    Nuclear reactors create so much power they could make olympic swimming pool size ice cubes if they needed to. If French nukes couldn’t cool themselves it’s because they weren’t fitted out with the right gear. Btw, where is your citation for that BS?

    It’s really amazing that some people are totally immunized against rational analysis of the facts. It’s like Amargi didn’t read or comprehend a single word of Jo’s post.

    BTW, I’ve also experience 120 f weather and my fans, frig, car, cell phone and even laptop worked fine. Maybe you should invest in some WD-40, mate.

    Utterly hopeless.


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    Bob Malloy

    cohenite:
    September 10th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    On another tack; auntie has allowed some criticism of Australia’s public intellectual, Clive Hamilton:

    Meeting with the usual I see.

    Jack Johnson :

    10 Sep 2010 3:51:28pm

    It’s disturbing to see the ABC give a platform to flat Earthers and people with obscure motives like this. The fact that they champion the views of Ian Plimer, and man who talks from his pocket (he has huge financial interests in mining and has said that mining will be “decimated” if steps are taken to reduce CO2 emissions) is telling.


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    amargi,

    I think you’ll find the French nukes that were shut down were using river water for cooling and that was mostly for condensing the steam in the non nuclear steam turbine loop. There were limits set on how hot the river could get so the plants had to be throttled back. The nuclear part of the reactors was never a safety problem. Just a case of increasing population/electrical demand/increased availability of aircon running the grid to close to designed limits in hot weather.

    Doesn’t apply when you have the ocean as we would in Australia. Nothing to stop air cooling either as used in some new coal plants like Kogan.

    Now go away until you’ve learned some physics and engineering.


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    Joe Lalonde

    Governments base our energy needs on an ever expanding population growth to keep the economic engine flowing.
    Governments are terrible in future forcasting and constantly change, which means a change in policies and programs to fund.
    Will growing farmland be taken away for these energy projects? Many farmlands in are taken over for Urban growth and not replaced.


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    Siliggy

    Mike Borgelt:
    September 10th, 2010 at 11:01 am
    Siliggy:
    Did you actually read the article about the German cancer clusters? Did you see where the cancer epidemiologist thinks this may be due to temporary population influx and virus infection?

    Yes and my first thought was: Why the hell would many reactors be more than a commutable distance from a population center. Transmission loss, maintenance cost, running cost etc.
    This search (with quotes) on Google gets only two hits “reactor out of town”.

    Coal burning produces more radioactive fallout than a nuke of the same output and it is in the form of particulates which can lodge in your body where they can be dangerous.

    That is a very good point. Is it true for natural gas also?
    I have often said that the idea of a national electric grid is bad and that it would be better to have a gas grid and a water grid but only small local electric grids. Many powered by fuel cells from the gas grid. The hot water from the fuel cells would be useful also.


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    JPA Knowles

    Siliggy,
    Interesting comment about a gas grid.
    Power station waste steam at 101ºC could be compressed to make it liquid and then heated up to 150º. This hot water would be easy to deliver to local industry for driving little steam turbines for electrical generation and motive power and urban central heating.
    Baa @ 76 is probably correct in thinking we will find new solutions to problems.


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    Siliggy

    System:
    September 10th, 2010 at 2:50 pm
    Siliggy,
    Yes, I agree we could use just one unit to avoid confusion. But why not use joules. A 500MW power staion is really a 500MJ/s power station – it can spit out 500MJ of energy every second.

    Only if the load has no phase error. In electical transmission VA is often used instead of either of the above because it is the figure of power handling that a system needs. Useable power in Watts or Joules/s will be a lower number.
    1 Volt times 1 Amp does not always equal 1 Watt.
    “Since reactive power transfers no net energy to the load, it is sometimes called “wattless” power. It does, however, serve an important function in electrical grids and its lack has been cited as a significant factor in the Northeast Blackout of 2003.[2]“
    So unfortunately we need to use the most relevant unit to what is being discussed but it makes no sense at all to use “the ounces of sweat produced by Jones’ Clydesdale mare, pulling a firkin of water up from Smiths’well.” as Bernd Felsche said. Simple common metric units is all that is needed. None of this armpits per fortnight stuff.


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    JPA Knowles

    Mike@84.
    Yes, the quantity of heated cooling water is huge with these big reactors. The Hartlepool AGR on the R. Tees dumps so much heat into the North Sea at Hartlepool that sharks can live there in winter. It seems such a waste of energy, hence my previous post.
    In summer catamaran racing on the lake at Mannering Park NSW is quite unpleasantly hot because the coal fired power station uses the lake instead of cooling towers.


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    J.Hansford

    CO2 is not pollution… So as far as I am concerned we should be using Coal. It’s cheap and relatively clean in the modern power stations of today…. Australia really should have quite a thriving manufacturing industry with our cheap energy… But unfortunately not enough political will… or more likely, to much political interference.

    Nuclear power would be a good idea so as to gain expertise in the technology, considering we have 1/3 of the world’s reserves of the stuff. We also have vast uninhabited areas in stable geology for storing waste… Could even turn a handy profit from reprocessing and storing the worlds nuclear waste…. Then there’s thorium….

    Also, we’d be better off liquefying our coal reserves and producing transport fuels out of it, rather than wasting it on electricity generation if the price per kilowatt hour can be brought significantly down in nuclear power generation…. Which will happen. Later on transport fuels like diesel, petrol and LNP/LPG will be at a premium… Cars are freedom, and an internal combustion engine is the most efficient freedom machine on earth.. can’t see it being displaced:-)


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    Ed

    The FUTILITY of Mankind trying to Control Climate

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy0_SNSM8kg

    On average world temperature is +15 deg C. This is sustained by the atmospheric Greenhouse Effect 33 deg C. Without the Greenhouse Effect the planet would be un-inhabitable at -18 deg C. The Biosphere and Mankind need the Greenhouse Effect.

    Just running the numbers by translating the agents causing the Greenhouse Effect into degrees centigrade:
    • Greenhouse Effect = 33.00 deg C
    • Water Vapour accounts for about 95% of the Greenhouse Effect = + 31.35 deg C
    • Other Greenhouse Gases GHGs account for 5% = ~1.65 deg C
    • CO2 is 75% of the effect of all accounting fort the enhanced effects of Methane and Nitrous Oxide GHGs = ~1.24 deg C
    • Most CO2 in the atmosphere is natural, more than 93%
    • Man-made CO2 is less than 7% of total atmospheric CO2 = 0.087 deg C
    • the UK contribution to CO2 is 2% equals = 1740 millionths deg C
    As closing carbon economies of the Whole World could only ever achieve a virtually undetectable less than 0.01deg C. How can the Green movement and their supporting politicians think that their remedial actions can limit warming to only + 2.00 deg C?

    So the probability is that any current global warming is not man-made and in any case such warming could be not be influenced by any remedial action taken by mankind however drastic.

    As this is so, the prospect should be greeted with Unmitigated Joy:
    • concern over CO2 as a man-made pollutant can be discounted.
    • it is not necessary to damage the world’s economy to no purpose.
    • if warming were happening, it would lead to a more benign and healthy climate for all mankind.
    • any extra CO2 is already increasing the fertility and reducing water needs of all plant life and thus enhancing world food production.
    • a warmer climate, within natural variation, would provide a future of greater opportunity and prosperity for human development. This has been well proven in the past and would now especially benefit the third world.

    Nonetheless, this is not to say that the world should not be seeking more efficient ways of generating its energy, conserving its energy use and stopping damaging its environments. And there is a real need to wean the world off the continued use of fossil fuels simply on the grounds of:
    • security of supply
    • increasing scarcity
    • rising costs
    • their use as the feedstock for industry rather than simply burning them.

    The French long-term energy strategy with its massive commitment to nuclear power is impressive, (85% of electricity generation). Even if one is concerned about CO2, Nuclear Energy pays off, French CO2 emissions / head are the lowest in the developed world.

    However in the light of the state of the current solar cycle, it seems that there is a real prospect of damaging cooling occurring in the near future for several decades. And as UK power stations face closure the lights may well go out in the UK in the winter 2016.

    All because CO2 based Man-made Global Warming has become a state sponsored religion.


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    co2isnotevil

    amargi,

    I live in California and we do have the largest amount of ‘renewable’ power in the country, but we also have the most expensive electric bills in the country. Our ‘progressive’ state legislators and governor, in their infinite lack of wisdom, enacted unilateral carbon regulation in the form of state bill AB32, which has contributed to the bleeding of jobs to more business friendly states. In the November election, there will be a ballot proposition to repeal this, at least temporarily. I only hope that the lack of wisdom from our legislators doesn’t rub off on the voters. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of weak minded fools who lack the wherewithal to figure out things like this for themselves and yield to the bogus arguments from authority. Part of the reason is that it’s hard to be objective when you’re constantly bombarded by alarmist propaganda, but then again it’s a lot harder to fool me with bogus science than it seems to be for you.

    George


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    Roy Hogue

    Regarding post 13,

    “A large study commissioned by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BFS) found clusters of cases of the blood or bone marrow cancer among children aged under five-years-old living near 16 power stations in the country.”

    This kind of nonsense has been tried with cell phones, power substations, power lines and probably other things. But what’s missing here? There’s no measurement of the radiation from the suspected nuclear plant. One can go to the plant or any place around it and simply measure the radiation. It’s going to stay essentially constant over the life of the plant. An organization called the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection has no excuse for not doing it and comparing the “cluster’s” exposure to the general radiation exposure at some “safer” distance. That would be real information. The dishonesty beggars parallel.

    Effect does not show cause!

    Oops! Seems like someone we know has been saying that for years already!

    Rereke @30,

    You caught ‘em. But it won’t dent their armor a bit I suspect.


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    Roy Hogue

    Another 2 cents from California:

    George @92, the solar capacity we have is just spit in the ocean to what we need. It’s a joke and that joke is apparently a significant problem for the distribution system. Yes we do have it though, so the roosters can crow about it. But the hen delivers the goods and there is no “solar hen” hanging around — no other kind of energy hen either I’m afraid (the obvious one still being non PC).

    As you correctly point out, we pay through the nose and the crisis is self-made. I would just add that the problem goes a lot farther back than any serious concern over carbon or the advent of AB32. We’ve been on this collision course with trouble for a good 20 years or more.

    Even if the initiative to suspend AB32 passes it will leave us in a lot of energy shortage pain — not good in a country sitting on its own big reserves of oil gas and coal.


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    co2isnotevil

    Roy,

    Yes indeed, the problem goes way back. Wasn’t it the Brown administration that started all the anti business policies? I really can’t believe he’s running for governor again.

    I’ll be passing through Altamont pass this afternoon on my way to get in some September skiing (glacial snow fields off the PCT). I always laugh at the stupidity when I see all the idle wind mills and then get pissed off that my tax dollars have subsidized it. Speaking of laughing, on my last trip, I stopped at a very remote picnic site off of 108 near Sonora Pass and saw one of those ultra expensive, ‘your stimulus dollars at work’, signs in front of an outhouse. I guess they’re going to clean it out, or maybe they just had some workers putting up signs that they needed to keep busy. Is this what they call a shovel ready project?

    George


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    Roy Hogue

    George,

    Don’t get me started. I can all too easily believe that Brown is running again. He’s one of the shovel ready as far as I’m concerned. Shovel him into a truck along with his supporters and take them so far away they’ll never find their way back.

    I lived through one Jerry Brown administration. I don’t want another. I hope Meg Whitman’s bite at the polls is as strong as her bark in the campaign. With Barbara “call-me-Senator” Boxer in trouble there’s some real hope for a change.

    PS,

    The signs should say, “Your stimulus dollars at play.”


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    amargi

    #80. cohenite:
    September 10th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    amargi; that is, I’m afraid, a totally fanciful post; here are the sources of all INTERNALLY generated power in California compared with the total power used:

    http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/total_system_power.html

    As you can see over 30% of California’s power is imported from places like this:

    http://www.pnm.com/systems/4c.htm

    California is, of course, despite being the US leader in renewable use, essentially bankrupt and facing power shortages. There are words for this: hypocrisy, stupidity, cognitive dissonance; but I’m sure you know about them.

    Cohenite. I always answer respectfully and courteously but experience has shown that it is wasted on certain people.You, on the other hand, responded in a disrespectful and self righteous manner. You may think, in such egotism, that you are justified in doing so because you have the “TRUTH.” You don’t.

    The following is my counter rebuttal:

    I brought up a statistic from the California State website:

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/renewables/index.html

    Which official web site stated that renewable energy in California is 11.8% of the total in the year 2007.

    You then proceeded to quote a different source, energyalmanac which is linked above in the block quote that includes your entie statement. It is also an official California website. This information is somehow intended to contradict what I stated. You should have taken the time to think it through. And that, on the basis of your own citation.

