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  1. Maybe one reason Lovins was so well received and regarded in the heart of the military is because the likes of Bill Nye and Neil Tyson and especially Michio Kaku have long primed their audience in their formative years to look cross-eyed at nuclear power. It says something when nuclear in the Navy is confined to a few carriers and they’re thinking of fueling the rest of the fleet with algae juice. ALL nuclear blogs need one voice to openly challenge Lovins to a web debate.

    1. @Mitch

      If “ALL” blogs spoke with one voice about anything, they wouldn’t be worth reading. The whole point of blogging is enabling the expression of a larger variety of views and perspectives.

      Nuclear in the Navy is not “confined to a few carriers.” All of our aircraft carriers and all of our submarines are nuclear powered. Unfortunately, none of our other ships are.

  2. Amory Lovins certainly is a smart guy: he tells the same fantasy story for 30 years and still finds gullible poeple who listen, believe it, and pay for it.

    Did he suggest something concrete what the Navy should do? Re-introducing wind-powered 🙂 sailing ships? Or some scheme to produce synthetic fuel from solar energy?

  3. Ahh, the smell of snake oil in the morning…

    The guy is a genius at one thing all right: getting well paid by selling BS. It is so much easier to talk vague notions while giving off an air of profundity than to present real numbers and hard data bound by solid analysis like the late Dr. Mackay.

    I hope DoD is not so gullable to believe the US military can be run on snake oil!

  4. BS abounds, here too.

    I remain unconvinced that wind and solar energy…

    Those sources will *never* power ships or aircraft

    Ignoring things doesn’t make them disappear:



    1. Ignoring things doesn’t make them disappear:


      Over a year to go 25,000 miles, or less than 70 miles per day.  You can do much better on a bicycle.  I look forward to Greens investing in solar-powered airlines and trying to set up scheduled service, though; it’ll keep them out of trouble.


      “average cruising speed of just 5 knots”

      “Personally I don’t believe solar energy is appropriate for big ships and commercial traffic. It would be a dream, but it’s crazy. You would not get enough power,” says Gerard D’Aboville, the Turanor’s captain. “You can go around the world with solar energy. But it’s not the future of boats. It’s more a symbolic gesture.”

    2. @Pu239

      Perhaps I should have been more clear for those who cannot recognize context. The ships and aircraft of concern to the Pentagon audience are NOT the kinds of lightweight, limited speed devices described in the articles to which you linked.

    3. If wind and solar are so great why is germany increasing the number of and the length of operation on dirty coal burners? Why is Germany the leader in the EU for the highest cost of electricity and why the mass exodus of manufacturing?
      Is that what you desire for the USA, the rest of the world?

      1. Rich,
        why is Germany increasing … dirty coal burners?
        Sorry, the opposite is true.
        1. In 2003 when the Energiewende took steam, coal (incl. lignite) delivered 305TWh. In 2015 coal delivered 273TWh (-10%).
        2. Their utilities used in 2015 often new burners which are 30% more efficient (~33% vs ~45%), so 30% less CO2. Those also generate hardly any toxics.

        Why the exodus of manufacturing out of Germany?
        German manufacturing flourish.
        Aluminum smelters need huge amounts of electricity.
        While e.g. USA recently saw a decrease, German aluminum smelters expand.

        German aluminum smelters buy at the whole sale power exchange and run only when the price is low (~1cent/KWh). They arranged flexible contracts with their staff (prices are highly predictable, with the weather predictions).

        Why Germany leader in EU for the highest cost of electricity?>
        Not really. Denmark has higher consumer prices.
        It’s a matter of culture. The reasoning is that citizens will be more economical with energy when it’s expensive. So petrol is also highly taxed and twice the USA price. Also here in NL (so other taxes can be lower).
        And it works. Av. German households pay lower share of thei income for electricity than av. USA households.

        1. Then these articles are not correct?

          Germany has abandoned plans to set out a timetable to exit coal-fired power production and scrapped C02 emissions reduction goals for individual sectors, according to the latest draft of an environment ministry document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

          Germany on Wednesday moved to slow the rapid growth of subsidised renewable energy to cap rising costs, drawing fire from environmentalists who charged it is betraying its ambitious climate goals.

          SolarWorld could face bankruptcy as a result of its polysilicon supply dispute with Hemlock. The U.S. polysilicon supplier is claiming up to $793.5 million in damages, in court documents acquired by Reuters today.

          Germany’s legislature voted Friday to sharply cut back on subsidies and other financial incentives supporting green energy due to the strain wind and solar power placed on the country’s electricity grid.

          Operators of brown coal power plants in Germany who will participate in a new reserve to provide electricity in the case of shortages will receive ‘cost-based compensation’, according to a German government document seen by Reuters on Thursday.

          Germany will scrap plans to raise emissions charges for older coal-fired power stations, bowing to pressure from the power sector which warned that the levy would result in the closure of mines and power plants.

          1. Remember that Bloomberg, etc. etc. predicted long outages in 2011 when Merkel closed 8 NPP’s after Fukushima.
            None occurred. Germany stayed a net electricity exporter in 2011.

            I still don’t understand:
            How could these educated authors think that always cautious Merkel, who has a PhD in physics, would do that without having the assurances of all the right experts that it was no problem?
            Or was it written & published while the author, etc. knew it was nonsense?

