Are Mark Cooper and Peter Bradford climate change deniers?
In a recent paper, Mark Cooper and Peter Bradford advocate expanded use of natural gas, even if that expansion requires using hydraulic fracturing. They believe that fossil fuel plants should continue dumping vast quantities of combustion waste into our shared atmosphere, even after new nuclear energy plants start operating. They dismiss the notion of a direct fee placed on atmospheric waste disposal and do not advocate even a cap and trade scheme to increase the cost of dumping CO2.
Unlike their fellow Vermont resident, Bill McKibben, Cooper and Bradford are not just nuclear energy doubters; they are active campaigners working hard to halt the early adopter projects that might enable nuclear energy – once again – to become a competitive choice for producing electricity in the United States.
Since Peter Bradford is a lawyer and Mark Cooper earned his PhD in Sociology but now bills himself as an “economic analyst”, they use a lot of words and graphs to explain why they have determined that nuclear energy is a lousy deal for consumers, even in a world that is being threatened by climate change partially driven by fossil fuel related CO2 emissions.
Cooper wrote the paper, but Bradford appeared as a supporting expert at the press conference. His presence and impressive resume lent credibility to Cooper’s paper, at least in the view of one of the reporters I contacted about her article. Neither of these two Vermont residents think it is a good idea that electricity customers in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia have chosen (via their elected officials) to spend a few dollars per month to pay early costs associated with building four large new nuclear plants.
Admittedly, Cooper and Bradford have not clearly stated that they do not believe in climate change. However, that is the conclusion I reached about their position on the issue after wading through Cooper’s paper titled Public Risk, Private Profit, Ratepayer Cost, Utility Imprudence and listening to the associated press conference.
The paper’s analysis of the increased cost of pursuing the completion of the VC Summer units 2 and 3 (South Carolina) and the Levy units 1 and 2 projects (Florida) compared to other alternatives rests on a shaky foundation of questionable assumptions as follows:
- Power demand in the Southeast US will shrink, even as economic development efforts aimed at attracting industrial investments continue to succeed
- Natural gas will remain as available and cheap in the future as it is today
- Utilities can – and will – purchase natural gas futures contracts that last more than 4 years
- The economic benefit of lower and less volatile electricity prices in the future has no value to today’s customers
- If there is no price placed on carbon emissions, avoiding those emissions has no value for electricity customers
- The nuclear industry is led by people who are too dumb to learn lessons from the past and are doomed to repeat previously made mistakes
- Reducing financial risks and their associated premium interest rates benefits only companies, and not customers
- Distracting company leadership with time and resource-consuming prudency hearings is an appropriate course of action for people who claim to be consumer advocates
- Expected challenges associated with first of a kind construction are indicative of a trend that will lead to inevitable cost escalation
- Low natural gas prices during construction makes nuclear energy less competitive instead of improving its future prospects by reducing initial capital costs
- The failed repair at Crystal River is a representative example of nuclear construction and repair quality, not an unusual outlier
Unfortunately, most of the reporters who covered the issuance of the commissioned paper and attended the news conference apparently had little time for critical thinking or research.
They did not point out that the paper starts with an emotionally charged conclusion that is not supportable by historical facts. For example, here is a quote from page viii that reveals the author’s preexisting position on nuclear energy.
In a remarkably short period of time, the “nuclear renaissance” has suffered the same fate as the construction boom of the 1970s (that came to be known as the “Great Bandwagon Market”). The failure of nuclear economics is not just bad luck.
- Nuclear power is inherently uneconomic because it relies on a catastrophically dangerous resource that is vulnerable to human frailties and the vicissitudes of Mother Nature.
- The severe threats to public safety posed by nuclear power and the evolving demands of safety result in an extremely complex technology that requires long lead times and large sunk capital costs.
- The technology suffers constant cost escalation and does not exhibit cost reducing processes that are observed in other industries.
Therefore, any nation that claims to have the wherewithal (technical expertise and economic resources) to build a “safe” nuclear reactor will have the wherewithal to meet its needs for electricity with alternatives that are less costly and less risky. Thus, at present and for the foreseeable future, it is a virtual certainty that nuclear power is not going to be the least cost option or close to it, even in a low carbon utility sector. Providing powerful incentives to pursue economically uneconomic projects will inevitably saddle ratepayers and economy of any state that enacts advanced cost recovery laws with tens of billions of unnecessary costs.
Most of the reports also fail to mention that Cooper and Bradford have repeatedly produced similar works aimed at discouraging nuclear energy investments.
Aside: I wonder, for example, how much this current paper differs from one that Cooper published in April, 1984 titled “The Consumer Economics of CWIP: A Short Circuit for American Pocketbooks”. (Note: CWIP stands for Construction Work In Progress, which is a financing mechanism that has a lot in common with the ACR – Advanced Cost Recovery – program that Cooper criticizes in his most recent work.) I suppose I should avoid criticizing consistency; after all, I have been commenting on nuclear energy for more than 20 years without changing my mind very much. End Aside.
The paper announced on March 14 is simply the latest in a series of antinuclear issuances camouflaged as an academic study. It is worthwhile to notice how often the two researchers cite each other’s work and how frequently their two names appear on the list of references by other agenda driven writers. Sadly, the following stories dutifully reported on the Cooper/Bradford work as if its conclusions about costs were based on actual numbers vice uncertain predictions of the future.
- Bloomberg (March 14, 2013) Scana Reactors to Cost $10 Billion More Than Gas Plants
- Tampa Bay Times (March 12, 2013 reporting on an advance copy released prior to the press conference) Better to abandon nuclear plans, report says
- Tampa Bay Times (March 14, 2013) Florida Senate to hold hearing Monday to address advance nuclear fee law (Note: This article helps explain the timing of releasing this particular installment in Cooper’s series of papers on the excess cost of nuclear energy compared to today’s natural gas prices. I suspect that Cooper is seeking employment as an expert witness or just seeking to influence the decision process.)
- Charleston, SC Post and Courier (March 14, 2013) SCANA, Santee Cooper should scrap South Carolina nuclear expansion, report says
- Citrus County Chronicle (March 15, 2013) Nuke customers get soaked: Report: Consumers will ‘eat’ billions from capital risks
- Salem News (March 15, 2013 – summary article pointing to some of the above) Reactor Reax Top Stories – Washington Post: In U.S., Nuclear Energy Loses Momentum…
- Miami Herald (March 13, 2013 – dutifully republishing the initial press release on a page clearly headlined as “Press Releases”) Report: Southeast U.S. Ratepayers Will Be Gouged For Billions Of Dollars In Excess Costs If Nuclear Reactor Projects Proceed
I have tried repeatedly since early Friday morning to make contact with Cooper and/or Bradford though the Hastings Group, which organized the press conference and stated that they would help set up media interviews for people with follow up questions. Unfortunately, my emails and voice mails have not been returned. Just in case either of them read Atomic Insights, I would like to offer either or both of them the opportunity to engage in an Atomic Show round table.
The media treatment of the paper reminds me of another instance of media sources covering a Cooper-related paper. That episode led to one of the most frequently read blogs on Atomic Insights titled Gullible reporting by the New York Times on the cost of solar electricity versus nuclear electricity. I suppose I should be heartened by the fact that I cannot find any mention of this latest work on the Times web site.
PS – Just in case you think that Cooper’s estimate of future natural gas prices is a valid starting point, I recommend reading this excellent post from Gail Tverberg titled Why US natural gas prices are so low – Are changes needed?
I’m at a loss to understand how such anti-nukes are able to stage press conferences about their opinions. Bradford and Cooper must have funding to engage the Hastings Group. Is there a way for nuclear power advocates to gain such press attention?
Both Cooper and Bradford are supported by the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment.