    Also, the posters here should actually read those links and meditate on them; instead of foolishly and automatically, giving thumbs up to anything that tickles their fancy and preconceptions.

    Sure, the imports are approximately 30%, like you mentioned, but the total for wind, solar, small hydro, geothermal and biomass is 13.9% for 2009. If you had bothered to do the math before accusing me of “hypocrisy, stupidity, cognitive dissonance”, you would have taken the next step.

    You would have subtracted the 30% imported energy from the 13.9% internally generated. The answer is. 9.73%. Nine and three quarters, slightly rounded off.

    Since that is a high number approaching my 2007 statistic (11.8%) I would ask you the following. What is your point? Furthermore, do you not realize that the other states from which California imports also have renewable energy? You also need to factor that in.

    Other states may not have a renewable energy percentage rate as high as California but the entire United States has 8% renewable energy. Please tell me, how much does the United States import? See link below.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_energy_consump/rea_prereport.html

    This 8% of renewable energy is good enough for a start.

    When the real hypocrites and stupid people, that you accused me of being, get an appropriate respond from me they usually start whimpering about how vicious my response is. This is the usual “I cannot smell my own.”

    Since you insulted me without completing your research, and failed to expand your research to the whole US, don’t complain when I respond.

    One last statement about your second link. First and foremost, it a moot issue in view of the statistics mentioned above.

    Second, it’s typical cherry picking. Your own citation made reference to Northwest and Southwest imports. Those are a lot of states with a wide mixture of energy sources including renewables. You are obviously trying to distort the issue by implying that your coal energy from “places like this” is the only thing to take into account.

    Well, if I were to play this cherry picking game, I could have said the same thing with your same words but a different example.

    “…California’s power is imported from places like this:”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_Dam


    Next time, Cohenite, do some thinking and complete research. And throw those pathetic cherries away.

    In conclusion, the whole US has 8% renewable energy sources; that being only 1% less than its percentage of nuclear power (See eia.doe.gov link above.). That makes for a good start.</em>


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    Roy Hogue

    amargi @97,

    Nice facts but poor reasoning and lack of worthwhile point. As I said to George, it’s just spit in the ocean. Renewable’s unreliability and much greater cost shoot it not in the foot but right in the head. In maybe two years (someone give me a figure if I’m too far off) you can design build and put conventional gas, oil or coal fired generating plants into operation, any one of which can dwarf the growth of so-called renewable energy over that same time.

    A case in point: solar is going anywhere at all because the government is subsidizing it in one way or another. Ask the Spanish how that worked out for them.


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    amargi

    #90. J.Hansford:
    September 11th, 2010 at 1:14 am

    CO2 is not pollution…

    Bottom line. Anything that is “good” can just as easily be “bad” depending on quantity or context.

    Example. In the 19th century,horse manure was considered beneficial as fertilizer. But that was at the farm.

    In the city, you were in the horse and buggy era. That meant that there was an extensive amount of all natural horse manure laying on the street. It was actually referred to by the actual word “pollution.” It was a major health hazard since it bred disease bearing flies.

    So horse manure was wonderful fertilizer in one place but deadly, disease bearing “pollution.”, in another location. The difference in benefit depended on how much of it there was and the context.

    Remember the saying, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.


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    amargi

    #92. co2isnotevil:
    September 11th, 2010 at 3:06 am

    amargi,

    I live in California and we do have the largest amount of ‘renewable’ power in the country, but we also have the most expensive electric bills in the country.

    CO2. The entire United States has an 8% rate of renewable energy production. If renewables are so exorbitant in cost then the US should be paying more for its electricity. Three other points.

    Nuclear power was heavily subsidized. Even oil companies receive subsidies. Hear no evil.

    Mass production is never taken into account by those who don’t want to. See no evil.

    Since there is an extremely high amount of arrogance and self righteousness on this site, I will respond to one example of it. It makes you feel good to delude yourselves as the “children of light”, and look down on us bedarkened souls as the “children of darkness.”

    I am soooo brainwashed by propaganda. Well I’ve got some news for you. Your mind has been bought for 15 cents. Here are the figures.

    Exxon Mobil and the Koch brothers alone have spent at least 54 million US dollars in anti-global warming propaganda. The money is being donated to an extensive network of conservative/libertarian think tanks, websites, some religious institutions, and individuals.

    I roughly estimate the number of English speaking people, from adolescence up, as 400 million. I should be including Europe. In fact, any population that speaks a major language and has internet connection should be included. But I’ll stick to the English speaking world.

    Now whip out your calculator and divide 54 million by 400 million US dollars. Answer 13.5 cents. It won’t buy you a candy bar but minds come cheap.

    (What you posted here has been seen too many times,please do not continue this line of thinly veiled insults) CTS


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    amargi

    #95. co2isnotevil:

    Roy,

    I always laugh at the stupidity when I see all the idle wind mills and then get pissed off that my tax dollars have subsidized it.

    All of you should know by now that the oil companies and nuclear industry are subsidized. Why the inconsistency in applying rules of fairness? What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.


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    amargi:

    If you are going to call a little extra CO2 bad you need to have some evidence of deleterious effects. I’m not aware of any.

    The atmosphere of this planet is a biological system, not just a physical one. Where do you think the 20% free oxygen came from? The answer is that life(blue-green algae)changed Earth’s atmosphere and keeps it there.
    That made things a little difficult for the anaerobic microbiology. Win some, lose some.
    Lots of the planetary biology has been busy sequestering CO2 to the point where there isn’t much margin over the amount needed for plant survival. We’re just helping out a little by putting some more CO2 in the atmosphere and the green growing things seem to be responding.
    —-

    As for gas and water grids – we have those. Local hot water grids are used in Sweden and Finland I believe, also Siberia. When you are trying to dump waste heat in cold places, a good idea. Elsewhere, not so much. No point complaining about the waste heat – steam turbines are heat engines and subject to the laws of thermodynamics which have no pity.
    Better get some operating experience on the fuel cells. The things have been around for 150 years and still don’t seem all that reliable or cheap. Right now microturbines running on gas seem like a better idea. See “Capstone”.
    Except where distorted by governments, we have the energy distribution systems we have because of the laws of economics. They have no pity either.

    As for the cancer clusters, one of the other posters is right. This statistical nonsense has been tried with all sorts of things. Maybe the cancer epidemiologist liked the virus theory because he knew about the lack of measurable radiation at nuclear power plants if indeed there was any real significance to those numbers.

    Anyone burning natural gas for baseload power should be jailed for life. Direct heating at the end user’s location(if you don’t mind the NOx) is OK as is peak load power but the gas is a potential transport fuel or can be converted to liquid transport fuels. Anyone know of the comparative cost of GTL vs Coal to liquids?


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    In reply to Amargi at post # 101,

    Surely we know that is true.But you still fail to understand that there is no consumer demand for windpower and solar.That is mostly coming from environmentalist groups with a few ignorant politicians thrown in.

    Not only that they have are HEAVILY subsidized,while Oil and Gas and Nuclear far less so.

    When will you realize that both Solar and Wind are LOW MASS generators.Unreliable and environmentally damaging,from the sheer need to use up vast amount of land to generate a pisqueak amount of electricity.

    I wonder if you ever did some simple math to see just how absurd it is to replace high mass power generation with low mass power generation.Economically and Environmentally?


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    amargi

    #94. Roy Hogue:
    September 11th, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Another 2 cents from California:

    George @92, the solar capacity we have is just spit in the ocean to what we need. It’s a joke and that joke is apparently a significant problem for the distribution system.

    All renewables comprise 8% of the US total and only a small effort was made for that.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_energy_consump/rea_prereport.html

    If there’s a problem with your distribution system, fix it. You have no choice. When peak oil arrives, whether you believe in it or not, you’ll be hit hard.

    On another note, it seems obvious that the people on this post are absolutely prejudiced against anything whatsoever that is not part of the established energy tyranny.

    Australia, for example, has quite some potential for geothermal. Is that part of a “communist plot”?


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    elsie

    Watched on SBS last Tuesday a documentary about the future. Fusion power was one item covered. It seems the idea is at last being taken more seriously and thus more funds for R & D being provided. France is gong for a big prototype. At Oxford fusion can be made to last 30 seconds at 100 million ‘C. If fusion can be made self sustaining then it will be viable. Comments were made that by 2050…that ‘magic’ year…fusion power could be easily available wherever it is wanted. Hydrogen from water is, of course, the only fuel needed. So why aren’t the Greens pushing and pestering for more R & D on this? After all, there are no nasty radioactive wastes to worry about and gas or oil explosions kill more people per year than even nuclear plants which is zero as far as I know.


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    Just a reminder about gas distribution:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/09/san-bruno-fire-chief-puts-explosion-death-toll-at-6.html

    amargi: If and when geothermal starts generating significant quantities of electricity I’ll get interested. The cost is likely to be high due to replacement cost of the equipment due to corrosion problems. Let alone the cost of getting the electricity from the geothermal sites to the population centers and industry which are a long way away.
    We aren’t “absolutely prejudiced against anything whatsoever that is not part of the established energy tyranny.” It’s just that some of us have science and engineering training and experience and realise that a high technology civilization can’t be run on pious hopes, good intentions and unicorn farts.
    That alleged 8% of energy in the US from renewables could have been derived more reliably and at lower cost by building some more nukes and not visually polluting the countryside with windmills, which by the way, are *never* going to get much more efficient as they are close to theoretical limits now. I’m still hoping that Polywell fusion with p-B11 works. We should know soon.


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    janama

    Is that part of a “communist plot”?

    - of course it’s not – it’s just that Geothermal power doesn’t exist – ask Tim Flannery – he’s invested in it and despite significant subsidies it still hasn’t returned any reliable power.

    Denmark has 30% renewable energy yet it hasn’t closed any of it’s fossil fuel power generation and still receives top-up power from the European grid. Most of it’s wind energy get’s sold off to other European grids.

    I have a question for the engineers – If I build a solar thermal power station that is 20 times larger than a 10MW solar thermal station can I expect it to produce 200MW?


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    Roy Hogue

    amargi,

    I will take anything with a good chance of helping solve real problems. Renewable energy is still spit in the ocean.

    As for peak oil — is that some kind of threat? Please don’t threaten me. It will waste your time and I will not be intimidated.


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    Roy Hogue

    amargi,

    All of you should know by now that the oil companies and nuclear industry are subsidized. Why the inconsistency in applying rules of fairness? What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    I can’t speak for nuclear and the U.S. doesn’t have enough of it to notice anyway. But oil companies are taxed and regulated to death. The government’s job was to keep a level playing field for all comers, not to favor one over the other, not to pick winners and losers. Even the best president we’ve had in my lifetime screwed that one all up with tax incentives for solar water heating. It evened out a bit because he got the federal monstrosity micromanaging oil and fuel allocation shut down and the long gas lines disappeared, the price stabilized and the country began to recover from the foolishness of his predecessor.

    So don’t lecture me either. I’ve been there and I know whereof I speak!


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    Siliggy

    Roy Hogue:
    September 11th, 2010 at 3:24 am
    Regarding post 13,
    “But what’s missing here? There’s no measurement of the radiation from the suspected nuclear plant.”
    Mike Borgelt:
    September 11th, 2010 at 7:18 am
    “Maybe the cancer epidemiologist liked the virus theory because he knew about the lack of measurable radiation at nuclear power plants if indeed there was any real significance to those numbers.”
    Agreed some real numbers would be good the lack of numbers does not help either side of this.
    Seen this?
    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a914006026&fulltext=713240928


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    wes george

    it seems obvious that the people on this post are absolutely prejudiced against anything whatsoever that is not part of the established energy tyranny.

    No, Amargi, we’re prejudiced against delusional fantasy driven political policies that threaten Australian future energy security.

    Prove to us that you are not prejudiced against the rational presentation of evidence that Jo has posted by offering a cogent, evidence-base refutation of her points directly. If you can.


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    wes george

    “In the city, you were in the horse and buggy era. That meant that there was an extensive amount of all natural horse manure laying on the street. It was actually referred to by the actual word “pollution….”

    This kind of non-sequitur response to Jo’s hard evidence is rhetorical pollution commonly called Horse Sh*t!

    Amargi, you’ve made about 6 totally off topic snarky, scientifically illiterate comments backed up by zero evidence. Does this mean you, as a supporter of a Green energy policy have no evidence-based counter-argument (other than fear, smears and obfuscation) to refute point by point Jo’s post?

    We want evidence, not your pathetic emotional response to an existential empirical reality that you find metaphysically unsporting. We live in the real world of matter and energy ruled by the laws of physics. Please, if you can – present data that proves Jo’s evidence is in error.

    We’re waiting.


