Climate Change skeptics? [ot]

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Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Feb 12, 2015 - 07:28am PT
“My disagreement with the Obama administration is over its wrongheaded approach to solving this problem by proposing to deliberately raise the price of energy and construct a complicated cap-and-trade system,” Alexander said in an emailed statement which also affirmed that human activity was a driver of climate change.

I agree with the old senator from Tennessee.

DMT
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 12, 2015 - 07:49am PT
What's the right-headed way to solve this problem?
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Feb 12, 2015 - 08:00am PT
PBS had a feature on Hydro power in the US last night.

80 thousand dams in the US,only 3% of them are Hydroelectric.

If that number was raised to 50%,WE could shut down 85% of coal burning PP's.

Do you think that might happen?

It is all a hoax!

Especially when the Argument continues.Drill Baby Drill.












And please do not tell me we are going to die without FF's.
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Feb 12, 2015 - 08:11am PT
Chief ,I agree on the most part,but I should have mentioned this was about small scale hydro,all the way down to paddlewheels.

It is a verifiable option with existing infrastructure.



BTW,If they tore down half of those dams we could still hit a large energy target.
greyghost

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV
Feb 12, 2015 - 08:32am PT
If I had to label the author of this article, I'd say conservative think tank. Their primary focus is researching cycles and trying to predict, not always successfully

http://economyandmarkets.com/markets/forecasts/bubble-in-the-heartland/

quote from the article predicts it will get colder over next few years:

"But the emerging wild card in agriculture is climate change. Forget global warming for now. More variable climate is clearly here and is likely to continue into the future and it threatens food production as any extreme between droughts and flooding is bad for production.

Doug and I agree that the climate is likely to get colder for the next decade or more, despite CO2 levels rising for decades at unprecedented rates which have been associated with global warming."
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Feb 12, 2015 - 08:40am PT
Nuclear with fuel storage deep in the salt mines of Minnesota. I like the small scale hydro options but also stand against more large dams for hydro or water consumption. I detest mirror solar and wind mills are a blight as well. Orbital solar power longer term. The wild card is a new energy source, fusion and what have you.

DMT
new world order2

climber
Feb 12, 2015 - 08:43am PT
Finally! Finally you guys are talking about climate geo-engineering,
for which one method includes the spraying of the atmosphere with chemicals, aka......chemtrails.

How it is you can discuss climate change for all these years, yet not speak of altering said climate, by man-made means, is beyond me.

Do you not ever look up at the sky?

Look! Its a contrail! No, dear.
That's geo-engineering hard at work sheltering us from the eeeevil effects of the sun.

Freakin', bah-ah-ah-ah....You're all being played. Most of you, anyway.
Climate engineering: exploring nuances and consequences of deliberatel...
Climate engineering: exploring nuances and consequences of deliberately altering the Earth's energy budget.
Credit: new world order2
Credit: new world order2
Credit: new world order2


Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 12, 2015 - 08:45am PT
Nuclear with fuel storage deep in the salt mines of Minnesota.

Is that a good option? My (rusty) geological wisdom had it that Nevada is one of the few US places that has plausible longterm storage sites, both geologically and hydrologically stable on the timescales required. No guarantees, just the least bad among actual choices.

Seems like anything could be better than storing onsite at the nuke plants themselves, which is probably happening not far from you and me both.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Feb 12, 2015 - 08:56am PT
Yuca mtn is riddled with faults as is the entire basin and range. It was a political decision. Those salt deposits have been undisturbed for far longer. Plus as I recall the salt offers additional protection.

DMT
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Feb 12, 2015 - 09:20am PT
Nuclear reactor engineering have gone through a couple generations of research and design evolution since the last ones were built here in the U.S. in the 1970's. The solution of the huge costs of safety redundancy, elimination of dangerous wastes, and reduction of scale to custom fit smaller markets are being designed today. We just need to eliminate enough of the non sensical, rabid enviro, obstructionists to deploy these new technologies on tiny footprints instead of the huge ecology ravaging millions of acres blighted by so called clean and green grid scale solar and wind.
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Feb 12, 2015 - 09:23am PT
Interesting on the salt stuff above. I didn't know. Thanks, I have a busy weekend with enough breaks to catch up on reading and little PT exercise so...thanks for the idea.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 12, 2015 - 09:54am PT
Yes, I understand that salt structures have advantages for some nuclear waste disposal in terms of heating problems. Looking at geologic appraisals (always complicated) it's hard for me to get a sense of the tradeoffs, and DMT is right the decision will have to be political. Given the strength of NIMBY efforts that could mobilize anywhere it seems the political decision is most likely to be to do nothing.

Regarding small modular reactors, there's been much hype including endorsements by some environmentalists and climate scientists (James Hansen for one). However, the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote a skeptical report a few years back that's worth looking at too. Excerpt:

Are Small Modular Reactors Safer?

One of the chief selling points for SMRs is that they are supposed to be safer than current reactor designs. However, their safety advantages are not as straightforward as some proponents suggest.

