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View Diary: From Floods to Drought and Back: Global Weirding (78 comments)

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  •  I have read thousands of papers along these... (6+ / 0-)

    ...lines, not diaries, but papers from the primary scientific literature.

    For various reasons, many of which have to do with economics, and physics, this is not even a remotely serious approach to climate change.    I note that more than 50 years of cheering for these sorts of things has had absolutely no effect on the collapse of the atmosphere, which, as I note, is collapsing at the highest rate ever.

    I am resigned to humanity's fate and I suppose that if I were a nice person - which I'm not - I would be inclined to let people hear only what they want to hear.

    Generally though, that's not my style.   For myself, all I have ever learned from reading stuff about energy on this website is to appreciate the myth of Cassandra in new and deeper ways than I ever thought possible.

    Nuclear energy was, is, and for as long as we continue to exist, will be the very best form of energy ever invented:   Many of the greatest minds of the twentieth century were intimately involved in its development.    On review of the technical history and technical realities of nuclear technology, I am appalled at all this weasling about it so late in the game.

    Nuclear energy is not perfect, nor will it ever be perfect, but it clearly better than everything else.   It has almost six decades of industrial practice, is a mature technology, and it has saved millions of lives, and might have saved many millions more, were it not to mindless kvetching and selective attention.

    The bizarre and fatal vision that brought us here was the claim that nuclear energy and only nuclear energy needed to be perfect, or everything else would be allowed to kill at will.

    And everything else is killing at will.

    If nuclear energy is not acceptable, than nothing is acceptable, and that's why, again, humanity has very little prospect - zero prospect actually -of avoiding the castrophe of climate change.

    Have a nice day.

    •  I'm sorry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jilikins, sturunner

      But I just don't buy it.  The human race survived for a hundred thousand years or so without nuclear energy.  Nothing so irrelevant for the vastness of history can be the One And The Only Solution to our continued existence.  I don't tend to believe in One, True, And Only Wayism in general.  I like to investigate multiple options.  If it's any consolation, I don't believe that solar is the One, True And Only Way either.

      •  False argument due to population (5+ / 0-)

        growth and even greater rate of increase in demand for energy.  The past is not a good guide for future action because fundamental factors driving the system have shifted.  This is how complex systems work, and one reason why humans are having so much trouble figuring out how to respond and how to adapt.  We no longer have the luxury of choosing good options over bad ones; we're having to balance among many bad choices in an effort to avoid worst-case outcomes, and doing nothing - continuing with current trends - is one of the least promising options.

      •  I'm sorry, but the planet has never had 7 billion (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jilikins, Odysseus, alain2112

        people on it, all of whom at least desire to live at an American lifestyle, if only one billion or so actually manage to approach it.

        I note that humanity lived on so called "renewable energy" up until the end of the 18th century and chose to abandon it, because it, um, was not sustainable.

        There is a reason for that.

        Some of the issues connected with that time is contained in the wonderful book Coal, A Human History.

        Read it and come back to me about a miracle cure with which humanity has no practical experience.

        Yes, that's right.   There was a period in human history where coal had the same enthusiasm as a solution to humanity's serious environmental problems, notably the total and complete deforestation of Europe.

        I note that in 2013 the widest application of so called "renewable," "solar" energy still involves the combustion of biomass, which according to the World Health Organization, leads to the death of around 2 million of the 3.3 million people who die each year from air pollution.

        But, um, nuclear energy is, um, dangerous?

        If nuclear energy killed as many people as will die today from air pollution, there would be such an insipid hue and cry that the rate of the collapse of the atmosphere would be sure to double again.

        Now of course, we hear that those times were nirvana like, when people lived short, brutal, sickly lives.

        I am not interested in being "consoled."   There is no consolation possible.   Every morning I get up and face my two sons with the deepest possible understanding of what is transpiring and the nature of the planet that my generation is handling them.     I clearly can't be "consoled."

        I have written before on the limits of what nuclear energy might have achieved, most notably in this diary:

        Should Nuclear Energy Be a Panacea?

        (I have chosen to link the version at Charles Barton's "Nuclear Green," because I prefer the artwork to the poll, but there is a DailyKos version as well.)

        With all due respect, we're not even speaking the same language here.

        You are speaking the language of hope and change, and I am simply expressing my vision of reality.

        I'm fresh out of hope.


        Have a nice evening.

        •  Humans have only (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tinfoil Hat

          achieved their current unsustainable population levels due to the harvesting of fossil fuel energy, in effect burning up energy capital accumulated by the planet millions of years before we arrived in a massive burst of extravagant consumption and excess reproduction.  The planet cannot support a human population of 7 billion for any great length of time, with or without nuclear energy.  That number has to be cut at least in half, and sooner or later it will be.  By later I mean no more than two centuries and probably less than that.

          I understand your "fresh out of hope" if you honestly believe that the survival of the human species and the value of civilization requires that the population be maintained at these levels, let alone consumption for all at a level that had never been seen before 1940 and will never be seen again.  Since I consider these things neither necessary nor desirable, there is no need to resort to poisoning the planet with nuclear toxins in order to support them.

          Sleep well, my friend.  I do admire you although on this, we will always disagree.

    •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jilikins, alain2112, Ginny in CO
      Nuclear energy is not perfect, nor will it ever be perfect, but it clearly better than everything else.
      Then there's this which I believe is big oil and big coal biggest fear:

      I agree NNadir, with the worlds energy consumption needs nuclear is the logical answer - at this time.

      There needs to be more research done on the Thorium Reactor.

      "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

      by fugwb on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:39:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am interested in the thorium reactor too. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Because it also came out of the nuclear research in the Manhattan project and was continued at Oak Ridge up to a prototype that I think ran for almost 3 years when shut down. The choice by the federal government to stay with plutonium may turn out the biggest energy mistake made.

        While he was Sec of DoE, Steven Chu was asked publicly about getting more research funding for thorium reactors and he agreed it should be done.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:54:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know Admiral (0+ / 0-)

          Sestak - Joe Sestak, Congressman Sestak, who was barely beaten by toomey for senator in PA, is very much pro-Thorium. I hope he runs for the senate again......

          "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

          by fugwb on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 05:16:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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