            English papers did not report the stand-by arrangement with two closed plants. That winter one was asked to restart and became spinning reserve during a few cold weeks. No electricity delivered to the grid.

            Plans for a time table to exit coal?
            Never existed. May be some draft with some civil servants.
            – View the 2014 humorist confrontation of the responsible minister with interrupting Greenpeace activists during his speech for an employers meeting: (use google translate)
            He clearly excludes such plan.

            – Electricity generation is a free high competitive market in Germany (EU-rules). Government cannot decide which generator methods utilities have to use.

            The only method is to reach agreement with the utilities. But that implies huge compensations in addition to much higher electricity prices due to the merit order effect at the power market (gas is expensive in Europe).
            It is cheaper and better to stimulate more renewable and then compete coal out of the market. Though the new German brown coal generators have a low cost price: ~2.5cent/KWh.

            Slower renewable increase. Cut back on FiT’s, etc
            Energiewende targets a shift of 1.5%/a towards renewable.
            2000-2005: 4.9TWh/a renewable = 0.8%/a
            2005-2010: 8.5TWh/a renewable = 1.4%/a
            2010-2015: 18.2TWh/a renewable = 3.0%/a
            In 2015 even 33TWh more new renewable, as shift of 5% .

            At that speed they would reach 100% renewable in 2030. Far beyond the Energiewende target (80% renewable in 2050), even faster than Denmark (100% renewable in 2040).
            But it also implies that the costs would become significant. Which affects support for the Energiewende. Especially since all governments since 2000 promised that the costs of the Energiewende would stay insignificant.
            Hence the actions.

            Note that think-tank Agora predicted that the Energiewende levy will begin a long term decrease after 2022 (cheaper wind, solar, storage).

            cost-based compensation for participating in a new reserve
            Considering the results in UK & USA, Germany concluded that capacity markets are unnecessary expensive.
            Germany only pays the shown extra costs. Note that the new brown coal plants have similar flexibility as gas plants who operate with a steam turbine.

            scrap raising emissions charges for older coal plants
            Probably, legal advised to do so. IMHO such specific charges won’t hold in court. And the fines of EU high court are high…

            Of course it would be better if all old coal plants would be replaced by new ones (>30% more efficient hence >30% less CO2 per KWh, hardly any toxics thank to the low temperature burning process in an high oxygen environment), or gas power plants.

            But for German utilities the question is how much ‘classic’ power plants can survive how long in coming decades. I assume they think not long, as RWE and E.on are moving away from them asap.
            So no new investments.

            People (polls & estimates, 30% in next decade) may go off-grid (some villages did it already) or participate with their solar+battery (50% of new rooftop has a battery, in ~2020 ~90%) in e.g. Virtual Power Plants: https://goo.gl/3hrPY2
            Those can deliver very cheap..

            Note also the fast P2G developments (1GW in 2023) to cover long dips. Cheap storage in earth cavities readily available, used already to cover possible long (half year) supply interruptions of Russian gas.

          2. Brian,
            Bas got something wrong? I’m shocked
            Thank you for the compliment.
            I always base my comments on facts, etc. and write it when I’m not sure. But of course I also make mistakes.
            If so, I’ll excuse.

            Don’t see what is wrong in my comment???

        2. Germany burns more coal than any other EU country. Significantly more coal: https://greenfallacies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/great-success-of-german-wind-and-solar.html (see chart published in 2015)

          Germany has failed to reduce its CO2 emissions since 2009. In contrast other EU countries has much better CO2 reduction records than Germany.
          CO2 data – my blog: https://greenfallacies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/no-german-carbon-dioxide-emission.html
          CO2 data (raw) : http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2ts_pc1990-2014

          1. @Mark,
            Germany is the biggest, richest major economy in the EU with the most inhabitants. So of course it burns also more coal.
            If you compare per inhabitant & GDP, the picture changes totally. Your first links shows deceptive graphics, e.g. new plants since 2010, but shutdowns since 2014, etc.

            The EU database in your last link shows the emission reductions (in tonCO2/capita), despite the increased welfare (bigger cars, etc) which nullify part of Germany’s great CO2 emission reductions for electricity generation:
            1990: 12.5
            2000: 10.3
            2005: 9.90
            2010: 9.70
            2014: 9.30
            It’s the only major country which surpassed the -20% Kyoto target for 2020 already.
            Don’t mix fluctuations with trend.

        3. We can clearly see that massive build of solar PV (~ 40 GWe) and Wind power (~62 GWe) in Germany in recent years – over 100 GWe of electricity generation capacity added – was just a waste of capital. It led to no significant CO2 reductions. It was really just a fig leaf to close Germany’s nuclear power plants. The lifespan is less than 20 years for Wind turbines and about 25 years for solar PV.

          Solar PV is such a waste of effort that it costs more energy to make and deploy than it generates in return. The energy return on energy invested, ERoEI, for solar power is less than 1. It is 0.83, means 100 units of energy invested returns 83. https://greenfallacies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/solar-photovoltaic-cells-emit-more.html

          The major effect of this will be more coal burnt in Germany. Germans build more new coal plants since 2010 than any other EU country : https://greenfallacies.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/great-success-of-german-wind-and-solar.html

          1. “over 100 GWe of electricity generation capacity added – was just a waste of capital. It led to no significant CO2 reductions. “

            Depends how you define significant, but at any “significant” capacity factor, 100 GWe of wind and solar capacity should displace a lot of GWe-hours from other fuels.

