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Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short

While some global whiners are predicting death, disease and reckless fish, an ominous array of other forces are gathering. The time of plenty, peace and abundance could be coming to an end. I’ve finally had a chance to look at David Archibald’s hot new book, and it’s a book that needs to be discussed. It’s the debate we ought to be having. (I’ll be referring to it again on this blog).

In the West we have rarely had it so good: since World War II things have been relatively peaceful; the sun reached a once-in-8000-year global maximum, keeping us warm; the big easy oil fields were tapped, gifting  us the cheapest energy in human history; and the most obvious gains in agriculture meant food supply increased even faster than populations grew.  David Archibald paints a provocative argument of a world where a cooling sun means grain supply can’t keep pace with demand, oil production starts to slide and forces of unrest in the mid East collapse to chaos while those in the far East rise ascendant.

David Archibald writes:

Who are those four horsemen?  A severe, solar-driven cooling is one.  Over the next twenty to thirty years, we are going back to the climate of the early 19th century as the best case outcome, or the climate of the late 17th century at worst.  Here in the mid-latitudes of North America, growing conditions will move three hundred miles south from their current position.  The United States will be producing twenty percent less grain by 2030, taking the United States out of export markets.  Grain prices will return to 19thcentury levels in constant dollar terms.

The second horseman is the fact that a number of countries, but particularly those in the Middle East, are playing a big game of musical chairs.  One day the music will stop and there won’t be enough grain to feed everybody.  This outcome will be brought forward by the climate-driven reduction in grain supply.

The consequent population collapse will take the Middle East back to the population levels of the Napoleonic era.  Every grain importing country is at risk to some extent.  As Yemen or Afghanistan or Egypt tip over into collapse due to starvation, there will be an immediate bidding war on the world’s grain markets for what stocks are available.  It will all be a big surprise when it happens.

The third horseman is our energy supply, starting with oil.  In short, the oil price has tripled over the last ten years but oil production is no higher.  It hasn’t responded to the price signal because production is physically constrained by geology.  Soon oil production will tip into decline and the price rise will resume and accelerate.  We can solve our long term energy supply problem by commercialising the thorium molten salt reactor.  There are literally hundreds of designs for generating nuclear power, but thorium in a liquid salt is the safest with the least waste generation.  Commercialising that reactor is absolutely necessary if we are going to maintain a high level of civilisation going forward.

The fourth horseman is the Pakistani nuclear bomb program.  Not so much their current stockpile of nuclear weapons but the fact that they keep on building more reactors for making weapons-grade plutonium.  They have three operating and they are now building their fourth.  This is a country with a literacy rate of 55% and frequent power blackouts.  Let’s not descend into cultural relativism by suggesting that they don’t have their priorities right.

[Read the rest in American Thinker]

Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short

Obviously there is much to debate, and this is the debate we ought to be having, not the one about the carbon scary fairy. Here’s just one of the many geopolitical questions he stakes out the territory on: Will shale gas and fracking keep the cheap energy flowing? David Archibald describes shale as less a revolution, and more a temporary filler that will become expensive quickly. Archibald has an energy plan for the West involving thorium for electricity, and coal to liquids for your car. His detailed knowledge of energy prices and demand means he forecasts some quixotic and perverse situations — we should not be wasting compressed natural gas in power stations, he predicts its real value lies in cars and transport.  Likewise, coal he explains is better used in coal to liquids, again to replace the oil that become increasingly and prohibitively expensive. We can save both these resources for our cars if we use thorium for our electricity, and if we keep electricity out of our cars. It’s just too inefficient: “Approximately 20% of the charge of an electric car battery is needed just to haul the battery itself around.”

Something that stands out for me is the editing. Unlike many books today, Twilight of Abundance has done intense months of rewriting and reviewing and it shows. It has that polish and quality we used to expect of all top books in the days before rapid print. Regnery have brought out the best. It’s easy to read, but also rich with information (some books are easy because there’s nothing of substance to get in the way, not this one).

This book is a resource I will be returning to. I may not agree with everything he says but I have to do research before I put up any objection. Archibald is marking out the terms of this debate, and is ahead of the game. Buy the book. Send me your objections. This is the debate we have to have. The other stuff is window dressing.

Yes, the Amazon review below is that David Evans (the one I married). He’s a hard man to impress, he read this book to the last page, and it did shift his views.

Unafraid to Predict What Is Coming

By David Evans
Format:Hardcover
Rare insights by someone across several important sectors: energy, geopolitics, climate, and food. They interact in predictable ways, but no one else is talking about them. Although well informed on these topics, most of the insights and much of the information in this book were new to me. I knew enough to find this mostly very credible. Archibald makes a convincing case for a future where food is running short in countries in the Middle East and North Africa, peak oil eventually passes even though postponed for a few decades by fracking, the sun shows us who is really running the climate by cooling a touch (which contracts food production, particularly in the northern reaches of Canada and Russia), and the age of cheap energy is over unless we get imaginative with thorium. Our studied ignorance of these matters in the West may leave us at a nasty disadvantage. We are not prepared for this sort of future, and our elites as yet have no clue and no desire to know.

 

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Rating: 8.5/10 (61 votes cast)
Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short, 8.5 out of 10 based on 61 ratings

232 comments to Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short

  • #
    bananabender

    Stop using grain to feed livestock and make biofuels. Food shortage averted.

    Stop using 6 litre 3.5 tonne trucks to do your grocery shopping. Fuel crisis averted.

    2712

    • #
      Binny

      People will stop feeding grain the livestock, the minute it is worth more as human feed.

      281

      • #
        Lawrie Ayres

        Very true. Besides grass fed beef is better for you as it contains more Omega 3 whereas grain fed contains Omega6, not so good for you.

        50

    • #
      James Bradley

      Yeah, heard it all before in the early seventies – just after the nuclear holocaust scare and just before the ozone layer scare – seems to me the natural human condition is scare…

      190

      • #
        ian hilliar

        But James, we are 20,000 years into this interglacial, and the last 7 interglacials have lasted….. about 20,000 years. So that when-or if- the next ice age commeth , we really will need a lot of heating/power, so research would be much better directed towards thorium reactors than solar and wind farms.

        140

        • #
          PeterK

          Ian: I’ll be dead and none of this will matter. If we are in for another ice age, the onset will be slow rather than abrupt in my opinion unless it is some type of driver that humankind is unaware of that would make the onset instantaneous. Given that humankind has throughout the eons adapted to their ever changing environment, humankind will survive and prosper another day.

          Unfortunately, millions will probably die but alas, this is the ebb and flow of life on this planet and no matter what we think we are capable of achieving, it is very minor in the great scheme of things.

          There is a plan, I just don’t know what it is (sarc)!!!

          50

          • #
            Lawrie Ayres

            Back in the 70s we had much colder winters with more severe frosts over a longer period. We had to feed more hay which meant there was less to sell to others and it was dearer. That was only 40 years ago so you really don’t have to wait a few hundred years for rather big changes in output. Much of the northern hemisphere already have relatively short growing seasons. Canadian wheat crops are suffering from early frosts and planting is delayed by late snow melt in some of its best grain growing areas even now. Plant breeders are trying to reduce the time from planting til harvest. Further, many places harvest the grain wet and then use a lot of fuel to dry it for safe storage. In the past 30 years or so corn maturity has been reduced from 115 days to 105 days but then it can take months to dry to 12% moisture naturally. Don’t kid yourself that a bit of cooling can’t have a big negative affect on production.

            120

            • #
              Peter Carabot

              You are trying to hood wink us or what? The GGods are saying that we are going to cook slowly and you are trying to invent a new opposing religion with your belief that we are actually cooling down?
              It cannot happen, you will be arrested and re-educated!

              00

        • #
          Belfast

          At least five major ice ages have occurred throughout Earth’s history: the earliest was over 2 billion years ago, and the most recent one began approximately 3 million years ago and continues today (yes, we live in an ice age!).

          Currently, we are in a warm interglacial that began about 11,000 years ago. The last period of glaciation, which is often informally called the “Ice Age,” peaked about 20,000 years ago. At that time, the world was on average probably about 10°F (5°C) colder than today, and locally as much as 40°F (22°C) colder.

          20

    • #
      Rogueelement451

      I am always a simpleton , but would,nt making more biofuels deprive people of food?
      Seems I read somewhere that there were food riots in Mexico because the price of tortillas was going up because they were making bio-fuels instead of selling it cheap to the people.
      Law of unintended consequences strikes again.

      30

  • #
    bananabender

    Stop using grain to feed livestock and make biofuels.

    Stop using 6 litre 3.5 tonne trucks to do your grocery shopping.

    Stop building energy guzzling 450m2 McMansions.

    Problems solved.

    523

    • #
      the Griss

      “Stop using 6 litre 3.5 tonne trucks to do your grocery shopping.

      Stop building energy guzzling 450m2 McMansions.

      Hey, don’t say that, you’ll upset Big Al Gore !

      234

    • #
      Mark D.

      I live two old-fashioned city blocks from the grocery. I could drive almost anything built with any engine and still use less fuel than someone driving from the suburbs in their frigging Pious. Frankly your comment is irritatingly naive. Why stop at that? Why not halt international flights? Stop shipping crap from China and make it at home instead? Stop everything?

      Your comment is only half a step from what Green idiots and warmists want everyone to do. Essentially stop living. I’m not up for it.

      450

      • #
        Gasbo

        The funny thing is that the Greens etc could never live without electricity and motor vehicles,their lives revolve around modern appliances,me I grew up in the country, we had horses, wood fires and stoves,mum washed our clothes in a “copper”,it was no big deal if the power went off which it did quite regular.
        The world ran very well without electricity and gasoline,and it could do it again,heck even the scientists could have to go back and use log books and slide rules(Jo do you know what they are?).
        Humans are very good at adapting,that’s why we are still here.

        70

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          No, Gasbo. There are very few factories which are not powered by electricity. And a horse is less efficient than a motor car, too. Wood fires and stoves are more environmentally destructive than electricity, while the coppers were very hard on the Mums.

          01

  • #
    Wayne Job

    This book sounds like it puts out there what my brain has been telling me . Science took a wrong turn in 1920 and the consensus science is strangling us.
    Almost a century of stagnation in new thought to the possibilities of entirely new science, constrained science leads to constrained thinking, the AGW stuff is
    only a small end game. Practical experimenters, hands on engineers and some medical people that swam against the current gave us our modern world.
    Main stream science has shafted us, this book is a small light at the end of the tunnel.

    Political science is an oxymoron, more moron than oxygen. The fight for reality must soon be passed to a younger generation, I am getting past fighting
    but I despair that propaganda BS in our academies of higher learning will give us another generation of zombie scientists. I hope I am wrong.

    380

    • #
      Anton

      What on earth are you talking about? Quantum theory of the solid state and molecular biology are both post-1920, both magnificent intellectual achievements, and both improving our lives enormously.

      60

  • #
    Ceetee

    Some people believe we shouldn’t eat grain anyway.

    80

    • #
      the Griss

      Some people are idiots.

      171

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      With the exception of the Inuit and Eskimo, name me a peoples who do not have at least one type of grain in their diet.

      140

      • #
        RexAlan

        The traditional Maasai of Africa lived purely from their cattle and nothing else, also I believe they had perfect cholesterol with no heart disease.

        10

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          OK, I will give you that – thank you.

          I was under the impression that the Massai also had some maize in their diet, but I can’t find the reference, so you are probably right.

          10

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            Maize porridge for breakfast (with cow’s milk). Refer James A. Hunter autobiography – Hunter – from the 1950′s.

            10

            • #
              PhilJourdan

              Maize Porridge – another name for Grits! And it is what is for Breakfast, lunch AND dinner! Hmmmmmm!!!

              10

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            Do not forget that before 1492 maize was exclusive to America. As also potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco and such, and cane sugar. Others no doubt also which don’t come to mind at the moment.

            Sorghum is native to Africa, and very widely used there.

            As for not eating grain. Wheat, rye corn, maize, rice, sorghum, with also potatoes and the various other root vegetables, are called “Staple foods”. The food you can live on with just a few additives.

            I wonder do the people who say they don’t eat grain know that bread is made from grain?

            00

    • #
      Yonniestone

      I don’t know about shouldn’t eat grain more like don’t have to if you can get quality fruit and veg for nutrients and fibre, grains are used primarily as an easier way to fill up large populations think rice/Asia, wheat/bread Europe etc. apart from a few isolated tribes that don’t grow grain crops and are still hunter gatherer, fishermen the majority of humanity have to use grains to exist.

      Having said that I rarely eat grain products and believe the only animal on the planet that can properly digest grains are birds.

      141

      • #
        CC

        Yonnie, read “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. The fight that is now going on in global warming is the same fight that occurred in dietary “science” starting in the 50′s. Sixty years later the consensus that created the “food pyramid”, high carb and low-fat diets is finally being refuted by the current science. The only difference between what is happening with CAGW and the 50′s diet fiasco is the internet!

        Chapter 1-8 document the history of dietary knowledge from 1850 – 2005. The original Atkins diet was created by a Brit named Bantling in 1850.
        Chapter 9-14 document the fallacy of high carb, low-fat diets and discusses the cause of the current obesity epidemic, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and etc.

        80

        • #
          bananabender

          Taubes is a fraud. He misquotes, distorts and cherry picks ‘facts’ that support his agenda. His arguments can be directly refuted just by reading an introductory biochemistry textbook.

          The reason humans are getting fatter is simple – we are eating more calories (up ~25% in 40 years) and exercising less.

          33

      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        The big advantage of grains is they can be kept almost indefinitely so long as they can be kept whole, dry, and in still air – no external power source required.

        The whole history of civilisation is predicated on the cultivation of grains.

        100

        • #
          joseph

          Some of the modern grains aren’t quite what were being eaten even a very few years ago and a lot of people are having big problems as a result of eating them. Big subject . . . . .

          52

      • #
        Lawrie Ayres

        The most important factor concerning grain is our ability to store and move it. It is energy and nutritionally dense, easy to convey and easy to store. It is also relatively easy to trade. Besides it was the type of crop that allowed modern civilisation some 10000 years ago. Communities could live and develop in permanent villages for the first time because they could provide a year round food supply. That’s why we eat grains.

        80

    • #
      Mark D.

      Some people believe we shouldn’t eat grain anyway.

      Generally I’ve found it much easier to eat ground grain (AKA flour). It makes cakes and breads hold together much better…..

