If Obama is going to kill coal, he has to hide the body

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Guest post by Alec Rawls

The graphics were changed in the last two days, but Conn Carroll at the Washington Examiner took a screenshot of Obama’s “All of the Above” energy policy page on Tuesday. “Notice anything missing?” he asks:

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The updated graphics actually retain the same omission. They still omit the source of almost half of all U.S. electricity generation (coal), and only add the non-existent eco-unicorn called “clean coal”:

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Of course what the CO2 alarmists call “dirty coal” is perfectly clean. The only difference is that it produces CO2—that most healthful gas, the beginning of the food chain for all life on earth—which remains alarmingly close to the minimum levels needed to sustain life.

To rid coal-burning emissions of this eco-villain the going cost is $761 per ton of sequestered carbon: “staggeringly, wildly, mind-blowingly higher than any other conceivable measure designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.” So still no coal in Obama’s plan. Our existing energy infrastructure is to be jettisoned, as Obama promised in 2008:

If somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

Obama’s EPA rules already block all new coal plant construction, so his graphics are just looking forward to his true objectives: all-but-coal for now, with oil and nuclear to disappear next.

That slick “clean coal” logo indicates that the coal omission was not a mistake

The Obamatons had the clean-coal stupidity all ready to go, indicating a conscious decision to leave it out. This is reinforced by the absence of the clean-coal logo, not just from their pick-a-topic selector, but also from their header logo. Another of Obama’s eco-pages still has the original header:

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That page now includes a clean coal section but the Google cache from May 3rd shows that it was recently added. The people who put these pages together are so anti-coal that they couldn’t even bring themselves to include the utterly phony “clean coal” in their proclaimed “All of the Above” energy strategy. That shows a extraordinary level of zealotry.

Kinda fits with the longstanding “climate denier” smear (recently on display), where people who don’t buy CO2 alarmism are likened to those who deny the holocaust of the Jews during WWII. The alarmists are all projection all the time. Their supposed scientists at the IPCc are omitting virtually all of the evidence for a solar driver of climate from AR5, and here their political leaders are trying to disappear the primary energy source upon which modern society currently relies, yet it is supposedly the rest of us who are conspiring to cover stuff up.

The conniving mind cannot conceive of another mode of being.

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219 Responses to If Obama is going to kill coal, he has to hide the body

  1. Ally E. says:

    That is so bloody scary. And I don’t even live in the USA.

  2. onlyme says:

    I guess we can forget the 54.5 MPG fleet average CAFE standard now since FUEL EFFICIENCY is no longer part of the all of the above mix.

  3. RACookPE1978 says:

    Well, heavier cars will save lives …….

  4. Walt says:

    The back door destruction of the US energy base will not cut global carbon dioxide levels. Carbon dioxide emissions from China, India and the rest of the world will exceed our reductions.

  5. bsk says:

    Your post ignores that Obama, both as a Senator and as President, was a huge supporter of coal and clean coal in particular so the coal in southern IL (his home state) could be exploited.

  6. jefftfred says:

    If POTUS Obama doesn’t want the US to use coal, for sure China will take it of their hands if the price is cheap enough.
    As China has planned for the consumption of one gigaton of coal in energy production per annum, any little bit will be a help.
    But China has recently discovered a massive new coal field, and with the coal from Mongolia, Russia and Chinese coal mining, the price would have to be competitive with the Chinese labour.

    http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page38?oid=142229&sn=Detail

    And also Google – Winsway to see the infrastructure for coal handling and transport across the Sino-Russian border.

  7. jonathan frodsham says:

    “yet it is supposedly the rest of us who are conspiring to cover stuff up.”
    Yes it is called flipping; they do it all the time. It is just one of the tactics used, another is the consensus meeting and of course: paid to say by big/oil coal, huge amounts of money from big oil/coal and creationist/liar/flat eather, bla, bla, bla. The list goes on. But remember “Flipping”

  8. bsk says:

    onlyme-

    Ya, that CAFE standard is working out terribly. The 8 speed transmissions, lighter materials and better engines are going to improve fuel efficiency the 2013 Ram trucks and the coming 2014 Chevy’s by at least 20% in efficiency. Great vehicles, I might get one:

    http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2012/04/2013-ram-1500-powertrain-deep-dive.html

    http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2012/04/2013-ram-1500-frame-suspension-deep-dive.html

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/sns-2013-ram-1500-safety-uconnect-deep-dive-20120412,0,4560496.story?page=1

  9. Bill Tuttle says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    May 11, 2012 at 12:23 am
    Well, heavier cars will save lives …….