            “The lifespan is less than 20 years for Wind turbines and about 25 years for solar PV.”

            Lifespans are uncertain, and sometimes arbitrary. Several nuclear plants have been shut down early. Major components have been replaced early. Wind turbine and PV components can be replaced too. The values you quote are guesses.

            From the references:

            “The current methodology recommended by the International Energy Agency is not strictly applicable for comparing photovoltaic (PV) power generation with other systems. The main reasons are due to the fact that on one hand, solar electricity is very material-intensive, labour-intensive and capital-intensive and on the other hand the solar radiation exhibits a rather low power density.”

            So, they decided to make calculations anyway, and assume unfavorable values for the material, labor, capital and power density.

            “Solar PV… it costs more energy to make and deploy than it generates in return.”

            So do batteries, but they are very useful for portable flashlights.

            ERoEI is an interesting metric, but it is too inconsistent and reliant on assumptions (i.e. too uncertain). Other factors like What is available to accomplish what you want, prices, and how much capital you have, are more important.

            It “costs” twice as many megawatts-thermal as we get in useful megawatts-electric from 33% efficient steam plants (without district heating), or should we say three times as many, but so what, that’s thermo.

            “The major effect of this will be more coal burnt in Germany.”

            Lucky for them, the price of coal has fallen, so this should help their economy.

          2. The lifetime of 25 years I quoted for solar PV is the most scientific estimate we have [F&H]. It is far from a guess. You should stop judging everyone else by your own standards.

            F&H: Ferroni & Hopkirk, 2016: https://collapseofindustrialcivilization.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/ferroni-y-hopkirk-2016-energy-return-on-energy-invested-eroei-for-photo.pdf

            MarkP: The major effect of this will be more coal burnt in Germany.
            Pu239: Lucky for them, the price of coal has fallen, so this should help their economy.

            So you admit there is no point to renewable energy? It certainly can’t be to displace coal power CO2 emissions – because you seem to like that.

          3. @Mark,
            …lifetime of 25 years I quoted for solar PV…
            Sunpower PV-panels are 100% guaranteed during 25years.
            That implies an av. lifetime of >50years. Which is logical as PV-panels don’t contain any moving part and are composed of stable materials (P- and N-type of Si, aluminum, glas, silver, etc).

            Your reference considers PV from before 2000, when PV costs were >20 times higher. The general consensus is that the ERoEI is <1year now.

            "…major effect of this will be more coal burnt in Germany
            The facts show opposite:
            In 2000 coal generated 50%
            In 2015 coal generated 42%
            Despite closing 11 of the 19 NPP’s they had in 2000.

          4. … Sunpower PV-panels are 100% guaranteed during 25 years …

            But have not been tested for 25 years. Have they even been tested for 5 years? Actual data we have from solar use shows solar PV averaging less than 25 years in practice. [ Ferroni & Hopkirk ]. They seem to be the only people who bothered to look for this data because pro solar advocates simple dictate what the data will be, as you just did.

            … Your reference considers PV from before 2000 …

            Nearly every anti-nuke I meets quotes studies on nuclear power using data from before 1980 (Lenzen in IPCC AR5). So I’m doing better than anti-nukes? e.g. Manfred Lenzen, “Life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions of nuclear energy: A review,” Energy Conversion and Management (2008). So when anti-nukes can keep to this millennium, maybe you have a right to complain about old data then.

            … In 2000 coal generated 50%, In 2015 coal generated 42% …

            Now you’re quoting 2000 numbers at me having previously excluded them! German per capita CO2 emissions increased in 2015 again. “Germany’s energy-related CO2 emissions up 0.9% in 2015 -research group” http://carbon-pulse.com/13587/

          5. @Mark,
            Companies have climate rooms which facilitate faster ageing.
            E.g. av. life expectancy of transistors & chips decrease 50% with every ~7° increase in temperature, etc. etc.
            That allows to accurately predict the chance that their PV panels will fail during the first 25 years, thus to deliver their guarantee.
            Sunpower is a big US company, so they are liable if a panel fails in the 25 years guarantee period.

            Ferroni etal use data from panels made in the eighties without any guarantee. Then production was not stabilized (lot done by men = less reliable, less accurate diffusion processes, etc).
            Thanks to the improvements in the chips industry, reliability increased greatly while ERoEI and costs decreased greatly.

            Note that even wind turbines are far more reliable than many tell.
            All turbines of the 1991 first Off-shore wind farm still operate!
            Though it may become economical to replace the 450KW turbines by few 8MW turbines, as that implies higher production from that part of the sea (higher tower = more wind) and far less maintenance costs (visits once in ~2yrs). But may be the owner wants to wait for the 10MW turbines.

            Don’t judge on fluctuation, but consider the trends.

          1. @BAS

            One big problem with that report.
            Note who is the author.
            “Amory Lovins breaks down the flaws in a recent study from the Brookings Institution.”
            I would not believe a report he writes describing that water is wet.

  5. He (Lovins) dismissed the notion (that renewable growth needed a breakthrough in bulk storage) as a “common trope” repeated by people like “Bill Gates and several secretaries of energy.”

    For suitable definitions of “breakthrough”, and “need”. Has anyone broken the bad news to NREL and Pacific Northwest?