      50

    • #
      Andrew Griffiths

      Grain should be mashed,fermented and turned into alcohol.

      20

  • #
    the Griss

    Australia should be in a reasonable position so long as the Greens get the **** out the way.

    We have a LOT of coal, and fuel from coal technology is reasonably advanced, so there is no reason for shortages here….. except political reasons.

    411

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Australia has a lot of coal and not too many people.

      An influx of 100 million Chinese to ‘protect’ your coal could be a solution to the ‘problem’.

      70 years ago, there was the concept of a ‘Co-Prosperity Sphere’ to which Australia came close to being forcibly invited into. In a cooling world, that prospect becomes more likely.

      211

      • #
        bananabender

        The Chinese have never had any interest in invading other countries to obtain resources (Tibet has been a part of China for 2500 years despite the claims of the Dalai Lama). They know that trade is cheaper and far more effective than military action.

        26

        • #
          James the Elder

          Really? Check out Africa lately? How about Russian Siberia? Maybe even Ecuador. Soon the US; all without firing a shot. Oh, almost forgot about the South China Sea off the Vietnamese coast. Only a few little islands, but sitting astride massive gas and oil. But, there might be a shot or two fired there. And then there’s the Japan flap, but hey, who’s counting. You might want to bone up on Shih Huang, who unified China, but never got close to Tibet. That was left to the Mongol invasions around 1240 a few hundred years after the Tibetan Empire collapsed.

          31

    • #
      James Bradley

      Anyone read ‘Canticle for Leibowitz’ recently – better start backing up on hardcopy.

      50

    • #
      Michel Lasouris

      And at least 400 years-worth of Thorium. And that’s without using spend uranium ( plus decommissioned warheads)as additional fuel

      30

      • #
        the Griss

        We have barely even started looking for thorium , and yet, as you say.. at least 400 years worth.

        30

        • #
          the Griss

          The issue I have is that if thorium energy does become popular, the world runs the very big risk of allowing the atmospheric CO2 content to drop to dangerously low levels of below 350ppm again. This would be a disaster for mankind.

          Fortunately it looks like being many, many years away, with China and other developing nations making sure we keep pushing the CO2 concentration up.

          And hopefully, by the time thorium power becomes the mainstay, people will have got over this ‘CO2 is evil’ nonsense and will realise that larger concentration of 700ppm plus are purely and simply what the Earth needs.

          101

          • #
            Lawrie Ayres

            As the oceans cool they will be able to absorb even more CO2. Will the Greens and that idiot Trenberth then want more coal burnt?

            120

            • #
              Star Craving Engineer

              In a saner world, I could forsee plentiful thorium energy being used to liberate CO2 from carbonate deposits on a massive scale. 700 to 1400 ppm might ameliorate the the effects of solar cooling, allowing crops to be grown during the shorter growing seasons. As the oceans cool and start absorbing more CO2, we won’t be able to make up the difference just by burning the rest of the fossil fuels. Besides, the fossil fuels should be saved for transportation.

              Unfortunately, a cooling world with shortened growing seasons will not be a saner world.

              20

      • #
        scaper...

        Don’t like coal, eh?

        10

        • #
          the Griss

          I had some ‘activated charcoal’ tablets once, and accidentally chewed one..

          Not very palatable !!

          00

  • #
    bobl

    Actually grain is not real good for you, but its easy to grow, if you cant grow grqin then its a good chance thqt most other crops won’t grow either. Anyway this peak oil scenario isn’t new. However mankind does have a habit of adapting and there are plenty of forseeable eays to adapt, thorium being one, fusion being the other mainstay. I am confident that energy will never be a problem. I have a friend who says that oil should be used for plastics and not fuel, gas and coal should be used for fuel. Plastics are too important to allow the base material to dry up.

    Anyway, this book makes claims similar to my own thoughts in the early days, that we should prepare for both warming and cooling and that a substantial NH cooling would result in Africa, Australia and South America needing to feed almost the whole plqnet – cooling presents a huge challenge for Australia, and we should get prepared for it. Instead we force our farmers off the land, take away their water supplies and generally go about making farmers lives hell.

    If cooling comes, it’ll mean a quantum shift in our role in the world, the superpowers in the north will struggle as the ice advances and political fortunes among nations will shift. Australia might be pretty central in that. Still in my opinion it can be done. The world will not end, but Australia could become bigger and more important very quickly, the politics of food will come to dominate.

    Cold, not warmth is our enemy.

    200

    • #
      the Griss

      All so true, bobl !

      PM Abbott’s plans for Northern Australia need to become a reality, even if it requires Chinese help.

      111

      • #
        bobl

        Yes, I was inclined to mention that this meant that we should rapidly develop the north, and that this is why I wholeheatedly support the north Australian economic zone idea, but I relented since my post had rambled on enough already. Our southern cities might be at risk, but my view is that the oceans will keep the climate viable in those cities. The real prolem is in areas that have land/ice continuity with the poles, North America, Europe and Northern Asia, will bear the brunt of any cooling. I think Canada would be in big trouble.

        That’s of couse assuming another maunder or dalton, or an ice age happen…. Unfortunately, unlike global warming we have some pretty strong evidence that this has happened before and a good idea where the ice was… with wall st under a glacier would things change… um well probably.

        80

        • #
          the Griss

          I suspect you are probably correct in your assessment.

          Our growing areas will probably move north a bit, Victoria may have to change what they grow, but it seem highly unlikely that the Antarctic will expand enough to worry Australia. There is no evidence of past huge ice deposits around the place as far as I know.

          The northern continents could have issues though. Lets just hope that the cooling doesn’t lead to a real ice age, or Australia will really start to get climate refugees in large numbers. !

          61

          • #
            J Martin

            Your choice might be 200 plus million European refugees or 500 million chinese enter to ‘help’ the local population ‘protect’ their food supply to the motherland from the Australian farms they are buying up at an alarming pace.

            30

            • #
              the Griss

              Obviously these people buying our land don’t believe a single word of the global warming mantra.

              A few degrees extra temperature would make some of these areas rather harsher to live in,

              and after all, we have just had our “hottest ever” “angry summer” (lol), so why would anyone want to live here!

              100

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            No ice?

            What was the latitude and longitude for Australia when all our coal was being laid down? In the days of Gondwana.

            And, for that matter, where was India?

            00

      • #
        scaper...

        Tony Abbott’s plans?

        If it wasn’t for Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision (ANDEV) there would be no interest in northern development at all!

        We formed in 2010 and it has been a hard slog but we are getting there. We received a favourable response from the Joint Select Committee on Northern Development. Our co-chair has already appeared before the Committee, we have presented a comprehensive framework to encourage investment.

        The submissions can be viewed here.

        I note that the green freaks have made several submissions as they don’t want development in the north, in the main but they won’t get their way.

        I wrote a submission on behalf of my little organisation, it focuses on agriculture in the Barkly Tableland. It has been read by most on the government frontbench and I’ve received positive feedback.

        Looking forward to appearing before the Committee.

        90

        • #
          Ted O'Brien.

          The North is underdeveloped because to date it has been uneconomic to develop it.

          Many people tried, and many people went broke.

          When food prices rise, that will change. Rise one day they will. But who will then own our “The North”?

          10

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Regrettably, I support the notion that fusion will always remain the solution to our future energy supplies.

      Global cooling would dramatically increase the growing areas of southern Australia, while simultaneously reducing the precipitation in the high rainfall regions of northern Queensland and the Northern Territory – however, there is evidence of stronger storm systems associated with global cooling.

      Maybe the IPCC is right after all and we should fix climate and use the year 1937 as the future norm. I expect we could manage it by spending 150% of the world’s annual GDP for about a century or two. I guess that makes sense to someone – Hansen, Mann, Lovejoy, Flannery, Lewandowsky, Jones, this is just your sort of fantasy.

      40

      • #
        Manfred

        Why ‘regrettably’ coupled with the surprising use of ‘always’ Peter? Has humanity finally reached a state of congniscence regarding all future forms of energy generation?
        As one ancient Greek to another upon inspecting the four elements, wood, earth, fire and water…..”what do you mean is that all?”

        “That’s it!”

        For the moment perhaps. The future, who knows?

        00

        • #
          Peter Miller

          I just hope that fusion power will one day become commercially viable, but I think the technological barriers may just be too great, that’s why I said ‘regrettably’ and ‘always’.

          30

    • #
      CC

      Bobl, Does OZ mandate the use of biofuels as is done in the US? If we do not get off the bio-fuel kick I fear that millions will die in the next year or so and I also believe that this is the goal of the greens. I have a friend who went to work for Pioneer Corn when he graduated from College (1966). His job with Pioneer was to create hybrids that would increase yields based on the environment in which they were planted. He also mentioned that it sometimes took years to get it right and to create enough seed stock. If these companies have been creating hybrids for global warming then things could get really interesting in a cooling world.

      40

      • #
        bobl

        Oz mandates ethanol in petrol be offered, but that’s all, petroleum companies however are allowed to sell 100 percent petrol, so consumers are allowed to choose. Availability of unblended fuel is not good though. Most diesel has about 5% biodiesel content though (because it isn’t taxed it is cheaper) up to 5% biodiesel can be added without labelling so we don’t really know what we are getting. The Oz government collects fuel taxes of about 38c per litre, and a value added tax of 10% which is also levied on the excise component giving them a 3.8c windfall from a tax on tax – these taxes represent a carbon tax equivalent of about $250 a tonne if I recall correctly. We make our ethanol primally from sugar cane rather than corn, but still, any arable land wasted on biofuels isn’t used for food crops.

        Most of the biodiesel is made from waste fats and oil.

        Hope that answers

        10

  • #
    bobl

    Please excuse all the typos, this tablet has dyslexia.
    ( I hate virtual keyboards )

    20

  • #
    Gee Aye

    Us skeptic can say, “i will check out what he says to see if it is based on sound data and rational analysis before comment”, or you could say this, “i have to do research before i put up an objection.” The latter sounds like acceptance as a first option, not scepticism.

    013

    • #
      bobl

      I think not, I am as sceptical of this scenario as CAGW, but if it did happen …. and we know it has before, then what are the consequences. Unlike CAGW the consequences of cooling are not benign and as little as 0.8 deg global cooling is known to have caused the death of half the population of Europe in the LIA…. but…. they didn’t have nuclear energy, or even electricity and they didn’t have global trade capable of shipping vast quantities of food around the planet. Then again there wasn’t 7 Billion to feed either.

      It’s a scenario, I am very sceptical that warming is bad, I am not at all sceptical about cooling being bad, and that reflects in my viewpoint.

      180

    • #
      the Griss

      All evidence I have seen points to a mild cooling over the next few decades.

      There would be reductions in crop yields, which could probably be easily be countered by stopping using food as biofools.

      I suspect/hope that David Archibald is deliberately painting the alarmist picture in the other direction to try to wake people up to reality that a little warming is probably a very good thing…..,

      …… while a little cooling probably isn’t !

      If I had the choice between a bit of warming and a bit of cooling.. I know which way I would vote !

      121

    • #
      Andrew McRae

      What the latter phrase actually says is the opposite of what you claim it says. The latter option signals an instinctive rejection of the proposition (because you intend to object to it), immediately followed by research to determine if the initial intuition was justified or whether you have to change your mind and accept the proposition instead.

      As for reading up on the facts before commenting, yes okay point taken, but… get real, Gee, the web as we know it could not exist under that rule. Half the value of this site is entertaining the lurkers with our stuff-ups, surely?

      20

    • #

      you could say this, “i have to do research before i put up an objection.” The latter sounds like acceptance as a first option, not scepticism.

      Or, it could be that David Archibald has written a convincing well researched case for some very ambitious claims on a topic that I have not spent years analyzing (eg oil). Despite his well made case, I still feel skeptical, but since I cannot enunciate a convincing argument, I can only say “i have to do research”, and “buy this book” then “send me your objections”.

      I think what we can say though, is that no matter how skeptical I am, you will see me as non-skeptical.

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      Leo Morgan

      Both turns of phrase describe the same thing.
      1) Acknowledgment of a novel idea.
      2) Awareness that they do not have a refutation of it.
      3) A commitment to investigate further.
      That’s the essence of scepticism. It’s holding a possibility in mind while being aware it is not yet proven or disproven. it’s an intellectual honesty that requires evidence before giving assent.

      A sceptic as a person of good character will generally hold an idea to be provisionally true. Unless it is implausible, contradicts something they believe to be true, or comes from a person they consider to be unreliable. Apart from these cases we consider the proponent to be like ourselves, honest, intelligent and earnestly seeking to present the truth. This provisional acceptance is very different to the acceptance given by thermageddon believers.
      ‘Acceptance’ as they practice it, and as you used the term above, would be taking only the first two steps and then concluding that the idea is true. Other terms for that process are gullibility and credulity.

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      One thing to check would be the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar over the time period given in relation to the price of oil.

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    handjive

    The effects are almost here …

    Quite so, the next generation will be the first to be worse off than the previous generation:

    Many young people in Britain are set to be in a worse economic position than their parents

    Britain: Hundred’s of businesses to be paid to switch off to prevent blackouts

    America’s power grid at the limit: The road to electrical blackouts

    The triple crown of cooling. Joe Bastardi
    . . .
    Energy poor, a weak sun … at least some of us tried to warn you.

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      bobl

      Britain are totally unprepared for cooling, the political class is fully duped. If cooling comes now it will be at the worst time possible for Britain. Australia has no idea what it will need to do in the case of multiyear crop failures across Europe and North America. But we have a lot of oil, gas Uranium and thorium here in Oz, so that’s a good start.

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        tom0mason

        Two things against the use of Thorium -

        1. It’s quite rare.
        2. Not too much effort on making Thorium reactors, in fact the WNA has this to says:

        ‘The use of thorium as a new primary energy source has been a tantalizing prospect for many years.
        Extracting its latent energy value in a cost-effective manner remains a challenge, and will require considerable R&D investment.
        This is occurring preeminently in China, with modest US support.’

        http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/current-and-future-generation/thorium/

        That to me sounds like code for currently it’s too expensive. But hey, this might change, anything possible…

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          bobl

          Um, Thorium is some 200 times less rare than uranium, so if we have 100 years worth of uranium we have at least 20,000 years of Thorium, my guess is that 20,000 years is probably enough time to get fusion working.

