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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #57
58. Where am I coming from?
Edited on Wed Oct-06-10 09:54 PM by GliderGuider
That's a good question. Not the same place as you, obviously. But because it's a good question it deserves a thoughtful reply, if only to avoid future misunderstandings. Here is where I'm coming from on this issue:


1. Global warming is the largest biophysical threat humanity has ever faced. It's caused by anthropogenic CO2, which makes fossil fuels an enemy of all life.

2. Global warming is not a future threat. The current (rising) level of atmospheric CO2 tells us that the threat has arrived.

3. If we wish to mitigate CO2 impacts we must reduce the amount of CO2 we are generating in our energy production.

4. We can do this by reducing our energy consumption and by finding ways to generate it without adding to the CO2 burden.

5. Even if we can immediately reduce our energy consumption we must also immediately change our energy mix. The urgency is because of point #2 - immediate threats require immediate responses.

6. We must use every energy tool at our disposal to cut our CO2 production immediately. This includes every low-carbon possibility. The candidates are solar (thermal and PV), wind, hydro (conventional and run of river), tidal, biomass, geothermal and nuclear.

7. My decision about where to throw my support is governed by point #2. Because we face an immediate threat, I strongly favour technologies that can have an immediate impact on the energy mix.

8. The more distant the return of a technology or the lower the current level of implementation of a technology, the more of a discount I apply to to its value. See point #2.

9. The technologies I value most highly, in order of priority, are: nuclear; conventional hydro; wind; solar thermal, biomass and solar PV. The value of Run of River hydro, geothermal and tidal power are down in the noise at this point.

10. I do not think that the dangers of nuclear power outweigh its benefits when considered against the threat of CO2. In fact I think the dangers of nuclear power are two to three orders of magnitude less than the dangers of CO2. See point #1.

11. Conventional hydro and solar thermal have limitations in terms of site availability.

12. The value of wind power could eventually exceed nuclear power, but it will probably take 15 years to get there.

13. We need to take action now, and what we do within the next 5 years will be crucial. See point #2.

14. Nuclear power integrates easily into the existing grid structure, the plant designs are well understood, plants can be built out quickly, and the demonstrated level of risk, compared to atmospheric CO2, is negligible. It's a win, at least until wind is producing 15-20 times its current amount of electricity.

15. Energy efficiency is the cheapest way to reduce CO2 production, provided we can avoid a rebound effect (aka a Jevons paradox). It should be pursued at least as vigourously as new energy sources.

16. If we do not build out nuclear power, we have no hope of abating CO2 production for at least the next 10 years. See point #2.

Now, all the foregoing is dependent on us (the global "us") doing enough in the next 10 years to tip the rate of production of CO2 onto a downward slope. If we cannot create the will to do that, then the entire discussion is moot. Personally I don't think we'll get enough consensus or freedom from corporate influence to make that possible. So where I ultimately come from on all this is:

17. Due to the structure of our civilization none of this is possible. That makes these discussions the equivalent of a dog gnawing on a bone: it's something to do while we wait for the next meal, but it isn't going to save the world. So in light of that, we should each do what we think is appropriate: try to save the world, retreat from it, get on with raising our families, meditate, search for higher meaning, or just try to have a bit of fun.

The world ends in every moment, and begins again in the next. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