  6. ‘ Those sources will never power ships or aircraft ‘
    Well one of them used to run ships, though the travel times, losses, manpower requirements and death rates weren’t quite up to modern standards. Also I used to be involved with a couple of solar- and wind- powered airlines. Only problem was, we nearly always landed the punters at the bottom of the hill, and we had to burn a lot of diesel to get to the top of it ; )

  7. [quote]”Over a year to go 25,000 miles, or less than 70 miles per day. You can do much better on a bicycle.” [/quote]

    “for those who cannot recognize context” it was a demonstration and publicity tour.

    Spec’s say:

    17 hp (4 engines) maximum power
    49 kts max air speed
    28,000 ft maximum cruising altitude

    You would have a greater challenge crossing the oceans on a bicycle.

    [quote]”I’d challenged Mr. Lovins on several points, including his blanket assertion that there was no private capital interested in nuclear technology, that the only places where it worked was in centrally planned economies and his condescending lament that it was too bad so many bright people had wasted their time learning about a dead end technology.”[/quote]

    True, some private capital is invested in nuclear technology; however, government “investment” probably dwarfs private spending if you include all nuclear technologies, and all countries. Run the numbers.

    Early plant closures in the US are demonstrating failure of nuclear power in less centrally planned, or more de-regulated, economy. Is it not obvious nuclear power has been centrally planned in most countries in the world, including the US? What country has non-government controlled enrichment facilities, or non-government controlled fuel “recycling?”

    From the perspective of a junior officer with a decent paying government job and hopes of a second career selling engines, maybe it didn’t seem like a waste of time or a dead end technology. Looking back at the decline of nuclear and growth of fossil fuel gas turbines, solar and wind, the reality is harder to deny.

    [quote]”They do not offer a way to empower the currently powerless people that buy kerosene for their lamps and burn dung and twigs to cook their meager meals.”[/quote]

    It is easy to claim any modern power source can empower or enrich people.

    Maybe inexpensive, solar-driven, CO2 to fuel conversion is the answer:



    The reality of poverty and large numbers of people with little or no education are more difficult problems to solve.

    1. @Pu239

      It would be much easier to respond to you if you made it clear who you were addressing and where the quote you are pulling is located. I dimly recognize at least one of the statements as mine from close to a decade ago and one from EP published a day or so ago.

      Also, my patience with your anonymous trolling to pick fights with me is wearing thin. Do you have a purpose for participating here other than to distract and dissemble? Care to provide some indications for the other participants what your interest areas are? What is your education and professional background?

      Here, even people with pseudonyms reveal enough information about themselves to establish their credibility.

    2. “for those who cannot recognize context” it was a demonstration and publicity tour.

      So was the Gossamer Condor.  Seen any commercial applications of that lately?  It’s only coming up 40 years ago now, there’s been plenty of time.

      You would have a greater challenge crossing the oceans on a bicycle.

      Give me a 29-foot sloop for the oceans.  6 knots 24 hours a day is a lot more than I can pedal anymore.

      Maybe inexpensive, solar-driven, CO2 to fuel conversion is the answer

      Those are called “forests”.  When our ancestors ran out of forests, they found that coal was an answer to that.  A couple centuries later we found that uranium was an answer to coal, but the coal and oil interests didn’t like that very much.  We may finally be getting around their obstructions, some 40 years after we should have.

      Since you can’t learn from history, I’ll be happy to let you repeat it… somewhere populated only by true believers like you, so the rest of us can get on with things.

      Looking back at the decline of nuclear and growth of fossil fuel gas turbines, solar and wind, the reality is harder to deny.

      We know exactly why that happened:  subsidies and outright mandates.  Those can be changed with the stroke of a pen.

      The reality of poverty and large numbers of people with little or no education are more difficult problems to solve.

      The reality of large numbers of people who are outright ineducable cannot be solved except by evolution.

    3. “From the perspective of a junior officer with a decent paying government job and hopes of a second career selling engines, maybe it didn’t seem like a waste of time or a dead end technology”

      That reads like you having a personal beef with Rod. I too am interested in what your interest is in posting here. I really don’t give a hoot what your name is. Couldn’t care less. But I would like to know what your proffession and experience is, and how it is you lay claim to any expertise or knowledge regarding energy issues.

    4. “The reality of poverty and large numbers of people with little or no education are more difficult problems to solve.”

      Well – if that is a concern, nuclear power may be the way to go. Providing a large inexpensive power source such as nuclear power can serve a great amount of people without despoiling the land, provide energy for pumping vast amounts of water, provide energy for desalination of water and provide water to make deserts bloom. Local people can be educated in operating and maintaining the plant. These skills will transfer to other areas enriching the local lifestyle.

      If the areas you speak of are in nations trapped in poverty, they should have the control to properly regulate their own concerns. This would include nuclear power. External unnecessary forces which would hamper the development of this technology and civilization itself need not be paid heed by the locals. They would not be constrained from bettering their lives.

      1. @Eino

        Building a large number of new nuclear plants in the “developed world” would free up a lot of low priced fossil fuel whose producers would be frantically searching for customers.

        1. Looks like they may be doing that now. Lots of coal companies have had bankruptcies.


          Doesn’t look like most of the major coal producing countries are in the third world.