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    elsie

    An interesting article relating to peer reviewing appears in physicsworld.com

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/43691 to be precise.
    Peer review is much vaunted among climate scientists as proving their beliefs.

    Yet, this article about peer reviewing in general states,

    The researchers created a model of a generic specialist field where referees, selected at random, can fall into one of five categories. There are the “correct” who accept the good papers and reject the bad. There are the “altruists” and the “misanthropists”, who accept or reject all papers respectively. Then there are the “rational”, who reject papers that might draw attention away from their own work. And finally, there are the “random” who are not qualified to judge the quality of a paper because of incompetence or lack of time.”

    Many of the comments after the article are illuminating and they are range over many areas of scientific endeavour.


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    Siliggy

    Mike Borgelt:
    September 11th, 2010 at 7:18 am
    Anyone burning natural gas for baseload power should be jailed for life.

    Could you explain why please.


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    Roy Hogue

    Siliggy @110,

    The paper you linked is a much better exploration of the problem. Night vs. day! But they both point out how little we really know about these things, even after so many years of using them.

    I hadn’t seen it and frankly I’ve no real confidence that we’ll build any more nuclear plants here. So I’ve not been looking for information.

    I’ve dropped my total opposition to them but they still make me uneasy.


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    cohenite

    Amargi@97 says this:

    “You would have subtracted the 30% imported energy from the 13.9% internally generated. The answer is. 9.73%. Nine and three quarters, slightly rounded off.”

    The link for the information about the comparison between inhouse power generation and power imports for California is:

    http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electricity/total_system_power.html

    As can be seen the total inhouse power generated is 205,695 GWh; renewables are 28567 or 13.9% of that inhouse production. Imported energy is 91130 GWh; that is fossil fuel or nuclear energy with no renewable component; so the total energy consumed by California is 205,695 plus 91130 = 29682[5]7. The imported energy is 30.7% of that total energy. I have no idea what calculation you are doing, it means nothing.

    Of more interest is the fact that categories of inhouse energy include renewables at 13.9%, wind at 2.4%, solar at 0.4%, biomass at 2.8%, geothermal at 6.3% and small and large hydro at 14.2%.

    That being the case what constitutes “renewables”?


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    Tel

    That being the case what constitutes “renewables”?

    In the table you link to, “renewables” is a subtotal of the items underneath it:

    Biomass + Geothermal + Small Hydro + Solar + Wind
    =
    5685 + 12907 + 4181 + 846 + 4949
    =
    28568

    The table layout makes that subtotal look identical to the base items, which is shitty layout IMHO but there you go.


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    cohenite

    Tel; thanks; I haven’t had my weeties this morning and the old brain is creaky; isn’t solar pulling its weight, after 25 years and billions of $ invested? People who have spent those billions belong in jail; and people who advocate renewables need their heads read.


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    amargi

    #116. cohenite:
    September 11th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Amargi@97 says this:

    Of more interest is the fact that categories of inhouse energy include renewables at 13.9%, wind at 2.4%, solar at 0.4%, biomass at 2.8%, geothermal at 6.3% and small and large hydro at 14.2%.

    That being the case what constitutes “renewables”?

    Apparently you’re confused in reading the chart. The “renewable” slot is actually the heading for a subsection. The 13.9% correlates exactly with the sum of every category down below it; which by the way, does not include large hydro.

    Large Hydro is placed above the subsection, so it is not part of the 13.9 tabulated by adding every category below “renewables”.

    To borrow your phrase, “of more interest, is the fact that” you did not respond to the final issue/link about the US generating 8% of its power from renewables (Large hydro is included in this chart). This makes the individual state issue moot. Here is the link again again as a reminder.

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/alternate/page/renew_energy_consump/rea_prereport.html


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    wes george

    What constitutes renewables is very pertinent to the argument.

    Apparently it’s mostly biomass and biomass is just home grown hydrocarbons so if you’re on about lowering CO2 emissions more than half the renewable energy production in the USA counts for nothing.

    Notice that solar is going no where in the US even with subsidies. Wind seems to have the advantage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Renewable_electricity_production_in_the_USA.svg


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    Tel

    Anyone burning natural gas for baseload power should be jailed for life.

    You would need to include everyone with gas cooking and/or gas hot water? I conclude that you are recommending we just put a fence around Melbourne, and not let anyone in or out. Attractive though that idea sounds, it does seem to require some justification.


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    wes george

    Jo quotes Plieke:

    In 2004 Australia produced 0.83 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per $1,000 (U.S.) (essentially the same as in 2006). For this to be cut in half over the next decade or less – as implied by the 5%, 15% and 25% 2020 targets – would require that nearly all Australian coal consumption be replaced by a zero-carbon alternative such as nuclear or renewable.

    So let’s quite hunting snipe, Amargi. Please tell us how we are going to cut coal consumption to zero, or why Plieke is just wrong?


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    Siliggy

    Tel:
    September 11th, 2010 at 11:38 am
    You would need to include everyone with gas cooking and/or gas hot water?
    re “Anyone burning natural gas for baseload power should be jailed for life”

    Add gas ducted heating to that:
    http://www.callmercury.com.au/gas_ducted_heating_systems.php

    How far from being base load power is it now?
    Oh and so that ‘System’ and i can understand this:
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Australia/NaturalGas.html
    Does anyone know how many armpits per fortnight you multiply a “billion cubic” feet by to get a Joule?


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    Tel, siliggy

    I said:
    “Anyone burning natural gas for baseload power should be jailed for life. Direct heating at the end user’s location(if you don’t mind the NOx) is OK as is peak load power but the gas is a potential transport fuel or can be converted to liquid transport fuels. Anyone know of the comparative cost of GTL vs Coal to liquids?”

    From what I’ve seen the generation cost of electricity from burning gas is about 3 times that from burning coal. Transmission losses etc make burning gas to generate electricity a very inefficient use of the gas. That’s why it is better to pipe it to the end user, even though that is more dangerous and likely results in more local air pollution(Nox and CO), not CO2, which isn’t pollution.

    Putting a fence around Melbourne isn’t a bad idea though. Make it Victoria and you’ve got a deal.

    Siliggy,

    Interesting paper you linked to. I suspect the author has an agenda. The estimates of dose to the general public are estimated at 10E-3 to 10E-4 milliSievert per year. Why is this an estimate? Because the background from cosmic rays and soil, food ingestion etc in most places is 2.5 milliSievert/year. i.e. 2500 to 25000 times as high. You can’t measure the contribution from the nuke! Some of the background is from food (C14 caused by cosmic rays, K40 from potassium in foods) so is ingested. I think this paper is junk science.
    Background is much higher if you live at high altitude, fly in jet airliners much or live where more radioactive minerals are in the soil(some parts of Iran and India). If very small increases in exposure had an effect you should be able to find this out easily. There’s also the Taiwanese study on the apartment dwellers who unknowingly had radiation exposure due to an industrial radiation source being melted in to the scrap metal that was the concrete reinforcing. This was a good study as the doses were measurable(maybe someone’s kid brought home a Geiger counter from school)and the people traceable after a few years. The cancer rate found was just 3% of that expected for that demographic! I’ve got a copy of it somewhere here. I’ll try to find it or a link to it.


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    Roy Hogue

    Siliggy,

    Further to my post at 115. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island always haunt me when I consider nuclear. Chernobyl of course was bad design confounded by careless operation. But TMI was not a case like that. After all the dust has settled no one was ever harmed by TMI. But they escaped a China Syndrome like ending by luck according to this. It’s a very comprehensive postmortem on the incident at TMI 2.

    http://americanhistory.si.edu/tmi/index.htm

    I’ve no doubt that more recent design would be more robust and this kind of thing less likely — 100 or so reactors in the U.S. and only this one incident I know of. But I remember being told years ago by an anti nuclear crusader that you can never shut one of these things off once they go critical. TMI 2 seems to be just such a case. It’s unsettling that they kept on underestimating the extent and seriousness of the event and damage, even years into the cleanup operation.


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    Siliggy

    Mike Borgelt. About 12 years ago i calculated the price i was paying for a MJ of energy from the Nat gas and compared that to the price for electricity(Using the conversion explained by ‘System’ above). The gas worked out to be way cheaper. Cheap enough to generate my own electricity at home and save money. So i looked at fuel cells and found they were not developed enough yet but the efficiency would have made them a very viable alternative. Then looked at internal combustion and it worked out just viable but noisy and high maintenance. The most promising was a peltier effect like unit used by utilities for cathodic protection. I would have needed a lot of them and a plumber. Being in a rented house was the only thing that stopped me.
    I also calculated a solar system but it did not work out to be viable.
    Now the fuel cells do seem developed enough!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG6AWO6–Wg

    Thankyou for your more real numbers. Interesting to note the recent high cosmic radiation also:
    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/29sep_cosmicrays/


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    Brian G Valentine

    Solar and wind electric power are fine for some regional markets – if it’s sunny most the time, or windy someplace, it is senseless not to make some use of it.

    But this is no “national” strategy for any country at all – not even a country mostly of desert, because there is no way to construct an electric grid of it. There’s no way to stabilize it and infact there is no way to stabilize a grid comrised of 30% or more “renewable” power.

    The largest geothermal electric operation in the world is in California at The Geyser, at a whopping 100 MW or a tenth of an ordinary coal or nuclear operation. And The Geyser happens to be located at a fault for which there is pure steam at about 300C!!

    Nobody, not even the Philippines, has anything close to that resource, and a 10 MW geothermal plant can be constructed there at the cost of a 1000 MW nuclear plant involving twice as much land space for the operation.

    People who support propagation of these “renewable” operations are just marijuana smokers who don’t have a clue about how the world actually works. If it was conceivable to do, people would have been doing it a longtime ago. But leftist politicians are convinced they can perform miracles with the “right attitude” and enough money.

    The refusal to live in a real world has been the problem with the Left ever since there was a Left


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    janama

    I can’t understand why burning biomass is classed as renewable and Green when your standard biomass power station burns like this burner at the Condong Sugar Mill on the Tweed.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1//biomass_1.jpg


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    janama

    BTW – that’s steam coming out of the sugar mill – I can find no information on the output of the burners that burn the cane waste (bagasse) – surely they must be producing toxic waste like any other burner or coal fired burner.


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    siliggy: I recently did the calculation on gas delivered to the house in cylinders for water heating as we’re not on the gas pipeline grid in our street. I would be paying 1.7 times the price per Kw-H for gas vs electricity and that’s assuming 100% efficiency for the gas heater(it isn’t). Pretty much all the electricity fed into a heating element inside an insulated water tank gets turned into heat.

    The fuel cells look interesting. What’s the capital cost per Kw peak and how long do they last? I’m a fuel cell sceptic as lots of money was spent on them in the 1960s by NASA for Gemini and Apollo. The damn things were always going wrong and needed baby sitting at the best of times. The idea has been around for 100 years then and I figure if a technology has been around for 100 years and then you spend lots of money on it and still don’t have anything commercial and reliable it simply may never be.
    Still this outfit in Melbourne seems to have something similar to the BloomBox http://www.cfcl.com.au/
    Do check the pricing. The translation for “we haven’t determined the price yet and likely large companies will be the first customers” is “EXPENSIVE”. Said to last 10-15 years. Needs routine maintenance – filters etc. Also note the materials. Sand and zirconia and some fancy dopants including rare earth metals. Lets see what happens when you can actually buy one from your local gas company outlet and we have a real life cycle cost and cost per KW-H to the customer including depreciation, maintenance, installation cost, interest on capital etc. You still have to buy the gas too and the device still connects to the electricity grid and seems to run at 800deg C. Better have really good insulation. This may have the economics of all the other green energy schemes. If it was great I’m sure the manufacturer would be quoting a cost per KW-H for the householder on the website.

    Here’s the link to the Taiwan radioactive apartment story. http://www.jerrypournelle.com/archives2/archives2mail/mail311.html
    Hit the link “radiation hormesis proved?”. You can find the link to the paper there too. If you search for Taiwan radiation hormesis you’ll find a bunch of interesting links.


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    siliggy: Interesting link on the cosmic radiation. Anybody else read it and pick up on the fact the GCR was much higher than now several hundred years ago? Like in the Little Ice Age. Svensmark may be right about high energy GCR seeding low altitude clouds(the high energy cosmic rays make it to lower altitudes) causing more cloudiness and higher albedo and lower temperatures.


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    Derek

    I was being sarcastic. Give the thumbs up it appears people here really do think this is a highly detailed report. Go figure.


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    Tim

    I wonder if there are political implications with our neighbours if Australia goes nuclear. Look at the paranoia surrounding Iran’s efforts.


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    Colin

    We need to distingush between paranoia and politics.
    Israel wants the US to destroy Iran. The rest is spin.