          I might add that there are currently very few uses for thorium, it’s mainly a by product (waste product) of rare earth mining, so there’s been very little to no exploration for Thorium, world reserves are likely to be hundreds of times more than current estimates.

          By the way, rare earths aren’t particularly rare in general, but because the rare earths are very reactive they are not often concentrated enough to economically extract. It’s economic rare earth deposits that are rare, not rare earth elements themselves.

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            tom0mason

            Information on Thorium from Wiki – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium

            Present knowledge of the distribution of thorium resources is poor because of the relatively low-key exploration efforts arising out of insignificant demand.[PDF below] There are two sets of estimates that define world thorium reserves, one set by the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the other supported by reports from the OECD and the International Atomic Energy Agency (the IAEA). Under the USGS estimate, USA, Australia, and India have particularly large reserves of thorium.

            India and Australia are believed to possess about 300,000 tonnes each; i.e., each has 25% of the world’s thorium reserves.[64] In the OECD reports, however, estimates of Australia’s Reasonably Assured Reserves (RAR) of thorium indicate only 19,000 tonnes and not 300,000 tonnes as indicated by USGS. The two sources vary wildly for countries such as Brazil, Turkey, and Australia, however, both reports appear to show some consistency with respect to India’s thorium reserve figures, with 290,000 tonnes (USGS) and 319,000 tonnes (OECD/IAEA).

            Both the IAEA and OECD appear to conclude that India may possess the lion’s share of world’s thorium deposits.

            PDF – http://web.archive.org/web/20110628234922/http://www.iaea.org/inisnkm/nkm/aws/fnss/fulltext/0412_1.pdf

            The only active research into building Thorium looks like India. Nice to know that somewhere is.

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        tom0mason

        I believe Britain’s contingency plan it to import Europe’s sewage as a boifuel. N’est pas?

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        • #
          the Griss

          Another win for the EU !

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            the Griss

            The UK is now close to being conquered !

            And after such a wonderful resistance in WWII, seems a bit of a pity.

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              Rogueelement451

              Rumours of the conquering of the UK by Europe have been greatly exaggerated. There is a resistance movement , the mildly eccentric UK Independence Party ,which is garnering a lot of allies. The good news is that Nigel Farrage the leader of this party is a Sceptic.The bad news is that there are quite a few nutters attached, but you can,t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.Living in Jersey near the UK I am more concerned about events in the Ukraine than the UK!
              Fear not the Griss, the fallen Madonna with the big boobies shall not fall into enemy hands. ‘Allo ‘Allo.

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          Winston

          Tom,

          With all those offshore wind farms, is that when the shit hits the fan in the UK?

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          • #
            Rogueelement451

            To be fair , the last comment from Cameron , the UK prime minister was “enough of the green crap” , I think the message is getting through slowly but surely.

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          pattoh

          Gee, thought the EU was already quite full of it.

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      handjive

      UPDATE:
      24 April 2014, Joe Bastardi checks in:

      “In the forecast I made on Oreilly several years ago, I stated that I thought by 2030 temps as measured by satellite would return to where they were in 1978.
      I called this the triple crown of cooling ( should be climate) that the sun, the oceans and the wild card of stochastic events rule the climate overall.
      Yes Co2 in part of a myriad of other smaller factors, but I felt it was not a tipping point issue where all of a sudden everything goes haywire at some magic number, or heads off to the races.
      Instead the 33C or so of what these gasses that are more prominent in the lower levels than upper
      ( I refuse to call it a greenhouse, and a I wish someone would think of a better term since it immediately biases someone toward a sweatbox) …

      And by the way, while I have all of you here. you should be giving no quarter to the now “Climate change” people.

      Its warming they claimed and they own it, and if there is some, whatever that is, we should correctly identify it.”
      . . .
      Go Joe!

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      Gasbo

      Blackouts are caused by power companies forcing up the spot price of electricity/gas etc(Enron made it a mandatory part of doing business)

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    Fat Tony

    This bit about Australia being a “key player” if the world turns cold will probably be correct.

    Whether nor not this country is run by us may be another matter – I’m sure the Chinese military would insist that the Chinese food grown on the Chinese farms in Australia will go to China to feed starving Chinese people. Would Obama stop them?

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      bobl

      This is the whole point, in an ice-age scenario, which history tells us we will face at some point, viable food growing climates will need to grow food, It’ll go to china as well as other places. I won’t have a problem if food from chinese farms goes to china as long as there is food for Australiqns first and other hungry nations don’t go without. The big problem might be if one nation decided it needed all our agricultural lands, but then in such a scenario one would expect other hungry nations to defend against having a major food source annexed by a single nation.

      Self interest is a very powerful motivator

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        Winston

        There’s only 20 million of us versus 1 billion Chinese- doing the math on the back of a beer coaster suggests that should not discourage the Chinese from allowing us to remain very well fed, presuming we allowed them to secure food supply options in our ample fertile and hitherto unexploited land in our north for their clamouring populace.

        Why would the Chinese have to exclude a minor population like ours to feed themselves? The only reason that would become an issue would be if the USA co-opted us into depriving them, which is something I would hope we would not engage in as a nation from a moral or a security standpoint.

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          Rogueelement451

          The Chinese could in the event of a severe Earth cooling , build massive greenhouses , pump em full of CO2 and carry on growing regardless,all they need to do is switch the factories from making solar panels to greenhouses.
          Simples.

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    PhilJourdan

    One point I disagree with is the Oil one. While the price has risen dramatically – in USD – it has not risen significantly in real value. And that is constraining the extraction of more oil. That plus the policies of the Obama administration.

    And of course the production has not increased because the world is still in a “recession” (or feeble recovery, whichever your political persuasion is). In other words, supply is meeting demands without engaging in more costly extraction methods.

    The food issue is a regional one. What will cause problems in the “musical chairs” of the Middle east is not the lack of food, but the normal factors that affect distribution – war, despots and politics.

    So perhaps the abundance of the 21st century is over. (I personally think we have a great untapped potential yet to exploit, but most of it is in areas that are affected like the ME) But there is still enough of a buffer to prevent a crash. Especially if we stop wasting resources on the unicorn of green Energy.

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      bobl

      As I said before, the Oil situation doesn’t really worry me, except for materials, given sufficient nuclear energy, we can manufacture thermal fuels anyway. Hydrogen for example isn’t particularly hard to make if you have lots of nuclear energy, If you don’t want to burn hydrogen then take some carbon monoxide and combine it with the hydrogen to make methane instead. We will make the transition long before fossil fuel scarcity becomes a real problem, a long, long time before. But food, food is much harder to synthesise, and energy doesn’t help a lot in food production if it’s -40 outside, you can grow in artificial climates indoors, but it’s cheaper to import from the tropics. Energy doesnt help much if there’s 100m of ice over your city either.

      Energy won’t be the problem, food and living space will be.

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        PhilJourdan

        Agree with food. However (if the alarmist do not have their way), I do not think living space will be a problem if, as projected, the population levels off.

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          bobl

          Let me put it this way, in the last ice age New York was under an ice sheet, so that living space under a ice age scenario is really not viable for such a large city, those people need to move – where to, how do they acquire the new space, how does the infrastructure get set up. Another, let’s suppose Canada is an ice tundra, the whole country has to shut up shop and move? Sure the space exists… but what will be the process for acquiring it? How many die in the process, is the process peaceful or violent? Can we keep 25 million people on Christmas island!

          These are ice age scenarios I know, but let’s remember, statistically speaking we are in one of the longest lived interglacials already, how long can it go on? This discussion began in the 1970s but was abruptly stopped by the gang of warm. Can a transition back to the ice age be quick? Scientists used to say no, but modern thinking seems more like maybe…

          Space and food will be the problems that cause violence, Australia, could absorb 200 Million peple, 5 or 6 nations the size of Canada could fit in, but how and who?, we really should have a contingency plan.

          Not that I’m saying any of this will happen, it’s a scenario, a rather improbable one (dramatic rapid cooling to an ice age ) rather like CAGW warming, but it illustrates well why we should look in both directions for contingency planning purposes.

          Much more probable is a five year crop failure across Europe and North America. How do we actually handle a global state of emergency?

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          • #

            The Maunder and Dalton minima did not result in major glaciations.

            While the impacts of the former are more quickly evident, a glaciation can take centuries to get as far as the major cities of the world. I see no rational reason to panic about a glaciation. There are reasons to try to prepare for short-term solar minima which may seriously disrupt regular food production.

            Food production is much more efficient than it was at the time of the Dalton and Maunder minima; if you ignore the “organic” farming movement.

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              bobl

              True enough, while my illustration was a glaciation, I was also trying to make the point about growing seasons, a solar minimum while not inducing glaciation may well disrupt growing seasons on a decade scale. Ultimately though, how do we deal with a glaciation – or even the situation where say the great lakes of N America are frozen year round or even say snow cover for 9 months of the year.

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            PhilJourdan

            I see your point now. Not of land per se, but of the relocation of large populations.

            But that problems is here today. It is about climate change. Back in the 70s, besides the impending coming of the next ice age, one of the biggest bug-a-boos was that the Sahara was expanding and would soon engulf the entire continent of Africa. Of course it did not happen, but the cooling of the 40s-70s did cause an expansion of the desert and the displacement of millions of people.

            Until we can predict exactly what the climate is going to do (if we ever can),those problems will be a constant, not something that springs up every once and a while.

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          Roy Hogue

          Phil,

          The “population problem” has been a big boogeyman for a long time. So far it’s only a problem where technology hasn’t penetrated or where technology isn’t allowed to penetrate.

          It’s the “isn’t allowed” scenario that’s worrisome. Otherwise I think we’ll handle it well enough.

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  • #

    ‘Some say the world will end in fire/Some say in ice.’ (Robert Frost.)

    David Archibald is presenting a counter argument to the green movement’s AGW/CAGW anti-energy doom scenario, raising relevant problem issues of the future and that’s to be welcomed.

    However, big predictions, well,they just haven’t got
    a great record if you take a look at those past dire predictions of history.Hafta’ say we humans aren’t too adept at getting it right. As Nassim Taleb,in ‘The Black Swan’ argues, we can’t foresee those pesky black
    swans events, good or bad, that come out of left field. In Taleb’s book, Chapter 10,The Scandal of Prediction, Philip Tetlock’s study of predictions by ‘experts’ indicate that they are no better than any of us in predicting future change.Paul Erlich, Club of Rome and futher back, William Cross and Thomas Malthus all predicted food production would fail to keep up with population growth.It didn’t happen because while we humans aren’t too good at prediction, we are good at innovation.

    So will the future be like the past? We can’t say that
    it will. What we can learn from the past, however, is that if we allow humans to go about innovating and producing without big guvuhnmint intervention,top down big-spending-taxing 5 (and 10) year plans, we are more
    likely to be adaptable and wealthy enough to deal with whatever black swan comes to land. And that’s my prediction. Beth-the-serf.

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      tom0mason

      Paul Erlich, Club of Rome and futher back, William Cross and Thomas Malthus all became the lights by which the UN operates. Your country signed this declaration in 1976 or any time after?
      http://ww2.unhabitat.org/declarations/vancouver.asp

      It did, so now your government can, at anytime confiscate your land.

      Being deeply concerned with the increasing difficulties facing the world in satisfying the basic needs and aspirations of peoples consistent with principles of human dignity,

      Recognizing that the circumstances of life for vast numbers of people in human settlements are unacceptable, particularly in developing countries, and that, unless positive and concrete action is taken at national and international levels to find and implement solutions, these conditions are likely to be further aggravated, as a result of:

      Inequitable economic growth, reflected in the wide disparities in wealth which now exist between countries and between human beings and which condemn millions of people to a life of poverty, without satisfying the basic requirements for food, education, health services, shelter, environmental hygiene, water and energy;

      Social, economic, ecological and environmental deterioration which are exemplified at the national and international levels by inequalities in living conditions, social segregation, racial discrimination, acute unemployment, illiteracy, disease and poverty, the breakdown of social relationships and traditional cultural values and the increasing degradation of life-supporting resources of air, water and land;

      World population growth trends which indicate that numbers of mankind in the next 25 years would double, thereby more than doubling the need for food, shelter and all other requirements for life and human dignity which are at the present inadequately met:

      …. Recognizing also that the establishment of a just and equitable world economic order through necessary changes in the areas of international trade, monetary systems, industrialization, transfer of resources, transfer of technology, and the consumption of world resources, is essential for socio-economic development and improvement of human settlement

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    Peter Miller

    The prospect of global cooling has always been a more frightening prospect than global warming, it is very much more difficult to adapt to the former than to the latter.

    Fracking is more than a few decades’ solution to our future needs, as its potential resources are truly mind boggling and as time goes on we shall become more and more efficient at producing both gas and oil from these shales, which underlay much of the land surface of our planet.

    What we really need is an economic means of storing vast amounts of electrical energy, some kind of super battery, which is the only way solar and wind energy will ever make any sense. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no sign of one ever being developed.

    If the price is right, we will always find more natural resources. If the incentive is there we shall continue to make better use of those natural resources, although there is obviously a natural limit to how fuel efficient you can make vehicles.

    To survive the future, our society needs to be innovative and only one system provides that type of innovation and that is capitalism. Many will stamp their feet and screech about that statement, but never forget the great truism of “the dead hand of church and state” to which should be added the greens and organised religions.

    Although I am positive about the future, I am deeply concerned about the near term future for many western economies, because of the damage the greens and the goofy politicians who support them are about to inflict on us. The easily avoidable era of rolling blackouts, plus expensive and unreliable energy supplies is almost upon us.

    Supposed man made climate change is an obvious non-problem, but a cooling sun would be a huge one in terms of reduced areas on which to plant cereals and declining global rainfall.

    Imagine another LIA (1550-1850AD) occurring? In such circumstances, this would soon become a very ugly, conflict filled, world. But, of course, the models say this could never happen, so we are are safe – thank heavens for the IPCC!

    [Edited to fix typo. - J]

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    Tim Spence

    I think we can be sure that grain harvests will keep on improving and breaking records, I don’t think a 1º or 2ºc reduction in average temps will have much effect on that. (In fact I’m absolutely sure about that).

    So that’s one horseman down but there are plenty more waiting to take his place.

    There’s too much embeded automation plugged into the internet and we all rely on the internet too much. There are scenarios where it all goes into meltdown and that could kick-off with events that range from a major terrorist attack to natural disaster.

    We also have to be wary that massive electromagnic surges from the sun could fry all the transformers on the planet to the extent that there is no electricity supply or automotive transport.