* SMRs use passive cooling systems that do not depend on the availability of electric power. This would be a genuine advantage under many accident scenarios, but not all. Passive systems are not infallible, and credible designs should include reliable active backup cooling systems. But this would add to cost.

* SMRs feature smaller, less robust containment systems than current reactors. This can have negative safety consequences, including a greater probability of damage from hydrogen explosions. SMR designs include measures to prevent hydrogen from reaching explosive concentrations, but they are not as reliable as a more robust containment—which, again, would add to cost.

* Some proponents have suggested siting SMRs underground as a safety measure. However, underground siting is a double-edged sword—it reduces risk in some situations (such as earthquake) and increases it in others (such as flooding). It can also make emergency intervention more difficult. And it too increases cost.

* Proponents also point out that smaller reactors are inherently less dangerous than larger ones. While this is true, it is misleading, because small reactors generate less power than large ones, and therefore more of them are required to meet the same energy needs. Multiple SMRs may actually present a higher risk than a single large reactor, especially if plant owners try to cut costs by reducing support staff or safety equipment per reactor.
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Feb 12, 2015 - 09:56am PT
A couple points on the Nuke stuff since I work in the industry and I see things first hand.
Storing spent fuel on site. "Dry Cast Storage" = Above ground concrete tombs, earthquake proof, way above sea level. From a distance it looks like a small concrete building, but with no way in or out.

Burial in salt mines is OK, if you can get permission to cross state lines with the stuff. You know that will never happen. I like the Dry Cast Storage myself. It is right there, safe, and you can see it. It is not even in the protected area, you know, it's outside the fence. I am going over to Google Earth and see if I can see it
EDIT: Google Earth pictures show the Dry Casts but I can't tell which concrete building is the one the full ones were encased in.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 12, 2015 - 09:58am PT
Roger, what's the half life of the materials stored, in relation to the lifespan of the storage structures?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Feb 12, 2015 - 10:34am PT
Burial in salt mines is OK, if you can get permission to cross state lines with the stuff. You know that will never happen.

When the oil runs out state lines will prove inconsequential.

DMT
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Feb 12, 2015 - 11:04am PT
It seems like we are all in agreement that more CO2 in the atmosphere is not good. Whether things warm or get cooler from natural cycles, we will still be pumping more and more CO2 into the oceans. Geo-engineering will not solve that problem. Hopefully we are on a route of real change.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Feb 12, 2015 - 11:07am PT
Yes McHale, there is growing common ground, even in this thread :)

I am so glad the incessant insults have died down.

Good riddance.

DMT
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Feb 12, 2015 - 11:15am PT
Chiloe,
Good question, I understand half/life because everyone who works in the industry has to, but I don't have an answer for you. I will ask, but ED probably knows the answer right off the top of his head.

The Chief,
Also a question I have no answer for. I do know that ship/boat systems are a world apart from civil systems. Way smaller and different fuel.
As far as what they do with military spent fuel, you probably know more about that than most of us here on this forum. I doubt that they ask permission for movement of anything nuclear from the states they have to cross. My guess is they recycle like the French. Don't even ask why we don't, that's good for a whole new thread:-)

EDIT: Google says military fuel is recycled and the waste from recycling is stored in New York-Washington-South Carolina and Idaho.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 12, 2015 - 12:06pm PT
Every option I've seen is imperfect (or imperfectly safe, or both). When we discuss options, we can't have meaningful comparisons without dealing with the imperfections of other options.

I support cap and trade as the most efficient way to reduce any effluent emissions, because it leaves the implementation to those who know best how to accomplish it, and makes people put their money where their mouths are. Of course, at least two problems with cap and trade remain:

1. Who decides how much to reduce what? and

2. How do you deal with the tax proceeds?

I also happen to support some of almost every other energy option, including hydroelectric, solar and nuclear. I oppose, however, the heavy subsidies the government gives to its preferred method du jour. The government lacks the ability to determine the optimal method. As long as each method pays its marginal cost, market forces will allocate the generation more efficiently than the government's diktat.

Incidentally, I disagree that most dams in and around the San Joaquin Valley, at least, were built for hydroelectric generation. While that's certainly true of the dams upstream from Millerton Lake on the San Joaquin River, most of the dams were for flood control and irrigation.

John
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Feb 12, 2015 - 12:49pm PT
John, I'm mostly in agreement (though I have no expertise about cap & trade vs. a revenue-neutral carbon tax). However I'd say more about the wicked problem of externalities, a sort of "natural subsidy" for our current destructive ways -- basically treating the ocean, land and air as free and unlimited sinks. Somehow those diffuse and longterm costs have to get brought into the economic system for anything to change, but it seems very hard to do that.

Although the focus in this thread is on the atmosphere as our infinite sink, in practice I suspect it may be ocean ecosystems, where it all washes down, that could bite us back first and irreversibly worst.

As for waiting until there's a disaster to take action, that might be how we roll but on this scale it looks like a fatal flaw. As Jay Forrester pointed out generations ago, growth + limits + adaptive delay = overshoot and collapse.
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