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    wes george

    Siliggy and Borgelt…

    (Off topic while eagerly awaiting Amargi’s return with an evidence-based argument against Jo’s data ;-) )

    Doesn’t galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) increase when solar activity is lower?

    http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2009/09/29/29sep_cosmicrays_resources/be10.gif

    If so, couldn’t this graph (from Siliggy’s link) be a proxy for natural solar-forced global warming? The GCR is in steep decline between 1900 and 2000 indicating the sun’s output is ramping up, thus heating the Earth’s biosphere right where the AGW signal is suppose to be? Hmmmm. Svensmark theory would be positive feedback on warming when solar activity increases and positive as well on cooling during prolonged minimums, like the little ice age, thus amplifying overall climate variation…

    Hundreds of years ago, cosmic ray fluxes were at least 200% to 300% higher than anything measured during the Space Age. Researchers know this because when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, they produce an isotope of beryllium, 10Be, which is preserved in polar ice. By examining ice cores, it is possible to estimate cosmic ray fluxes more than a thousand years into the past. Even with the recent surge, cosmic rays today are much weaker than they have been at times in the past millennium.

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/29sep_cosmicrays/


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    cohenite

    Cosmic Rays are making a comeback; an overlooked paper was this 2004 effort by Shaviv:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0409/0409123v1.pdf

    It’s a technical paper but basically what it says is changes in solar forcing, amplified by changes in cloud albedo due to CRF variations, account for 80% of the temperature increase seen since 1900. At best AGW is responsible for only 20%; that’s of ~0.5C or 0.1C; and that’s ignoring +ve PDO dominance, the McLean effect, which arguably caused a 0.3C jump in GMST in the 1976 PDO phase shift.


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    I thought the solar activity/magnetic field/shielding of earth from GCRs was common knowledge.
    The only controversial part of it was the actual physical link to global temperatures which is hypothesised to be the GCR effect on seeding low level clouds that might otherwise not form.


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    Siliggy

    wes george:
    September 11th, 2010 at 6:42 pm
    Svensmark theory would be positive feedback on warming when solar activity increases and positive as well on cooling during prolonged minimums, like the little ice age, thus amplifying overall climate variation…

    Not a feedback a seperate and simultaneous synchronous effect. The two effects would multiply each other.
    Some other good cloud/albedo links you may have missed:
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2004ScienceMeeting/SORCE%20WORKSHOP%202004/SESSION_4/4_12_Palle.pdf

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/17jan_solcon/

    http://cr0.izmiran.rssi.ru/common/All_CR_stations_M.htm


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    Bernd Felsche

    Mike Borgelt 137:

    The last stage of the mechanism was demonstrated in the SKY experiment a couple of years ago where it showed that charged particles (free electrons) enhanced water droplet nucleation. They in fact discovered (by accident) that ionising radiation by itself enhances droplet nucleation. The CLOUD experiment was designed to validate the earlier results and to study the effects under a variety of conditions.

    I’ve almost finished reading The Chilling Stars by Henrik Svensmark & Nigel Calder (link to Nigel’s page). It’s well worth reading for background and the implications of cosmic activity on life overall.

    The first chapter of the book encapsulates key theory, observations and implications. But for me; it raised many questions, doubts and ideas so it’s been impossible to stop reading at the end of the “executive summary“.


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    Bernd Felsche

    elsie 105:

    Fusion reactors are still some way off. They need quite a bit of ‘bootstrap” energy. Which group hugs won’t provide. ;-)


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    Bernd 139:

    Yes, an excellent book! Svensmark has had a very rough time at the hands of the warmists over many years. I have seen a video of him making a presentation of this theory some years back where the ‘establishment’ were quite rude, arrogant and dismissive when they should have been very interested. I am sure someone can find the link, I have lost it… I also understand that CERN is currently doing a much larger and more definitive experiment to finally pin down the mechanism for the GCR effect.


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    Bernd Felsche

    Mike, Stuart, etc.

    I forgot to include a link to an interim results report on the CLOUD Experiment (PDF- 7MB/25 pages) as at April this year.


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    amargi

    wes george:
    September 11th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    This kind of non-sequitur response to Jo’s hard evidence is rhetorical pollution commonly called Horse Sh*t!

    Amargi, you’ve made about 6 totally off topic snarky, scientifically illiterate comments backed up by zero evidence. Does this mean you, as a supporter of a Green energy policy have no evidence-based counter-argument (other than fear, smears and obfuscation) to refute point by point Jo’s post?

    It was a simple analogy to statements made about CO2 not being capable of polluting, because it was beneficial. My analogy was chosen to indicate, with the very use of the word “pollution”, what could be considered a basic principle. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

    If you cannot understand the horse analogy, then I suggest a thought experiment closer to home. Try increasing the percentage of Oxygen to twice our current levels. Assume that it was Oxygen, for whatever bizarre reason, that was the waste product of energy production.

    Now imagine, in this thought experiment, that scientists and others (Known as “The Suffocators”)are forewarning that a continuation of Oxygen release will have destructive consequences.

    Further imagine the “breathers” making the old familiar arguments that we’ve heard about CO2. Oxygen is good for you, we need to breath it. How can Oxygen be a pollutant when it is so natural?

    The effect of doubling our atmosphere’s Oxygen would be to burn down virtually anything combustible throughout the planet. The slightest spark would set off fires that burn hotter, quicker and spread out further.

    I hope that clarifies the issue.


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    Bernd,

    I have no difficulty in believing ionising radiation enhances droplet nucleation. My physics teacher in high school actually built and got working, a cloud chamber. These used to be used in the early days of nuclear particle physics.


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    Amargi,

    Come back when you understand numbers. CO2 is currently 390ppm. Oxygen is around 200,000 ppm. There’s no chance that our burning of carbon containing fuels is going to even get CO2 to 1000ppm. At that plants would grow even better. It is all a matter of scale. With the huge quantities of surface water and consequent near saturation of water vapour in the atmosphere, CO2 is a very minor infra red absorbing gas. The CO2 concentration in the geological past has been up to a few thousand ppm. Let’s worry about real problems.


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    Siliggy

    amargi:
    September 12th, 2010 at 7:37 am
    “Try increasing the percentage of Oxygen to twice our current levels.”

    Try increasing the percentage of planets to twice our current levels. These things like the mythical CO2 problem only work like that in your mind and in computer models. While you try to lift the level of bad government and taxation to more than twice our current levels(The real Suffocators).
    Amargi It looks like Mars had oceans. Now like Venus it has high CO2 and no oceans. So who are the climate criminals that are to blame for this? Also could our oceans drop away and cause high CO2 levels? How much would a carbon scam help?


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    Roy Hogue

    Amargi @144,

    You amaze me with your choice of analogy here.

    1. One can prove that an O2 enriched atmosphere makes combustion much more dangerous. The connection is empirical and quite unequivocal.

    2. You cannot come up with a single thing that links CO2 to anything happening or suspected to be happening here on Earth. You cannot link increased CO2 to the slightest danger to humans. Please, go ahead and present that link if you have it. But then you haven’t presented it, have you?

    Even warming itself is becoming doubtful.

    Would I like to see climate science done honestly? You bet! But because of people just like you I despair of ever seeing that happen.

    In the meantime I fight to protect myself and the world along with me from the harm that power and money hungry politicians, bankers, scientists and a host of hangers-on want to do without the slightest visible support for their grand plans.

    O2 vs. CO2 is what’s called a non sequitur Amargi. The one does not follow from the other. Danger from increased CO2 doesn’t follow from danger from increased O2.


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    elsie

    Bernd Felsche #140, Yes, fusion is some time off. But the basics have been known for over 50 years. Remember it took only about 4 years to go from theory to producing the atomic fission bomb. The impetus for that was WW2. Great scientific minds and unlimited resources were unleashed to realise the reality. Soon afterwards, the use of fission power began. From what I have been gleaning is that fusion power has lacked the extreme emphasis and urgency to be developed as was the A-bomb. Yet the A-bomb was only to win a war. Those who say AGW is real claim that by 2100 humanity and even the planet may be at great risk in all manner of ways. That is, worse than war. The program I saw stated that there seems to be, at last, a realisation that fusion power is beginning to be seen by governments as a solution and the dollars will start rolling in. As one of the scientists said, there is nothing wrong with unlimited energy so long as it is safe. Coal is not safe (so say the AGWs) and other renewables are not unlimited. Repeat, renewables are not unlimited. Electric energy has and will provide clean water, greater productivity, transport, medication, longevity, food, etc for not only those who have it now but for others in the future.


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    wes george

    If you cannot understand the horse analogy, then I suggest a thought experiment closer to home…

    Don’t bother, We get the horse analogy. It’s off-topic horse crap.

    Since you are obviously a novice at public rational discourse, let me give you a few pointers to work on for the next debate:

    By repeatedly refusing to engage directly with Jo’s evidence as posted, you have conceded that you can not counter Jo’s evidence that the Green energy policy to move our economy to “a minimum of 40% reduction on 1990 CO2 emission levels by 2020.” is a bloody fantasy based on, well, fantasies. Fairy dust is more substantial.

    Every reader here can judge your comments for what they admit: You literally can present no evidence that the Green policy agenda can be achieved. Ipso facto you have conceded the debate to Jo. You lost the debate by off-topic ranting.

    The results is that this blog comment exchange will be read by tens of thousands of viewers, and cited for years. Thus, by your intellectual inability to do more than snipe around the off-topic edges of the debate you have actually re-enforced Jo’s argument and shown her evidence to be the irrefutable reality of where Australia’s future energy security lies. One must assume that was not your intention.

    I do hope you lift your game next time around, mate.

    Game over. Thanks for playing. ;-)

    PS, Let me know if you would like me to outline the numerous logical fallacies (errors in reasoning) in your earlier comments, you know, as a kind of helpful tutorial for you.


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    elsie: Fusion is easy. Teenage kids have done this in their parents’garden sheds. See Farnsworth Fusor. You can buy commercial neutron sources that work on this principle.
    Fusion where you get more energy out of the reaction than you put in is HARD. Some USD16 billion has been spent on Tokamaks and as Nick Krall says, we know they are no good. Nice work for plasma physicists, not a commercial power source. There are currently at least 3 unconventional approaches to fusion of which my favorite is the Polywell approach favored by the late, great Dr Robert W. Bussard of ROVER, NERVA and interstellar ramjet fame.

    For those interested there is a Google tech talk given by the doc a year or so before his death. Polywell is being worked on under a US Navy contract and so far no show stoppers have been identified.
    I have no doubt that the bed wetters will have a fit when they discover that when run on D-D or D-T the polywell device is a great neutron source which will work just fine for plutonium production.


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    Baa Humbug

    So it’s the year 1900, mankind is using horses and oxen for transport.
    Many, like Amargi, are worried about horsechit pollution. Their solution?

    1-) Get some advocate scientists to tell everyone how bad horsechit is for you and how much horsechit will be around by the year 2000. (“horsechit will be piled higher than mount Everest yada yada yada”)

    2-) Infiltrate politics and push for horses and oxen to be banned

    3-) Demand subsidies for people who walk everywhere and carry loads

    4-) Demand high taxes be put on horses

    5-) Hold regular seminars in exotic places (travelled to by 5 star carriages ofcourse) and proclaim that the science on chit pollution is settled

    6-) Distribute pics of cute little children with horsechit on their faces and in their hair

    7-) Distribute pics of flyblown cute animals
    etc etc etc

    But ofcourse, when horses and oxen are made redundant by the internal combustion engine, find some cataclysm the internal combustion engine will wreak on the planet….(ooops, that’s happened already).

    Amargi and ilk needs to come clean and prophesise what mankind will be using for energy in 50-100 years time. ALTHOUGH NOT A SINGLE PERSON HAS BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, you never know, we may have a sage amongst us.


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    cohenite

    I like Amargi’s O2 comparison; before the PT extinction O2 levels were about 30% compared with todays’ ~ 21%; it is theorised that the PT event was because of a sudden decline in O2; certainly the high levels of O2 allowed huge insect species to develop.

    On a psychological note Amargi’s comment about too much of a good thing is also revealing; at heart there is a strong wowser quality in the AGW acolytes; we see this in Hamilton’s anti-consumerism and anti-affluence sermons. Maybe the alarmists just don’t like people to have a good time. One is reminded of the old aphorism:

    The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
    Make instruments to plague us.

    Maybe that is what AGW is; we have overcome a lot of the natural restraints which made life wretched, so some moralists amongst us have decided to even the balance. A pox on them!