    There’s another theoretical bang awaiting with all the switch mode power supply equipment being used to power PC’s and electrical goods. They don’t use transformers to convert the mains electricity, they chop the supply mains voltage into pieces that can be smoothed to power your PC but they generate huge spikes on the mains. The theory says that if these spikes ever synchronised they could burn out a lot of the supply lines.

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      Peter Miller

      I cannot agree with your first statement about a 2 degree C drop in global temperature being nothing to worry about in terms of cereal growing. There is a triple whammy to consider:

      1. The first and most obvious being the reduced amount of heat available to ripen crops.

      2. The second being the shorter growing season, and

      3. The reduction in precipitation, due to less evaporation from the oceans. Many grain growing areas are already on the margin as far as precipitation is concerned.

      We can only push bio-engineering so far and it is much easier to do this if you have adequate temperatures and rainfall.

      Bottom line: give me global warming over global cooling any day.

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        Tim Spence

        My family grows wheat, sunflower and quick crops as fillers between seasons. Wheat is not fussy but needs a bit of luck at the right times both at sowing and harvesting, it’s quite a hit and miss process. If it’s time to sow and the soil is too dry do you wait or sow anyway and hope, or rely on a short term weather forecast? can you trust the long range forecast to be correct for harvest time? So there’s a lot of variation and potential losses that get weighed up and discussed. A two degree drop in temperatures would not even get discussed. Do you believe that farmers sow the same crops on exactly the same date every year?

        Second point, a reduced growing season would be just a few days shorter, not important. Clearly an ice-age would be a disaster, but we’re talking 1-2ºc right.

        Third point, a reduction in precipitation? Well that has good and bad points with regard to wheat, lack of moisture will stunt growth but heavy rain will destroy a crop.

        Bottom line, give me warming over cooling – absolutely.

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      Mark D.

      Tim, the last “bang” you mention is (IMHO) not going to happen. Switchers are already “synchronized” to line frequency, it’s how they work. They also broaden their timing if the line voltage lowers. The effect of a overload of already synchronized switchers would be no different than any other grid overload. Also, transformers and the natural inductance of distribution systems tend to smooth transients across the grid. There are still many inductive loads in the whole grid and they too buck the impulse currents.

      Final distribution or building supply transformer overheating, waveform distortion and neutral overcurrent in multi-phase systems are the main troubles that arise from low impedance loads like switchers. This has already been seen in large office buildings often enough to cause a few electric code changes that is already dealing with the problem.

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      • #
        Tim Spence

        It’s just a theory, not mine I hasten to add, not global either but interesting enough.

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        Roy Hogue

        Mark, Tim,

        Switchers are so prevalent now that utilities have long ago examined whether there’s a problem or not and have no doubt decided there isn’t one.

        Absolutely nothing in my house except electric motors and my 100 Watt/side amplifier is without a switcher — actually the amp may have a switcher along with the heavy transformer needed to power the final output stage. Even the stuff with motors has it’s microprocessor and a switcher to power it. Switching power supplies are now made so small you can include a small chip, a small capacitor and a toroidal transformer on a circuit board and they’re hardly noticeable. You can’t tell the diodes from other components unless you know what you’re looking at.

        They rule the world. And they’ve earned that position by being able to eliminate the heavy iron transformers needed for handling 50/60 Hz.

        There’s no problem with them. And they don’t mess with the power factor as transformers and motor do. So the utilities have good reason to love them.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        One more comment to Mark,

        Honest question. I want to know.

        A switcher doesn’t stay a low impedance load most of the time. The biggest surge is when they first go online and have to charge up the capacitor from scratch, otherwise they’re working into a nearly fully charged capacitor and don’t really present a low impedance. At least not any lower than anything else using equivalent power.

        I have this from an EE I worked with for a number of years. You seem to have some experience in the area, so what would cause a constant enough low impedance load to overheat transformers? I’m puzzled.

        I have some marvelous CDs that if played at concert hall level will cause my amplifier to make the lights blink noticeably as the loudest transients come along and it decides to suck more juice from the power line – shakes the walls and rattles the windows too. And that I can understand. But it doesn’t happen in office buildings.

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          Mark D.

          Actually I should have said “low impedance load with a high level of harmonics”.

          Roy, It is true that most of the time of the waveform the line draw is non-existent BUT the impedance is low when the switcher is calling for more (this always starting at the peaks and broadening if necessary) as the load increases. The rapid rise time of the current flow and subsequent harmonics cause additional heating in the mains transformer. These transformers are of a higher impedance as they are wound and cored for 50 or 60 hz. They don’t like the higher frequency harmonic currents much at all. I’ve seen building transformers maxed out, overheated and producing flat topped sine waves due to these loads even though the supply fuse/breaker did not trip. The transformer magnetic reserve is gone (oversaturated) this in turn can cause even worse harmonics. That is what will heat up the neutrals. Additionally, in building electrical design it had been permitted to reduce the neutral conductor size assuming that it was only carrying the unbalanced share of current between phases. With the high inrush current and high harmonics this was found to be untrue AND sometimes bad things happened.

          More efficient transformers, power factor correction and additional capacity are the solution although switching power supplies have also been improved over the years. Building design engineers don’t like the added cost of oversizing transformers and manufacturers dislike adding cost to the power supply.

          You normally would not expect these types of problems an a residential neighborhood but you might see problems with non sinusoidal mains waveforms if you live near a concentration of businesses or manufacturing. Power companies do their best to solve these kinds of things if they happen to show up in their grid because it costs them money.

          As a side note, old fashioned florescent lighting was considered beneficial in buildings because their ballasts helped with the overall power factor (as seen by the power company). We’ll be seeing a major transition to LED lighting soon and I wonder about the unintended consequences.

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      Roy Hogue

      Tim,

      You have every far fetched menace on the planet all laid out for us to see. Good!

      Now can we get back a little closer to reality? None of that is likely enough to keep my attention. Our governments and the UN are where we’re getting serious trouble.

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    Eliza

    Probably latest up to date info on AGW from an atmospheric physicist
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/global_warming_and_settled_science.html

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    motvikten

    We in the west ……

    What about “The Bottom Billion” ?
    Africa Rising?

    Food and energy problem in the west? (I do not agree)
    http://novozymes.com/en/investor/news-and-announcements/Pages/Interim-report-for-the-first-3-month-of-2014.aspx

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    Richard111

    Had my copy a couple of weeks now. Will have to read it again. Lots of stuff I was not aware off. Agree with David Evans’ review.

    David Evans quotes “our elites as yet have no clue”, I’m not so sure about that. The push for global governance predates AGW.

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    Andrew McRae

    I imagined Jo’s next post might be about the Fiberals’ re-affirmation today of “the Government’s clear, strong support for the science underpinning climate change” and their release of the Direct Action whitepaper on finding ways to burn a billion dollars and send it to private sector cronies via greenwashed projects at a time when budget cuts are ostensibly de rigueur.
    But I always find the bigger picture to be much more interesting.

    If this post does constitute a new extra direction of discussion on this blog then I am all for it. Presumably the underlying material of these four mounting problems is not quite as intractable to comprehension as some of the finer physics details of the greenhouse saga has been. Hopefully discussion is therefore more fruitful.

    I, for one, welcome our new Global Cooling Food Shortage Energy Crisis Islamonukophobia overlords.

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    handjive

    One thing is for sure …
    The Australian greenLiberal/National party won’t save anyone from anything, except continue the political tradition of boondoggles for their lobbyist mates.
    ~ ~ ~
    24/4/14 – Greg Hunt defends his new White Paper on Climate Change:

    Hunt: “I want to re-affirm today the Government’s clear, strong support for the science underpinning climate change”

    Greg Hunt on the 7.30 Report, 24/4/14 on the ABC defends his new White Paper on Climate Change:

    At the 1.24 minute Hunt claims the science of the CSIRO is the science he ‘listens to’.

    BUT, the CSIRO claims a carbon(sic) tax is the answer:

    Carbon tax hit small: CSIRO

    The CSIRO bases it’s climate science on ‘The Hockey Stick’, and UN-IPCC climate science:

    Quote: “The IPCC (and CSIRO) relied heavily on the Mann paper in coming to their global warming conclusions. The paper’s climate curve was nicknamed the “hockey stick”: relatively flat from 1550 to 1900, with a sharp rise as greenhouse warming lifted global average temperatures.”

    The UN-IPCC in it’s latest report acknowledges a 17+ year halt in global warming that was NOT IN the Hockey Stick:

    ABC, 24/3/14: Wet La Nina years mask sea level rise
    “The apparent slowing of sea level rise coincided with what the UN panel of climate experts calls a hiatus in global warming at the Earth’s surface, when temperatures have risen less sharply despite record emissions of greenhouse gases.”
    . . .
    So a question for Greg Hunt, or any other greenLiberal politician that reads this blog, WTF?

    The science you use is busted.

    Grow a backbone quick, and cull those chickens, because they’re coming home to roost.

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      DT

      Handjive I share your frustration, my explanation for the Coalition apparently feeling a need to go along with climate change is all about politics. Tony Abbott has of course recently commented that he will not stand for socialism masquerading and environmentalism, yet his government is planning to spend billions of dollars on a direct action policy?

      Looking back to the Kyoto Conference where the Howard government signed but did not ratify greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and penalties to be imposed if the targets were not achieved, that government went on to establish the Greenhouse Office and projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by practical, common sense based means, direct action. I recall so called clean coal technology development plans, tree planting projects, promotion of the use of LPG as fuel for vehicles and even funding local and state government solar projects. As it turned out the Kyoto target for Australia was achieved, not acknowledged by the following Union Labor government, no doubt because they were on a mission to create an emissions trading scheme or carbon tax as it became.

      I have long argued that the developed world moved in the right direction around 40 years ago when environmental pollution acts of parliament were created, as a result pollution was successfully tackled, new electricity generation plants replaced the dirty inner city location plants, etc. I do not believe that developed nations need to do more than combat pollution and strictly enforce penalties. And encourage nations such as China and India to pass legislation and enforce it.

      In conclusion, for as long as the socialists of the world succeed in continuing their climate change agenda no sovereign nation’s government will be prepared to be seen to be doing nothing about the climate change scare, even knowing that the climate changes constantly and global warming and cooling periods are normal Earth Cycles. Over past weeks the Opposition have been running a scare campaign suggesting that age pensions will be cut in the next Budget, ignoring that pensions are indexed and reviewed every 6 months, budget adjustments for pension ended years ago. Considering how many people I have read on line commenting and even panicking I shake my head and better understand why the Coalition believes that they need the direct action plan. Human beings are their own worst enemy.

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        handjive

        Hey DT.
        Thanks for your time & considered response.
        Quite so Frustration. And Anger.

        You wisely highlight the biggest “broken promise” of Tony Abbott’s term as PM so far:

        “Tony Abbott has of course recently commented that he will not stand for socialism masquerading (as) environmentalism, yet his government is planning to spend billions of dollars on a direct action policy?”

        Abbott said this in 2011.

        Yet, with Greg Hunt’s latest quote,“I want to re-affirm today the Government’s clear, strong support for the science underpinning climate change,” we have a government actively engaged in “socialism masquerading (as) environmentalism”.

        Nice catch.

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    John West

    I categorically deny there is any merit whatsoever in this line of thinking. Improvise, adapt, overcome! That is what humans do. Thanks to genetic modifications we will be growing food in places we never could before with resources so abundant as to be for all practical purposes unlimited (i.e.: seawater) giving us plenty of available crop production real-estate even if there are latitudinal constrictions from global cooling. Thanks to extraction innovations fossil fuels can continue to power our civilization for centuries to come giving us the ability to continue our sharp population increase and hopefully raising the standard of living for all humanity.

    The true enemy of humanity and really all life born of this world is for the human population and drive to expand to stagnate. Population growth drives expansion. Expansion beyond this one planet is the only hope for truly long term survival (think horseshoe crab species-span) of humanity and other life on this planet. Eventually something really really bad will happen to this planet and the only survivors will be those of us that are no longer here and whatever other life forms we’ve taken with us.

    Isn’t it time for us to start planning in geological timeframes instead of individual lifespans?

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    pat

    how coincidental! i just finished watching Ross Ashcrofts’ 2012 film, FOUR HORSEMEN. it is pro-capitalism, but not what masquerades as capitalism today. i definitely don’t agree with everything in the film, & those expressing opinions are not exactly a diverse bunch, but it is thought-provoking & covers resource depletion.

    1.38.53: Youtube: Four Horsemen – Feature Documentary – Official Version
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbvquHSPJU

    About Ross Ashcroft
    http://www.rossashcroft.com/about/

    re Archibald’s book: i don’t support fracking. i read all (for & against) i come across on thorium reactors, however limited my comprehension, but i haven’t been convinced they solve the waste problem to any acceptable degree. in fact, i haven’t seen anyone arguing that they would.

    fusion, yes.

    nonetheless, i will no doubt read Archibald’s book at some point.

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    tom0mason

    The biggest problem is not could David Archibald contentions in the book be correct or not, or to some degree has his research been good enough. No, I think the biggest problem is has any government given these ideas a second of thought.
    Are our contingency planners really thinking widely enough for the true probabilities of the future or are they all caught in the clown car headlights of the UN-IPCC’s lucratively modeled global warming fiasco?

    Of course some would have you believe that there are other more imminent dangers https://b612foundation.org/ for instance.

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    David

    Peak oil is complete bullshit. There are MASSIVE reserves discovered in North America, we have fossil fuels for hundreds of years. Any ‘shortages’ and rise in prices will be artificial.

    This book smells like globalist propaganda.

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  • #

    I bought Archibald’s book based on a recommendation at wattsupwiththat, a usually reliable source. But not in this case.

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  • #
    janama

    Did China invade anyone in WWII – NO – did China invade anyone during the Korean War – NO – did China invade anyone during the Vietnam War – NO even though Vietnam was on it’s border. China is not and expansionary country – it invades in a different way, it’s currently invading Africa and many other countries as Rere recently alluded to. The vast food production potential of Africa has never been exploited until now and it’s the Chinese who are leading the way.

    It’s also China who is leading the research into Thorium power with a massive research laboratory they recently created bringing together the world’s leading scientists in that area of science.