So kristopher, you and I are fundamentally different sorts of people, and our differences go much deeper than what papers we choose to believe. You will not convince me of your viewpoint, and I have no interest whatever in convincing you of mine. You asked me where I was coming from. This is it.
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  -Another example of how the CANDU can't kristopher  Oct-04-10 09:08 AM   #0 
  - Rec to no avail  madokie   Oct-04-10 11:56 AM   #1 
  - That's the best you can do?  Nederland   Oct-04-10 03:22 PM   #2 
  - It's typical nuclear: "2 years behind schedule and nearly $1 billion over budget"  kristopher   Oct-05-10 12:20 AM   #5 
     - Typical Nuclear in the Western World  Nederland   Oct-05-10 01:05 AM   #6 
        - I'm sure it has nothing to do with the coal and oil funded NIMBY/anti-nuclear crowd.  TheWraith   Oct-05-10 01:25 AM   #7 
        - The economic stakeholders for coal and nuclear are nearly identical  kristopher   Oct-05-10 02:08 PM   #11 
           - One article in the Grand Forks Herald as "proof."  TheWraith   Oct-06-10 12:04 PM   #37 
              - Deleted sub-thread  Name removed   Oct-06-10 12:08 PM   #39 
        - No, typical around the world.  kristopher   Oct-05-10 07:21 AM   #8 
           - Your data on Japan is outdated  Nederland   Oct-05-10 11:11 PM   #17 
  - I did not have neutron exchange with that reactor...  txlibdem   Oct-04-10 07:10 PM   #3 
  - what about 60 year old wind turbines?  DrGregory   Oct-04-10 10:56 PM   #4 
     - We need the most advanced technology we can come up with, no question  txlibdem   Oct-05-10 08:43 AM   #9 
        - Fairly good summary but a few problems are present.  kristopher   Oct-05-10 09:18 AM   #10 
           - A phase out not an abrupt cutoff in my view  txlibdem   Oct-05-10 02:15 PM   #12 
           - Be cautious of accepting the thoughts of those aligned with environmental skepticism  kristopher   Oct-05-10 03:25 PM   #13 
              - I'll concede the point on the sole purpose of Germany's Feed In Tariffs  txlibdem   Oct-05-10 10:01 PM   #14 
                 - It would BE a catastrophe. It's a very, very, very, very, very dirty form of energy, and batteries  NNadir   Oct-05-10 11:01 PM   #16 
                 - That wasn't Gore's plan, nor does the anecdote you cite mean much.  kristopher   Oct-06-10 07:20 AM   #19 
                 - Are you sure you're responding to the correct post?  txlibdem   Oct-06-10 04:10 PM   #49 
                    - You don't know what you are talking about.  kristopher   Oct-06-10 04:17 PM   #51 
                       - I may not but Al Gore sure as heck does!  txlibdem   Oct-06-10 10:15 PM   #59 
                 - As to sitting on Solar Power location, sounds like what happened in the 1970s on the locks and dams  happyslug   Oct-06-10 03:12 PM   #46 
           - Extremely high? Higher than any source? We'll chalk that up to anti-nuke math...  NNadir   Oct-05-10 10:39 PM   #15 
              - Why are you saying that California doesn't have natural gas peakers?  XemaSab   Oct-06-10 02:35 AM   #18 
              - Lack of knowledge and an ingrained inability to reason characterize your posts  kristopher   Oct-06-10 07:28 AM   #20 
              - Let's compare  txlibdem   Oct-06-10 07:40 AM   #21 
                 - The costs look pretty much the same, all right.  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 07:46 AM   #22 
                 - That is a half assed, uninformed analysis based on an inaccurate bunch of crap/  kristopher   Oct-06-10 07:56 AM   #23 
                    - So are the costs of electricity from nuclear and wind not similar in your opinion?  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 08:26 AM   #24 
                       - That is typical misleading framing of the issue.  kristopher   Oct-06-10 09:33 AM   #25 
                          - No, you just disagree with this framing.  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 09:57 AM   #26 
                          - Just goes to show what you don't know...  kristopher   Oct-06-10 10:31 AM   #27 
                             - That's a usage of the word "outstanding" I haven't encountered before.  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 10:41 AM   #29 
                                - Your posts establish your goals very clearly.  kristopher   Oct-06-10 11:12 AM   #30 
                                   - Is it possible  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 11:15 AM   #31 
                                      - No, it isn't.  kristopher   Oct-06-10 11:46 AM   #33 
                                         - Define "BETTER"  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 12:02 PM   #36 
                                            - Cooper's paper is an independent review by a highly qualified analyst.  kristopher   Oct-06-10 12:06 PM   #38 
                                               - See the commentary on this "review" that I posted below.  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 12:30 PM   #41 
                          - An OECD report from this year compares electricity costs from various sources in various countries  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 10:36 AM   #28 
                          - Trust in the nuclear industry much? Why not accept the fossil industry's view of carbon?  kristopher   Oct-06-10 11:33 AM   #32 