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    elsie

    Mike Borgelt: #151.
    It’s disappointing that such a resolution to electrical energy production as fusion can be palmed off as a danger. That is the sort of negativity that anti AGW have to deal with. There seems to be criticism of science yet the AGW adherents uphold science as their criterion. It is possible, even probable, that fusion reactors will begin to be a viable source of energy within the 2050 timeframe. Also it is possible then that Australia’s wealth gained from mining will crumble. After all, no one will want our uranium. Coal will be useless. Iron will not be needed because carbon in the form of nanotubes will replace steel and aluminium as a lightweight building material. We don’t allow sandmining (e.g. N. Stradbroke Island) so we will have no minerals worth exporting. This will please the anti mining environmentalists forever. I honestly think AGWs have not read enough good science fiction. Many impossible things that have appeared in such books have become reality. That’s because good authors use current thinking in science and extend them by imagination. In 1960-50 -years ago- the idea we would be using computers on desks was even beyond science fiction. So to dismiss the possibilities of solving the energy “crisis” in 50 years time is well within the realms of probabilities. Even fusion may be replaced by something else entirely. Just not windmills on every hill top.


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    amargi

    #146. Mike Borgelt:
    September 12th, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Amargi,

    Come back when you understand numbers. CO2 is currently 390ppm. Oxygen is around 200,000 ppm. There’s no chance that our burning of carbon containing fuels is going to even get CO2 to 1000ppm. At that plants would grow even better. It is all a matter of scale. With the huge quantities of surface water and consequent near saturation of water vapor in the atmosphere, CO2 is a very minor infra red absorbing gas. The CO2 concentration in the geological past has been up to a few thousand ppm. Let’s worry about real problems.

    I have come back in spite of your assumptions about my ignorance. I’m familiar with the levels of Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen. That is irrelevant to the point I was making. I was using a thought experiment to indicate that increasing quantities of anything in the with reckless abandon.

    I have two things to say. First the facts. Then of more importance, a moral issue that people are unaware of when they accuse others of being ignorant, stupid, hypocritical

    The simple fact that is never, ever mentioned, or should I say acknowledged, is that the Sun was much weaker in those days. Therefore much more Carbon Dioxide was needed was needed to maintain warmth.

    Now the moral aspect of this factoid. Why are you not aware of this fact? First, it is mentioned in books that are required reading for those interested in the deep past. It is something that astrophysicists have discovered long ago.

    Second, AGWs have mentioned this often. If you are aware that AGWs have mentioned this before, why have you not incorporated it in your arguments, or acknowledged it in any way?

    Is it because you don’t bother reading what they have to say? If you do not, then how do you know what AGWs believe in the first place?

    What actually happens with many, is that they don’t feel like going to primary sources about anything whatsoever; whether it be the facts or, what the other side has to say. They are satisfied to have such information funneled in by their side.

    Go ahead and say you don’t (want to) believe it. That’s not the point. The point is, can you call what you’re doing “objective”?


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    elsie

    Another interesting article about bias and non critical thinking in science has
    appeared in the Sep-Oct 2010 issue of “Australasian Science“. Part of Paul Warning’s essay says,

    “Established scientists may also benefit from thinking about how new knowledge is acquired. Popper’s idea of falsification of theories notwithstanding, scientists more often seek results that support their hypothesis. No doubt this process can result in interesting findings, but it is sobering to contemplate that this is achieved by committing the error of confirmation bias.”

    The whole page can be seen on

    http://www.australasianscience.com.au/article/issue-september-2010/aristotle-swan-test.html


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    amargi

    #153. cohenite:
    September 12th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    On a psychological note Amargi’s comment about too much of a good thing is also revealing; at heart there is a strong wowser quality in the AGW acolytes; we see this in Hamilton’s anti-consumerism and anti-affluence sermons. Maybe the alarmists just don’t like people to have a good time.

    I’ve discovered that “the mirror effect” is always used on these sites. Your confessed servitude to Mammon, reveals your spiritual bankruptcy. Furthermore, it is totally irrelevant to the point I am making. Yet you need to glorify yourself by showing everyone what an astute “psychologist” you are.

    (IF YOU CONTINUED READING HIS POST,HE MAKE A POINT WITH IT OVER WHAT YOU WROTE:“Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing” from post #144.For this reason he passes moderation untouched) CTS

    (Your reply was personal without justification,please stop it) CTS


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    elsie

    Just another point. I have read several biographies of Einstein. They have given me some insight of his relativity theories. To say I understand them completely is not true. I don’t. However, what impressed me about this genius is his humility and ability to change his thoughts on a matter of science. He did not come up with his theories in ‘Eureka’ moments. Yes, he did start with many hypotheses but discarded them at the first sign of them being in error. If not, he was quite prepared to have others disprove him. He did acknowledge others in helping him. It was James Clerk Maxwell and his electromagnetic field theories that got Einstein going. Einstein would spend endless hours conversing, writing to friends for advice and assistance to formulate his theories. He was never pompous even when he became a celebrity. For want of a better phrase his motto could have been, “The science is never settled.” That is why I think anyone who believes the tiny traces of the trace gas CO2 being increased in a tiny way can have any influence on chaotic weather/climate variations has yet to produce physical evidence as to how they have arrived at their conclusions. (Note…conclusions, not just assumptions.) Extrapolating existential data such as temperatures, ice field areas, glacier shrinkage, flora and fauna changes are simply not enough evidence on their own or even taken together. They are perhaps, at best, results. They are not the explanation so many of us require. It’s a bit like the medieval times when the plague was blamed on miasma or bad air. The plague was real, but the cause given was not.


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    amargi

    #152. Baa Humbug:
    September 12th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Your name makes a perfect response to your post.

    It is both foolish and meaningless. It reveals two things about the poster. The usual lack of comprehension about what somebody is trying to tell them along with a ridiculous parody of issues that are distinctly different and off topic.

    This parody based on the assumption that the person communicating with him shares his assumptions of what the other side would say on that issue.

    Amargi and ilk needs to come clean and prophesise what mankind will be using for energy in 50-100 years time. ALTHOUGH NOT A SINGLE PERSON HAS BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND, you never know, we may have a sage amongst us.

    (Bold and Italics mine.)

    Cohenite and ilk (As he referred to others, in the block quote above) have been false prophets.


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    elsie: Fission is a great energy source too yet the bed wetters go to extreme lengths to invent problems and yell “proliferation!” when countries want fission powered electricity. The sad truth is that any government which wants nuclear weapons will get them. You don’t need a civilian nuclear power industry. Read about how Stalin got his first nukes. Not that I have anything against nuclear weapons as I have no yearning to be an infantryman in a re-run of WW2.

    Fission works, fusion is very difficult. There are things which do turn out to be impossible or just curiosities. One of these is human powered flight. Paul MacCready figured out how to do it, improved it so that quite long distances could be covered and since then it has gone nowhere. It isn’t even a sport. Chemical rockets are forever bound by the limits of the rocket equation and the energy in chemical fuels. Practical energy producing fusion may turn out to be the same.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a great deal of science fiction for 50 years and have great respect for the mind expanding possibilities of the field but engineers need technology that works in order to build things and do so at costs we are willing to pay.


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    cohenite

    Armargi says: “Your confessed servitude to Mammon, reveals your spiritual bankruptcy.” (SNIPPED) CTS


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    wes george

    “Your confessed servitude to Mammon, reveals your spiritual bankruptcy”

    ROTFL! Dumb and Dumber, I’ll talking in mooovies so Amargi gets the reference. Bah ha ha ha ha.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qULSszbA-Ek

    Great stuff! Hey Cohenite can you imagine the mince meat that Ian Mott would make of this sheeple if he were here?

    Of course maybe Amargi is a reverse Moby. You know, a plant to discredit the Green movement by making their values look even more ridiculous than they are.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=moby

    Hmmm. A reverse Moby, what a interesting idea….so devious…

    Hmmmmmmmm…

    ;o)


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    cohenite

    wes, I’m abashed; I don’t usually vent, but really, I make a comment about the wowser qualities of AGW supporters and their ascetic prescriptions for others, and this boofhead confirms it by his moralising comment. Do they have any sense of irony or critical self awareness at all?


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    Roy Hogue

    Amargi,

    The simple fact that is never, ever mentioned, or should I say acknowledged, is that the Sun was much weaker in those days. Therefore much more Carbon Dioxide was needed was needed to maintain warmth.

    Clearly this proves something to you and is an absolute upon which you rely. You’ve used it to prop up your argument. QED, weaker sun, more CO2 kept temperature correct, as in higher than otherwise because of less solar heat. So now more CO2 equals the same thing, higher temperature.

    Ah! I see. But I question what people say before I swallow it (bad habit I know). Correct according to what? What is the standard? And what was the temperature then? Oops! No one knows. We’re stuck with estimating, looking at proxies of all sorts and not knowing anything. Was it a few degrees warmer, colder or was it the same as now? Was it more than a few degrees different from now? And we’ve no experience by which to make a good determination about any of that.

    Then you accuse us of never considering it or ignoring it. Funny, I remember it being discussed. I remember reading about it. What I don’t remember is anything that made it a worthwhile supporting argument for AGW.

    I’m still waiting for you to present some empirical evidence that CO2 is any harm to humans.

    ———

    Failing to gain traction with your arguments you attacked the nom de plume and thereby the character of Baa Humbug, a man who never made a personal attack against you. He did express an opinion using analogy and a little humor. I’ve done it more directly. Either way it’s not hard to challenge what you say. It would not be hard to make disparaging remarks about your name either. I’m probably not the only one who wonders if Amargi is your real one. So take the hint and stick to arguing the subject not the personalities.


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    Roy Hogue

    And finally Amargi, your self-righteous, holier than thou attitude gets you only contempt. I’ll dare to say there’s not a person on this planet who can be moved to change by an argument packaged like that.

    I rest my case.


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    Amargi from post # 155:

    The simple fact that is never, ever mentioned, or should I say acknowledged, is that the Sun was much weaker in those days. Therefore much more Carbon Dioxide was needed was needed to maintain warmth.

    Yet we see evidence of TWO Ice Age epochs right in the middle if it.

    LINK

    and,

    LINK

    Have you even begin to consider the possibility that ocean and wind currents were different long ago and that they may have been the main cause of the big cooling epochs?


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    Siliggy

    “Mike Borgelt:
    September 12th, 2010 at 7:40 am
    Bernd,
    I have no difficulty in believing ionising radiation enhances…..”

    The Moscow sky experiment. Was a poor media report of an uncontrolled show type test but did you notice that there is something very interesting about it?
    When they switched it off, one of them said “You see, we turned it off, and the rain started,”
    This is not cloud formation or droplet nucleation but rather a delay of the phase transition. So ionisatioin may change both ends of a clouds lifespan.

    “Svensmark
    [1998] demonstrated correlations of cloud cover with
    GCR flux, and speculated that ionization processes could
    affect nucleation or the phase transitions of water vapor.
    Marsh and Svensmark [2000]“
    emphasis added.


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    Siliggy

    Amargi from post # 155:

    …”The simple fact that is never, ever mentioned, or should I say acknowledged, is that the Sun was much weaker in those days. Therefore much more Carbon Dioxide was needed was needed to maintain warmth.”…

    Needed by who? Who made the decision you imply?


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    elsie

    Mike Borgelt: #160
    Not sure what you are saying. It was said right up to 1903 that heavier than air flying machines would never be possible. Yet, already a fleet of supersonic airliners are now museum pieces. Rocket power may be superseded by the use of space elevators. These will use super strong carbon nanofibers and lasers as the propulsion system. NASA is extremely serious about them. I thought I covered the cost aspect. The few billion dollars spent so far on fusion R&D is peanuts in relative terms compared to the cost of the first A-bomb. I think $3billion was its price. Yet that amount was kept secret from Congress and even VP Truman. I maintain that if the AGW alarmists are correct then they would be out begging in the streets for governments to develop fusion power with all the haste, endeavour and money can buy. If not, then I am wary of the supposed danger of AGW which is proclaimed. When you are ill money is no object. As for nukes, the MAD cold war never eventuated because of mutual assured destruction. People got over the first fear in 1962 to be followed by the care free 60s and 70s. That is except for the poor saps conscripted to Vietnam. Even now the WW2 type footslogger is the main target in Afghanistan…nothing has changed.


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    Siliggy

    Mike Borgelt:
    September 11th, 2010 at 4:59 pm
    “siliggy: Interesting link on the cosmic radiation. Anybody else read it and pick up on the fact the GCR was much higher than now several hundred years ago?…”

    Mike Borgelt: September 11th, 2010 at 12:56 pm
    Tel, siliggy
    “…The estimates of dose to the general public are estimated at 10E-3 to 10E-4 milliSievert per year. Why is this an estimate? Because the background from cosmic rays and soil, food ingestion etc in most places is 2.5 milliSievert/year. i.e. 2500 to 25000 times as high….”

