1. I think you are correct here, beyond that all investigations into the “climategate”emails have essentially cleared them of any wrongdoing no matter how much those interested in downplaying AGW crow about it. Those emails are a nontroversy since it does not change the overwhelming evidence.
    I do consider Al Gore to have some vested interests, and I think he performs his fair share of obfuscation when stumping for his particular solution. That said the base facts of AGW are still somewhat incontrovertible, and dislike Al politically as much as I do, or dislike the fact that he has so many Anti-Nuclear advocates salted into his WE organization, he’s still correct in the assumption that we need to do something relatively soon regarding AGW.

    1. @Thanos — Let’s stipulate that the investigations into the “Climategate” email and data thread totally clear the participants involved; that the climate models which promote a strong positive feedback mechanism are accurate; and that developed countries relying on hydrocarbons for 50% of their electricity will need to change to something else due to the atmospheric CO2 concentration reaching a ‘tipping point’.

      What is offered as the demonstrated replacement for that base-load? What is the environmental impact – in terms of land-use footprint, raw materials input vs. actual generated output – of the alternative? What is the transportation fuel to be burned in the ICE until a viable alternative is developed? What is the time frame for achieving these goals?

    2. Demonstrated replacement for baseload:
      *Nuclear, hydroelectric (hydroelectric limited by scalability)
      Environmental impact of nuclear vs. fossils:
      *Land use: Low to very low. Uranium mining largest land use, avoided with in-situ leach.
      *Absolute raw materials input: Very low (assuming uranium ore as feedstock) . Near nil (assuming fuel rods as feedstock).
      *Energy output for units of raw material inputted: Very high (assuming uranium ore). Near asymptotic (assuming fuel rods).
      *Negative externalities created per unit of output: Very low. Small amount of hazardous solid waste, high amount of thermal waste on a comparative scale.
      *Capital investment necessary: High
      *Ongoing cost: Low

      In the context of developed nations: I assume the electrification of most human activities. With this assumption, transport using ICE technology can remain carbon-based. Though it has its detractors and doubters, I think algae-based biofuels – with appropriately genetically-modified algae – have lots of potential starting within the next 10-20 years or so allowing for a potentially closed carbon cycle and a high EROEI. Algae fuel plants would dovetail nicely with LWRs, too. Lots of low-grade heat to keep growth rates high, lots of electricity for light for photosynthesis even at night.

      In the very long term: when we have a sufficient command over the fuel cycle as well as reactor neutron spectra, and the public is well-educated about nuclear technology and is not filled with fear at the very mention of radiation, synthetic, decay-heat producing isotopes, such as Pu-238 (500 kg of Pu-238 would constantly produce at least 125 k BTU, enough for a car, using very old Pu-238) might take the place of ICE technology using heat engines of some sort, like the Stirling cycle. Perhaps even very small reactors could be built for rail use.

      1. @katana0182(Dave) — Permission requested to “Copy and Paste” this response anywhere and everywhere there is a discussion about transitioning away from coal (primarily) or other fossil/carbon-based energy.

        I knew the NPP for electricity generation, process heat and desalination aspect, but was wondering if Thanos had thought through the transportation fuel and chemical feed stock issues. Have you been to the http://www.originoil.com website? Interesting concept – that and coal-to-liquid “puroleum” diesel fuel.

  2. There are some people out there who claim that all or almost all of the concerns over global warming are part of a sinister scheme to orchestrate a nuclear revival in the West. This theory seems to be most popular in the UK, where it is usually described as a Thatcherite plot to revive the Britain’s government-owned nuclear industry.

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