    Gezackly. Since Ehrlich’s prediction that most of us would have died of starvation and disease in the ’70s (and when that didn’t happen, the ’90s, and when that didn’t happen, etc.), they have to find other alternatives to help them achieve that result.

    I almost wrote “…find another vehicle to help…” but decided it would be trite…

  10. SandyInDerby says:

    I was listening to a programme on BBC Radio 4 (Costing the Earth) on Wednesday night. It raises the spectre of Climate Change/Global Warming/Climate Whatever whenever possible. This week it concentrated on Coal/Carbon Capture.

    One expert was quite blase about carbon capture adding £150-£200/ $300 annually (more if electricity is used for heating replacing gas because electricity then greener) annually to electricity bills, apparently the “middle classes” wouldn’t notice and the government (middle classes again but not mentioned) could help those in fuel poverty.

    Despite referring to coal as old Sooty it was admitted that Europe would have had very serious problems in electricity supply last winter without it (even France was importing power!)

  11. Baa Humbug says:

    The US, nay, the World, will get another 4 years of this dangerously incompetent man.
    We so desperately need a strong willed person who can purge our institutions of the huggy kissy econut infestation. Perhaps a Ronald Reagan mark 2

  12. John says:

    Elections are coming, so you guys know what to do.

  13. Philip Bradley says:

    The ‘dirty coal’ meme was all about implanting in the public mind that so called carbon pollution is the same as the soot and other pollutants that come from burning coal in home hearths and stoves, which only a few million Chinese peasants still do.

    The reality is that wood is a much more polluting fuel than coal, because a much higher proportion is burned in domestic stoves. Whereas almost all coal is burned in power stations.

    I don’t whether I should be disturbed or amused that the EPA buys into the patent nonsense of ‘dirty coal’.

    Note the basis of the ‘dirty coal’ meme is that electricity from coal produces more CO2.

  14. Bloke down the pub says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    May 11, 2012 at 12:23 am
    Well, heavier cars will save lives …….

    Not if you’re hit by one.

  15. Peter Stroud says:

    Staggering! We have warmist alarmists in our UK government, but none of these equate to the position of President of the USA. The man seems completely stupid.

    I listened to his 2008 promise. But, like most sensible people, thought he would learn how stupid it was when he actually walked into the White House.

  16. Ulrich Elkmann says:

    The solution is simple as dirt (ahem…): If we put our minds together, we might come up with a Rube Goldberg procedure that is even more costly, ineffective, unworkable, counterproductive and requires gargantuan bureaucratic overheads, not to mention violating several scores of natural laws and every ounce of amassed economic experience. If you hand that to them, no one will ever mention Clean Coal again.

  17. Otter says:

    bsk~ good on you for 20% more efficient! That will save on the $3-4 in federal taxes added to each gallon of gas…

  18. cedarhill says:

    Which is why the energy sector is a good investment whenever the market catches up with the spin and the QE’s of Bernanke. Either way one plays it. For example, look at the price charts for uranium now that everyone seems to be afraid the ocean will flood every nuke power plant on the planet. If you’re a religious sort, pray that methane is not “anti-fracked” to oblivion by the EPA.

  19. punjabiboyss says:

    ryt, heavier cars will save lives …….

  20. eyesonu says:

    Baa Humbug says:
    May 11, 2012 at 12:46 am

    The US, nay, the World, will get another 4 years of this dangerously incompetent man.
    We so desperately need a strong willed person who can purge our institutions of the huggy kissy econut infestation. Perhaps a Ronald Reagan mark 2.

    =====================

    Ronald Reagan mark 2 may happen. Take a very close look at Virgil Goode. virgilgoode2012@gmail.com

  21. Steve C says:

    Actually, living in what used, pre-Thatcher, to be a major coal producing area, I rather like “dirty coal”. But I hate the dirty lies that have replaced it.

  22. c777 says:

    Determined to destroy the last vestiges of the US economy ,it’s completely insane.

  23. ConfusedPhoton says:

    Obama stupid? I think not
    US has about a quarter of the world’s coal reserves
    US is the second largest producer of coal
    Can a Democrat president ever be elected by taking an anti-coal stance? Given that many in the coal industry are Democrat voters, I would doubt he is doing much behind the scenes to get rid of coal.

  24. Steve says:

    I guess this is a good example of the difference between what someone will *say* to get votes versus what someone will *do* when running a country.

    P.S.