I presume that the institute obtains grants and donations. It would be interesting to trace their funding sources, but that it notoriously difficult under the laws that govern anonymous donations to non-profit groups. The laws make some sense in that any donor list becomes a target list for other solicitations, but the policy is also ripe for abuse by those who direct money to non-profits as part of a strategy that includes anonymously knee capping their competitors.
I really can’t understand why NGOs with closed books and unidentifiable agendas isn’t a bigger news story than the views they’re trying to promote. NGOs should either pay taxes like the rest of us, or open their books, otherwise they could simply be a PR department of whomever foots their revenues. I hate to think profit driven organizations are receiving hefty tax deductions for charitable donations applied to reaching their sales and profit goals.
The ad revenue supported media seems to be really dropping the ball yet again, as are the people working for these NGOs who can’t seem to see fit to report their organizations revenue sources to, say, Wikileaks.
Whatever happened to the adage, no guts, no glory? I really hope a reporter with investigative senses or, an employee who can place eyeballs on Vermont Law’s revenue sources, steps up and reports Vermont Law’s revenue sources publicly.
There is no other reason for hiding an NGOs revenue sources than hiding an NGOs agenda.
Your wish for more scrutiny of NGO status came true this week. Congress was so busy putting it all on Obama they Ignored Nuclear Energy Convention.
There must be a green bat-phone in every media outlet for antis, I swear. Plus lots of free slanted “nuclear consultant” local media exposure for the tinest “nuclear” incident — and let’s not forget the nuclear plant “expertise” of Doc Kaku and Biil Nye embedded in countless science and cable shows. Bad enough we have job countering anti-nukers directly but also have to deal with their hosting sycophants in the media as well.
But do they cite Storm and Smith? That would cap the pyramid of falsehoods.
Re: “nuclear power is not going to be the least cost option or close to it.”
Damn green hypocrites. This is out of their crap like “Well, even if wind and solar cost more from maintenance and security aspects, in return you’re getting clean air. You expect to pay a little more for a healthy environment.” Gee, you mean like $$ bottled water over city tap water isn’t a yuppie statement but a health issue? Why doesn’t this goose/gander logic applicable to nuclear plants?
Re: “They did not point out that the paper starts with an emotionally charged conclusion that is not supportable by historical facts.”
I wish there were a specialized nuclear web site solely made to deconstruct and demolish all the arguments of all anti-nuke literature and reports like this sentence by sentence, point by point! They get away with murder being totally publicly unchallenged like this!
I think exactly the same. There a very well done “Evolution V Creationism” site that could serve as a model :http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html
I especially like the hierarchical, taxonomic representation of every single anti-evolution argument.
The climate change debate also has such a site, namely http://www.skepticalscience.com/
By the way, that site is very good in point-by-point debunking of climate change denialism, but its treatment of energy matters is terrible. For those with time on their hands, go over there and find the several articles which attempt to ‘debunk the myth that renewable energy cannot provide baseload’ and that ‘debunk the myth that renewable energy is too expensive’. You’ll find some of my comments in the comment threads (handle JvD), but it has been an uphill battle so far. Could do with some support. If referenced work on this subject by Ted Trainer and Barry Brooks but it seems to have made little impression. The goal should be that SkS not only has a good AGW-denialism debunklist, but that it also shows why and how nuclear power is an essential part of any credible AGW prevention or mitigation strategy for the planet. In any case, I hope to see its bogus articles on the so-called merits of a 100% non-nuclear, non-carbon future thoroughly overhauled.
Oh, it’s a great site if you like swallowing carefully picked cherries or have a fetish for watching helpless strawmen get torn to pieces. 😉 As an echo chamber, it ranks up there with the best.
You wouldn’t be surprised by this if you were familiar with how nuclear power is treated in Climate Change Denial, which was co-authored by John Cook, the creator of SkS.
For a guy who started a website with “skeptical” in the name, I don’t find him to be very skeptical at all. He’s neck deep in the Green kool-aid and loving it.
Even on energy matters, as an echo chamber, it ranks up there with the best.
Barry Brooks himself has commented on SkS to try to dispel some of the nonsense, to no avail.
Heh … good luck with that. Cook is an evangelist, not a critical thinker. He and his co-conspirators don’t want to learn anything new. These days, Cook is too busy trying (and failing) to publish pseudo-scientific rubbish that claims to make some sort of bizarre link between “climate change denialism” and conspiracy theories. If he’s so busy authoring bogus papers, when do you expect him to find time to overhaul these “bogus articles” on his website?
Interestingly, Cook’s evangelical nature embraces more main-stream religions as well. (He’s an evangelical Christian as well as an evangelical AGW alarmist.) I guess religious zeal is just too much of an addictive drug for some people to deny. 😉
( http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png )
( http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/times-series-of-observed-ocean-1/times-series-of-observed-ocean/image_large )
Yes yes yes – its all a conspiracy.
( http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/files/hitimeseries2_med.jpg )
Theres nothing wrong with being a evangelical Christian either. Thats a individual motivation. It has nothing to do with critical thought on other levels. As a matter of fact on issues of scale its further than apples and oranges to even attempt to compare the two.
Something like this:
except rebuttals of antinuclear lies instead of creationist lies?
It would save a lot of time to be able to link to an existing rebuttal whenever someone uses a standard lie.
That is a great idea! However, TO.org has its own site. Do you have a domain to host this material, or would you trust it to the whims of Blogspot or WordPress?
I don’t have a domain, but I suppose any such articles could be put on wordpress to start, & individuals who are interested can back them up on their own computers.
I can think of a few existing articles that I would copy to such a site if permission was obtained from the author
You don’t have to copy them; you can quote enough for fair use and link to the full post.
Oups, I don’t how I didn’t see this before posting the same !
well, there are a lot of different kinds of “deniers”…
The deniers, who claim there is no climate change.
The second Category would be the ones that think CO2 dosn´t affect the climate, and the observed climate change has different causes (including Manmade like deforestation etc). So the term climate change deniers is kinda wrong. they believe in manmade Climate change, but dont think CO2 causes it.
The third Category would be those who think that CO2 is causing climate change, but is a lot less significant than the IPCC claims. In the computer models used by IPCC the most significant factor is not CO2, but H2O, the theory is an increase in CO2 will cause an increase in vaporisation, which will increase temperature, which will increase vaporisation, wchich will increase temperature… not all scientists agree on that.
The fourth category thinks the IPCC simulations on CO2 and climate change are correct, but the consequences will be manageble, and managing them will be a lot cheaper than avoiding them. the IPCC chapter on consequences for health and enviroment is largelly questioned. After all leading authors of those chapters are people like Richard Klein, became author in 1994, lead author in 1997, and earned his PhD in 2003, Laurens Bouwer Lead author in 1999, earned his Master in 2001, PhD in 2010, or Sari Kovats, one of 21 people chosen to write the important chapter on conseqences fo human health in 1994, first academic paper in 1997, PhD in 2010. Shes still leading author of this chapter in AR5.
And there is intensive lobbying on the IPCC, for example 130 of the Scientists workin on IPCC were recruted for the WWF panel on climate change, while simultanously working on AR4… And so: Two-thirds of the chapters had at least one WWF afiliated scientist, 15 of 44 were led by WWF-affiliated scientists, and the chapter that concluded that 30% of species will go extinct had 8 people in total including both coordinating lead authors. WWF called it “some overlap”. And the IPCC includes a lot of grey literature references (not peer reviewed) AR4 included 5600 grey references. thats 30%!!
So there are a lot of people who are a little bit sceptical…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebl-XzEc280 – watch if you dont believe a word Im writing.
Water is a feedback effect; its abundance is determined by evaporation and precipitation (both driven by transfer of heat). The more non-condensible GHGs there are, the higher you have to go before the “cold trap” wrings the air dry (which is why there’s so little in the stratosphere).