          Maybe, the abundance of coal and the drop in market will cause some innovation in the use of coal. There is a lot of plastic used in the world. I’ll bet you can make that out of coal. You can also gasify it and make liquid fuels from it, but this does nothing for the CO2 issue.

    5. “Maybe inexpensive, solar-driven, CO2 to fuel conversion is the answer”.

      In Germany (Bavaria) and Switzerland, Solar PV does not even pay for itself in energy. The Energy return on energy invested, ERoEI, for solar PV in these area = 0.83. Meaning only 83 units of energy are made for every 100 spent. I don’t see any inexpensive solar technology on the horizon. Just more expensive pipe dreams and frauds.

      ERoEI of solar power (pdf): https://collapseofindustrialcivilization.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/ferroni-y-hopkirk-2016-energy-return-on-energy-invested-eroei-for-photo.pdf

  8. Amory Lovins has made a lot of speeches throughout the years. I’m sure they are well documented.

    If someone were to write a positive book on nuclear power and the future, (that could be a title) then they could cherry pick statements from Mr. Lovins speeches as examples as to how even experts can be wrong. The guy has made a lot of money over the years telling his story. Maybe, there is money to be made with a book telling people a more accurate truth.

    Maybe, Mr. Adams has collected enough information over the years to produce such an informative book. I think the real trick would be to write it in a way that maintains interest. Mr. Lovins presents the information in a manner that gives one a positive feel about the future. Could the same be done with a nuke book?

  9. Has VADM Cullom reviewed the data for the various Navy endeavors in wind and solar energy taking large sums of needed funds from the DOD budget and not decreasing the cost of energy by one whit? Surely he has access to this well hidden data.

    1. @Rich

      He certainly has access to that information. He has been at the core of the activity since about 2009. His actions were part of the reason I decided it was time for this particular staff officer to retire, even though I could have served for another 3.5 years before hitting my mandatory retirement point.

      1. It might be interesting if someone were to look into VADM Cullom’s finances and their periphery. I don’t see how that could be done, but the behavior suggests there might be something to find.

        1. @Jeff Walther

          Vice Admirals would be very difficult to purchase with money. On the other hand, actions of an ambitious two star with a blemish from a less than successful tour as strike group commander can be influenced for the price of two tiny pieces of metal on their collars.

          1. “….with a blemish from a less than successful tour as strike group commander….”

            Reads like you know some history that some of us are unaware of. I’d like to know more.

          2. Well, I did add “and their periphery” because I recognize that money is not the only incentive one can use to purchase desired behavior. 🙂

  10. Uh oh. For those of you concerned about the environment, our use of fossil fuels, global warming, and the growing ability of natural gas to dominate the energy narrative….

    You really need to carefully listen to the economic speech Trump fed us today.

  11. Rod:

    “It would be much easier to respond to you”

    We do these things not because they’re easy… To me it’s about truth, facts, and energy. An occasional reminder that some people disagree, or don’t take your “arrow analyses” for granted, shouldn’t hurt.

    “I dimly recognize at least one of the statements as mine from close to a decade ago “

    All earlier quoted statements were from this page, I believe. Don’t blame me if you’ve been recycling statements for a decade, while criticizing Lovins for similar practice with a “composite helmet” prop. He’s correct, of course; lighter weight materials have been more widely used in vehicles.

    “establish their credibility.”

    One of your blog habits is attacking backgrounds or credentials, as you repeatedly do with Amory Lovins. I’ll discuss energy facts, but not entertain a “show me your resume” pissing contest. Suffice to say I have relevant education and experience, and appeals to authority alone don’t sway me much.

    I also have an old copy of “Soft Energy Paths.” Chapter 11 contains a lot of material pro-nukes would dislike, including detailed discussion of proliferation and bombs from recycled power plant plutonium. It also has numerous footnote references to go along with the emotional language. If you’ve written a well-sourced, detailed critique, I missed it.

    Like it or not, Lovins does the same things you do – write, talk, promote, and get paid for it. Whether he does it better is also “arguing about taste,” unless you compare numbers. You might agree his numbers indicate more success. He does put on a good speech:


    On the other hand, nuclear doesn’t seem so popular. Despite it being mentioned here, only 28,379 people signed this pro-nuke petition (including me, by the way):


    but many others reach the 100k minimum.


    He was also involved in a failed company, Bright Automotive. (blog.ted.com/amory_lovins_th/), (money.cnn.com/2012/02/29/autos/bright_automotive/index.htm)


    “The reality of large numbers of people who are outright ineducable cannot be solved except by evolution.”

    Dignifying this with a response is distasteful, and I wish it was a joke, but this sort of statement is so distasteful it can’t be ignored. Being lucky in the location of your birth does not make you smarter, as you often demonstrate with your words.

    “So was the Gossamer Condor. Seen any commercial applications of that lately?”

    It’s interesting you bring up Paul MacCready, or one of the efforts he led. Yes, I’d paint it more positively. He made numerous additional advances, including notably, earlier solar powered planes, and solar and electric powered cars. His small, electric powered spy planes benefited from those efforts and have been commercial successes for him.


    At 1:30 to 2:15 is also a good example of how people aren’t free to talk about research, weather modification details in this case.

    He liked to say people were no longer subject to natural checks and balances. Unfortunately, about 4 years after the above lecture, he died from a brain tumor/cancer. Whether it was caused by his early soar plane flying is anybody’s guess, but many hours of exposure to high energy cosmic rays at high altitude probably didn’t help any. Though he lived to 81, dying from a brain tumor calls into question the view that people aren’t subject to checks and balances, and demonstrates how even truly smart people don’t always see clearly.