    How come realclimate is not under the Tools section?

  25. B.O.B. says:

    Someone should tell them that “fuel efficiency” is not a source of power.

  26. Wijnand says:

    Alec Rawls writes:

    To rid coal-burning emissions of this eco-villain the going cost is $761 per ton of sequestered carbon: “staggeringly, wildly, mind-blowingly higher than any other conceivable measure designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.”

    Mr Rawls (and others) might want to check the linked article behind the “$761 per ton” statement. The numbers in the linked article do not make any sense. It states a one time investment of $1.6 billion (not a monthly or yearly cost, but a one time amount). Next it states that the CCS equipment bought with this one time investment sequesters 2.1 million tons of CO2, but does not specifically states if this amount is annually. The text further down the article leads me to believe this is the annual amount of CO2 sequestration.
    Then the article simply divides $1.6 Billion by 2.1 million tons to come up with a cost of $761 per ton.
    ?????????
    Either the writer of the article needs to go back to school, or I need reading comprehension lessons….

    Don’t get me wrong, CCS is ridiculously expensive. I have professional experience with CCS technology (by way of a possible CCS pilot plant on a coal filred power station), and it is a disaster of a technology. Besides the huge CAPEX it will require enormous OPEX and it will drag down the efficiency of a powerplant by 15-20% at least, meaning one has to burn 15-20% more fossil fuels to generate the same amount of power.

    But mr. Rawls, please do not diminish the impact/quality of your article by referencing nonsense like the Globe and Mail column!
    I would suggest you delete the reference to it.
    All the best,

    Wijnand
    The Netherlands

  27. handjive says:

    In Australia, the watermelons have let the truth slip out:

    IF The Greens have their way there will be no future growth in coal fired electricity generation in NSW-
    “The new power stations would flood the state with cheap electricity and undermine the viability of renewable energy and energy efficiency,” Greens Upper House spokesman Jon Kaye said.

    http://www.lithgowmercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/legislation-has-grave-implications/2545133.aspx

  28. techgm says:

    The graphic gives the impression that the various sources are equal contributors to energy consumption and are equal in cost. The “Clean Coal” icon also shows what most will interpret as smoke (rather than steam) coming from the chimneys. Can you say “propaganda”?

  29. Matthew W says:

    Ulrich Elkmann says:
    May 11, 2012 at 2:20 am
    The solution is simple as dirt (ahem…): If we put our minds together, we might come up with a Rube Goldberg procedure that is even more costly, ineffective, unworkable, counterproductive and requires gargantuan bureaucratic overheads, not to mention violating several scores of natural laws and every ounce of amassed economic experience.
    =================================================================
    But that’s exactly what the current plan is !!!!

    And they still want to do it !!!

  30. Nerd says:

    bsk says:
    May 11, 2012 at 12:38 am

    That’s nothing. Overseas, MPG is significantly better. If we were to match theirs overnight, gov’t would lose a lot of tax revenues because it’s based on per gallon tax. And big oil business will lose a lot of money too.

  31. My screen name says it all.

  32. elftone says:

    This is only to do with the upcoming election, nothing else, after which he (if elected) – just like a president from any political party – will continue to do what he’s been doing since 2009: business as usual. Not that sceptics should be complacent regarding the apparent message, but this is simply spin.

  33. polistra says:

    Obama isn’t dumb, nor is he the wild ideologue you imagine. He’s a pragmatic and rather weak politician who knows where the money comes from. He uses propaganda to keep his Green buddies in line, but he also knows that American manufacturing is coming back to life because of natural gas. And those manufacturing jobs are the best source of future Democrat power, not the Greenies.

  34. Curiousgeorge says:

    And while they’re at it let’s put even more people on the soup line. When did the lunatics start running things?:

    **************************************************************************

    “Last year at this time, we were looking for 2,000 coal miners to go to work. Now there’s 2,000 laid off,” Maloney said. “We’ve got six coal-fired power plants that are being shut. We’re losing our competitive edge, and it’s wrong.”

    As one measure of the disdain in West Virginia for the Obama administration’s crackdown on coal, a federal prisoner doing 17 years for extortion got 41 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Democratic primary to President Obama’s 59 percent.

    Administration supporters are banking on cheap, clean and abundant natural gas as a substitute for coal-fired power, but critics say there are problems with its transportation and storage — problems which have lead to price hikes in the past.

    Craig Jennings, president of the Preston County, W.Va., Commission, says his constituents are bracing for big spikes in their electricity bills.