Rod. You must stop using the term Climate Change denier. It is condescending and derogatory and will win you few friends. It is not becoming of a person that otherwise puts together such a good site to use such emotive language. Besides which no one I know has every denied that the climate changes. What they do say is that the tiny amount of CO2 that man’s activities contribute to the atmosphere as compared to the enormous amount that nature contributes is unlikely to cause dangerous climate change. Also the notion that CO2 is a pollutant has got to be the most ludicrous notion ever in all of human history ever given CO2 is the cornerstone of life. Without it all life ceases.
I have implored you in the recent past to try and appeal to a wider audience. Several people who I have suggest should read your site have been put off. This is unfortunate as they are influential but take the view that if you can repeat what they term “emotive environmental rubbish” then why should they trust anything else on your site. They have a point.
Most people don’t have a clue about nuclear energy or the effects of radiation. They need to understand it more if nuclear energy is to prosper in the short term, and many people are now curious enough to want to understand more. That requires that they trust what they read and given as I have pointed out many times over the general public no longer trust the Politians, the environmentalist and all the NGO’s and UN pushing man made climate change. The policy responses have wrought havoc to ordinary people’s lives and are why we see headlines such as these every day in the UK
When people feel duped they start to look into the facts for themselves. What they find out is that none of the science now really supports the notion of greenhouse gases driving climate change. Changes in local weather yes, but not in the way portrayed. CO2 has always played a major role in the earth climate, but not as a greenhouse gas.
Whatever your personal views of climate change are Rod, you have to decide between that and nuclear power, because the public has decided that man-made global warming and climate change have been at best a mistake, and at worst the biggest con in history, and anyone who continues to try and derive some advantage from continuing the mistake or con will be side-lined. This is the harsh new reality.
In other words, you subscribe to the view that climate is “socially constructed” and the public cannot be wrong by definition. To you, all those scientists analyzing the physics and feedbacks are wasting their time: vox populi, vox dei.
This is a very different thing from deciding that Green energy programs have been a mistake. If you compare the electric power cost and associated emissions in Denmark (580 g/kWH) vs. France (120 g/kWh), it’s obvious that the Danes got it wrong. However, you can’t go there. It’s anti-fossil, therefore crimethink.
Because in any fight between pure Green ascetism and the fossil fuel industry, the fossil fuel industry will win. If we dare to use nuclear energy to slash carbon without sacrificing industrial society, the fossil industry loses. You don’t want that to happen, so you try to get people to buy into fallacious arguments and false dichotomies.
“Ignore the man behind the curtain”, says Geany…
I don’t get that picture from what Peter wrote. The climate is governed by Mother Nature. What is going to be done about changes in climate, however, (anthropogenic or not) is very much driven by public opinion. This is why public opinion matters.
Public opinion continues to trend downward with respect to “climate change.”
Anyone who has spent any time in academia knows that pulling in millions and millions of dollars in research grant money is not “wasting” one’s time, however worthless the results that one produces happen to be. 😉 Furthermore, it’s far easier to publish in climate-related fields if one toes the line.
Peter – Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT and prominent global warming “skeptic,” regularly refers to himself as a “denier.” If he’s comfortable with the term, then perhaps you should not worry about it either. Personally, I think that Dr. Lindzen embraces the term because he understands that it exhibits quite well how intellectually bankrupt the arguments of AGW activists are.
After all, if they have to resort to childish name calling to further their side of the debate, then they have not risen above the level of the common elementary-school bully. That, in itself, says volumes about how substantive their arguments are.
A great quote from Lindzen:
“Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.”
Brian Mays, i’d never have guessed you to be a denier. Concerning Lindzen, he’s been wrong so many times its getting ridiculous. But he is still perhaps the most popular denier out there. Even his long debunked papers still feature prominently on many AGW denialists repertoire.
Concerning Lindzen, the man has a very bad track record. Consider for example the folowing illustration of how this character operates. How is it not hard to take someone like him seriously? His mistakes and misrepresentations keep piling up, IMHO.
“Dr. Lindzen acknowledged that the 2009 paper contained “some stupid mistakes” in his handling of the satellite data. “It was just embarrassing,” he said in an interview. “The technical details of satellite measurements are really sort of grotesque.”
Last year, he tried offering more evidence for his case, but after reviewers for a prestigious American journal criticized the paper, Dr. Lindzen published it in a little-known Korean journal.”
In my view, Lindzen is one of the worst AGW deniers out there, a fullblown kook if ever there was one. Almost as bad as the incredible duo Roy Spencer and John Christy who have been making mistakes and producing bogus research for more than a decade, seemingly without a care in the world. Like RS and JC, Lindzen will admit his critical mistakes only after his peers have gone out of their way to point them out for him. But afterwards, he’ll continue peddling his nonsense with the same elan as before. To him, its all just a big game. This is what Lindzen has to say about the risks of him being wrong:
“If I’m right, we’ll have saved money” by avoiding measures to limit emissions, Dr. Lindzen said in the interview. “If I’m wrong, we’ll know it in 50 years and can do something.”
Well! I guess we’ll have to trust this individual then and leave it to future generations to clean up his mess ‘if he’s wrong’, now shouldn’t we!
Now, I’ll freely admit that I have zero tolerance for pseudoscientists like Lindzen, and I have no reason to hold back for fear of scaring people off. However, I would be extremely interested in just a few words from you on exactly why AGW is overblown and how increasing GHG emissions are really not much of anything to worry about. I think you are a highly intelligent guy, so your viewpoint matters greatly to me.
Joris – I’ll see your Lindzen and raise you a Michael Mann 😉 — if “track records” are so important to you. That poor bastard has been trying (unsuccessfully) to defend his fraudulent work for almost 15 years now.
We could argue about personalities all day. In fact, you seem to be fixated on them. I guess that this is what comes from reading too much nonsense on DeSmog Blog — an outlet published, not by objective scientists, but by PR professionals. Care to guess who their clients are?
Yes, Lindzen is quite the contrarian. That’s clearly in his nature. Some of the best scientists that I have ever encountered have had similar contrarian natures. Whatever his nature, he still has some of the best understanding of the theory of atmospheric dynamics of anyone in the field. That he politically unpopular in the alarmist camp these days doesn’t change that.
At the end of the day, we know that a doubling of carbon-dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere (without feedbacks) results in a global temperature increase of slightly above 1 degree Celsius, which is hardly a crisis. Anything above that has to be the result of feedbacks, some of which are well understood, others of which are not. The estimates that are given in the IPCC reports come from computer models of dubious worth.
If you want to be concerned, please be my guest, I won’t stop you. Go ahead, because I think we agree on what constitutes the major part of the best course of action. I already spend way too much time explaining why arguing over “climate change” is a waste of time for pro-nuclear advocates. I’m not going to waste any more time now.
I agree that the term “denier” has been specifically chosen by some NGOs to belittle and dismiss the voice of those who were honestly not convinced by the data shown.
However obviously, most of those who originally initiated those doubts were acting with an agenda of protecting at any cost their CO2-emitting business, with no concern about any possible risk of it.
On the other hand, it’s obvious climate change has also been appropriated by people whose own agenda was for almost religious reasons to make energy as scarce and limited as possible. They also have weighted heavy in inserting some bad science even inside the IPCC report like the infamous Himalaya glacier that was actually spotted by the real scientist Georg Kaser working for group 1 of the IPCC, the one that does real science, month before publication, but not removed by those in group 2 who are more concerned about advocacy than getting facts right.
Given that, it should be obvious some people can also be honestly doubting the value of it all , when such blatant errors can get inside it, and it’s an error to alienate them by using aggressive terms as “denier”.
Wait. WHAT? “You have to decide between that and nuclear power.” Since when? I think climate change is real and I’m pro-nuclear. To those fellow pro-nukes who are climate change skeptics I always ask, “But surely you aren’t against CLEAN AIR and WATER.” Because no one is against that.