    As far as I know, he wasn’t anti-nuke, but he did believe in “doing more with less,” and he didn’t promote nuclear power. (www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/mac0int-5)

    1. @pu239

      The primary reason I frequently write about Lovins is that ALL he has ever done seems to have been writing, talking, promoting and getting paid handsomely for it. It’s not possible to document the sources of all of the money he’s been paid over the past 40 years of antinuclear activism, but I can document that some of his income has come directly from the fossil fuels interests who have the most to lose if nuclear is allowed to succeed.

      I’ve never read Lovins book on Soft Energy, though I’ve read several of his other books and the Foreign Affairs article on which it was based.

      I have not specifically critiqued Lovins version of the falsehood that modern used nuclear fuel is a proven “weapons-usable” material. When I get a chance I’ll send a link to a referenced analysis of how that untruth was created and spread for political and economic reasons.

    2. “Dignifying this with a response is distasteful, and I wish it was a joke, but this sort of statement is so distasteful it can’t be ignored.”

      Open and blatant bigotry and racism is tolerated by this particular blog community. It goes unchallenged by ALL here. Yet, we are to trust that the collective character here will present us with truths. When bigotry is faced with silence, it grows stronger. And that silence can only be interpreted as agreement.

    3. I’ll discuss energy facts, …

      Well, please get along with it. Most of your time here has been spent critiquing the writing style of Rod and one or two other people here. Nobody cares.

      Now you’re wasting your time speculating about brain tumors as if you actually know something about the subject, and I don’t need a copy of your CV to realize that you don’t.

    4. ” the Inca covered their empire with stone staircases on their courier roads. ”

      In my opinion a truly amazing accomplishment and I wonder why it is not listed as one of the great wonders of the world.
      Archaeological examinations of these roads reveals that these roads appear to be built as if to modern day Interstate highway specifications. They include two to three layers of buildup to assure they will not sink into swampy/wet areas. Then there are water shedding layers and even a smooth top layer for running/walking. the length of the system is outstanding – 40,000 km (25,000 miles) of routes!!! http://www.ancient.eu/article/757/

    5. @EP

      Yes, we are all beneficiaries of the hard work, problem solving and vision of our forebears. Where you and I vehemently disagree is in assuming the accomplishments were more nature than nurture by inherently better stock rather than just a better system that can be both taught and learned.

      In many ways, our better results — so far — have come from rather selfish exploitation and suppression. We can and should do much better in both creating new wealth and teaching others to participate in the uplifting of all boats.

      1. poa; I have been one of those readers of this blog who has been content to stand back and observe the continuing war between yourself and EP and Brian. I am quite frankly astonished that Rod has allowed their continuous attacks. This war needs to end now before many of us simply give up and go elsewhere for information on NE.
        Rod please put an end to this war, it is doing nothing but alienating people like poa who have become, I think, an very articulate supporter for NE.

        1. Thank you, David. I have felt all along that Brian does not speak for everyone in this community, despite the maniac hiding in his ego that is telling him otherwise.

    6. I heard that, about a dozen years later, he converted his design into a “wind turbine” and is now living comfortably and in relative luxury from the money he made selling carbon offsets to the Europeans.

    7. I may read the book you suggested, but from the description in Wikepedia, I think I would take issue with it.


      My life experience has shown me that a man’s attitude rather than biology is often the dominating factor for success. Some beliefs belong in the past with some other ideas as phrenology. Certainly one cannot discount nature, but nurture dominates.

      1. Yeah……phrenology. Now theres an interesting “science”. Its been my experience that those with the biggest heads have the loudest bray.

  12. Amazing that pro-nuclear welcome the new 45% subsidy on the whole sale price for all KWh’s that fully depreciated NPP’s produce.
    Especially since it will probably increase substantially as:
    – the older the NPP, the higher the operating costs (more repair, etc);
    – all signs are that whole sale prices will decrease further. As cheaper renewable (wind & solar for <3cnt/KWh) will take over in next decade.

    The subsidy with its expansion option, looks like an acknowledgement that nuclear will become more uncompetitive.
    It deters people who plan to construct a new NPP. Contributes to the reconsideration of the Hinkley NPP by UK government, etc.
    Will deter more when the subsidies increase and stay in place longer.
    So why is it welcomed?

    1. Oh, please…..

      Are we to be suprised, or have our partisan sensitivities offended, because one side of the aisle or the other is in bed with big oil? Tell me, Rich, what industry made the Bush’s and the Cheney’s obscenely wealthy? If I remember right, Pelosi’s hubby is up to his neck in it too. (Or was it Feinstien’s? No matter, its probably both.) And just listen to TTrump. If he has his way, we’ll all be ddrinking oil for breakfast.



      A long-awaited campaign to rebrand fossil fuels called Fueling US Forward made its public debut at the Red State Gathering 2016 on Saturday, where the organization’s President and CEO Charles Drevna gave attendees the inside scoop on the effort, and confirmed that the campaign is backed financially by Koch Industries. 