    The Middle East is growing – we are told so much BS about the middle east – we are told Morocco is dangerous, yet it’s not and has a growth rate of 5.1%. Algeria 3.1%, Libya is sorting itself out after the fall of Qaddafi and will eventually gain stability. It’s Industrial production growth rate is 9.6% (2013 est.) Turkey has 3.1% growth and Istanbul was voted the world’s most exciting tourist city in recent polls. Dubai is safer than Sydney to live in and it makes it’s wealth via finance, business and tourism, not oil. Dubai has no oil. It buys it’s gas from Qatar. Yes, Dubai imports over 90% of it’s food, our potatoes come from Lebanon and Cyprus, our oranges from the US, our pork from the UK and Kenya, our beef and lamb from Australia and New Zealand. Yes Pakistan is a worry. It’s a worry to all the Pakistanis here in Dubai who fret for their homeland yet they say the problem is deep seated corruption, not nuclear bombs.

    The peoples of the 17th and 18th centuries couldn’t adapt to a cooling world, I believe we, in the 21st century can and will.

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      DT

      Janama what can the world do about the extremists of Islam and their migration mission?

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    • #
      Winston

      I largely agree, Janama, hence my comment above.

      However, your comment about a cooling world is predicated upon a geopolitical will to allow adaptation, rather than the political classes hamstringing their fellow man and preventing this to enforce a “bloodless” genocide. Laws against generating your own power, laws against growing your own food, smart meters, corralling people into cities and turning them into co-dependent, unskilled and apathetic prisoners in gulags without fences- these are happening as we speak, yet you remain convinced we can adapt. I’m quite sure the oligarchs can adapt, and the narcissism gene will be further enhanced in the ultimate example of social Darwinism at its best.

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    • #
      Reinder van Til

      Does China harass Tibet? Yep they do. And how was China build? On the bodies of millions of deaths under Mao

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      • #
        janama

        China has always considered Tibet to be Chinese territory. What we call the invasion of Tibet in the 50s the Chinese call the liberation of Tibet from the oppressive Buddhist religion. It was China that created the first Dali Lama in the first place.
        Anyone interested in Tibet should read Michael Parenti’s account of the religion.

        http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

        Yes, many died under Mao but it was all contained within their own borders. As I said, China is non expansionary.

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          James Bradley

          Janama, that wasn’t China per-se as a culture, that was the communist ideology of the ruling Chinese government that invaded Tibet because of the refusal of the Tibetan culture/religion to accept Chinese rule. China backed Korea with weapons and training, China backed Vietnam with weapons and training, China was also instrumental in the little known war fought by Australia in between those two actions, called the Malayan Emergency.

          Many died under Mao, many died under Stalin, many died under Pol Pot in fact many people died and continue to die in causes for which they had no other option but to fight because the basic human right of freedom of speech was denied by their various totalitarian and authoritarian regimes bent on promoting the good of the few against the good of the many (long live and prosper Mr. Spock) with the philosophy that ‘hard work never hurt anyone… important.’

          Many people are now dying under the UN supported regime of wasting enormous resources that should be channelled into health, food, efficient use of proven energy resources and education instead of wasting it on propaganda to convince the population that we must change the climate.

          The good of the few is again being promoted by vested interests sucking from respective socialist government teats in return for votes which is rewarded by subsidies to bloated and disastrous renewable energy schemes and targets. Where does all this money disappear to when each of these schemes has gone belly up?

          We are now being manipulated by a great evil, evidenced by vast amounts of money spent world wide to shut down climate change debate and remove freedom of speech, and propaganda to label dissenters and independent thinkers as deniers, traitors, and crack-pots.

          What the hell sort of world is this, and not even 100 years past Hitler’s death camps and Stalin’s purges.

          But you know, I feel sorry for the loud, immoral, outspoken, lefty academics who support these regimes because by the time they become disenfranchised and disillusioned by the very machinery they helped grease, they are usually too full of their own self importance to keep their own mouths shut…

          and the state always come for them first.

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            PhilJourdan

            China backed Korea with weapons and training,

            And a million troops. Granted one of the Kims “asked” them in. However, the other Dictator (Syngman Rhee I think) did not.

            More than any thoughts of nobility, their losses in that conflict is why they have not ventured out again. That does not mean they never will. Man forgets the past with time.

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            Ted O'Brien.

            My recollection is that China was not North Vietnam’s backer. Early on at least, the USSR was their principal supplier. The Vietnamese hated China who had ruled them for a thousand years. At times during the Vietnam war North Vietnam was at war with China on their border.

            I can’t remember when China moved in, but it might have been after the war.

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            • #
              PhilJourdan

              Your recollection is mine as well. And I do not think they are bossum buddies with China even to this day. The old Soviet Union was always their sugar daddy.

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          Ceetee

          Janama @ #25.3.1 – China may be non expansionary but they are very, very patient.

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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          As I said, China is non expansionary.

          Janama,

          They now appear to have a lust for islands belonging to Japan and The Philippines. The justification seems to be a desire to control the international waters between China’s coast and those islands.

          Not so non expansionary in my view. China wants its place in the world and they have every right to it if they achieve it honestly. But my willingness to grant them that place and compete openly and honestly with them doesn’t extend to allowing the taking of foreign territory.

          About Tibet: Recent history has Tibet an independent, sovereign, self governing state. What China considers Tibet to be is in conflict with what I can believe about the situation. It was Crimea the first.

          I’m only one opinion but I don’t like what’s happening in China.

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        • #
          James Bradley

          China also now has the largest aircraft carrier in the world, which seems and odd bit of offensive gun platform kit for a non-expansionary regime.

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  • #
    Pathway

    I have 1.5 trillion barrels of karogen in my back yard and all it would take to recover it is lots of energy and the national will to do so.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      And the probable destruction of your back yard and maybe damage or destruction of your house too. Are you willing to let that happen?

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    Al in Cranbrook

    Read some time ago an article noting that, since the late 1800s, one can track via major newspapers reporting suggesting global cooling (as in, pending ice age?) followed by global warming…about 30 year cycles. In 1978 James Hansen (NASA) was telling anyone who would listen that the next ice age was a certainty.

    Several years ago Europe experienced one of the worst winters in a century. And N. America is just getting through a similar event. Lake Superior is still frozen over.

    No question that solar cycles coincide with all this. And we are indeed heading into a cooling cycle.

    All that said, there have been many books written over time predicting hard times ahead, for reasons to numerous to mention. Notably, rarely do things turn out as predicted.

    Occurs to me, I’m half way through a second read of Matt Ridley’s “The Rational Optimist”. I’d set it down a while ago, but I think I’ll get back to finishing it. A dose of good ol’ common sense once in a while is reassuring. One of the three most important books I’ve ever read…and I can’t think of the other two right now.

    An aside, and totally off topic, but perhaps very relevant to skeptics…

    This column showed up in today’s National Post. Just cannot make up unowhat like this!

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/23/its-the-worst-science-paper-ever-filled-with-plagiarism-and-garble-and-journals-are-clamouring-to-publish-it/

    WOW!

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  • #

    (I’ve not read the book. So my comments are made from a state of blissful ignorance.)

    Offsetting the shorter and colder growing seasons in the grain baskets is the availability of CO2; which also counters the reduction water availability concomitant with colder times. Furthermore; genetic modification can dramaticaly improve not only crop yields, buit also the nutritional value of crops.

    David Archibald goes a long way to draw a dark picture; not quite the worst-case scenario so popular with the media and the publicity-seeking tentacles of the IPCC, but he makes little allowance for the flexibility of civilization that utilised human ingenuity. Perhaps Mr Archibald is trying to pour a bucket of chilled water onto the over-heated CAGW scam.

    When the CAGW house of cards eventually collapses, it’ll free up plenty of resources that are necessary to adapt a growing population to a changing climate. While most of the “climate scientists”s’ brilliance wouldn’t light up the inside of a refrigerator (vis Lindzen’s comments), their activities consume public and private resources that are more productively deployed to improving our ability to cope with changing climate and other natural phenomena.

    Just imagine the electricity saved by not running climate model simulations!

    As for shale gas and oil, we simply have no way of telling the extent of the resource that could be tapped by e.g. fraccing. If oil and gas are produced deep within the Earth according to abiotic theory, then the resource could last centuries if not “indefinitely“; depending on the rate of generation. I do agree that it’s not a resource to be squandered for stationary energy needs; it’s much too valuable as a high-intensity, transportable source of energy.

    And I agree that, at least for developed nations, that coal should no longer be used for electricity generation as it’s too valuable a source of carbon for making stuff, including gas and liquid fuels.

    Stationary energy requirements should be primarily nuclear. Existing Gen III+ technologies are a stop-gap to other reactor technologies. Molten-salt thorium reactor technologies show the most promise; but, realistically, are at least a decade away from being deployed into commercial electricity generation and for industrial process heat.

    THe billion dollars allocated to “saving the climate” by the new Australian government could be better deployed into nuclear R&D, including the Australian-Czech consortium developing a thorium molten-salt reactor (TMSR). Spending taxpayers’ money shouldn’t however be the purpose of government. It is far from the ideal mode of operation.

    Government efforts should be focused on the regulatory environment that currently prohibits nuclear power generation in Australia. Australia mines and exports uranium. There’s no technical reason why a private investor shouldn’t be able to buy a “nuke off the rack” from e.g. South Korea and have it plonked down near e.g. Whyalla to supply the South Australian grid (typically, within 10 years of the firm order). The total cost of electricity at the gates should be of the order of 5 cents/kWh, amortised over the life of the plant; as it is in the UAE.

    And it’s not just cheap(er) electricity generation that’s the objective; it’s to provide a working environment to help educate and to train Australians in the practical operation of nuclear energy; where the intensity of energy and the need to handle materials appropriately is in common across all the reactor technologies, including TMSR. The fissile by-products of the conventional reactor can also be used for the necessary “spark-plug” to initiate a thorium breeder cycle.

    Over the 40 to 60 year life of a conventional reactor, Australia should be able to establish a self-sustaining fleet of TMSBR (thorium, molten-salt breeder reactors) using the by-products of the conventional reactor; and to “burn up” any long-lived, undesirable by-products produced by the conventional reactor. There is a synergy of sorts between the fuel cycle technologies.

    Aside: China doesn’t have to “mine” for thorium to fuel hundreds of its own future reactors. Its (radioactive) rare-earth tailings stockpiles, produced as a result of trying to make lots of e.g. rare-earth magnets for “green products”. IIRC, France stopped importing mineral sands from (Western) Australia because they had no space left for the thorium-containing tailings.
    (Geoscience Australia on Thorium)
    Thorium doesn’t have to be “enriched” to be used in molten-salt reactors; just refined into a salt. As such, one tonne out of every tonne of thorium is potential fuel (the “correct” isotope) whereas only a few kg of uranium out of a tonne of uranium mined is of the correct isotope; and separating the isotope is far more complicated than refining thorium from its ore (typ. monazite).

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    Tristan

    Batten down the hatches lads, the horsemen are coming!

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  • #
    JunkPsychology

    I’ve seen several occurrences of “You, too, can profit from the coming apocalypse” make their entrance and then disappear. And I don’t react warmly to direct quotations from the Book of Revelation, as can be seen in the American Thinker piece. Especially after I’ve had my fill of conventional enviro-apocalyptics.

    But I will read Archibald, as another contributor to the pessimistic literature that we’re seeing a lot of these days (Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation; Daniel Goldman, How Civilizations Die; insert your favorite example here). When done well, it does raise issues that we need to be thinking about.

    in the American Thinker piece, Archibald seems especially worried about Chinese Empire. Which isn’t the only variety—Russian Empire and Iranian Islamic Empire are moving right along, too

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    Steve from Devon

    I recommend burning more coal to keep the CO2 levels up and counteract the effect of cooling on crop yields.

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    • #
      the Griss

      What a wonderful idea.. :-)

      and once we get rid of all that irregular inefficient wind and solar off the grid, the price we pay should drop significantly..

      … meaning we can keep ourselves warm in winter without having to resort to wood burning with its large amount of real pollution.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Griss,

        I hear the EPA is making rules right now that would prohibit using wood burning stoves for heating anywhere in the country. Right now it’s no longer possible to build a house with a fireplace anywhere in California.

        We’ll soon be there by law and long before we ever get there by ability to use other fuels everywhere.

        Where I live there are many fireplaces and in the evening when someone has a fire going the smoke doesn’t always rise as you would expect, it drifts all over the neighborhood at ground level, making it very unpleasant to be outside.

        As much as I dislike restricting what people can do I would very much like to be rid of that “real pollution”. I just don’t want it to be by force of law made for the wrong reason.

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      Lucky

      -Burn more CO2 to keep the temperature up-
      Amusing thought, but the so-called global warming from CO2 does not exist.

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    I hesitate to say it but after all the comments are made here, it is a debate we need to be having and debating it seriously without a bunch of egos and opportunists getting in the way.

    Unfortunately at this point we don’t really know if it will cool or by how much or if it will heat up some more or by how much. And if you think I’m wrong about this, I’m open to being convinced.

    If I’ve learned anything from the last 6 or 7 years of studying this global warming monster it’s that ego and money are our worst enemies. People stake out a position and then they can’t let go of it for fear of losing face or money if not both. Maybe I’m even in that category. You’ll have to be the judge. But when ego and financial gain are in charge we always lose in the end.

    And frankly, I’m not sure where to start. But it would be nice if we could actually know which way the temperature is going to go for the next 50 or 100 years. You can prepare for the known. You have real trouble preparing for the unknown.

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      bobl

      Huh? There’s only two choices, warmer or colder… doesn’t seem onerous to plan for both. Of course, instead of planning for the ice-age that we have seen before by having the cheapest, most reliable and most plentiful energy sources possible which by the way also works for a hotter climate. Instead, we invent a new religion and plan for a thermoggeddon that has never been seen in geological time. Then in honour of the new gaian diety we go and make energy scarce, unreliable, and expensive, which is exactly the opposite of what needs to be done to protect ourselves.

      I swear, Mankind, has gone nuts….

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      • #
        Rogueelement451

        The vacuum flask , the Worlds greatest invention, you put something hot in it , it stays hot , you put something cold in it , it stays cold , How does it know?
        Just saying we have the technology , now we need the application.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        I swear, Mankind, has gone nuts…

        451,

        Probably we were always nuts. The past is littered with the same general kind of non problem we have today. It just wasn’t climate and there wasn’t the fast, universal communication to spread it all over so easily.