                             - Or the wind industry's views on wind power?  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 11:57 AM   #34 
                                - Here it is  kristopher   Oct-06-10 11:59 AM   #35 
                                   - No, that comes from a biased paper.  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 12:28 PM   #40 
                                      - Seriously? You are going with anonymous comments as critique?  kristopher   Oct-06-10 12:44 PM   #42 
                                      - I found it interesting that Scientific American readers had about the same reaction as I did.  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 12:51 PM   #43 
                                      - I've already replied to that point with the itemization by Severence  kristopher   Oct-06-10 04:01 PM   #48 
                                      - MIT severely underestimated the costs - read what the CEO's of Entergy, Exelon, and Constellation  bananas   Oct-07-10 04:55 AM   #62 
                                         - Let's keep our eye on the ball.  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 06:04 AM   #64 
                                            - So you've been saying we should use nuclear because it is the least expensive  kristopher   Oct-07-10 06:37 AM   #65 
                                            - Not quite  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 06:57 AM   #67 
                                            - They do not have similar cost profiles.  kristopher   Oct-07-10 07:34 AM   #70 
                                            - Here's what we're trying to accomplish  bananas   Oct-07-10 10:09 AM   #77 
                                            - Laudable goals, with which I broadly agree.  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 10:24 AM   #79 
                                      - I also find it interesting that the EIA says that wind subsidies are $0.20+ per KWh  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 01:00 PM   #44 
                                         - Yes you are missing something - a careful moment with your calculator  kristopher   Oct-06-10 04:22 PM   #52 
                                            - Ah, I slipped a decimal place. Thanks. n/t  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 04:34 PM   #55 
                                      - You went to a crackpot blog  bananas   Oct-07-10 04:22 AM   #61 
                                         - In this debate "crackpot" tends to mean "someone whose opinions I disagree with"  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 05:59 AM   #63 
                                            - Again with the false claims about what nuclear can do.  kristopher   Oct-07-10 06:45 AM   #66 
                                            - If repeated beatings with that Jacobson C&P haven't changed my mind by now  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 07:02 AM   #68 
                                               - Another piece of crap bit of logic  kristopher   Oct-07-10 07:39 AM   #71 
                                            - I have no problem with differing opinions, but some people really are crackpots.  bananas   Oct-07-10 08:02 AM   #72 
                          - 1700 nuclear power plants needed?  txlibdem   Oct-06-10 03:30 PM   #47 
                             - Holdren  kristopher   Oct-06-10 04:16 PM   #50 
                                - I did not notice we were talking about 2050 energy demand  txlibdem   Oct-06-10 10:46 PM   #60 
  - I found something odd in an article on English wind turbines.  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 02:06 PM   #45 
     - You call Cooper's extensive analysis "shit", yet you think that is credible?  kristopher   Oct-06-10 04:26 PM   #53 
     - It's not pretending to be an analysis, it's just a newspaper story.  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 04:32 PM   #54 
     - More info on that wind development  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 04:53 PM   #56 
        - Are you serious? I really thought you were a bit brighter than that...  kristopher   Oct-06-10 06:03 PM   #57 
           - Where am I coming from?  GliderGuider   Oct-06-10 09:02 PM   #58 
              - Your position continues to ignore all known facts regarding energy systems  kristopher   Oct-07-10 07:24 AM   #69 
              - Again with the Jacobson?  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 08:23 AM   #73 
                 - Deleted message  Name removed   Oct-07-10 08:57 AM   #74 
                    - Of course you don't agree with my position. No problem.  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 09:24 AM   #75 
                       - The basis of your position is simply fabricated - it doesn't agree with reality  kristopher   Oct-07-10 10:32 AM   #80 
                          - Even if that were true, why would it matter to you?  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 10:40 AM   #81 
                             - Which is the appropriate response.  kristopher   Oct-07-10 10:48 AM   #82 
              - What happened to peak oil?  bananas   Oct-07-10 09:58 AM   #76 
                 - I am capable of having more than one concern at a time...  GliderGuider   Oct-07-10 10:10 AM   #78 

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