      Back in February, Peter Stone first reported in the Huffington Post that a $10 million-a-year effort was proposed by a Koch Industries board member, James Mahoney, and Mr. Drevna, aiming “to boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government subsidies for electric vehicles.” In early August, the Fueling US Forward website launched, and on Saturday, the first public comments were made about the campaign by Mr. Drevna, and they revealed a lot about how the Koch-backed initiative is working to re-frame fossil fuels. 

      “We need a sustainable energy to ensure the future of the country,” Mr. Drevna told the audience.

      The source of that energy? That which Mr. Drevna labeled “reliable, abundant, efficient and sustainable fuels.”

      “Folks, that’s of course the fossil fuels,” he immediately added.

      1. POA,
        Please explain these my concerns about the AGW beliefs:
        1. Current temperatures are proclaimed as the warmest on record. In fact, the world was warmer than today for 97 percent of the last 10,000 years. WHY?
        2. The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) just 1000 years ago was 2°C warmer than today. The public is told that a similar warming will be catastrophic. Why?
        3. The Minoan warm period approximately 3500 years ago was 4°C warmer than today. Why?
        4, We are told the amount and rate of temperature increase in the last 100 years is abnormal. Compare the slope with any of the previous increases in the period of 10,000 to 15,000 years ago?
        5, Please explain why the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Minoan Warm Period were considered optimum times for human life and that famines, plagues, and worse followed each of these periods. However, the AGW cult wants to take measures to assure that it does not get warmer.

        1. I am not a scientist. The majority of your comment is way above my pay grade as one. But, really, none of us are climatologists, are we? Are you one, Rich?

          So, who do the majority of us get our “information” about AGW from? Well, if you don’t know the answer, Rich, allow me to fill you in…..politicians, thats the answer. And how do the politicians feed us the “information”? Why, gosh, through the media, of course. And who feeds the politicians, so they can feed the media? Gee, could it be special interests? Through lobbyists and campaign contributions? (Anonymously, thanks to Citizens United, BTW.)

          So Rich, don’t bug me with the science, because I’m no more a climatologist than you are. But if you wanna talk motives behind narratives, and who profits by naysaying man’s effect on the environment, than we might just have a conversation. See, I believe my own eyes. And living where I do, high above the eastern edge of the San Joaquin Valley, looking down on the smoggiest most unhealthy air in the nation, one cannot help but ponder cause and effect, even if only as a lay person. So, how do I feel about it, after I get through pondering who profits by naysaying AGW?

          Well, to me its really quite simple. Trust my gut, and err on the side of caution. I mean, gee, its only our kid’s planet we’re talking about. So if you wanna swallow whatever line your media of choice is peddling, at the behest of your favorite politicians, and the industries that are padding their pockets, have at it. Me, I’ll trust my gut, and my eyes, and my emphysema, and draw my own conclusions.

    2. I just looked the site you linked to, Rich. I’m confused. That is a site that denies global warming. So, are you implying, by your post, that we should be suprised, or angry, at Brown’s hypocricy? I mean, if global warming is a big hoax, (or not a “real” environmental problem, as Trump has stated), you should be jumping for glee that Brown is in bed with big oil. Why not? No global warming, no big deal. Maybe that bribery money will result in expanded drilling and fracking. Thats a good think to you denier guys, ain’t it?

      Or is it his hypocricy thats the issue? Well, golly, a hypocritical politician. Should I faint in astonishment now?

      Brown should really perfect it though. The trick, for a politician, is to change your position so often that everyone knows you’re a hypocrite, but no body can figure out, from one day to the next, what you’re being hypocritical about. To display such an incredibly competent management of your own hypocricy, may even pave a road into the White House for you.

        1. Gosh, Rich, you sure are partial to that website. Do you ever broaden your horizons, or are you comfortable just reading a script?

          1. @poa

            I’m not partial to Rich’s chosen source, so I looked to see if anyone else was covering the story.


            The importance here is not that a politician is taking money from utilities and petroleum companies. The importance is exposing a direct financial motive for California’s unworkable “clean energy” plans that not only exclude new nuclear, but also have successfully closed almost every nuclear plant the state has ever built.

            No matter what people like Brown, Boxer and Newsom say about safety, waste and seismic concerns, this investigative reporting helps to show that the real issue is MONEY and political pandering.

            I know you think that should be obvious and is essentially a non story, but it is a tale that needs to be repeated as often as possible.

          2. “I know you think that should be obvious and is essentially a non story, but it is a tale that needs to be repeated as often as possible.”

            Well, so true. But if “what I think” is being considered, I have no idea why you deleted my response to Rich’s questions concerning AGW. My answer was an honest appraissal of my “thoughts”. Opinions on AGW, formed by the lay community, are not opinions formed by exposure to science. They are opinions formed by exposure to political narratives, aired to pursue political agendas. All of us can name various politicians and their stance concerning AGW. But it is the rare John Q that can name a serious and engaged scientist that holds an informed opinion about AGW. Why would we gamble on this planet’s health by trusting agenda driven narratives instead of simply erring on the side of caution, and working to minimize our effect on our planet’s atmospheric bubble? I wish everyone engaged in this debate could look down on the eastern edge of the San Joaquin Valley, like I do almost daily, and see what the dirtiest air in the nation actually looks like. This is the legacy we are leaving for our kids. And we are learning nothing? We have websites like thise Rich seems to favor, telling us theres nothing to see, move along. We have special interests and their bought and paid for politicians, with media entities operating as their willing vassels, feeding us narratives that are marketing campaigns disguised as science. And we have an uninformed, misinformed, and divided populace bickering along the lines we are trained to parrot by those that nurture the division. And, observing this election cycle, its getting worse, not better. This country is in serious trouble, and so is this planet.