        But to the point. Yes, it can only either get colder or warmer to which I could add, or stay the same. We need to get out from under the influence of overstuffed egos and financial gain and take a good look at ourselves. My answer here is why I think we need the debate.

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  • #
    TdeF

    Memories are short.

    When the British arrived in India and became defacto National government through deals with the many Princes, the average life expectancy was around 24 years. Short, brutal, cruel? We have forgotten.

    Remember that in the 19th century, maternal mortality was 30% at childbirth, which is why there are all the fairy tales about the wicked stepmother. Natural birth was often a death sentence or the doctors killed you because they washed nothing. There was no single mothers supporting pension and the mortality for children under 1 was 50%. So children were given up for adoption. Many children lost both parents even without war. Many women with many pregnancies before contraception lost all but one child to sickness, infection, appendicitis, toothache, antiobiotic preventable death before 21. It kept the population down massively. Now heart bypasses alone are keeping many alive and well after 65. Knee and hip transplants are keeping people mobile. I read today there are 300,000 people with the Australian Cochlear Bionic ear and new electrical stimulation using this device can now restore hearing completely.

    Fundamentally life is so good for most in the West we have forgotten what brutal and short means. There is also reason to believe humans will react. In the 1970′s India was starving with 400 million. Today there are 1.3Billion and they have food. New grain types, better understanding of agriculture and fertilizer and harvesting. We do have the ability to build Thorium reactors with limitless supplies without any fear of bombs or explosions. The Indians are doing this.

    Of course there is always someone who tells us it is all going to collapse, that bird flu/aids/ebola/a new influenza, something will sweep the world. It may happen. An asteroid may hit the planet or we could have another Krakatoa or Santorini. Disasters will happen and nuclear war can happen, especially with Pakistan, Iran, Korea pretending to heat their homes with nuclear.

    However there is also a real chance the population will stabilize. Poorer countries will reduce birth rates as conditions improve. Wealth is the greatest contraceptive and life will improve for many more. but a Carbon tax will not fix that.

    I would rather we looked at the lack of a world war for 70 years, thanks to the deterrent of which Nobel dreamed. War is normal. Famine and disease are normal. However there is every reason to be positive as the world literacy increases, television spreads information on quality of life and the fear of war actually prevents it. You could however live in fear and donate everything you own to the marvellous and generous writers of the IPCC reports. Or to Al Gore or Tim Flannery or Scientology.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Those with something to sell always need to tell you that you have a problem and only they can solve it. The worse the problem the more they sell.

      The truth looks more like your last two paragraphs.

      However there is also a real chance the population will stabilize. Poorer countries will reduce birth rates as conditions improve. Wealth is the greatest contraceptive and life will improve for many more. but a Carbon tax will not fix that.

      I would rather we looked at the lack of a world war for 70 years, thanks to the deterrent of which Nobel dreamed. War is normal. Famine and disease are normal. However there is every reason to be positive as the world literacy increases, television spreads information on quality of life and the fear of war actually prevents it. You could however live in fear and donate everything you own to the marvellous and generous writers of the IPCC reports. Or to Al Gore or Tim Flannery or Scientology.

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        Roy Hogue

        I forgot to add that I still think some honest debate about where were going and why is incumbent upon us.

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    • #
      PeterK

      TdeF: I thought this presentation by Hans Rosling back in 2006 sums up rather nicely how the world as regards health and wealth has tracked over the decades.

      http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen

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      • #
        TdeF

        Thanks. Excellent clear analyses.

        The conclusions he has reached match my own, reached simply by observation without statistics. Some of his results are quite startling and his 3D graphics and dynamic graphics over time so much more entertaining and informative than dry charts.

        Personally I like to look at all the good which has come from science, especially since WWII. WWII itself was a watershed in quality of life, despite the horrors. For example the development of machines for mass production of antibiotics was specifically for D-Day. So much more, like jet travel, microwaves, home refrigeration and an endless list. The development of ICBMs for the ‘space race’ also gave us MAD, satellites, GPS, the internet, communication at sea and all microelectronics. Again the list is endless. What is hard to take is the perversion of science, the carpet baggers, the doomsayers, Monckton’s Profiteers of doom censoring everyone and organizations like the IPCC perverting good science for political purposes. They are the nasty bacteria of modern society, the opportunists who can see personal gain from misinformation and manipulation. Pauchari, Gore, Flannery and the other baby boomers will be gone and with them the greatest scam in modern society and proof that real science cannot defeat politics. Galileo knew that but published anyway.

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    DT

    How about reverting to Australian Aborigine pre-white settlement techniques for farming the land and harvesting nature, example native grasses for seed and flour?

    Two books worth reading: The Greatest Estate On Earth and Dark Emu Black Seed, based on the recorded observations of the early British and European explorers and settlers who described Australian landscape as being much like a managed estate in Europe/UK with many areas of trees, shrubs and grasses spread out so that Horses and even carts could be driven through easily. Of course there was heavily forested country too, and desert. Paintings that can be viewed in art galleries around Australia are worth looking at from the 1700s to 1800s.

    Contrary to the official stories of early settlement the Australian Aborigines were competent farmers who fed themselves in shorter working hours than northern hemisphere farmers did, they encouraged native animals to graze and captured them using nets and then spears to kill them for food. Dams had been constructed, water holes marked and depending on where in Australia they lived solid buildings were constructed. Grass grains were stored in containers and ground on rocks set aside for the purpose.

    And they managed all of the land, controlled fires lit regularly for a number of reasons including encouraging growth and fertilising the soil. Introduced animals compacted the soil in a very short period after white settlement and caused erosion.

    In my opinion Australians must adopt indigenous farming and land management techniques, as started some time ago in the Kimberly region of Western Australia.

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    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      DT, who told you this?

      Prior to 1788 Australia sustained about 400,000 people. Today it feeds 60 million.

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      Peter

      DT…… Modern grain production has yield levels of 5 tonnes per hectare from dry land farming, and 10 tonnes per hectare from irrigated rice. There are no native grasses that produce anything like a fraction of that amount.

      As has been said, the population of pre-European Australia was far lower, kept there by child mortality, lack of medical technology and warfare. The idea that Aboriginal Australia was som kind of Eden is a myth.

      Having read Gammage, I find that he has some interesting things to say, but romanticises appallingly.

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    DT

    Another book worth reading is The Sovereign Individual: the coming economic revolution, how to survive and prosper in it.

    Written by two UK stockbrokers, James Davidson and William Rees-Mogg, the book is about the collapse of the welfare state as the Industrial Age ended in the 1990s for developed countries to be replaced by the Information Technology Age. Economic responsibility will be shifted to individuals who will completely responsible for their own destinies. The individual will become more like an entrepreneur, a private contractor in complete control of their own finances with easy access to enormous computing power.

    First published in 1997 the book should be read by everyone, too many people today are unprepared, lack an understanding of economics and finance and their place in a sovereign nation.

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    I am not so pessimistic about the future as David Archibald appears to be. Even if the planet get slightly cooler, it will not matter a great deal. In the last 50 years the global population has doubled, but the supply of food has far outstripped that supply. The proportion of the World’s population who are at subsistence levels – even the absolute numbers – has declined. Globally the world population is better fed than at any time. Period. That is due to human ingenuity. Not to Government plans, but to human beings being without the invasive powers of authoritarian know-it-all’s directing them them in what to do. The best way to offset the (relatively) small harm of dropping temperatures is to stop producing crops for fuel.
    One thing to remember. When studying for a degree in the early 1980s, at the time of famine in Ethiopia, was a potential figure for Africa. Although the vast majority is unsuitable for agriculture, it contained enough available land to feed the then 5 billion global population. With technological changes, it Africa still has the land to feed 7 billion people. We will not do so because using other land means cheaper food through more extensive agriculture.
    Another factoid from the 1970s. In the USSR 30% of agricultural output came from 1% of the agricultural land area. That was from the small plots which the rural workers could work for themselves, and sell the surplus in the local markets.
    Energy will not be a problem, so long as the right structures are in place. In Britain, energy supplies will be secure this century from shale gas, so long as red tape and green pro-poverty protesters do not not get in the way.

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      Retired now

      “Even if the planet get slightly cooler, it will not matter a great deal. ”

      Sorry I can’t agree with this statement. As an ex-nursery grower and farmer I know full well that a year where the local average temperature was down by one degree meant that we had two weeks less growing season in spring and two weeks less in autumn. In addition crops that were planted didn’t thrive as they did in a normal year. So the productivity was down not just from a lesser length of season but because they grew more slowly during the summer. On one year when we had a 2 degree drop in average temperature our cropping dropped below 50% and we only got one crop per year, not two, so the overall cropping was below 25%. This has a devastating effect on cash flow, not to mention the food that can be grown for home consumption. It is, of course, possible to change what one grows and how, but it takes a few years to be convinced that the drop in temperature is continuing (in the early 80s when this happened to us, it didn’t). So we would likely have 5 to 10 years phase in time as farmers decide to change, get used to and skilled at growing a different range and in a different way. Add to temperatures normal variations in rain with either drought and flooding and you can get a perfect storm effect in cash flow and the movement of farmers off the land.

      A 2 degree drop in temperature matters A LOT. Plus our Australian houses aren’t well insulated as many of us live in climates where heating is only episodic even in winter. When I lived in southern New Zealand in those cold years in an uninsulated house we used to go to bed to keep warm when the temperature dropped well down and there was a strong wind. Not pleasant when this occurs day after day.

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      Graeme No.3

      KM:

      I agree that (so far) there is little evidence of severe cooling coming. Talk of a new Little Ice Age ignores the fact that it was a series of low sun activity, with 2 almost merging in the Maunder minimum. Incidentally, Hekla in Iceland erupted 11 times during the LIA.

      The Dalton was a more isolated even but that time included several massive volcanic eruptions**, which may have only short term effects but were surely cumulative if close together. However we seem to be starting a time of much increased geo-thermal activity, with earthquakes and increasing numbers of erupting volcanoes, so perhaps doom and gloom are coming.
      Those effects were likely to have been most severe in the Northern Hemisphere and there may have been compensatory benefits in the south (Zimbabwe was built in the LIA), so that might benefit Australia, southern Africa and South America.
      Given the advances in agriculture, technology and medicine (plagues kill millions in the LIA) we should adapt. One benefit will be the retreat of the Global Warming doctrine to the haunts of coots and loonies.

      ** Laki “estimated to have killed 2 million people”, Mount Tambora (the year without summer), assorted eruptions bigger than Krakatau etc.

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        the Griss

        I think that the non ippc linked scientists are saying probably a small gradual drop in temps over the next 20-30 years, around 1°C.

        RSS already has hints of this starting to happen.

        I hope that is all that happens and that we don’t get a major plunge.

        In fact, I hope that the warmists are right and we actually get a bit more warming.

        Doesn’t look to be the case though.

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      Truthseeker

      Kevin, as David Archibald and Retired now says, it does not matter how ingenious we are if the temperature drops. Huge grain growing areas of Russia and Canada stop being grain-growing areas. That is a huge deficit in food production that cannot be made up simply by doing clever things.

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    Neville

    This is O/T I know, but it seems that more scientists are waking up to so called dangerous SLR and the drowned coral island BS.
    Of course this has been known since Charles Darwin was a boy and yet these dills are just starting to wake up.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/23/alarmists-are-just-now-discovering-dynamic-atolls/#more-107958

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    Sarah

    The book can be summarized to one statement, “If you do not have energy, then basically you will not have a civilization”.

    This is the most fundamental problem that needs to be solved, the rest of the problems that are facing the human civilization are insignificant in comparison to the energy problem. Solve the energy problem and you will ensure the survival of the human race.

    Regards
    Sarah
    PS Live Long and Prosper

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    blackadderthe4th

    ‘Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, British, and Short’, here what’s this thing you’ve got against the old country?:-) Parts are pretty nice!

    [Hahahaha that's funny BA4 really! This gets approved by moderation]ED

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    Keith L

    Some of my best friends are nasty brutish and short…

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    pat

    meanwhile, have a laugh:

    24 April: Bloomberg: Julie Bykowicz: Steyer Nets $10,050 for $100 Million Climate Super-PAC
    Billionaire Tom Steyer is trying to enlist other wealthy donors in a $100 million climate-themed political organization, pledging at least half from himself.
    So far, he’s landed one $10,000 check.
    Mitchell Berger, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, lawyer and top Democratic fundraiser, was the lone named donor to NextGen Climate Action Committee in the first three months of the year, a U.S. Federal Election Commission filing shows…
    The report notes another $50 in contributions so small that they didn’t need to be itemized.
    “Well, if I’m the only donor, I guess it won’t be the last time I’m a donor,” said Berger, chuckling, in a telephone interview. “Although I certainly hope that I’m joined by others at some point.” …
    ***Berger has spent much of his adult life raising political money and has worked for decades with former Vice President Al Gore, another advocate for addressing climate change. His assessment of Steyer’s goal of securing $50 million from others: “It’s not going to be easy.” …
    The donor compares the climate issue to the Catholic Church’s condemnation of Galileo in the early 1600s after the astronomer disputed its pronouncement that the Sun orbits the Earth.
    “Things that will appear to be obvious to us in 100 years are not as obvious now,” Berger said. He said he admires Steyer’s goal “to create an undercurrent on climate where it’s possible for politicians to say the Earth travels around the Sun without being excommunicated.”…
    Steyer, a retired investor who lives in California, didn’t solicit the donation, Berger said. Rather, Berger volunteered the $10,000 while Steyer was visiting in Florida. Steyer and Berger’s wife, Sharon Kegerreis Berger, are high school and college classmates…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-24/steyer-nets-10-050-for-100-million-climate-super-pac.html

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    Pete of Freo

    So All, what do you think the armed and starving millions of the Middle East and Africa are going to do? If any of you were perturbed about the recently curtailed flood of illegal immigrants from these nations to Australia, how would you feel about them coming armed and determined to settle? Read the prescient “The Camp of the Saints (Le Camp des saints, a 1973 French apocalyptic novel by Jean Raspail.

    Mr Marshall, the only reason Africa is not starving now is because of Western food aid and as long as they either adhere or fall victim to the ignorance and brutality of Islam it will continue to be so. Beware the two great enemies of abundance; Islam and Cold.