This is how the pro-nuclear climate change skeptics can get on board with promoting nuclear energy–and we can all move on with our lives. It isn’t an either/or proposition. How can you be sidelined by working toward cleaner air and water? Come on.
Nuclear power is a solution that doesn’t really need a problem.
To quote Freud, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” and sometimes a good idea is just a good idea. It doesn’t need to be bolstered by such controversial topics as global warming, climate change, climate disruption, or whatever the nonsensical nom du jour is popular these days.
As I’ve said many times here, this additional tribalism compounded on what is already a substantially tribalistic topic does more harm than good. It’s every bit as bad as the misguided efforts of the nuclear evangelicals who are too fixated on one particular nuclear reactor design (yes, I mean the molten salt fanatics).
I give the climate alarmists here some grief every now and then, because I enjoy challenging people to think, but I realize and understand that we’re all on the same team. I often fear, however, that they do not have enough sense to understand this as well.
Unfortunately, solutions that do not address pressing problems are often discarded for temporary or trivial reasons. A wonderful example of that statement is the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Station. It is a complete, operational, well-maintained nuclear power plant with more than 20 years remaining on its current license. However, its owner, after unsuccessfully seeking a buyer for the past two years (without much advertising, I will admit) has decided to shut down and destroy the plant.
According to NEI’s Nuclear Performance report, Kewaunee generated 4.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2012. Essentially all of the emissions that will ever be associated with that plant have already been released; nearly all of the lifetime emissions of any pollutants associated with nuclear fission are released as a result of the construction process.
If tapping some climate alarmism will help save such useful assets, I am willing to keep pointing to the cognitive dissonance and illogic of people like Cooper and Bradford. They claim to be worried about CO2 – unless the offered solution happens to be nuclear fission energy. Calling them climate change deniers – based on their actions, not their words – is purposely designed to make heads spin.
At 556 MW, isn’t it hurt by the fact of being a little bit small, and therefore badly impacted by the fixed tax imposed by the NRC ?
Desperate times = desperate measures. If global warming concerns will convince people to get on board the nuclear energy train then let’s use it.
With regard to rebuttal FAQs, inoculation is better than cure.
To inoculate, you have to get in there before the pathogen does. How do you do that in the “nuclear debate”, when the antinuclear lobby has petrodollar power enabling it to grow two new heads for each one that is lopped off, and to be heard first and last and often in between? Well, you can try to whack all the moles at once, by pointing out how much fossil fuel income government loses when it allows nuclear energy to expand.
Yes they are. I KNEW we’d end up here; that many in the “green” movement were going to warmly embrace natural gas in the end to placate the anti nuclear factions. To the point of outright misinformation as posted above.
I feel self righteously vindictive after being poo-pooed on green blogs a while back for saying it was past time to cut these people lose and distance the environmental movement from them once and forever.
The chickens have come home to roost.
I recognise this as well. Lately, I’ve notices some of the people I work with in the ‘sustainability sector’ are starting to claim that reducing GHG emissions from power generation by 50% will be ‘enough’ to limit AGW. In fact, this is not nearly enough, but the reason these people are spreading this myth is precisely because this myth allows them to accept a natural gas future. Formerly, the same people were adamant about reducing co2 all the way to 90% reduction, but natural gas PR has addled their minds so that they now suddenly believe that reducing it by 50% is ‘enough’.
It is fascinating in a morbid way to see how the natural gas lobby propaganda is working its way through the system and into the minds of the people calling themselves experts on sustainability. I must say I’m more than a little worried that it appears to be working…
natural gas PR has addled their minds
Maybe the PR came with a check or two?
Upton Sinclair theorem:
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”
Exactly. Now tell me, do these folks work pro bono?
You really think the only reason a UK university has a climate department is the global healing concerns ? You think those guys worry about finding the right result, or then they’ll get sacked ?
Sheep-like behavior and desire to be working on a hot subject happens in universities. But it wouldn’t take very long until you’d see an outlier who start to think about how famous he’ll become if he’s remembered the guy who published the research paper that rigorously and indisputably debunked climate change.
And there’s definitively quite a few who thought about doing that actually. But they all something in common, they were not climate specialist and their studies were certainly very far from rigorous. When talking about the point that are controversial, frequently people publish studies that change the previously held opinion.
Like the studies I referred below with estimates that varied quite significantly about the effect of deforestation on GHG releases.
No, they’re paid to understand the climate. They are not paid based on going short or long on fossil fuels. On the other hand, the people who make their money from fossil fuels have a lot more than the people of the CRU, or the entire University of East Anglia.
The people who make their money from fossil fuel have a much greater annual revenue stream to protect than the entire country that hosts the University of East Anglia. I like to point out that a single hydrocarbon company – ExxonMobil – with less than a 5% share of the world market, captures annual revenue that is about 2.5 times as large as the entire US Navy’s budget.
If so then so?? or is the guy selling kids apples because they are “good for you” of the same caliber as the one selling them cigarettes for the same reason?
Why all the concern for CO2 when even the AGW crowd agree that the GH effect of H2O is anywhere from 2 to 10 times a great as CO2?
One must also consider that there is anywhere from 25 to 100 times as much H2O in the atmosphere.
Now look at the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, not just infrared radiation the AGW crowd looks at, and it appears to me they are ignoring the elephant in the room and afraid of the mouse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission.png
Anyone that has taken a control systems course knows that the larger effect wins. The smaller will still have some effect but is usually swamped out by the larger effect. This is why they have swamping resistors/capacitors and negative feedback in high dollar Class A stereo amplifiers. From the spectrum of radiation that H2O affects compared to CO2, it sure looks to me which is the smaller of the two. You will also note on this graph that the CO2 spectrum is coincident with a portion of the H2O spectrum. If you study the data carefully in these AGW “reports” or “studies” you will find that they usually filter out the effects of H2O in their graphs, “for illustrative purposes.”
If H2O did not have a much greater effect than CO2, then adding even minute amount of CO2 to the atmosphere would upset it’s delicate balance and push it to a disastrous result, with the temperature rising continuously in a loop up to a result similar to Venus.
It’s only thanks to H2O that we are able to add gigatons of CO2 to the atmosphere every year, without it having a massive effect. The slight increase of temperature heightens the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, will creates more clouds, and we reach a new equilibrium only a little hotter instead of the massively hotter it would be without H20.
It’s indeed H20 that bring the negative feedback that stops the effect of CO2. However all the CO2 that we are adding still pushes the equilibrium to a higher temperature, and we can have the disastrous long term effect which are modeled by the studies. Despite the damping brought by H2O.
Therein lies one of my problems. There are many renowned geologists that have written “peer approved” papers indicating that, over the last several hundred million years that the change in CO2 LAGS temperature and does not LEAD temperature. A lagging entity can not be the cause of a change, It could be a result though. Why does the AGW crowd and Real Climate.org ignore this fact. Why do they hang onto the disproven ice core samples that were shown to LAG, not LEAD?
I know people think I am crazy, but I take the input of geologists with a large grain of salt when it comes to anything related to energy. The vast majority of professional geologists may be fascinated by rocks, but they make their money by finding formations full of hydrocarbons. I think I read somewhere that about 80% of the graduates of the Colorado School of Mines end up working for the fossil fuel industry.
At least they are smart enough to know where the money is. The other 20% probably aren’t.
I’ll make a public confession of being a bit on the crazy side. I believe there is far more to life than money.
Cut-and-paste denialism AND gross exaggeration!
First, good data on CO2 concentrations that can be aligned with high-resolution temperature records only go back a few glacial cycles (less than 1 million years).
Second, CO2 lagging temperature is what you would expect if the Milankovic cycles are the forcing function for the system; small changes in sunlight are amplified by CO2 feedback. It does not mean that CO2 has no influence, and you’d have to turn off your brain to believe it.