          3. @POA
            “I wish everyone engaged in this debate could look down on the eastern edge of the San Joaquin Valley, like I do almost daily, and see what the dirtiest air in the nation actually looks like. This is the legacy we are leaving for our kids. And we are learning nothing? We have websites like thise Rich seems to favor, telling us theres nothing to see, move along. “
            1. Then why do you support the “environmentalists” that have shut down four 1,000 MW nuclear power plants that could have prevented the need for 4 GW of electrical power generated in California from the burning of natural Gas? These same “environmentalists” are presently doing everything possible to shut down two more 1,000 MW NPPs. This will require the eventual use of 2 GW more of power generated by Natural gas. To claim these lost 6 GW of nuclear power will be generated by “renewables is pure idiocy. However, since you seem to be in favor of those actions, how does all of the byproducts of burning NG make the San Joaquin Valley cleaner? How, does the addition of the CO2, help “minimize our effect on our planet’s atmospheric bubble? “

            2. Please review the web site I provided and provide me with the URL of any page listed that “favor, telling us there is nothing to see, move along” or advocate in any way that they are satisfied with increasing the pollution of any city, county, state in the USA.

            ** “Environmentalists” – definition — People that ”have special interests and their bought and paid for politicians, with media entities operating as their willing vassels, feeding us narratives that are marketing campaigns disguised as science. And we have an uninformed, misinformed, and divided populace bickering along the lines we are trained to parrot by those that nurture the division. And, observing this election cycle, its getting worse, not better. “
            3. If, on the other hand you assume the above quoted paragraph applies to the skeptics, then PLEASE inform me of the “media entities operating as their willing vassels, feeding us narratives that are marketing campaigns disguised as science.”
            Include a reference to a few of these marketing campaigns disguised as science, espousing the skeptical meme that have achieved meaningful following.

          4. First, Rich, I am not “supporting” the entities you claim I am. And secondly, I’m not interested in bantering back and forth with you on an issue I am not qualified to engage about. Nor, do I believe you are. Neither of us are climatologists, if I’m not mistaken. As far, as your choices of websites you choose to use in underscoring your argument, they are so blatantly agenda driven, that I consider them useless. Bottom line, Rich, you are so rabidly driven by politically partisan views in your arguments, that I really am not interested in trying to bang my head against a concrete wall. I’d rather have a molar pulled than argue a politically motivated “science debate” with you. Find someone else, thats buys into this divisive partisan BS disguised as science, to argue with.

          5. “However, since you seem to be in favor of those actions…blahblahblah….”

            Rich, I just reread your post. You make assumptions that I’ve given you no reason to make. You create, out of thin air, my positions, so you can argue against them. Go away , I’m not in the least interested in what you have to say, and I’m even less interested in getting in a tit for tat pseudo debate with you. Peddle your schpeil elsewhere.

            1. @poa

              Silence is a great way to avoid getting into to arguments that you don’t want to pursue. That is true even if someone specifically directs a comment in your direction.

              Please stop telling other participants to “go away.”

          6. “Silence is a great way to avoid getting into to arguments that you don’t want to pursue”

            Yes, Rod, if the “argument” is being waged with integrity by both sides. But if not, that silence becomes fodder for insult, capitalized upon to imply that the silence is a sign of capitulation. You removed my sincere response to Rich’s query, inexplicably. I suppose, that is a way to impose silence. Its also a way to slant an argument, without actually entering into it.

          7. Well, Rod, personally I feel that our current crop of political leaders are deserving, have earned, the crudest of epithets. Dishonest, corrupt, sleazy, immoral, criminal, all terms and labels that just don’t have the kind of derision these people have earned. Frankly, watching this electoral cycle, I am disgusted by the whole circus. Even our media cannot seem to mediate concise debate amongst the pundits. Talking over each other, interupting, evading answer concise questions with concise answers. Then, watching people directly involved in the campaigns, so called “spokespeople”, consistently deflecting, lying, evading…….

            Even more discouraging, the realization that are such great numbers of American citizens that participate in this emabarrasment, cheering them on, chanting ignorant slogans, believing in empty campaign promises that even a hapless idiot should realize are impossible to fulfill.

            Its astounding, the degree of collective ignorance that has built the tent that such a circus can perform in. If we, as a populace, are really this appallingly divided and shallow, we deserve these people. But our children don’t. I cringe, imagining their tomorrow.

  13. I was taught to look at both sides of a controversial issue. Especially issues that have no proof other than a “consensus” of believers.

    I was also taught to follow the advice of Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta:

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

    Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.

    Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.

    Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

    Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

    “But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

    Where is the “reasoning” in shutting down five Nuclear power plants with at least 10 more on the chopping blocks in achieving reduced CO2 emissions?
    Logic tells me and my reasoning is that any plan (e.g, the Obama CPP) that shuts down nuclear power plants, and reduces the operation of nuclear power plants in an effort to “make clean power” actually increases CO2 emissions. And facts support that reasoning.
    “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
    ― Galileo Galilei

    “Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory—let the theory go.”
    ― Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles

    “If you’ve got the truth you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn’t prove it.”
    ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

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