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    pat

    an ode to coal, minus the propaganda:

    25 April: Bloomberg: Ladka Bauerova: Poland Pushes Coal on Europe as Putin (HEADLINE PROPAGANDA OMITTED)
    Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says the country’s giant coal fields should become a cornerstone in Europe…(PROPAGANDA OMITTED)
    Because the fossil fuel supplies 90 percent of Poland’s power it has less need of Russian natural gas than other Eastern European nations, burning half as much per capita as the neighboring Czech Republic, for example. As politicians wrestle with how to respond to the crisis in Ukraine, Tusk argues Europe needs to “rehabilitate” coal’s dirty image and use it to break Russia’s grip on energy supply…
    Coal, a cheaper source of power than gas, nuclear, wind or solar at today’s prices, is already a key part of Poland’s economy, keeping factories competitive and guaranteeing hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. It’s even a tourist attraction.
    At Belchatow in central Poland, where Europe’s largest mine produces more than twice as much coal as the whole of the U.K., visitors stand on an observation platform looking into a 310 meter-deep pit that supplies the giant power station visible on the horizon. On a recent April afternoon, the entire junior Polish national soccer team arrived for a look…
    Poland burns over 50 million tons of coal a year, more than any European nation other than Germany, while having the lowest reliance on natural gas among the EU’s 10 largest economies, according to International Energy Agency data…
    (SHOCK, HORROR!) President Vladimir Putin said last week that unless Ukraine pays for gas it’s already bought, Russia may have to stop shipments, threatening supplies across Europe. OAO Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly, said today Ukraine owes an additional $11.4 billion for shipments already received…
    “We want the whole of Europe to acknowledge coal as a legitimate energy source,” Prime Minister Tusk said on TV on March 29…
    In boosting coal, Poland has the backing of other post-Communist EU members such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which also have large deposits and a high concentration of heavy industry that depends on the fuel…
    “Poland’s industry relies on lower energy costs to remain competitive,” said Pawel Swieboda, president of the Warsaw-based Center for European Strategy. “It’s our main strength.”
    Polish industry paid 23 percent less for power than competitors in Germany in 2012 and 21 percent less than in theCzech Republic, according to data compiled by the U.K. government…
    Government support for coal in eastern Europe has prevented the EU from coming up with a unified strategy to meet its climate goals. The 28-nation bloc failed to reach a consensus on climate and energy strategy for 2030 in March and postponed the decision on emissions targets until the end of the year.
    Even Germany, which is driving the continent’s switch to clean energy, has found it hard to give up on coal. Utilities like RWE are turning back to the fuel as the most economical commodity for power production. The combination of record-low electricity prices, generation overcapacity and low prices of carbon credits have made coal more profitable than gas.
    In Poland, the coal industry is a sensitive topic for the government because it provides jobs for over 100,000 people…
    Poland has made an effort to diversify its energy industry: the country’s wind-power capacity almost doubled in the last two years. But the government is preparing a new law on renewables that will cut subsidies for new projects in order to protect the economy and taxpayers, Prime Minister Tusk said.
    To limit carbon-dioxide emissions, Polish government plans instead to build at least 1,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity in the next 10 years and have as much as 6,000 megawatts by 2035, it said in January. That, again, is pitting it against Germany, which decided to shutter all 17 of its nuclear power stations by 2022.
    The trouble is nuclear construction presents a huge expense the government can hardly afford, especially as the power prices hover near record low. Coal therefore remains the country’s most affordable source of energy that also provides relative independence from Russia.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-23/poland-pushes-coal-on-europe-as-putin-wields-gas-weapon.html

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    Neville

    More deception from Fairfax media doing there level best to hide the facts from the OZ electorate. Of course their deception also helps the liars from the Labor and Greens parties. But can this monster ponzi scheme of CAGW mitigation remain hidden from the average Aussie for much longer?
    Mark Markopolos looked at Madoff’s ponzi scheme con for just 5 minutes in 1999 and knew that it had to be a fraud. Why , because the numbers didn’t add up. But nobody would listen to him. Now Madoff is serving a 150 year sentence for the 17 billion $ fraud, which is the largest in world history.
    Makes you think doesn’t it? Or does it?

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

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    michael hammer

    While I obviously have not read the book as yet, I find the quotes in the above essay to be frustrating. It sounds like David Archibald, like so many before him, makes the utterly unwarranted assumption of an extrapolation based on current human knowledge and capabilities. However human knowledge and capability continues to advance and such advances massively change the scenario.

    Take a very short term example we have all lived through. Some time ago our government like many others enacted legislation to ban incandescent light bulbs. Much criticism because the quality of light output from the alternative compact fluorescents was inferior. Did things stay that way? No they didn’t, instead 2 things happened. Firstly manufacturers found ways to improve the quality of light output from compact fluorescents but more significantly LED technology developed. Would all that have happened without the ban? Of course it would, the developments happened as part of the normal course of technology development and competition. In fact, in hindsight the ban was largely immaterial because in another 10 years its likely lEDS will have taken over completely. Not because of legislation but because they have far longer lifetimes, cost far less to operate and are safer since they generate so little heat – ie: because they are cheaper and better.

    So we will run out of oil and plunge the world into energy poverty – particularly hard hit will be transport? Latest reports I have seen suggest at least 100 years supply remain – 100 years! what progress will we have made in that time? We admit thorium reactors because that is already known technology and at the same time lament that we only have 400 years known reserves of thorium. Does anyone seriously suggest that over the next 400 years we will not have developed a still better power source? 400 years! Go back 400 years to 1614, what was our best power source then – animal power? Indeed I would argue we have already discovered a far far better energy source, its just that vested interests are ridiculing it. Its “cold fusion”. Yes I know its been denounced as shlock science and I condemn myself by even mentioning it but did you know there are now around 8 companies who claim to have working systems are at the stage of developing commercial products. NASA has been taking patents and supposedly is talking to aircraft companies about developing cold fusion powered aircraft. Mitsubishi and Toyota both have published papers on successful transmutation experiments and are confirming each others work (is this the future for rare element supply?) Industrial heat just paid several million dollars for Andrea Rossi’s technology while Defkalion and Brillouin both claim to have competitive systems. For those interested there is a good review site http://www.lenrproof.com.au Ask yourselves how this would change the scenario.

    As regards food and population growth, all studies I have seen suggest that as affluence rises birth rates fall (people moderate their desire for large families). Already in the western world the intrinsic birth rates are close to or even below replacement rates (sometimes alarmingly below). It is reasonable to assume that as the developing world developes the same thing will happen there. Then again, food productivity has been growing massively due to research. Yields of grains in tonnes per hectare have roughly tripled over the last 40 years or so. This upward progress is suddenly going to stop? Why?

    Bottom line – at any stage in human development, if technology development had stopped it would have ultimately led to a brutal stagnation or collapse of human society. However that has not happened because technological development has not stopped, instead the story has been one of continued progress and rising affluence and quality of life. I have every faith that this will continue to happen.

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    pat

    there will be an appeal, but:

    23 April: LA Times: Jenny Deam: Jury awards Texas family nearly $3 million in fracking case
    A family says fracking and other drilling by Aruba Petroleum near their ranch created severe health problems
    In a landmark legal victory that centered on fracking, a middle-class north Texas ranching family won nearly $3 million from a big natural gas company whose drilling, they contend, caused years of sickness, killed pets and livestock, and forced them out of their home for months.
    Tuesday’s $2.95-million civil verdict by a six-person Dallas jury is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation. Other landowners have sued over drilling and reached settlements, but legal experts think this is the first jury verdict…
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-fracking-lawsuit-20140424,0,508199.story#axzz2zrH77LWH

    ouch!

    22 April: Albany Times-Union: Brian Nearing: Former Mobil Oil exec urges brakes on gas fracking
    As a retired high-ranking oil company executive, one might expect Louis Allstadt to sing the praises of opening up New York to natural gas hydraulic fracturing.
    But Allstadt, who worked 31 years for Mobil Oil, stood among elected officials from several upstate communities Tuesday to urge the state not to allow hydrofracking, and instead encourage development of more renewable energy.
    “Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed,” said Allstadt, retired executive vice president of Mobil…
    Allstadt became Mobil’s head of exploration and production in North America in 1996 and was promoted to lead oil and natural gas drilling in the Western Hemisphere in 1998, about two years before the company merged with Exxon…
    “Now the industry will tell you that fracking has been around a long time. While that is true, the magnitude of the modern technique is very new,” Allstadt said.
    A fracked well can require between 50 and 100 times the water and chemicals compared to older wells, he said.
    “And this requires thousands of trucks coming and going. It is much more a heavy industrial activity,” Allstadt said. And frack wells’ leakage of methane, a potent greenhouse gas linked to ongoing man-made climate change, is another issue that troubles him.
    “Methane is leaking from wells at far greater rates than were previously estimated,” said Allstadt, who also is a Cooperstown village trustee…
    http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Former-Mobil-Oil-exec-urges-brakes-on-gas-fracking-5422292.php

    not thorium, but:

    23 April: WSJ: John R. Emshwiller: U.S. Plans Changes at Nuclear-Waste Repository After Two Accidents
    Underground New Mexico Facility Had Been Held Up as Success Story by Government Officials
    While a radiation-containment system was installed, it didn’t have the “safety pedigree that we would want.” Such a radiation accident at the site “wasn’t supposed to happen for 10,000 years,” said Geoffrey Fettus, a senior attorney at environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council and a former New Mexico state assistant attorney general who worked on issues related to the plant…
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304788404579519801829443082?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304788404579519801829443082.html

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      Roy Hogue

      Jenny Deam: Jury awards Texas family nearly $3 million in fracking case

      I have to wonder what the jury was shown as proof that fracking was responsible. Lawyers always try to pack juries with science illiterates. And worse, they try to distract from actually important points and get you to concentrate on something of no value to deciding the case. I saw it happen. The attempt was so weak-kneed that I caught it immediately. But some jurors apparently didn’t.

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    walter wagner

    This book (hardback) is about $10 cheaper(incl.freight) from Book Depository.

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    Peter

    As a farmer, let me say that I will grow more grain when I am paid more to do so. Pay me enough to adopt the newest and most efficient technology, and I will do so.

    I will even undertake to replace the 20-year old diesel, even tho it is far cheaper to keep putting diesel in the old banger than to pay the capital-cost and interest on something new.

    But some people don’t live in the real world. They would not WANT to eat the type and quality of grain that is fed to livestock.

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    Peter

    I’m not sure that some of what is written above makes sense. The middle-east is not a significant exporter of grain and conflict there will only reduce their ability to buy it. However if grain does become a limited commodity, then grain exports will become an even better bargaining chip in return for oil imports.

    Perhaps the real “horseman” is the traditional one. War.
    When resources become scarce and expensive, some start to consider war a viable means of gaining them. Defence spending might become a significant impost, but it is less expensive to prepare for war than to have to fight one because an aggressor thinks you defenceless. The only thing more costly than either, is to lose a war because we really ARE defenceless.

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    pat

    ABC fave, Jemma Green (u might recall her from links to ABC’s Big Ideas/Sydney Uni on previous thread) quoted from start to finish:

    25 April: ABC Rural: Babs McHugh: Carbon farming red tape freed up under Direct Action Plan
    A sustainability specialist says changes proposed for the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) under the Direction Action Policy are a win for farmers.
    The Federal Government has released the White Paper on Direct Action which details the policy design of its Emissions Reduction Scheme (ERF).
    But Research Fellow with the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Unit, Jemma Greene (sic), says the most important criteria of how emissions reductions baselines are set is seriously flawed and difficult to determine.
    Ms Greene believes that using historical emissions data over five years, and setting the baseline at the highest point during that time, won’t reduce emissions and could even see them increase…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-25/direct-action-and-carbon-farming-changes/5411722

    i wish the farmers would stay right out of this.

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    Reinder van Til

    He talks about the four Horsemen? OK, that says enough, he is a false prophet just like Al Gore.

    I already fear a Club of Rome 2.0

    Don’t people ever learn? This book sounds so illuminati

    All people on their knees: please UN help us!

    Man man man, I thought we learned our lessons by now after the Al Gore false prophecies.

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    Anthony reviewed Archibald’s book on March 6. There was quite a discussion about it:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/06/new-book-twilight-of-abundance/

    I said “I bought the book. It was disappointing. It’s a combination of deluded ravings, sensible suggestions, and complacent parroting of the conservative party line.”

    I was being charitable. It’s not even conservative. Real conservatives are like Ron Paul. Archibald is more of a neo-conservative, spreading unsubstantiated prejudice against every country in the Middle East bar one.

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    Reinder van Til

    And BTW, the fourth Horsseman brings the pest. I have no idea about the Mind of God, our Father in the Heavens, but maybe it is rather about microbes becoming more and more resistent against our antibiotics

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    unmentionable

    Have we not had enough of doom-saying fortune-tellers yet? It matters not if it’s a CAGW alarmist or some other variety of climate alarmist, or economissed, doing it. It’s all nonsense, the future will not be what any of these glorified fortune-tellers claim, in the same way the fortune-tellers of the 1960s were hopelessly, and more importantly, uselessly wrong about April 2014.

    Did listening to them then, help us? … or since? … or now?

    That would be no, no and no … so what’s with the fascination with fortune-tellers?

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    Henry Crun

    Petrol from coal has been a reality since the 1960s when Sasol was developed in South Africa

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    Andrew McRae

    (790 words)

    I see in the comments that this topic has momentarily distracted the cornucopians from their rear-view mirrors long enough to regurgitate their usual bravado nonsense. Once again we are told that because somebody somewhere made a prediction that didn’t eventuate, that therefore no other predictions of any type or origin have credibility. As usual, some people are curious and others are closed.

    All the details of these issues can be discussed another time. But already one can see we do have adaptability and we can use science, new technologies, new co-operation, and new rules to avoid all these problems before they ever occur. But that positive outcome would require: A) a belief that the present trajectory will result in major problems, and B) enough time to change course before the problems arise.
    Discussion about these issues raises awareness of point A) such that the people in a position to make progress towards the outcome will actually start working on it while point B) is still in effect.

    A crude analogy may help my case.

    If I tell you a train will hit you if you stay on the train tracks for too long, and you dismiss me as a doom mongering Gore disciple, then at the last second before impact you see the train and dive off the track into safety, was my prediction true or false?
    In other words, the Archibald picture of disaster is what happens if people don’t believe Archibald. If you do believe him, then his disaster scenario doesn’t happen. It’s not paradoxical as long as you realise people don’t put effort or sacrifice into avoiding a danger that they don’t believe in.