    “They’re telling us that you’re going to see at least a 30 percent increase in your electric bill now,” he said. “For an older person on a fixed income in an older home who’s used to paying $300 a month for an electric bill they’re going to be pushing $400 a month now on that same electric bill.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/05/10/coal-industry-warns-proposed-epa-rule-could-force-fourth-plants-to-close/#ixzz1uZ1UJrEB

  35. Latitude says:

    “If somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them,”

    This makes as much sense as saying we need to stop eating today….because sometime in the future we’re going to run out of food because of Romm’s permanent drought

  36. trbixler says:

    What is interesting is that WUWT is the only ‘news’ carrier not infected with the green deceit. I now read WUWT for political news as well as things on scientific interest. Thank You Anthony we are very lucky to have your creation WUWT.

  37. hunter says:

    The madness that Obama is part is already hurting America- and the world- a lot before it winds its course. Any coal producing or coal power consuming state that votes to re-elect this President or anyone who backs him is voting against their best interests.

  38. spen says:

    Just remember that half the coal currentlyproduced in the World is burnt in china and that proportion is increasing.year by year. without a block on that all other reduction exercises are futile.

  39. The human portion of this natural, benign, life-giving, three atom molecule is so dangerous that we must waste energy to hide it or destroy it !

    Queen of Hearts: “First the sentence, and then the evidence !”

  40. Pull My Finger says:

    I notice they omitted “Clean Dung” as well.

  41. schnurrp says:

    Not much from the Romney camp lately re: AGW. I find his formerly stated position affecting my opinion of his general competence. Would like to see him “evolve” on this issue.

  42. Affizzyfist says:

    CT looking really suspicious havent moved for 12 days now!

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    DMI back to normal and possibly crossed the verboten line!
    DMI ice extent

  43. Robert Clemenzi says:

    What about hydroelectric? Low carbon footprint and all that.
    Shouldn’t that icon also be there?

    Since Global Warming causes more rain (wink), that should produce more free energy. Therefore, we should encourage other countries to burn coal so we get free energy.

  44. Juice says:

    Of course what the CO2 alarmists call “dirty coal” is perfectly clean.

    Um.

    They’ve largely solved the SOx and NOx emissions problems that lead to acid rain, but not at all plants by far. They’ve largely eliminated the fly ash emissions at most plants, but not all. Lots of plants still emit carbon particles into the surrounding areas. The bodies of people living near coal plants have higher levels of radionuclides in them than those living around nuclear power plants. The ash waste is stored in landfills or lagoons that leach arsenic and radionuclides into the soil and water.

    When it comes to combusting coal and oil, CO2 is the least of your worries. These are dirty processes. Measures have been taken over the decades that have greatly reduced pollution from these power sources, but to say that burning coal is “perfectly clean” is simply delusional.

  45. Pull My Finger says:

    Can’t have hyrdroelectric in there.. it actually works.

  46. Berényi Péter says:

    The obvious winner is Big Oil (fracking for natural gas included), who else? Burning coal produces twice as much carbon dioxide for the same energy output than hydrocarbons do. That’s because hydrocarbons also contain Hydrogen which burns to water, a simple fact of physics & chemistry.

    Now, the coal market is much more fragmented than that of hydrocarbons, so the only way to introduce monopolistic prices is through regulation. On the other hand, for hydrocarbons simple background cartels will do the job perfectly, but only if no close substitute is available.

    Therefore, as soon as coal is regulated out of the market, there will be no practical limit to hydrocarbon price increases, that is, Big Oil can make huge extra profits with no additional investment whatsoever. To serve this purpose the peak hydrocarbon hype will surely come back in full force.

    Based on cui prodest or follow the money things we can conclude that current hijacking of the environmental movement by anti-CO₂ agents is financed by no one else, but hydrocarbon interests. That’s the dirty secret warmistas are so reluctant to reveal.

  47. Darrin says:

    In Oregon they’ve listed Hydro as not green, of course they had to do this so we could meet the goal of 40% renewable energy use by 2040. Hydro produces ~50% of our power already… Their excuse is Hydro can’t be green because it clogs up rivers and kills salmon.

  48. Luther Wu says:

    Hey! Obama is just fulfilling a campaign promise!
    He said he was going to bankrupt the coal industry- remember?

  49. OssQss says:

    Ah yes, the promise was made and one of the few kept by the POTUS for certain. Even though Cap and Tax did not make it, the EPA was available to back fill the bill. And some say the POTUS cannot impact energy prices?

    If you voted for him, you are the one to blame.