The Milankovic cycles don’t change global insolation very much. Mostly, they redistribute it between the two hemispheres and the seasons; counterintuitively, Northern hemisphere summers aligned with aphelion means summer is slightly cooler, but it lasts longer and snow has more time to melt away.
But I don’t expect a rabid ideologue like Lentz to dig into the beautiful subtleties of these things and try to understand them. He has an agenda; knowledge gets in the way.
Actually, geologists agree that AGW is a serious problem and that the science is settled.
Decades of scientific research have shown that climate can change from both natural and anthropogenic causes. The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s. If current trends continue, the projected increase in global temperature by the end of the twentyfirst century will result in large impacts on humans and other species. Addressing the challenges posed by climate change will require a combination of adaptation to the changes that are likely to occur and global reductions of CO2 emissions from anthropogenic sources.”
Because the amount of water in the atmosphere is not a driver. If you add water to the atmosphere, it rains out within days. If you took all the water out of the atmosphere, it would be back to normal within days.
If you took all the CO2, CH4, N2O, etc. out of the atmosphere, about the only thing absorbing and re-radiating in the thermal IR in the stratosphere would be a bit of O3. This would slash the downwelling IR flux at the tropopause. Things would get cold, and the atmosphere would get drier as water precipitated out. The tropopause would move downward as the boundary between convective and radiative heat transport moved into thicker air, with rain and snow wringing the air dry below it.
Without non-condensible GHGs, Earth is stable in an ice-ball state. If you have a cover of snow with an albedo of 0.9, the 680 W/m^2 of average insolation at the equator comes to just 68 W/m^2 absorbed. The temperature of a blackbody radiator emitting 68 W/m^2 is just 186 K. Not even Antarctica in winter gets that cold, and that’s for the equator.
Does that make clear why climate scientists consider things other than water?
Anyone who’s studied chaotic systems knows that small changes in parameters can cause very sudden shifts in the chaotic attractors, and water vapor increases with increasing temperature. How this results in positive feedbacks from IR opacity and heat-trapping clouds vs. negative feedbacks from light-reflecting clouds is part of what climate research is about, and I don’t pretend to understand it well enough to critique it. If you don’t even understand the role of non-condensible GHGs, neither do you.
Yes, but there are examples where what appears to be a small contribution of less than 1% actually has a large effect on the system. Folks in this forum should be able to think of an example without much of a delay.
@Engineer-Poet – March 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM
“If you add water to the atmosphere, it rains out within days. If you took all the water out of the atmosphere, it would be back to normal within days.”
And that normal is greater than 2%, approaching 3%, water vapor averaged over the whole Earth. The percentage of water vapor is typically 4% over the open ocean (~75% of the Earth), and is still above 0 over the desert during the day. Water vapor is lighter than air and rises because the density of water vapor is 0.804 g/liter, which is significantly less than that of dry air at 1.27 g/liter at STP. For this reason it would rise above the cold ocean water, and the DRY deaert. And the AGW “Believers” acknowledge that H20 is GH effect of H2O is anywhere from 2 to 10 times a great as CO2. And the concentration of H20 is 10 to 100 times that of CO2, depending on location. BUT they feed the “Believers” the line “If you add water to the atmosphere, it rains out within days.”
Well, if it rains back out the humidity would be ZERO and man could not live.
I could provide several (many in fact) to published research papers, some for the government, indicating that CO2 has less than 5% of the effect on the GHE than that ~3% water vapor. However, I am sure that since they are not approved by the Priests of Global Warming you will reject them.
Rich, we are trying to explain you that we perfectly agree that CO2 has less effect than H2O in absolute value, however what makes the difference between the two is that the amount of H2O in the atmosphere is directly related to temperature.
If you add more H2O to the atmosphere that the amount that should be there according to it’s temperature, the amount in excess almost immediately precipitates into rain, until the value is back to the correct level. This means that there is an almost immediate counter-action loop between temperature and H2O level, and that durable H2O forcing can’t be done.
If more CO2 is added, on the other hand, it stays there for a long time, as shown by the continuous linear increase in CO2 we measure (after removing the yearly seasonal variation). This means that whilst the H2O level has a constantly varying effect on climate, it can both push it up by green house effect and down by creating clouds, and also the effect’s constantly linked to the temperature, the CO2 on it’s side all the time just pushes up. May be the up effect is much smaller than H2O, but it’s constantly there, which is why when the H2O effect averages to zero, the CO2 effect doesn’t, and ends up skewing the result more than H2O despite the lower effect at any given moment.
However at the end I don’t really believe you have any intent of reading what you’re told, since that’s what you’re just showing already, you didn’t tried to understand what the answers you received meant.
I fully understand and comprehend the information provided. The point I am trying to make that even with low percentages of water vapor considering the GWP times that percentage is more that 10 times that of the GWP for CO2 times the percentage of CO2. It reaches 30 times for “global average” concentrations of water vapor. Yet they never talk about it. It is not in the government reports, CDIAC, why?
As for the steady linear increase in CO2, who has really studied what causes it. Why is the slope of that line almost the same now as it was before the industrial revolution, before the invention of the steam engine? How did man cause it before then? I believe there is a strong case to be made that desertification plays a major role in that (almost) linear increase. The new deserts lose their Carbon and some must end up in the atmosphere. Look at the desertification taking place in China as just one example.
@Rich – You are really stretching the truth here. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is not increasing in a straight line, the slope is increasing as the rate of hydrocarbon combustion increases. However, the concentration is really a saw tooth that varies with the seasons, with year to year increases for each month.
Do you really believe that dumping 30 billion tons of material every year into the atmosphere from smoke stacks and tailpipes has no effect?
It’s absolute non-sense to claim the effect of the constant of 2/3% water vapor is not taken into account. What included in the models is actually a *lot* more complex than that, not only water vapor, but also clouds, water evaporation and atmospheric circulation which is both extremely important for the final results and horribly complex to calculate :
Now I would like to see you show a real engineer’s approach, which is that many situations are way too complex to model fully, but that no good engineer lets that stop him instead of finding a smart solution to get a satisfying result anyway.
And here the magic simplifying wand is that earth’s atmosphere is initially in equilibrium. So whilst scientist may want to get detailed calculation of how it happens, we just know it *initially* sums up to zero. The question left then is what effect it has to dump on top that in equilibrium system a very large amount of various long lived GHG, included CO2, which just happens to have a much simpler effect than H2O, almost only to slightly increase the greenhouse effect. And again we don’t care about how much H2O there’s initially, since the initial situation is in equilibrium !
Are the very complex stabilizing forces in the atmosphere strong enough to prevent this release from having a very large effect ?
Past geological data, like the one from the PETM
very strongly suggests one clear answer : No !
Historical reconstruction shows that the CO2 level had a little increase in the second part of 18th centuries, but that one was perfectly within the scale of the random variations since year 1000, and the actual massive rise started only in 1860/1870, which is the time where industrial revolution really took off internationally :
Actually in 1830, England was already extracting 30 million tons coal a year, which were made to good use in steam engines that were already significantly improved over the very first one Watt had created in 1781. But coal at that time was probably primarily used as a replacement for wood in ironworks, after deforestation from overuse started to strongly restrict the wood supplies.
The slope as shown here since 1960 has had a much more quadratic increase, rather than linear :
Also you make it sound like if you believe people don’t try to identify where the CO2 release exactly comes from. There’s a lot of work on that and no one tries to claim deforestation isn’t a part of the end result, as can be seen here :
A perfect estimate is hard to reach, real scientists admit that it is a work in progress, and try to work together to enhance the results, acknowledging some of the data isn’t fully quantified yet :
I should be writing for sale, but duty calls.
You beg the question: what makes it normal? If the only greenhouse gases were water and ozone, Earth’s climate would be stable in an iceball state with negligible amounts of water in the atmosphere (the vapor pressure of ice at 200 K is a fraction of a Pascal).