    Now combine both of the above with the average lifespan several hundred years ago. Your numbers could be showing that all radiation is bad but that cosmic radiation is worse.
    http://www.research-horizons.cam.ac.uk/spotlight/a-brief-history-of-ageing.aspx
    Yes there are many other complications in the lifespan argument (like this below) and they are all bad for the CO2 scam collaborators.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPt8ElTQMIg


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    wes george

    Greg Combet, the new Climate Change Commissar after Penny Wrong got the boot, apparently has similar numbers on his desk to what Jo presented in this post. Obviously, he’s required to talk in Orwellian Ministry of Climate Change newspeak, but he seems to be less delusional and more in “servitude to Mammon*” and thankfully “spiritually bankrupt.*”

    Let’s hope he can maintain a separation between religion and the affairs of state…

    …in an interview with The Australian, Mr Combet said his background as a former coal engineer, union official and MP with coal workers in his NSW electorate meant he did not believe his job was to shut down the coal industry.

    “I don’t agree with that. That’s not part of my job at all,” he said.

    “I am acutely aware of the challenges that this policy presents. But people jump to these absolute positions, and I just don’t think that’s appropriate….

    ….yesterday, Mr Combet said he was not in the business of applying the adjective “dirty” to coal.

    “People will use whatever language they want. But you won’t hear me using it,” he said. “You do not take the back of the axe to the fundamentals of the Australian economy. We just work through it very carefully with reforms such as energy efficiency improvements, where you can reduce emissions quite significantly…..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/coal-industry-is-safe-says-greg-combet/story-fn59niix-1225919936683

    ** h/t to Amargi, that’s the most revealing one-liner ever! @157


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    siliggy@170:

    That really is such a silly conjecture I’m not going to bother to shoot it down.

    elsie: I did say some $16 billion has been spent on controlled fusion research. I think in total it is more than that. Much more than on the first nuclear weapon.
    Note that fleet of supersonic airliners that are museum pieces. While the Boeing 747 continues in service. The difference? Economics. Supersonic aircraft necessarily have much lower lift/drag ratios than subsonic aircraft. This is the primary determinant of the economics of any transport mode including land vehicles and ships. The second is propulsive efficiency.
    Anybody who had a carefree attitude to nuclear war in the 1960s and 70s just wasn’t paying attention. The danger was real and present and the thought stopped any idea of a re-run of WW2 so ideological struggles were relegated to minor proxy wars. Can you imagine an ending to WW2 in Europe like what happened (unconditional surrender) if the Nazis had V2s and nuclear warheads for them?

    wes: sounds like Mr Combet may be a closet sceptic. If so, this is good news indeed. We can look forward to meaningless platitudes from the government and no real action.


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    Roy Hogue

    elsie,

    I remember watching the Concord land at LAX it’s one and only time. What a majestic bird, long neck with head held high and proud, bill down so the pilot could see the runway, so much like a real bird that you could almost mistake it for one. And a beautiful sight to the student pilot I was at the time. But in hindsight I realize that supersonic airliners were an economic black hole before they ever even flew. They could never pay for themselves. A one way ticket from New York to Paris cost $10,000 before they were finally scrapped. They existed only because two governments, the UK and France went on an ego trip that put big subsidies into the design, building and even the operation of them.

    This kind of thing saps the wealth that could do more useful things and returns nothing for the money.

    Since Obama, by the way, NASA’s plate is full of making sure that the Islamic world better understands the United States. Hardly a mandate for something called the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. They’re going nowhere that way.

    The entire Manhattan project through 1945 as far as I can find cost $2 billion in 1945 dollars. The only single figure I found for the total war is $308 billion. So those first two bombs were a drop in the bucket. I’m sure there are other sources and better numbers but I have only finite time.

    The project didn’t really get started until Enrico Fermi demonstrated the first successful chain reaction with a homebuilt reactor located, of all places, under the bleachers in a gymnasium. He was very naive about it and very lucky. He had an assistant standing by with a bucket of water to cool it off if it got too hot. But he proved the point and both the bomb and practical fission power generation were born that day.

    Unfortunately most of the things you talk about are a long way off. And cost is a factor whether anyone likes it or not. Resources are finite and what is spent on one thing cannot be spent on another. You aren’t the only one who wishes it could be otherwise but it can’t.


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    elsie

    172Mike Borgelt: #172
    You take things too literally. The first A-bomb cost about $3billion in 1940s money. Today it would be worth far, far in excess of that. Perhaps a trillion. As for the Concordes I was merely trying to show how fast technology can create the impossible (flying in 1903) to extremes that can be soon outmoded or bettered by superior technology, e.g. dreamliners. Aluminium will be required less and less in aircraft as will steel in all kinds of construction. Plastics from oil may well be redundant. Superconductors already are used to propel maglev trains at high speeds. But electricity is the key for that. Thus, more (not less) electricity will have to be produced in the future. After all, a huge usage will be for electric cars and I really do not think the conservationists have taken such increases into account.
    The wars after 1945 were proxy but tell that to the 55 000 conscripted troops who died in Vietnam plus 550 Aussies. Luckily Hitler chose rockets. He didn’t have enough money for those and nuclear weapon production. He would have used them if he had. But people forget that USA had the sole monopoly on nuclear weapons from 1945 to 1949. USA could have unilaterally demanded all nations bow down to its demands or face obliteration. Most national entities past and present would have acted in that way. But USA did not. It never gets credit for not creating a world empire while it had the chance. Would Napolean, the Kaiser, Genghis Khan, a Caesar, a Tsar, etc, have shown such restraint?


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    Bernd Felsche

    elsie 174:

    A history:

    Hitler didn’t choose rockets. If he had, the Allies would have had a much more difficult time trying to defeat Germany. Hitler didn’t become “interested” in rockets until very late in the war; August 1944. Much too late to make a difference. Rockets as a weapon had been a tug-of-war between the German air force and army, with nothing but “begging bowls” for funding and often the “black” market for resources.

    The initiative had been present since before the war. Hitler’s expectation of a short war resulted in putting men with essential skills into uniform, often on the front line. Obsession with media-philia and micro-management at the cost of loss of perspective; surrounded by corrupt yes-men resulted in gross wastage and mis-direction of national resources. Hitler had no concept of the importance of rockets as either a defensive weapon against e.g. aircraft or as a strategic bombardment device until 1944. Before then, the V-weapons were a tool of propaganda. A terror-inducing device for the enemy and a morale-lifting one for the Germans.

    General Walter Dornberger documented the saga in his book published after the war.


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    Siliggy

    More “silly” stuff.
    Warmer Days and Longer Lives
    http://www.stanford.edu/~moore/history_health.html

    Linear No-Threshold Theory.
    http://www.solarstorms.org/Threshold.html

    Also the opposite peaks of solar radiation.
    The light of life: Evidence that the sun modulates
    human lifespan


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    Siliggy

    2004 Taiwan cobalt-contaminated steel
    “In popular treatments of radiation hormesis, a study of the inhabitants of apartment buildings in Taiwan has received prominent attention. The building materials had been accidentally contaminated with Cobalt-60 but the study found cancer mortality rates 96.4% lower than in the population as a whole.[34] However, this study compared the relatively young irradiated population with the much older general population of Taiwan, which is a major flaw. A subsequent study by Hwang et al. (2006) found a significant exposure-dependent increase in cancer in the irradiated population, particularly leukemia in men and thyroid cancer in women, though this trend is only detected amongst those who were first exposed before the age of 30.[35]”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hormesis


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    elsie: There has been a large scale effort to develop controlled fusion for more than 50 years. Heaps of money has been spent. This not like fission where there was a scientific discovery (splitting U-235 produces more neutrons than required to split it). It must have taken Otto Hahn and Lisa Meitner all of about, oh, a minute or so to realize what this meant. Fermi and co then did a large scale trial to prove that a chain reaction could occur on a macro scale. That, in essence is the “secret” of the atom bomb.
    Fusion progress has been made but we can’t bet the future of technological civilization on it ever being an economic power source. Mainstream thermonuclear fusion is what has got the money so far. There are alternative approaches like the Polywell which if it works as is hoped will be a disruptive technology. I’m sure if controlled fusion was amenable to actually working if enough money was spent this would be done. It isn’t looking good so far.
    Fission works and is capable of further improvement. Australia has really only two current choices for large scale baseload grid electricity. Coal and fission. Ban, limit or raise the price of coal generated electricity and nukes look pretty good. What we should not do is base future plans on hopes of scientific breakthroughs in fusion. That’s a good way to put yourself in a trap which will be difficult and expensive to escape from.


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    amargi

    #80. cohenite:
    September 10th, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    There are words for this: hypocrisy, stupidity, cognitive dissonance; but I’m sure you know about them.

    (Emphasis in Italics and bolding mine.)

    (HERE IS THE full QUOTE,“California is, of course, despite being the US leader in renewable use, essentially bankrupt and facing power shortages. There are words for this: hypocrisy, stupidity, cognitive dissonance; but I’m sure you know about them.”) CTS

    Moderators said:

    #100. Amargi:

    (What you posted here has been seen too many times,please do not continue this line of thinly veiled insults) CTS

    (WHAT I WAS RESPONDING TO “Since there is an extremely high amount of arrogance and self righteousness on this site, I will respond to one example of it. It makes you feel good to delude yourselves as the “children of light”, and look down on us bedarkened souls as the “children of darkness.”) CTS

    But failed to say anything about cohenite; who on Post #80, without any provocation accused me of, “…hypocrisy, stupidity, cognitive dissonance;…”

    (“California is, of course, despite being the US leader in renewable use, essentially bankrupt and facing power shortages. There are words for this: hypocrisy, stupidity, cognitive dissonance; but I’m sure you know about them.”) CTS

    And failed to do so even though they can clearly see, if they read the post, that I had mentioned his insults on post #80 on the very post (#100) that they were criticizing.

    (THEY CAN SEE ALL OF THE QUOTES HERE to show that you are dishonest in your complaint) CTS

    #157. amargi:
    September 12th, 2010 at 6:40 pm
    (Your reply was personal without justification,please stop it) CTS

    What I would like the moderators to stop is the blatant double standard of allowing their side to insult without provocation while castigating me.

    (COHENITE was moderated at post 161 yesterday) CTS

    It is the crude, pathetic and self righteous quality of posters here that is responsible for the virtual lack of any curious onlookers. I’ve seen them come and go.

    You can thank the lack of fair moderation for such avoidance.

    Delete my account.

    (FIRST YOU WERE VILLABOLO and now AMARGI) CTS


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    siliggy: What makes you think Wikipedia is going to be any more authoritative or unbiased on radiation exposure than on climate change?
    I hope Hwang et al did their stats carefully because the claimed total exposures range from 40% of normal background to about 1000 times normal background over what seems to be up to ten years.
    Seems less than authoritative to me. The whole paper is behind a paywall so I read the summary.
    Note though the papers on cell and animal studies showing the existence of hormesis.


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    amargi

    #168. sunsettommy:
    September 13th, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Amargi from post # 155:

    The simple fact that is never, ever mentioned, or should I say acknowledged, is that the Sun was much weaker in those days. Therefore much more Carbon Dioxide was needed was needed to maintain warmth.

    Sunsettommy says:

    Yet we see evidence of TWO Ice Age epochs right in the middle if it.

    LINK

    and,

    LINK

    Have you even begin to consider the possibility that ocean and wind currents were different long ago and that they may have been the main cause of the big cooling epochs?

    It’s real simple, sunsettommy, semantically and ecologically.

    I simply said that far more Carbon Dioxide was needed to maintain the Earth warm. How does that imply, in any way whatsoever, that I said it was the only factor in keeping the Earth warm?

    Can I begin to take into account the other factors you mentioned? That’s old news. Climate scientists have known it all along. What you do not understand is that the Earth back then was on a hair trigger for an ice age, or worse, “Snowball Earth”. This was due to the sun being weaker. What would set the trigger off was a change in the other factors.

    For example. If, in spite of having 1000s ppm of CO2, a change in the position of the continents deflected a critical ocean current, the Earth would then plunge into the cold. But how does that prove that Carbon Dioxide is not critical to maintaining a warm Earth?

    Eliminating or greatly reducing Carbon Dioxide would have a similar cooling effect as eliminating any major greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. Eliminate either Methane or water vapor and there will be a dramatic chilling effect. Eliminate all greenhouse gases and it will get even colder.

    In conclusion. There are a variety of factors along with Carbon Dioxide needed if the Earth is to be warm. But simply eliminating just one of them is enough to cause a drastic change in temperature.


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    Siliggy

    Mike although there may not be train stations near all the German reactors or virus infected workers, there would be high Voltage transmission lines. So the cancers could be from EMR. Did find a link to another more recent hormesis study: http://www.physorg.com/news125672761.html
    I don’t trust Wiki but like you got to the paywall.