  50. ferd berple says:

    Big Oil loves the Obama energy policy. By eliminating competition from coal, oil prices can only go higher. Now if we can just get rid of natural gas and fracking…

  51. Hoser says:

    The problem with large hydro is dams. You have to build more of them. Also, the supply of electricity is very dependent on fluctuating rainfall. Dams have another purpopse, flood control. That means you can’t keep them full.

  52. Gail Combs says:

    bsk says:
    May 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Your post ignores that Obama, both as a Senator and as President, was a huge supporter of coal and clean coal in particular so the coal in southern IL (his home state) could be exploited.
    _______________________________
    Obama is not against MINING of coal he is only against evil American Capitalists using the coal.

    Plans are already under way to ship all that coal from the USA to China, just as Canada will be shipping their oil to China and Australia ships their coal and raw materials to China.

    China is wining the war of world dominance with out firing a shot.

    REFERENCES:
    YALE: As Coal Use Declines in U.S., Coal Companies Focus on China
    China beats out America for Canadian oil
    New York Times: At ports in Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Africa, ships are lining up to load coal for furnaces in China… The United States now ships coal to China via Canada, but coal companies are scouting for new loading ports in Washington State

    China and Patents:
    China Takes Lead in Race for Clean Nuclear Power
    When Innovation, Too, Is Made in China: AS a national strategy, China is trying to build an economy that relies on innovation.. document “National Patent Development Strategy (2011-2020).”
    National Patent Development Strategy (2011-2020) translation
    Who’s that knocking at ORNL’s front door? Yep, it’s China (again and again) Chinese scientist visit Oak Ridge more than three times as often as the nearest “competitor” India.
    Security Watch: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Hacked… Once again, there is reason to believe the attack comes from China.

    Stealing Technology
    Top Federal Lab [Oak Ridge] Hacked in Spear-Phishing Attack

    China-Based Hacking of 760 Companies Shows Cyber Cold War
    …The networks of at least 760 companies, research universities, Internet service providers and government agencies were hit over the last decade by the same elite group of China-based cyber spies….

    Stealing Everything’

    “They are stealing everything that isn’t bolted down, and it’s getting exponentially worse,” said Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who is chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    China has made industrial espionage an integral part of its economic policy, stealing company secrets to help it leapfrog over U.S. and other foreign competitors to further its goal of becoming the world’s largest economy, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a report released last month.

    I will let the rest of you do the dot connecting.

    You might find these older articles “enlightening” too.
    The Federal Election Commission… imposed a record-setting $719,000 in fines against participants in the 1996 Democratic Party fund-raising scandals involving contributions from China, Korea and other foreign sources.
    Campaign Finance Special Report: list of links to Clinton/Gore/China finance connection investigations
    CNN MONEY: Clinton pushes open trade: President uses WEF address to tout open trade policies, China’s inclusion in WTO
    Manufacturing & Technology News: China’s Entry Into The WTO 10 Years Later Is Not What President Clinton Promised: …Most all of the predictions from those pushing the deal at the time have proven to be wrong, according to an analysis done by Robert Lighthizer, former deputy United States Trade Representative…

    The Economist: Chinese politics and the WTO, No change, Hopes of sparking political change have come to nothing so far
    The Clinton Presidency: A Foreign Policy for the Global Age
    As the first president who has understood the connections of the global economy and its connection to our prosperity, President Clinton has led the United States toward its greatest expansion in world trade in history…. Completed the Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations and created the WTO to reduce tariffs, settle trade disputes and enforce rules… Completed the Uruguay Round of the GATT negotiations and created the WTO to reduce tariffs, settle trade disputes and enforce rules.

    Lord I really hate politicians.

  53. Babsy says:

    Walt says:
    May 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Yes, and think of how good we’ll all feel while singing Kumbaya demonstrating our love of Mother Gaia…

  54. Gail Combs says:

    John says:
    May 11, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Elections are coming, so you guys know what to do.
    ___________________________
    It is really tough to win an election when all the dead voters are Econuts too and both candidates are bought and paid for anyway.

  55. Tom says:

    Alec says “Of course what the CO2 alarmists call “dirty coal” is perfectly clean. The only difference is that it produces CO2—that most healthful gas, the beginning of the food chain for all life on earth—which remains alarmingly close to the minimum levels needed to sustain life.”

    So if this is a science site, why is there not a rounding rebuke to such a silly statement as the above? Shouldn’t independent and truth seeking thinking correct such an inherently wrong statement?