If water’s the big dog in the greenhouse game, what’s causing the massive hole in the atmospheric IR transmission spectrum at 680/cm? It’s not water, water doesn’t have strong absorption lines there. And why’s it so constant with season and latitude, unlike water? If you can’t answer that, you have no business claiming objections to what the climate scientists say.
If water didn’t rain back out, Earth would go into a wet runaway greenhouse with an atmospheric pressure of around 100 bar and nothing could live. There’s a rough equilibrium level of water in the atmosphere. That equilibrium is set by the forcing influence of the non-condensible greenhouse gases, including O3, N2O, CH4, and of course CO2. Change those, change water too.
This has been adequately refuted at Real Climate (the division depends on how you allocate the influence of overlapping spectra; the less water you have, the more credit you have to give to the rest), and your use of scare phrases is noted.
Scientists believe in the greenhouse effect for the same reason they believe in gravity. It’s real.
I don’t suppose it ever occured to you that the concentration per se doesn’t matter. It is literally meaningless; dry air is 78% nitrogen, but N2 isn’t active in the thermal IR. The only thing that matters is the strength and width of the thermal IR absorption spectrum, and for that I refer you back to the spectra from page 6 of the pdf and that notch at 680/cm.
It’s true. I’m living it right now. There is a massive source of water vapor a few miles upwind of me. It’s coming down again within an hour. And shortly, I am going to have to spew a bunch of unburned hydrocarbons, CO2 and (yes) water vapor to move it out of places where Mother Nature so inconveniently dumped it.
If you are an engineer you know that the absorption of radiation will warm a body, any body, human, land, water, whatever. We use Radio wave heating for welding. And I know an ex-nuke that designed a radio wave soldering system. I can find NOTHING on the internet that details how all of the Suns radiation is affected in the total scheme of heating the earth. Every description I find throws out the scientific terms, e.g., Blackbody radiation, W/m^2, downwelling, forcing, Albedo, etc., and then quickly move over to CO2 and its effects, discussing ONLY CO2 (the mouse) and ignoring the other Four elephants in the room. Look at the “Solar Radiation Spectrum” curve again. In the Atmosphere H2O is an elephant (ignoring clouds). H20 is another elephant (looking only at clouds). [The models like to homogenize the effect of clouds. Don’t understand how they can do that. Clouds make it cooler when the sun shines and warmer at night when it holds in heat. Clouds are whiter that the earth and reflect the IR and visible light back before it pass through the lower atmosphere (lower albedo for those that like scientific terms that make your report look more intelligent to snow more people.) Albedo means little at night except for cosmic radiation the AGW group ignores because it is too small, etc. but I guess that is evened out by ignoring the radiation (non-visible/non-IR) that passes through the clouds during the day.] Finally, H20 is a third elephant due to its absorption of every particle/wave of electromagnet energy that hits it, whether from the Sun, or the cosmic surroundings. All of which, as far as I can find is ignored.
Then there is the forth elephant – the absorption (and/or reflection back into the atmosphere) of every particle/wave of electromagnet energy that hits the land mass of the Earth (and you MUST include ALL wavelengths in this not just IR as the AGW crowd does), whether from the Sun, or the cosmic surroundings. I can get enough radio wave power to operate a transistor radio without a battery and with nothing more than a common collapsible antenna as it’s source of power. Spread across the entire earth that is a lot of power. It is absorbed in the earth or the earth’s atmosphere somewhere. Radio waves heat water – that is how your microwave oven works. Water is in the atmosphere. Why are these factors ignored? Oh, I know, radio wave heating is too small to worry about, move along little boy there is nothing to see here; cosmic effects are prevented by the magnetic flux, you need to learn something before I can explain why we ignore that, etc., etc., ad infinitum.
No need to cut and paste the AGW preaching’s from Real Climate.org. It reminds me of a Michael Crichton novel – 99% verifiable facts and 1% B/S. And that is the tactic of all cults, overwhelm the convert with things that are obviously true, and then convince them with the B/S. The worst thing is though the AGW crowd, likes to exaggerate, modify, and take liberties with facts that are hard to prove wrong and do a poor job of verification. GIGO
You’re repeating the words, but I don’t see you applying the concepts.
Yet your description is so vague I get the feeling that you haven’t even tried.
Yes. Those are the terms of art. Those are the essential things which must be analyzed to understand the interplay of factors at work. You don’t seem to even try.
Three of your “four” elephants are water. The CO2 absorption band is right at the peak of Earth’s IR blackbody curve; it’s an elephant in its own right. Can you cite an example which might shed light on WHY you see what you say you’re seeing?
There’s no significant solar radiation at the wavelengths where the Earth generates IR flux. Solar IR at GHG absorption lines won’t reach the ground anyway.
In the atmosphere the influence of water varies widely depending on humidity and also on factors like number and size of condensation nuclei (which influences cloud formation and precipitation). This goes into weather models as well as climate models, you know. Knowing whether the clouds will create droplets heavy enough to survive their passage through warmer air to reach the ground or will evaporate on the way figures into your daily forecast.
There’s a limit to the resolution of all finite-element analyses.
The 2.45 GHz of your microwave oven is about .08/cm wavenumber. There is no significant thermal radiation at this wavelength from a 285K blackbody. Further, there’s nothing special about 2.45 GHz. Hams have cooked hamburgers in resonant cavities tuned to the 2-meter band.
You sound an awful lot like a crank. Did it ever occur to you that the 50,000 watt transmitter at 900 kHz a few miles away can deliver a few microwatts to a very small piece of wire, and that’s enough to drive a very small radio? Just do a calculation based on the inverse-square law and assume your antenna has a capture area of a circle roughly twice its length. 50 kW at a distance of 20 km radiating isotropic over a half-sphere is about 20 microwatts/m^2. There’s your radio power, no mystery at all.
After all the cut-and-paste conspiracy stuff you’ve posted, that’s quite the irony.Since you have difficulty with complex material, let’s try a very simple example. Suppose that we have an Earth-prime which receives 340 W/m^2 average at the top of its atmosphere and has an albedo of 0.4 (40% reflection). The remaining visible and near-IR light is converted to heat at the ground (204 W/m^2).The blackbody radiation equation is E = s T^4, where s is 5.67*10^(-8) W/m^2/K^4.1. What is the expected temperature if Earth-prime is heated to a uniform temperature?2. Earth-prime develops an atmospheric layer which perfectly absorbs thermal infrared and perfectly transmits solar light. This layer is perfectly conductive within itself and has a uniform temperature, top and bottom. What is the new expected temperature of the surface of Earth-prime?1. 204 = 5.67*10^(-8) T^4, T = 245 K2. In this case, the atmospheric layer radiates 204 W/m^2 upward to space. Because it is at a uniform temperature top and bottom, it also radiates 204 W/m^2 down to the surface. The surface must radiate both the 204 W/m^2 from Sun-prime and the additional 204 W/m^2 of downwelling IR, totalling 408 W/m^2.408 = 5.67*10^(-8) T^4, T = 291 KAnd that’s how greenhouse gases warm a planet up.
Crap, line breaks got eaten. Here’s the exercise again, for clarity:
Since you have difficulty with complex material, let’s try a very simple example. Suppose that we have an Earth-prime which receives 340 W/m^2 average at the top of its atmosphere and has an albedo of 0.4 (40% reflection). The remaining visible and near-IR light is converted to heat at the ground (204 W/m^2).
The blackbody radiation equation is E = s T^4, where s is 5.67*10^(-8) W/m^2/K^4.
1. What is the expected temperature if Earth-prime is heated to a uniform temperature?
2. Earth-prime develops an atmospheric layer which perfectly absorbs thermal infrared and perfectly transmits solar light. This layer is perfectly conductive within itself and has a uniform temperature, top and bottom. What is the new expected temperature of the surface of Earth-prime?
