1. Al Gore recently gave testimony in front of congress. He said that the US needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by the year 2050.

    Ninety percent? That sounds like an awfully big reduction. It makes me wonder if Al Gore or his people have really crunched the numbers to see what would be required to do this. At a rather modest rate of growth, we will need about 50% more electricity by 2050. A 90% reduction in greenhouse gases from here would mean a tremendous number of nuclear power or CO2-sequestering coal plants be built. But Al Gore doesn’t think nuclear power should play any major role in the future. He seems to be banking an awful lot on green power. I also wonder if he understands what base-load power is, and why solar and wind are not base-load power.

    And what about the transportation sector? What are these carbon-free automobiles and trucks going to run on? Hydrogen? Then we need a bunch of hydrogen production facilities, don’t we? Nuclear power could play a role here too, but again, the Goracle doesn’t think so.

    I’d like to see Gore get as supportive of the nuclear industry as, say, Patrick Moore.

    tom p

  2. Hi guys…great show, as usual.

    Some corrections/comments.

    Churchill was never in the navy and he was in the army, having graduated from Sandhurst at the end of the 19th Century. His only association with the Navy was at the beginning of WWII when he was appointed as the head of the Admiralty…essentially sec’ty of the Royal Navy. This was in Chamberlin’s cabinet.

    On the big forges issue for building reactors, etc…there are several around the world…France and Russia both have them and I think Japan has two. These are large factories that can poor the stainless steel into big-ass molds. The US IS building one, I think Westinghouse and/or GE are building them in Indiana. This, if only to fill foreign orders. But it’s a good sign.

    Secondly, none of the other parts of the NPP are in short supply vis-a-vis turbine/generators…that’s because turbines and generators are the same for NPP as they are for conventional steam plants (coal/oil/CH4). There are *dozens* of plants that make steam and generator facilities around the world in this very competitive market. France/Germany/USA/Japan/China/S. Korea all build them and there is never a shortage of these plants that build the turbine/generator assemblies.

    Yours for fission,

    David Walters


  3. David,

    Thanks for the Churchill correction; it’s been upwards of 10 years since the last time I read any history texts about him, and it shows!


  4. Al Gore isn’t a scientist, and neither is whoever did the Great Global Warming swindle.

    Imagine a debate about what is known about nuclear reactors that took Helen Caldicott as one who is taken to have legitimate things to say, and a former US Presidential candidate? What about the physicists?

    Both Rod and Shane seemed to agree that a “hole” in the argument that increasing CO2 levels will cause the planetary system to warm exists, because, as the Swindle show seems to have pointed out, the evidence is that CO2 increases tended to lag temperature rises in the ice core records.

    This question was discussed at length by Dr. Richard Alley in the Bjerkenes Lecture he gave at this year’s meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

    You can download a video of his lecture here: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.zip

    Or a streaming video here: http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm09/lectures/lecture_videos/A23A.shtml

    Who would you go to if you wanted to get the best assessment of what a detail of general relativity you had some doubt about was? Einstein? Or would it be better to study what some clown who did a TV show in the UK said, say a guy who claimed nuclear bombs can’t blow up because he has emails some nuclear physicists wrote to each other which prove his contention? Or would it be better to study what a former US Presidential candidate who won a big prize for doing a good job popularizing what is known about nuclear physics?

    Richard Alley is one of the best scientists who has ever done work in climatology, or rather paleoclimatology, the history of climate on Earth – he did some of the original analysis of the Greenland ice cores, and is a Professor at Penn state.

    His lecture explains the main points of the theory that CO2 and other greenhouse gases is the “biggest control knob” out of all the forces that exist that determine what temperature the planet is. He is an entertaining speaker.

    The time period under consideration, for Rod and Shane who seem to find the mere 750,000 years of ice core records too short, is the entire history of the Earth.

    One way to very briefly summarize what Dr. Alley was saying is the way he himself put it near the end of his talk:

    “If higher CO2 warms, the Earth’s climate history makes sense. If CO2 doesn’t warm we have to explain why the physicists are stupid and we also have no way to explain what happened. And its really that simple. We don’t have any plausible alternative to that at this point.”

  5. Regarding the discussion near the end of the show where Rod brought up the mailing list he has been on for some fifteen years that has a number of engineers and scientists who are somewhat or greatly skeptical of the evidence for “Anthropogenic Global Warming” as he said, or “climate disruption” as Obama’s chief scientific advisor John Holdren prefers to say.

    One thing I find very convincing is something like the Joint Science Academies statement handed this year to each head of state attending the G8. Its only two pages long. http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/G8+5energy-climate09.pdf

    Take a look at the signatures. These are:

    National Academy of Sciences, United States of America

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

    Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher,Leopoldina, Germany

    Indian National Science Academy, India

    Royal Society, United Kingdom

    Science Council of Japan, Japan

    Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

    Royal Society of Canada, Canada

    Academia Brasileira de Ciéncias, Brazil

    Académie des Sciences, France

    Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy

    Academia Mexicana de Ciencias, Mexico

    Academy of Science of South Africa, South Africa

    Basically, the statement says climate change is serious and it is so urgent it must be addressed as soon as possible. Addressing the problem will take no less than decarbonizing the world’s energy supply. A few quotes:

    “Climate change and sustainable energy supply are crucial challenges for humanity”. “It is essential that world leaders agree on emissions reductions…” “The need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.” “climate change is happening even faster than previously estimated” “Feedbacks in the climate system might lead to much more rapid climate changes…”

    Now think about any theory anyone has about what special interest worked behind the scenes to dupe the rest of the world into believing all this supposed hooey about “anthropogenic global warming” which, they say, has such elementary holes in the theory that anyone can see them, so that we all should dismiss the entire idea?

    Why would the most prestigious academy of science in China buy into something that shaky? What do the scientists of Russia have to gain? How did they get to the best scientists in Japan? What do people think a blue ribbon committee of the National Academy of Sciences is, and how would a mere group of Academy members persuade the NAS as an organization to take a formal position like this, if the case was unsound?

    How is it possible that the almost the entire world’s science academies have decided to come together as a group of groups to add their prestige to the increasingly desperate calls of climatologists as they make a case to what they take to be the most relevant group of heads of state in existence, asking that they deal with this urgent problem, if the case was BS?

    How can it be that the entire discipline of climatology, at least what the top people describe as “the relevant experts”, i.e. everyone who publishes in peer reviewed journals regularly or even in the last ten years at all, how can it be that all these scientists are so stupid they didn’t grasp an elementary point such as any of those the so called climate “skeptics” make?

    (apologies to Rod here, as he calls himself a skeptic in the correct sense, as he says he wants to examine the case for himself and he still isn’t satisfied).

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