    The down side to all of this is that Archibald’s book (and all others like it) are sold primarily as sustenance for worry-a-lots. Basically there is not much the majority of us can do as individuals to stop these disasters even if they have some basis to them. It is going to fall to the science labs, energy companies, and yes even governments, to determine the true extent of the problem and to expend no more on solving it than is absolutely necessary. Perhaps in marketing terms we may signal we are prepared to buy products and services of a higher price or lesser quality if they are delivered by a more robust supply chain, but that’s as far as individual action can go. I would expect a lot of astroturfing and “Sustainability” campaigns oriented in that direction.

    We are probably also going to run into friction between the natural tendency of the free market and the scale of these problems. The main problematic aspect of the free market is its high efficiency. It is impossible to find a robust system which operates at maximum theoretical efficiency. Robust systems typically operate far from peak efficiency, as there is something about their structure that increases robustness at the expense of efficiency. It’s a frequent design tradeoff in engineering. So what happens when faced with a problem so large that our supply systems have to be moved towards robustness of supply and away from their proft-maximising efficiency? I can only guess that some rejigging of the rules of trade will be needed to make robustness profitable instead of efficiency. If left to the free market, and some producers redesign for robustness in the face of Cooling/Glaciation/War while others do not, then naturally after the crisis emerges the ones who adapted ahead of the curve will be rewarded with a near monopoly on the market. However with their efficiency reduced how do they stay in business amidst more efficient competitors prior to the crisis? That’s the problem with the free market. I won’t say a government intervention is the only solution, only that I have not been able to imagine another.

    Of course in my analogy you did not dive off the track because you believed my warning, you dived off the track because you could see impending doom with your own eyes and were agile enough to move quickly.

    A likely outcome of wider discussion of these issues is that people will conceive of solutions that I could not imagine. Practitioners will devise new ways of making their business/society more agile, such that it can rapidly change production methods without having planned ahead very far, and without believing any specific prognostications of the date of disaster; In effect, how to dive off the train track with only 1 second’s warning of the train. Crucially, you have to believe a rapid response will be needed at some future point to justify developing that agility today.

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      Roy Hogue

      The down side to all of this is that Archibald’s book (and all others like it) are sold primarily as sustenance for worry-a-lots. Basically there is not much the majority of us can do as individuals to stop these disasters even if they have some basis to them. It is going to fall to the science labs, energy companies, and yes even governments, to determine the true extent of the problem and to expend no more on solving it than is absolutely necessary. Perhaps in marketing terms we may signal we are prepared to buy products and services of a higher price or lesser quality if they are delivered by a more robust supply chain, but that’s as far as individual action can go. I would expect a lot of astroturfing and “Sustainability” campaigns oriented in that direction.

      A true statement. If there was no alarm about the future I wouldn’t be saying I think we need debate, debate free of all the egos and the financial interests. Absent the alarm I’d be content to let the market work and simply take whatever the future throws at me. Maybe society would see the train in time and maybe not — even probably not. But to spend the energy, time and money we’re now spending on a demonstrably non existent problem is outrageous and foolish.

      If we can’t get beyond this nonsensical fear of a non problem we will go down the drain for nothing.

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      Peter

      If I tell you a train will hit you if you stay on the train tracks for too long, and you dismiss me as a doom mongering Gore disciple, then at the last second before impact you see the train and dive off the track into safety, was my prediction true or false?

      That is a highly conditional “prediction” in which the condition does not reflect reality……. IE, the subject is most unlikely to stay on the train-track for any length of time.

      Such predictions are unconvincing because they lack probability, and planning on the basis of such predictions is akin to planning on the assumption that you’re going to win the lottery.

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    ExWarmist

    Hi All, something to add to the mix.

    Methane Hydrate #1

    Methane Hydrate #2

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      the Griss

      Its amazing how many natural resources of energy are available with human ingenuity, especially ones that could be 24/7/365

      (energy that is not 24/7/365 is not worth bothering with except as a very small percentage)

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      Roy Hogue

      How do you get that ice up to the surface with practical means? And if you melt it underground you’re spending probably a large part of the energy you hope to get from it.

      I’ve the same question if you can bring the ice to the surface. You have to melt it fast enough to make it practical. So again, you spend much of what you hope to get from it just to melt it.

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    Rogueelement451

    No one has mentioned Geo Thermal heat , a vast resource.

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      In Australia, that’s also nuclear power. A man-made nuclear reactor is much less complicated and far more reliable.

      It’s also not “renewable” and it’s diffuse. Fraccing is necessary to extract it “efficiently” from a large volume of hot rocks and once the heat has been extracted, the field is cold and more holes have to be drilled.

      Even where it seems to be easy, it’s often fraught with complications. Just ask Australia’s expert (in getting government funding to prove the bleeding obvious), Tim Flannery. He scored $90million from taxpayers to prove that we don’t have the materials to sustain drilling stresses at high temperature through rocks surrounded by concentrated sulphuric acid.

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      Roy Hogue

      No one has mentioned Geo Thermal heat , a vast resource.

      Maybe for good reason. It isn’t widely enough available to do enough good.

      Then there’s what Bernd pointed out.

      Just for the interest value — former president George W. Bush has a home in Texas that is both heated and cooled by a geothermal source over which the house was built. The whole house was designed to be a climate change fanatic’s dream. And George Bush is in no way even a climate change believer.

      Unfortunately there aren’t enough such places to make it a mass produced source of anything.

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        The problem with green urgers is that they have this belief system that ….. ALL renewables (of the one method) are the same.

        In other words here, that a wind plant built in the face of the Roaring 40′s on the West Coast of Tasmania will generate the same power as a wind plant built in a windless desert somewhere. That a Solar plant built in Kathrine will generate the same as a solar plant built outside of Hobart.

        The same applies here with Geothermal power. The process here is the use of large amounts of water. Drill a hole way way down into those hot rocks, send the water down the pipe to those hot rocks. The hot rocks boil the water to steam. Then pump the steam back to the surface to drive a turbine capable of turning a generator. (a typical thermal power plant)

        So, where geothermal works and works fairly well is if those hot rocks are close enough to the surface so that the steam doesn’t, umm, fade away to nothing before it gets back to the surface to actually be able to drive the turbine.

        Here in Australia, a really really really old Continent, those hot rocks are way, way way down there, hence by the time the water is pumped down there turned to steam, it sort of all fades away before it gets back to the surface.

        In a way, it’s a sort of inconvenient truth really, but hey, don’t tell anyone.

        Funny how the facts always get in the way of the fiction.

        Tony.

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      Graeme No.3

      As soon as the Greenies find out that the reason the rocks being drilled are hot is because of uranium, then they will want to ban geo-thermal energy.

      The obvious solution is for them to live on another planet. Oh wait …

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    Mattb

    Imagine if this was by Hansen. His point 1 clearly would be wildly different, but actually is the same end game of climate change. Points 2, 3 and 4 could be written by a Greenie… they may not be spot on but it’s is essentially climate induced food shortages, need for fuel, and strange geo politics… (ignoring some of the middle east rhetoric but believe me not an uncommon point of view for City Beach residents).

    In fact you could ignore #1, and points 2 3 and 4 remain. A climate crisis of cooling or warming makes things a bit more acute, but 2, 3 and 4 are there even if we stay exactly as we are today climate wise. Which is actually why I come here because I think we can disagree on the cause and focus on the solutions. It is imperative to move to a thorium/integral fast reactor sodium cooled electricity source. I’ve harped on for the best part of 20 years about the useless uses we put our most potent liquid fuels to.

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      Roy Hogue

      For a change, Matt, I can say you’re arguing sensibly. The problem is acute in parts of the world right now and nuclear looks like one option for solving at least a part of it.

      The trouble is that the problem is so acute because of hunger and disease. And the cause looks more like it’s driven by politics than resources.

      There is no doubt that anyone who’s lived where coal or wood is burned to stay warm or cook would rather be without that resulting pollution. And I once lived for a while where coal smoke was a constant presence in the winter, Ayer Massachusetts (1962 – ’64). It permeated everything, even inside my apartment and I was glad to be rid of it when I left the region. But I still think I wasn’t as harmed by that smoke as the EPA and others are claiming I was. And if I still lived there I would still want to continue using coal if nothing better was available. The major problem in all this is that the dose makes the poison as always and the prohibitions are being made for the wrong reasons.

      The apartment I lived in was oil heated and there was also an odor from that but it wasn’t so obnoxious as the coal smoke.

      Coal miners had the real danger. But much of that danger has been eliminated by better breathing equipment for the miners and more automation in the mines.

      Anyway, make your nuclear argument. Maybe it will penetrate the right skulls and we can move on forward, maybe a lot better off too.

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      Ted O'Brien.

      Who is selling this Thorium that somebody keeps telling us we should be investing in?

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    Eliza

    I think DA is correct and we should start to see colder winters in the Southern hemisphere soon as the antarctic expansion continues and will send colder vortex air further north. Be on the lookout for snow reaching parts of Southern Brazil, Uruguay, Southern Paraguay and northern Argentina this or next year

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    If there were any doubt that you were a charlatan, this should provide the final proof.

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      the Griss

      Hey, I didn’t see any so-called climate scientists post anything.

      No Trenberth, no Mann, no Karoly, no Flannery, no Al Gore, no Suzuki…… no charlatans at all !!

      So who are you replying to ?

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    [...] Polar Bears Threatened…By Too Much Spring Ice » Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short » Coldest Winter of Century Followed by Fewest Tornadoes Ever …But Global Warming Is [...]

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    The “Green River Formation” in the US States of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah has from 800 billion to 1.1 trillion barrels of oil. The US Federal Gov owns about 75% of the land and prevents drilling. The US now consumes a bit less than 7 billion barrels per year. These figures are from both the “Rand Corp” and Royal Dutch Shell and are based on the commercial profitably of production at $40 per barrel. At $100 per barrel that figure doubles as less productive areas become profitable. Perhaps 300 years of current US consumption. Not so sure the “cheap” energy era need be over.

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    Terry Krieg

    Sarah is correct. It’s all about energy, especially electrical energy. We all need it and most of us take it for granted. Not so the third world or developing countries. They still cook and try to keep warm with cow dung and sticks, and choke themselves and their kids to death in the process. If it’s a secure, reliable, adequate emissions free, affordable supply of electricity you need then: forget about the renewables, forget about CCS, forget about Thorium and forget about waves, tides and any other hopelessly inadequate, part time methods of generating electricity.Nuclear power [electricity] has been generated for 60 years, is safe, clean,concentrated [capacity factor is around 90%] cost competitive and is currently generated by 32 countries, including Japan again. Another 17 countries are building reactors as I write. China has plans for another 200 reactors by 2050.Using the Integrated Fast Reactors,coming in future years, there is sufficient uranium at Olympic Dam in South Australia to provide electricity for the entire world for thousands of years. The world needs to embark on an international programme of greatly and more rapidly expanding a nuclear build to replace the dirty other base load supplier, coal. Use the coal for other things like pharmaceuticals, plastics, liquid fuels, fertilizers etc and STOP burning it for electricity. And not forgetting the poor buggers of the developing world [the dung and stick burners] we privileged in the west should give at least half of our 0.7% of GDP [ we never actually reach that figure] as aid in the form of appropriately sized and located nuclear reactors. Small Modular Reactors [SMR's] would be the go. A twenty year programme of such nuclear build would go a long way to addressing the emissions problem and give the developing countries, healthier and more comfortable lives. Anyone got a problem with that idea??

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      the Griss

      “Use the coal for other things like pharmaceuticals, plastics, liquid fuels, fertilizers etc and STOP burning it for electricity. ”

      Sorry, but that’s just a very stupid thing to do.

      The Earth is finally starting to recover from a perilously low CO2 level for a long, long time.

      The very last thing we need to do is stop or slow down the release of buried carbon into the system.

      The whole world RELIES on carbon and carbon dioxide as one of the major building blocks of life.

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    Terry Krieg

    Hey Griss,
    Our contribution to atmospheric CO2 comes in at 3% if I read correctly.The other 97%presumably comes from natural environmental processes. If we stop burning coal for electricity we might reduce our contribution by 1or2%. Nature will continue to do its thing and the overall level won’t be affected very much at all.Now like you, I don’t believe CO2 is the problem but probably a majority of the people still do and certainly many governments with their propensity to waste enormous amounts of our money on subsidies for the renewables do care about CO2 levels. And you had better get used to that. The best way to overcome the waste of money and the possible “dangerous “increases in CO2 would be to replace coal with nuclear for ELECTRICITY. If you have a better idea of how to achieve that, then how about telling us in your next post.

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      the Griss

      I just can’t see why we should bother.

      Coal is easy, cheap. reliable and enhances the biosphere.. plenty of coal still available.

      Alternatives like wind and solar are difficult, expensive unreliable and destroy the environment.. really stupid !!

      We don’t need to turn to nuclear any time soon. so why bother.

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    Charlie

    I have begin to consider that civilisations interest in the stars may have a basis of fact. If changes in solar output and changes in cosmic radiation influenced climate, including rainfall then the idea that stars were related to gods made sense. Could the rise and fall of civilisations be related to warm and cold periods? Was the end of the Western Roman Empire and rise of Genghis Khan due to the onset of cold periods?

    One aspect of the decline of education ,especially those with arts degrees is an ignorance of past civilisations: the days when a scholar knew Latin and Greek are long gone.Consequently, most people appear unaware that civilisations can rise and fall for various reasons. My father always consider that we appear to increasingly similar to the last days of Western Roman Empire.

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    Peter Walsh

    The book “Arctic Ireland: by David Dickinson is a fascinating read about the cold driven famine of 1740. We were never taught this in school here in Ireland and I knew nothing about this until about 2 years ago. It was a disturbing read. Interestingly, the Great Potato Famine of 1845/47 WAS taught in school.This was mainly used to show how the English Landowners looked after themselves while the peasants who did all the hard work starved in their millions or, if they had the money paid for a berth in ships heading for North America.

    Dickinson, on the other hand shows how in 1740, the wealthy landowners DID try to feed their peasants. Maybe it was these attempted kindnesses which didn’t give the image of the British landowners that the politics of the day demanded.

    I recommend this book and if as suspected we are headed for an ice age, then you Aussies are more than likely in the “Lucky” Country As long as Julia and her mates aren’t back in charge that is!!!

    Arctic Ireland: The Extraordinary Story of the Great Frost and Forgotten Famine of 1740-41 [David Dickson] on Amazon.com.

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