1. 204 = 5.67*10^(-8) T^4, T = 245 K
2. In this case, the atmospheric layer radiates 204 W/m^2 upward to space. Because it is at a uniform temperature top and bottom, it also radiates 204 W/m^2 down to the surface. The surface must radiate both the 204 W/m^2 from Sun-prime and the additional 204 W/m^2 of downwelling IR, totalling 408 W/m^2.
408 = 5.67*10^(-8) T^4, T = 291 K
And that’s how greenhouse gases warm a planet up.
Why, how, did we design a working, power producing reactor in about ten years, yet the AGW group does not have a valid computer model that works, and we are spending multiple trillions on worthless predictions?
A true engineer/scientist researches ALL of the facts and bases his projects on repeatable process that can be independently verified. This is lacking in the AGW Hype. Supposedly most of the readers here have some engineering background. Some of those that like to refute my comments that AGW is hype supposedly design the new generation of nuclear reactors. I was taught that every design calculation was verified by a “blind” independent review. For places I worked that means the reviewer only saw the conclusion and not the work/calculation. Where is the independent review of all of the AGW calculations? Climategate 1, 2, and now 3 tell me that they all colluded on the answer and that few if any of the prophecies were ever actually independently reviewed. There “Peer Review” was a “you review mine and I will review yours,” and they did not review those that were not in their own camp. They even exchanged the needed “tricks” (and they were unethical tricks to say the least) to get the need result. Is that how you are designing these new generation reactors? I hope not.
As many readers here are engineers, I am sure that EVERY computer model that you use in your design work is “Validated.” Even the OS for computers and essentially every computational software package you might have, e.g., MSDos, Windows, MathCad, AutoCad, and even the hand held calculator you have are. (The hand held calculator even went through a Y2K test back in 199 it my co.) The companies provide citations indicating how they validated the model, and who did the independent validation, usually another company in no way associated to them, and that reams of facts and certifications are available. Then, if it involves the NSSS, the NRC “Validates” it again and if not done internally, uses an even different company/organization than the originator. Where is the validation of these so called “models?” So far the AGW models are NOT predicting the future. They have not predicted the present 15 plus years with NO increase in global temperature with a steady increase in CO2, despite their massaging of the data base. We are now several degrees below, I repeat BELOW, the lowest predicted temperature using any of the AGW models. (FACT Verifiable but not on Real Climate.org. Find your own source.)
Please, PLEASE, provide me with the name of just one of these models that has been “Validated” and proven accurate with greater than 75% accurate with a 95% confidence level. However, there are numerous discussions on the internet providing information detailing that when they did a backward validation of one or another of these “models” that it did NOT repeat history. Or, do engineers ignore independent validation today? I am sure you have heard of the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse. By the way, are these new generation reactors designed with models that are greater than 75% accurate with a 95% confidence level? [Do the math on that fuzzy AGW claim. Dig out your statistics book. It is worse than playing dice. It is on the order of the odds of hitting one number on a roulette wheel spin.] Would you sign the PE stamp if they were? Does B&W use a model with this confidence and validity in the design of their SMR? If you are an engineering account, would you advise you company to spend $1 Trillion on a project with those prospects, knowing the company would be liable for $100 Trillion? I know “but we can reduce CO2, and if AGW is caused by CO2, we can “Save the world.” “Wouldn’t you be sorry if we could have prevented this Armageddon?” Well, my answer is that the total economic impact on the suggested methods of “reducing” CO2 is several orders of magnitude higher than ignoring it. The impacts of the Fukushima earthquake/tsunami/NPP incident look like a party.
What are the real impacts of fighting climate change? Rod spoke to this here: https://atomicinsights.com/2013/03/nuclear-energy-fights-climate-change-and-energy-poverty-at-same-time.html However, Where is the discussion of the Hundreds of Thousands that will die ONLY due to the high cost of energy caused by the methodology of the AGW crowd? More than the AGW predict that will die from “Global Warming.” Where are the discussions on the TRUE TOTAL COST? Where is the “Cost Benefits Analysis” I always had to present to get even my simple projects approved? That the Managers had to present to get the company approval for large projects, and the PUC had to see to even consider allowing it to go in the rate base if built? I have not seen one. Please let me know of one.
I come to this page because I truly believe that Nuclear power is the ONLY answer if the AGW hype is true. I shall remain skeptical (I AM NOT A DENIER) until is see models that are validated, data that is not massaged, Weather stations that are providing true temperature un-affected by UHI, the effect of the desertification being caused by improper land use included [looks like a very probable cause to me], acknowledgement of the cosmic effects on water vapor to the atmosphere, and all of the issues discussed above are considered. Any true engineer would also be skeptical in light of all of the “hidden unknowns, unanswered questions.” To a true engineer, there are just too many of them.
Look at the AGW list of GHGs – Recent Greenhouse Gas Concentrations, CDIAC, DOI: 10.3334/CDIAC/atg.032, http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html Like the old lady said “Where is the BEEF” where is water vapor? Why are they leaving it out? Look at this curve “Solar Radiation Spectrum” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png . Everyone keeps throwing out scientific terms and ignoring the elephant. The major portion of the “Blackbody Radiation Curve” is enveloped by, guess what, H2O; CO2 is just a bit player. Why do they ignore it? Why isn’t it in the CDIAC data? Please just explain that!
Water has a much more profound effect on “albedo” than they are letting on. And I am not sure they are even aware of all of the ways it affects albedo. Look at the images of the earth (un-retouched/altered) taken by satellite RADAR. In these images Oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, etc. show up black. Why, because the radar signal is absorbed by the water and not reflected back to the RADAR, it is as if it had gone into space. How much of this effect is accounted for in the above graph. I question that because the graph only talks about atmosphere. Where is the beef, where is the data for this absorption?
“Where is the discussion of the Hundreds of Thousands that will die ONLY due to the high cost of energy caused by the methodology of the AGW crowd?”
I agree with this, which is one of the reasons I like nuclear power. However, I think it is bad form to attack the credibility of climate science only because the ‘agw crowd’ is urging abhorent solutions, like some of the most popular AGW deniers admit to doing. We should attack those solutions if we don’t agree with them, not the climate science.
Global warming isn’t the only game in town. Nuclear power passes muster just on the basis of nil obtrusive pollutionless low-foot-print reliable power — as it had in pre-GW fad days. It can win just on the clean water front vs fossils alone. A desalination plant right next to SONGS would’ve done wonders helping its repute. Why this angle is seldom exploited God knows. There used to be Freeport Raceway here with hot rods and the jocks would hone and tweak those car’s engines to extreme to the point they almost never got them out on the track. There’s a point where struggling for perfection means going nowhere and getting nothing. Cars, planes. vaccines, or nuclear reactors.
Climate change denialism (or more exact: anthropogenic global warming denialism or AGW-denialism) is not a scientific position. It is a pure public relations construct thought up by people like Frank Luntz. Read the following fascinating document penned by him, which includes an execrable section on “Winning the climate change debate” about half-way through. This document was given to Republican politicians to help them block climate change policy in Washington. The key strategy is to feed and maintain the (false) notion that ‘the science is not settled’.
Interestingly, while Frank Luntz is seen as one of the most visible providers of modern AGW-denialist tactics, he has since actually apologised for this. He himself actually believes that AGW is a real problem (i.e. that the science *is* actually settled), although this has not stopped him in providing his clients with the bottom-feeding tricks necessary to keep the American public in the dark about this important issue. See here Frank Luntz mea culpa:
If people would know how and why AGW-denialism is still a vibrant part of the political debate, they could do worse that studying the PR origins of AGW-denialism and tracking down how major players in the production of AGW-denialist communications earn their pay.
