David MacKay asks his audience to use arithmetic to understand energy challenges

After posting a couple of videos with Amory Lovins providing his energy mirage, several commenters indicated they would like to hear and see a different point of view.

Unlike Amory, David MacKay is a physicist who likes to use real numbers and simple arithmetic to illustrate the scale of the challenge of replacing the power that human society has given its members through the action of digging up the energy stored by natural processes over millions of years in the form of easily burned hydrocarbons like coal, oil and natural gas. He is the author of Sustainable Energy – without the hot air and maintains a blog of the same title.

MacKay does not wave his hands and expect magic; he carefully observes reality, records data, and puts that data together with simple equations to draw pictures that help his audience understand so that they can choose a viable path with full knowledge of the obstacles they will face in achieving their goals.

It would be great to someday watch a discussion between Lovins and MacKay.

Atomic Show #217 – Michael Mariotte, President NIRS

At the suggestion of a long time Atomic Insights contributor and Atomic Show listener, I invited Michael Mariotte for a guest appearance on the Atomic Show. In the small world made up of active nuclear advocates and people adamantly opposed to nuclear energy, Mariotte and his organization are famous — or infamous, depending on one’s […]

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Limitations of unreliable energy sources (aka “renewables”)

As part of the discussions stimulated by their airing of Pandora’s Promise, CNN hosted a debate between Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute and Dale Bryk of the Natural Resources Defense Council. That debate included some commentary that I thought was worth promoting to the front page. A commenter named Fred, a tech who has […]

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Solar energy salesman claims nuclear costs twice as much as solar

In the above clip titled Is nuclear power good for our planet Andrew Birch, the co-founder and CEO of Sungevity says that the main reason that he does not like nuclear energy is that it “costs too much”. However, he reveals the shallow nature of his energy production understanding and his financially driven bias by […]

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Breakthrough Institute’s Michael Shellenberger debates NRDC’s Dale Bryk about nuclear energy

Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute states that he loves wind and solar and always has, but he has learned to recognize their limitations. He reminds viewers that solar energy produces less than one tenth of one percent of the energy used in the United States. He is deeply concerned about climate change and the […]

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Distressingly elitist view from two “sustainability consultants”

Joris van Dorp is an HVAC and energy systems mechanical engineer at a building installations consultancy. His primary work is associated with projects intended to improve energy efficiency/sustainability within the field. Clients include medical centers, airports, data centers, laboratories, office buildngs and some industrial clients. On October 18, 2013, Joris submitted the following comment. It […]

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Mark Jacobson pushing his plans in appropriate location – late night comedy show

On October 9, 2013, David Letterman interviewed Mark Z. Jacobson, a leading proponent of a 100% renewable energy future. He described Jacobson as a man with a plan that should make us all more optimistic; that plan describes a world that has a completely changed energy supply system that does not threaten us with catastrophic […]

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Talk of electric power grid demise is wrong

Someday, America is going to return to logic and reality. We may be making some progress as shown by the fact that there are an increasing number of people who no longer watch TV or trust the TV talking heads in the entertainment business called “television news.” However, we still have our issues. One irrational […]

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Tina Gerhardt thinks Obama Administration likes nuclear energy – Huffington Post

Tina Gerhardt has published an almost sadly amusing article on the Huffington Post titled Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Nuclear Energy? in which she tries to make the case that President Obama’s climate action plan is an undeserved endorsement of nuclear energy. Gerhardt is apparently unaware of all of the barriers that the current administration has […]

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Call them unreliable

Rick Maltese is a creative artist who spent this afternoon creating an amusing parody of the diffuse, weather dependent, unreliable power sources that some think can beat both fossil fuel and nuclear energy. Share Call Them Unreliable widely! PS – Just in case you would like to have a sing along at your next pronuclear […]

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Explaining my dismissal of fossil fuel alternatives that are NOT nuclear fission

Windmills at the windmill farm Middelgrunden

I’ve been engaging in a discussion with several commenters who strongly disagree with my assertion that atomic fission is the ONLY technology that has the technical potential to beat hydrocarbon combustion in the market. It can provide cheaper, cleaner and more reliable heat that can be converted into useful power in almost exactly the same […]

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Enormous differences between Southern Co & Solyndra

Matt Wald at the New York Times published an article titled Nuclear Opponents Invoke Solyndra that alerted me to a new tactic by the forces arrayed against the beneficial use of nuclear energy in the battle against hydrocarbon addiction and climate change. The new meme is a smear on nuclear energy by falsely attempting to […]

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