    The idea of hormesis seems like throwing rocks at a machine and expecting it to get better.
    Do not trust the news paper either but this is interesting:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/7778401/Mobile-phones-responsible-for-disappearance-of-honey-bee.html


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    Siliggy

    Just when you thought it could not get any sillier:
    The radioactive decay on the earth is modulated by the sun:
    http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/august/sun-082310.html

    This is big news!


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    Dave N

    Oh dear:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/greens-fight-labor-on-uranium/story-fn59niix-1225921514002

    That pretty much kills off any idea of nuclear power plants. Here’s an idea: Ludlam and co can power my house with pedal power!

    Seriously, when is someone going to ask the Greens and/or Labor what which alternative energy source(s) we’re going to use, what it will cost, and when? I doubt if industry, which would include the media (which must chew through its fair share of energy), are going to stand idly by whilst the countries power is switched off. How would they be able to tell everyone that we’ve been saved from CAGW?


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    elsie

    # 178Mike Borgelt:

    Australia has really only two current choices for large scale baseload grid electricity. Coal and fission. Ban, limit or raise the price of coal generated electricity and nukes look pretty good.

    I entirely agree. But the Labor party and the Greens are against using coal AND fission. That leaves us just with wind, solar and untested deep geothermal and tidal. Back in the late 60s a fission reactor was planned for Jervis Bay. But that never eventuated. Perhaps we were talked out ot by USA. They stopped us developing our own A-bomb in the 50s as revealed by cabinet documents.

    Anyway, it is too late for us to use fission. The nuclear power construction companies have their order books full for decades to come. We don’t have the needed know how to build our own. So it’s a case of getting used to candles.


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    co2isnotevil

    amargi,

    You proclaim it as fact, but you haven’t produced any evidence that CO2 is ‘driving’ climate change. You and most other warmists confuse correlation with causation. The entire basis of the CAGW case is the coincidence of fact that CO2 is GHG, man is contributing to higher CO2 levels and that if you cherry pick the proxy data, a small warming trend can be divined. Clearly, warmists want man’s CO2 emissions to cause climate change, otherwise, why would they go through so much trouble to try and eliminate the MWP and LIA from the record, which otherwise show correlating factors which are in conflict with those used to support CAGW?

    We all know that CO2 has an effect on surface temperature, as does water vapor and other GHG’s. I will also agree with the IPCC that the ‘forcing’ from doubling CO2 is about 3.7 W/m^2. This power is the incremental power absorbed by incremental CO2, per HITRAN based multi-layer simulations of atmospheric absorption physics, which I have independently confirmed (I actually get 3.6 W/m^2 for doubling CO2). This forcing is applied to the atmosphere, not the surface, and the atmosphere will re-radiate only about half of this to the surface and the remaining half is radiated into space. Anyone who claims that 1.8 W/m^2 at the surface can cause 3C of warming is either ignorant, stupid or insane as it takes over 16 W/m^2 of incremental incident solar power incident to the surface to maintain 3C of warming. Notice that I said maintain. This is important since if the surface is 3C warmer, it will radiate 16 W/m^2 more power. This power must come from somewhere. If not, the Earth will radiate power at a rate faster than it’s arriving and will cool until the input power is equal to the output power.

    George


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    siliggy: “The idea of hormesis seems like throwing rocks at a machine and expecting it to get better.”

    Machines don’t have built in repair mechanisms, biological systems do. The repair mechanisms already cope with the effects of mutagenic chemicals and background nuclear radiation which already have a large range of values.

    I find it entirely plausible that low level radiation up to a certain level may damage a biological organism slowly enough that the repair mechanisms can keep up. It also doesn’t seem unreasonable to me that the repair mechanisms require stimulus to kick in to action. So a long term total dose at a reasonably constant level may have much less effect than the same dose delivered in a very short time.

    Importantly, there seems to be some experimental evidence which supports this.


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    co2isnotevil

    amargi,

    How many times do you need to be told that evidence of warming (or cooling) is not evidence that man is causing it (or not). The simple fact is that climate change happens. Deal with it. Stop trying to find something or someone to blame. If you understood the physics, you would recognize the absurdity of alarmist claims relative to the effects incremental CO2 has on the climate. Clearly you don’t, otherwise you wouldn’t have the opinions you do and you would at least be capable of putting forth some kind of scientific defense of your position. Since this is beyond your capabilities, you bait for the purpose of raising ire and then complain when it happens. You’re either very thin skinned or your scientific depth is paper thin.

    George


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    elsie: An industry with full order books for decades to come isn’t really possible. Other companies will get into the act. What we will need is nuclear engineers and technicians and it would be a good idea to get started on that. No, what will happen is that we’ll do nothing. Eventually we’ll be forced to build more coal fired power stations but not before enduring at least 5 years of rolling blackouts, brownouts and restricted economic activity. The leader of the Greens will be known as Bob Brownout.


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    Siliggy

    elsie:
    September 14th, 2010 at 2:28 am
    That leaves us just with wind, solar and untested deep geothermal and tidal

    . You forgot the one with the biggest MW rating on this list:
    http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/la/qala.nsf/0/5FA61BED471D7211CA2570CA00019088
    Also above in the discussions about storing power from peak supply times for peak demand times did anyone think of pumping water through a future national water grid to fill hydro dams. The full hydro dams can then supply peak demands. Also automated processes like filling town water reservoirs can be programmed/controlled to preference peak supply times.

    Natural gas, landfill gas, coal seam gas, pipeline hydro, waste water biogas, agricultural waste biogas etc etc are all good for peak demand times. Many small inputs should mean less large blackouts and less transmission loss. Take away the CO2 scam mythology and the rest is not so bad.


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    co2isnotevil

    Siliggy,

    Pumping water back into the reservoir to implement a battery has been done before. It’s not done a lot because the storage efficiency is relatively low. Of course, it’s rather silly to use hydro generated power to push water back up hill, so this is only applicable when there’s a cheap source of electricity from somewhere else.

    Hydro generation should be running at max capacity at all times because it’s a mature technology that’s been driven far into the cost/benefit curve making it the cheapest source of electricity. A dam is the most mature and least expensive technology for storing and extracting concentrated solar energy. It makes windmills and solar cells look like toys. Unfortunately, there’s not many rivers left to dam up and the environmentalists tend to be more opposed to dams than nuclear reactors.

    George


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    Siliggy

    co2isnotevil:
    September 14th, 2010 at 10:27 am
    I look foward to reading all of your comments. You make sense. In logic and in lingo. Yes pumping water up is not efficient and would only be done at minimum demand times when an oversupply of power makes it very cheap or there is a requirement for water in that reservoir or a need to get water away from another location. A national water grid would enable water to be leaving town in large quantities as soon as flooding rain is predicted. That would be a long time before people desperately hand lay sandbags as the last hope. The water then could travel toward an empty dam in a parched part of the country or toward a raging bushfire then out the sprinklers along the route.

    “Hydro generation should be running at max capacity at all times” Yes but that only works if there is enough water in the dam or the load is not being met by power from stupidly subsidised generation (diesel powered floodlights on the solar panels?).

    Up on the mountain near me is a concrete reservoir tank. The water is already up there. It looks lonely. These battery reservoirs could be pairs of high and higher. Many small local systems. No need for a river if storage is the only function. If it is a short distance from the intermitantly cheap supply and a short distance from the reservoir generator to the local load, that means low transmission loss. This makes up for some of the inefficiency. These small systems would only assist peak demand they would never meet it.

    With a gas grid only the hydrogen part of the water needs to go up the hill because the water is assembled up there using the oxygen on hand.


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    Jamie

    “amargi” STICK WITH KITCHEN DUTIES AS YOU OBVIOUSLY ARE GROSSLY IGNORANT OF ANYTHING PERTAINING TO SCIENCE!


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    elsie

    Siliggy:#191
    The Snowy Mts Scheme was built exactly for that reason of generating electricity from stored water and pumping it back in down time. Trouble is the drought spoilt that recycling process quite a bit. If you know anything about SE QLD you would know billions were spent on exactly a scheme as you describe by piping water from reservoir to reservoir. That was when water stocks were extremely low. But then it rained and dams were filled. The premier, Anna Bligh, has received nothing but criticism for spending the money on the drought proofing pipe lines ever since. The QLD government even spent well over a billion to recycle waste water when the drought was at its worst. Everyone wanted it, but when the day came to send some into the water system public pressure groups succeeded in stopping the water being used…might get strange chemicals they said. So it is now pumped into the sea. Ironic isn’t it?

    Whenever suggestions have been made that ample water from northern rivers be piped to the southern areas or the Darling River they have met with derision, scorn and the idea it would cost too much.

    By the way, there are even groups such as the Sierra Club in USA that demand dams be destroyed. One such dam built in 1923 serves SF. Progressive bunch aren’t they?

    And here, we have the chief Greens such as Drew hutton on the Darling Downs doing their level best to stop any coal seam or natural gas being taken from the ground.

    You can come up with the best ideas in the world but if they do not pass the approval of the Greens they will be met with negativity every time. Members must have had deprived childhoods where their mothers would say, “NO!” to their every request.


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    Siliggy

    elsie:
    September 14th, 2010 at 6:04 pm
    Thankyou. A lot i did not know in that post!


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    Amargi at post #181,

    You have not posted anything beyond unsupported opinion.

    I posted links to charts,showing that Ice Age still occurs even in high CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    Quoting you:

    Can I begin to take into account the other factors you mentioned? That’s old news. Climate scientists have known it all along. What you do not understand is that the Earth back then was on a hair trigger for an ice age, or worse, “Snowball Earth”. This was due to the sun being weaker. What would set the trigger off was a change in the other factors.

    If it as YOU state,was in a continual state of being close to easily zooming into an Ice Age.How come it happened only twice in… he he… 300+ million years.The frequency is not out of the ordinary in the 600 million years of record.

    The shortest and oldest is the Ordovician Ice Age that lasted around 5-10 million years.While the CO2 levels were in the 4,500 ppmv range.However we see the next Ice Age (Permo-Carboniferous) lasted around 70 million years and the CO2 levels were right at the bottom of the chart in the 300 ppmv range.

    But the average temperature are radically different during those two Ice epochs.The temperature level during the Ordovician Ice Age was about the LOWEST in the entire 600 million years of charted history.Rivaling only today’s temperature levels we enjoy.This while having that awesome multitude of CO2 molecules floating around in the abundant 4,500 ppmv range.

    During the P-C Ice Age (300+ million years ago) the temperature was MUCH warmer and the CO2 levels right at the 300 ppmv level.A complete disconnect to what you believe.

    There is no CO2/temperature connection here that you claim visible.

    It gets worse when you see that from the 500 to 450 million years range.The temperature plunges the largest amount in the 600 million years of history,while CO2 drops only a very small amount.But when it gets out of the oldest Ice Age.The temperature zooms up but the C)2 levels drops a whopping 1,000 ppmv.Then we have the CO2 levels starting at the 375 million year time,drop from 4,000 ppmv to 300 ppmv 25 million years later.BUT the temperature zoomed UP 6 (SIX) degree C during the time of that big CO2 drop.

    The sun was getting warmer very,very slowly in all that time.

    You need to read the second chart a lot longer again.


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    elsie said:”Everyone wanted it, but when the day came to send some into the water system public pressure groups succeeded in stopping the water being used…might get strange chemicals they said. So it is now pumped into the sea. Ironic isn’t it?”

    It is actually being used for cooling in power stations. There isn’t enough of it because the water saving campaigns around here were so successful.

    No “might” about the strange chemicals. I live in Toowoomba. In the fine print “up to 30ppm small organic molecules of various species”. Doesn’t sound like much but I own a couple of 60 ml plastic syringes that I use for pressure calibrations on instruments. Half of one of those full of say paint thinner, paint stripper, petrol etc in a cubic meter of water? No thanks. The recycling scheme also would be run by the local council who like councils everywhere are full of time servers and incompetents who couldn’t get a real job. Are they going to tell everyone when there is a problem or the replacement RO membranes didn’t arrive on time? Remember the fluoride problem in Brisbane a year or so ago when some of the residents got over dosed? There are civil engineers in the water treatment business who are very wary of sewage recycling for drinking water.
    Toowoomba’s water problems were well known years in advance. So were SE Queensland’s. You can’t invite everybody to live here, do lots of development and say to all the developers “hook ‘er up to the mains, mate” without building some more dams, one of which was cancelled when ready to go by Wayne Goss and his mate one Kevin Rudd.


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    elsie

    198 Mike Borgelt:

    Toowoomba’s water problems were well known years in advance. So were SE Queensland’s. You can’t invite everybody to live here, do lots of development and say to all the developers “hook ‘er up to the mains, mate” without building some more dams, one of which was cancelled when ready to go by Wayne Goss and his mate one Kevin Rudd.