To be sure, rather than indicating an astute, independent and skeptical mindset, being an AGW-denier is simply being a willing tool of the vested interests who wish to prolong GHG emissions as long as possible by muddling and misrepresenting climate science with the aim of maximizing doubt and distrust, rather than promoting insight and understanding.
I am not, I repeat NOT, denying Global Warming. However, I have serious questions about the impact and magnitude of CO2 and its causal relationship on Global Warming. I am an engineer, and to be a good engineer requires some degree of skepticism, or you will not be employed very long. I was on the team that determined the cause of the TMI-II Incident. Through my critical analysis of the data, I am THE individual that discovered the “hydrogen burn” (it was not an explosion) that occurred during that incident and I spent several days convincing the rest of the team that it actually happened. (No you probably will not find my name on any papers about this incident or the reports given to NRC, ANS, etc. – They all have my boss’s name – but I wrote them.) I have developed Root Cause Analysis programs for several Nuclear Power Plants. I have received awards from NEI for some of my programs and helped them develop some. However, when I look at the information on many of the popular AGW websites I see a complete, utter, lack of critical analysis of the problem. If they were engineers working for me I would have fired them long ago.
Yes, there is AGW, but is it caused by desertification? Is it caused by massive dams changing watersheds? The Colorado River doesn’t drain into any Ocean (unless you want to count the sewer water from LA.) What does that do to the Gulf of California? How much of the A in AGW is caused by CO2? How much of the GW is caused by Solar/Cosmic effects? THE AGW group denies all of that. How much is caused by everything else? As said in my earlier postings, would you invest many Trillions of dollars on basically a role of the dice?
I thought this was a blog of critical thinkers. I am sorry to have disrupted your “Mutual Adoration Society’ and will not bother you again. And nothing I have posted here was cut-n-paste other than links, so don’t throw that demining phrase at me again.
“Yes, there is AGW, but is it caused by desertification? Is it caused by massive dams changing watersheds? The Colorado River doesn’t drain into any Ocean (unless you want to count the sewer water from LA.) What does that do to the Gulf of California? How much of the A in AGW is caused by CO2? How much of the GW is caused by Solar/Cosmic effects? THE AGW group denies all of that. How much is caused by everything else? ”
You are under the illusion that such questions are not asked by climate scientists. It is a typical pitfall of AGW deniers that they assume climate scientists are blithering idiots unable to understand even their own subject matter, let alone think critically about it. This comes from reading too many popular websites on climate science, and wrongly assuming the level of scientific rigor displayed on such popular (and sometimes overly simplistic) sites characterises the work of climate scientists. I guess an analogy would be to look at a the website of Shell oil company and – not finding any mention of plate tectonics – assuming that Shell scientists don’t know anything about plate tectonics and therefore are doomed to fail at E&P. It just doesn’t make much sense to do so. The quickest solution would be to find a climate scientists near you and simply ask the questions you pose here. I’ll wager you’ve never done so, preferring to remain comfortable in your easy dismissal of climate science as vacuous and superficial.
I am an engineer too. M.Eng specialised in HVAC. I’ve spent about 8 years following the climate change ‘debate’ and my conclusion is that the science is settled. Arguably, it was settled already 30 years ago.
@ Joris “It is a typical pitfall of AGW deniers that they assume climate scientists are blithering idiots unable to understand even their own subject matter, let alone think critically about it.”
How can I make it clear that I BELIEVE IN AGW? I am only skeptical in the cause – and you should be too.
Why does Wikipedia and a thousand(s of) other web sites blame desertification on climate change rather than the other way around? Please answer that? Don’t demean me with propaganda.
A very valid argument can be and has been made that desertification is a LARGE factor in the cause of the FEW degrees of global warming we have had since the end of the Little Ice Age. A major portion of that desertification is MAN MADE. Look for the information, it is there – but you will NOT find it on Wikipedia or RealClimate.org because it does NOT support their agenda, just like one of your previous comments about big oil. Look at the MAN caused desertification of the SW US plains (now called deserts), Look at the desertification of Mexico where the land has turned to more desert sine the Spanish conquered it. Look at the areas of Peru, Argentina, and other South American countries that have had vast areas that were once thriving areas of fertile land turned to deserts due to the agricultural methods. All of that land that turns to desert releases all of the carbon in the soil that made it a rich fertile land, into the atmosphere as CO2. Where are the thousands or should I say millions of dollars being spent to verify this as a cause. There is no research money in it so they don’t waste time on it. Further, it is a sure thing to get you thrown out of the professor’s office if you suggest this as your thesis paper, because like you said, “the science is settled.”
The rise in the atmospheric CO2 inventory is considerably smaller than the amount released from the known quantities of fossil fuels burned. A substantial amount of carbon is going into the oceans, and the USA’s lands may be a net sink. Reversing desertification may assist (might make another “wedge” of carbon reductions), but doing the numbers says it isn’t a panacea.
Rich, the problem is not that you are mistaken in listing factors that could influence the effect that human GHG may or may not have on climate. The problem is you assume that climate scientists ignore such factors. You really need to take a few hours are read though an IPCC report, or at least read the table of contents.
If I seem to demean you, it is because I have less and less patience with people who fire from the hip at climate science. This kind of firing is as inappropriate today as it was 30 years ago, and it is demeaning and can attract a demeaning response. This is nothing personal.
Earth’s climate is not an engineering project. Interacting phenomena do not have one “root cause”. However, they can be subjected to sensitivity analysis.
The changes in temperature don’t map to individual watersheds.
Because the solar constant has been measured by satellite since the 1970’s, and has been roughly flat or even declining slightly. Seriously, if you are seeking a root cause, wouldn’t you at least do a quick search to see if that was investigated?
I don’t suppose it occured to you to look at studies of the IR downwelling radiance? You can find papers on measurements from both the continental USA and Antarctica without undue difficulty.
If nobody can give you a figure good to 2 places, are you going to say “WTF do we know anyway?” and say it’s nothing to worry about, e.g. the argument from ignorance (actually, the argument from imperfect knowledge)?
We’ve got plenty of data on the effects of CO2 (look at the downwelling radiance and its peak at the CO2 absorption band vs. the high-altitude upwelling radiance in the FIRST data linked above). If all we had to worry about was the non-condensible GHGs we’d probably have been done a few years after Arrhenius. The problem is that water is condensible, CH4 has massive natural reservoirs, and the fact that the effect of our changes could alter atmospheric or oceanic circulation or other things with consequences that we cannot predict means that we should be looking to stop immediately, if not backpedal as fast as we can.
The irony is that this backpedaling is in our interest even if climate wasn’t a factor… and some people persist in taking the conspiracy-theoretic position on climate as if they’re deliberately trying to alienate the environmentalists whose support would break the back of the coal, gas and oil lobbies. Incredible.
So then, I take it that the B&W models for the B&W mPower Reactor have a 75% accuracy with a 95% confidence level and you feel that is adequate? They will have to be much better than that for the NRC to accept them.
Non-sequitur AND tu quoque! This guy is good.
A quote from the global climate report as what was memorable for this February :
“(February 2013) marked the 28th consecutive February and 336th consecutive month (28 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average February temperature and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.”
Again : “The last below-average February temperature and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985.”
( http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/ncdc-releases-february-2013-global-climate-report )
Thats quite astounding.
It’s a bit of a selective presentation of data. Global atmosphere temperatures stayed during the last 10 years at about the same high level they were in 2000, so in other words didn’t really rise.
However all the other fundamentals as you show in the other graphs didn’t stop rising, ocean heat content, ocean acidity, atmospheric CO2, ocean CO2.
So for that only parameter didn’t follow exactly the same up curve, the most likely is that something weighting negatively on it, like for example a combination of effect that includes two countries, India, China, rising a whole lot their emissions of cooling aerosols :
“Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008”
– Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a
– cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure because
– rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations
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