    Correct. And the Traveston dam was also blocked by Garrett under Rudd’s direction. The excuse was that lungfish would be affected. Yet it has been now found lungfish thrive in the biggest local dam and a myriad of streams up and down the coast. Dam building is no longer allowed. People in southern states think the Murray is a river yet it is a creek c.f. QLD rivers. The Burdekin river Dam holds 5 times the Sydney Harbour. In 2008 for several days 4 Sydney Harbour loads of water went over the spillway to sea. There are lots of rivers like that…the Clarence, McClean, and several other around the perimeter of north Australia. Storing such water would aid the GBR from being muddied by floods each year so Reef protectionists should be in favour. Then the extra dams could be used as hydro power generation to add to the grid. But like in “Little Britain” …”computer says Noooo!”


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    Brian H

    #31;
    Don’t know about the UK idea, but here’s a Canadian “plasma torch” startup co.:
    plascoenergygroup.com

    Totally self-powering, and salable syngas and aggregate as its sole output.


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    Brian H

    #63;
    Charlie. Not to worry.

    It will happen. But not with fission. A project struggling for a couple of decades to get research funding finally got some (bare-bones, but enough) 2 yrs. ago.

    Check out focusfusion.org. If it continues to go as well as it has so far, scientific “break-even” proof will happen this year, and a licensable prototype will be available a few years later.

    50X lower capital costs than fission, 5X cheaper output, no waste, no radiation (aneutronic process).

    Small footprint, locate 5MW generators almost anywhere. Local autonomous grids, if needed. Etc., etc.

    The world will change. The CO2 scare will evaporate. Renewable projects will be scrap recovery projects (easily recycled, like all other waste, with plasma torch technology.)

    The world changes.


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    Brian H.

    I am glad you brought that link up.I plumb forgot to mention it.

    Being a forum member there and still forget it.

    LOL


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    Brian H

    #151, elsie; #169,178, Mike;
    If the Focus Fusion project continues on track, the first will start being built (prefab, in licensed factories world-wide, for sale to all comers) by 2015 (can be trucked and installed anywhere, in a shipping container). Full-bore implementation by 2020.

    5MW capacity. About $250K/ea., FOB factory door. Output about 0.1 – 0.25¢/kwh.

    No kidding.


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    Brian H

    Clarification:
    The shipping would be in a container; the actual housing etc. would be about the size of a suburban home garage for one-off generators. Stacked arrangements would require about 250 cu. m. each, plus access walkways for refuel and service.


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    Brian H. The focus fusion device has not yet been shown to deliver nett energy. Talk of deployment is premature.
    It appears to be a thermo nuclear device relying on enough temperature/density/confinement time to cause enough fusion to result in surplus energy.

    The Polywell device isn’t thermal in nature. The ion energies can be tuned for maximum fusion cross section. I wish both projects lots of luck but right now I’d back the Polywell.


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    Brian H

    NO fusion generator in the world has yet generated net energy. That’s the Holy Grail #1. Polywell is (probably) further away — it’s hard to tell behind the Navy Stealth Wall. It’s also far more complex and expensive, and utterly dependent on external magnetic containment — which I believe to be impossible to sustain.

    TriAlpha, another pB11 initiative, is funded to the tune of about $100M by Paul Allen and others, but is also behind a Stealth Wall. It, also, depends on external containment to sustain steady-state fusion.

    The FF design uses pulsed fusion, a few nanos long, and is self-”contained” by collapsing mag fields. Totally different concept.

    The end of this year should tell the tale.


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    Roy Hogue

    After following all this about fusion and looking up everything I could find on Focus Fusion and Polywell, I’m tempted to believe it’ll be running my car in a year or two. But then there’s reality…

    No offense meant — if something looks promising enough to put money into it by all means go ahead. But can we not wait until fusion (of whatever kind) has actually generated useful output and has sustained that output over a long enough time to be a credible power source before we pronounce it a done deal? That seems to be the acid test for success.


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    Brian H

    Roy;
    you’re quite right, of course. Though FF has more than strong enough prospects to warrant much more support. My personal take is that the current pattern of private and small foundation investment only is optimal, since it helps ensure independence and wards off bureaucratic and competitor interference.

    But it’s been necessity as much as choice; Eric Lerner’s insistence on never yielding majority control may have discouraged potential helpful Venture Vultures. And the firm and experiment are so small scale that it has had little attraction for politicians or ‘crats looking for bragging rights to “job creation through pork distribution”.

    But if the firm stretches its current and prospective resources to the point of “total energy unity”, it should have some potent cards to play, and be able to hire or collaborate with top engineering talent to come up with a viable product.

    The speed with which this is happening is such, of course, that it could/should be on the scene before too many wasteful Goofie Greenie Gigabucks have been grabbed off from the economy.


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    Jamie

    “Brian H” the REALITY is that fusion is still at least 30-50 years away, despite all the wishful thinking in the world….


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    Brian H

    Jamie;
    About 3 months from now, snip…no need for that. mod
    :)

    And you should hope so, too.


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    Jamie

    “Brian H” WHAT IS IT WITH LEFTIST GREEN COMMUNISTS LIKE YOURSELF AND VIOLENCE????

    MAYBE YOU SENT TO A REEDUCATION GULAG FOR A PERSONALITY TRANSPLANT!!!!!


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    Bill

    I would love to meet this “Brian H” character in a pub………..


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    Wendy

    AGREED!
    This “Brian H” sounds like a “ladyboy”…

    AND A TOSSER!


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    Brian H

    Green communists? LOL! I’m to the right of Sarah Palin (except on the religion/right to life stuff) . My “snipped” comment was just to say that in about 3 months I should be able to come back and gloat. The potential of the breakthrough is so great that it should be a universal celebration, not a source of disagreement/snarkiness. I think Jo took my phrasing wrong.

    As I said above, I fervently hope this comes about before too many “Goofy Greenie Gigabucks” have been shoved into the “renewables’” black hole(s). Wind, solar, and biofuels are massive net energy and money drains, IMO.


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    Brian H

    Mike, #205;
    There is no “thermal” about it, except that it is not a “cold fusion” system — ions meet at certain energy levels, KeVs etc., which have “temperature” equivalents. This applies equally to Polywell. There is no “thermal” energy extraction with either, no boiling water to run turbines!


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    Brian H

    I actually grew up in a small town whose sole source of employment, almost, was the nearby fission research plant at Chalk River, Ont., (AECL’s ZEEP &c.). So I am very familiar with fission (mostly the heavy water version used by AECL; google ‘Slowpoke’ for a compact model it has tried to market.)
    In all its versions, fission is a water-heater system, of course. That’s a significant capital and efficiency hit immediately downstream from the reactor itself.

    The aneutronic fusion models avoid all of that. ITER et al. do not; they are also water-boilers thru neutron flux.


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    Scottar

    For a really good site on Thorium Reactors and using it as a fuel, go here:

    http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/ThoriumSite/resources.html

    Loads of good info on the technology. One wonders why they didn’t do it back in the 90′s.

    With nuclear ethanol could be practical as there is an engine in development that could use both ethanol and gasoline efferently, even more then present ICE’s. But the problem is the Bilderberg gang and self serving bureaucrats. And then there’s those enviro wacko’s who worship stones and tree noams. Maybe we can provide a place in the Amazon if they can avoid pissing off the natives.


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    Brian H

    Scottar;

    http://www.thoriumenergyalliance.com/ThoriumSite/resources.html

    Loads of good info on the technology. One wonders why they didn’t do it back in the 90’s.

    Thorium isn’t useful for weapons production; aside from that, not much in the way of reactor-building has gone on in the ’90s or since.

    If anyone bites the bullet and puts up a few full-bore thorium reactors, or even one or two, there could well be a wave of such development. I doubt anyone wants to be first.


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    Scottar

    Brian H:

    Sorry but your answer doesn’t connect with me. Are you saying that because thorium reactors don’t produce weapons grade uranium that they are unlikely to be built? Since Thorium is much more abundant and cheaper then Uranium I fail to see why not. And the reactors are safer and cheaper to build.

    Despite the popularity of fusion it doesn’t look to be around the corner. the ITER folks say it looks like 50 years or more until fusion will be even close to commercial viability. Where talking now!

    I completely agree with you on wind and solar electrical farms are a waste of money unless they have viable means of storage. It’s very expensive for electrical production. But solar is good for heat and passive heating and their may be uses for wind energy, but I doubt it when compared to thorium and modular reactors.

    With nuclear energy it may be more viable to produce ethanol or some other bio fuel rather then using fossil fuels. Electrical vehicles, as far as I have read, are still quite expensive in their battery costs and hybrids I consider mostly a joke. Technology needs more development.


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    Brian H

    The weapons reference was in clear response to your query. Which was, you may recall (or read, above) why no plants were built in the ’90s. In point of fact, from early days thorium fuel was known, but it was found that it was difficult to extract weapons grade Uranium and Plutonium from its fission products. That’s historically been the situation. Probably now it’s less important than energy and fuel availability, however.

    There. Is that long-winded and explicit enough?

    As for ITER folks’ opinions, they are of less than no interest. ITER isn’t even remotely designed to produce energy; it’s a plasma investigation super-boondoggle. Focus Fusion’s micro-reactor, however, is specifically designed to produce electricity directly, by emitting alpha beams (helium ions), but virtually no neutrons. Scientific break-even, total energy out exceeding total input, is hoped for this year. Engineering development could have a working/licensable prototype within 2-3 years after that.
    The difference is that it uses self-contained micro-bursts of fusion, not huge balls of virtually uncontrollable plasma that destroy their walls with heat and neutron radiation.


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    Scottar

    Brian;

    I wish Focus Fusion much success. Have to look them up.

    Cheers


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    Brian H

    Scottar;
    It is very self-interested to do so! It would “blow away” all sorts of apparently intractable current problems. IMO.
    :)


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    Scottar

    Looked up Focus Fusion. it looks like a derivative of the Sandia Labs Z machine except they are using a hydrogen-boron fuel.

    It does look promising since they have private funders and seem to be making real success. It would beat anything else.

    Could we have clean and safe energy too cheap to meter at last?

    I bought this flashlight that has LED lights. It only about 3.25″ long and 1″ wide. It puts out a very bright blue tinted light and you can see colors, where older and similar LED flashlights had that moon blue spectrum that tended to wash out the colors. Quite a technical achievement. But still too harsh to replace the yellow standard indoor lighting for the home.

    Now if batteries progress the way that LEDs are doing then solar and wind could be practical but I’m not holding my breath. It may be decades before they make breakthroughs that make electric vehicles as cheap as gas autos where in the 80′s. So I’m still backen fission nuclear until fusion or other becomes practical. The Chinese are gun hoe on it.

    But we still have these morons that think wind and solar can fill the bill, they know little of real energy logistics.


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    Brian H

    scottar;
    FF is much smaller than Z-pinch, and doesn’t require replacement of a tube of steel wires between pinches; pinches “free-float” in an anode tube, in near-vacuum. It would cycle at about 330 Hz.

    The power would be about 1/20 of best retail, both to build out and produce. So not “too cheap to meter”, but the meter would spin very slowly. If it progresses as fast as hoped, factories will be cranking out little 5MW generators sooner than a single fission plant could be commissioned and built, after which there’d be no point in a fission plant (other than a few thorium ones to “eat” stockpiled waste). 5 years or less.

    As for electric cars, there are a few 100-mile models coming out this year at gasser prices, and the TeslaMotors Model S will be a 160-300 mile job, 7-seater at $55K, which would be about as expensive to own and run as a $33K gasser. (With FF power, much less).

    As for LEDs and other conservation compromises: “Efficiency is good; surplus is better!” :)

    Funny note about CFBs: the EU has mandated no incandescents over 60W, so a German maker has begun having 75 & 100W bulbs made in China and sells them as “heatballs”. LOL!


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    Campbell

    We need to maximise our use of current technology, while investigating at minimum cost new technologies like ENERGY DIMENSIONS AND SUB-ATOMIC FISSION. The scientific establishment reply “if there was anything there we would know about it” implies they believe we already know everything that will be invented in the next 500 or so years. And these are the same people who believe in magic – that matter/mass turns into energy and back again during nuclear fusion and fission reactions. Come off it, get real! Open your thinking!


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    Scottar

    Campbell;

    Are you for real or do you just go round trying out wankers?


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  • #
    Keith H

    Rereke Whaakaro: @ 16

    “I wonder what Mr Brown would think of that, for an idea?”

    Rereke, he’d take a chair up to the top of Mt.Wellington and sit up there in the cold until the nuclear barge and plant left port, which is exactly what he did when the famed nuclear powered “Big E” U.S Aircraft Carrier Enterprise visited Hobart a few years ago!

    I think that’s when he froze his brain and it apparently hasn’t thawed out since, even with all the Anthropogenic Global Warming he tries to con us into “believing” is happening!!


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