  56. Bryan A says:

    In California, the fuel economy of motor vehicles isn’t driven by the automotive industry but by the fuel itself and the legislative demands for cleaner burning fuels. I recently took a trip to Washington State from California. I filled up when I left home. 210 miles later I filled up again and added 10 gallons Califormia Formula. 227 miles later I filled up again and another 11 gallons was added this time in Oregon. 317 miles later I filled up again 10.1 gallons on the Oregon gas…………….. California gas got 21 mpg in my 2008 Charger and Oregon gas got 31 mpg,
    around a 50% increase in fuel economy

  57. Gail Combs says:

    RACookPE1978 says: @ May 11, 2012 at 12:23 am
    Well, heavier cars will save lives …….
    ____________________
    Bloke down the pub says: @ May 11, 2012 at 1:33 am
    Not if you’re hit by one.
    _____________________
    You just want to make sure you are the hitter and not the hitee. I only own nice big trucks of 20 yr old vintage and older.

  58. Tom J says:

    bsk on May 11, 2012 at 12:28 am said

    “Your post ignores that Obama, both as a Senator and as President, was a huge supporter of coal and clean coal in particular so the coal in southern IL (his home state) could be exploited.”

    My apologies, bsk, but Illinois is not Obama’s ‘home state’. It’s his ‘adopted’ state. His home state is Hawaii or some such. The question stands as to why the chosen one made Illinois his chosen one. Illinois: unarguably one of the most, if not the most, corrupt states in the Union. A state that’s sent 4 governors to prison. And he didn’t just choose Illinois, he chose Chicago, the epicenter of Illinois corruption. Why? He got his state senate seat from his own political mentor, Alice Palmer. He threw her under the bus, taking her to court on voter fraud, and got her seat unopposed

  59. vboring says:

    I thought that claiming that recent EPA rules are designed to absolutely prevent the construction of coal plants was hyperbole until yesterday. I talked with one of the generation engineers at my company. We had a new coal plant fully designed, approved, basically ready to start issuing construction contracts.

    The new mercury rules didn’t send them back to the drawing board, they sent the design to the dust bin. There is literally no available technology to meet the requirements. EPA approval requires a design based on proven technologies. There are none. So, it is impossible to build new coal plants.

    Natural gas is keeping electricity prices relatively low for now, but they have always been volatile. Coal supply contracts are decades long – perfect for electric utilities.

  60. DirkH says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Alec says “Of course what the CO2 alarmists call “dirty coal” is perfectly clean. The only difference is that it produces CO2—that most healthful gas, the beginning of the food chain for all life on earth—which remains alarmingly close to the minimum levels needed to sustain life.”

    So if this is a science site, why is there not a rounding rebuke to such a silly statement as the above?

    Because people like you are not capable of delivering one? Remember, Tom: Theoretically, you’re a commenter too, not only a troll.

  61. DirkH says:

    Hoser says:
    May 11, 2012 at 6:59 am

    The problem with large hydro is dams. You have to build more of them. Also, the supply of electricity is very dependent on fluctuating rainfall. Dams have another purpopse, flood control. That means you can’t keep them full.

    dams work perfectly fine, so well that the progressive movement of 1932, Technocracy Inc., wanted to power the entirety of North America with hydropower. No, the problems with big hydro are NIMBYism, loss of habitat and some ridiculous greenhouse effect conjectures, where the methane emanating from rotting vegetation flooded by the lake is supposed to make our climate tip over. In other words, an imaginary problem.

  62. Tom says:

    @Bryan A – a 50% change in fuel economy is simply not possible due to fuel formation alone as the formulations are not wildly different. Something else had to have also changed.

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/gasoline/faq.htm

  63. David S says:

    America’s energy future;
    Shivering in the dark!

  64. Gail Combs says:

    eyesonu says: @ May 11, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Ronald Reagan mark 2 may happen. Take a very close look at Virgil Goode….
    ____________________
    I am afraid that all Ron Paul or Virgil Goode will do is split off the independent vote and insure Obama’s victory. A very dangerous situation because he will have nothing to lose if he ticks off the voters. We only get to vote for the hand picked puppets shoved at us. That has been clear for years.
    It is amazing how Democrats see Clinton as a “Saint” and Republicans see Reagan as a “Saint” when both helped get us into the current economic mess. Reagan’s policies allowing leveraged buyouts also helped bring the USA to her knees.

    (Mods, I am including quotes so I do not have to rebut _Jim’s snark later)

    The Takeovers & Leveraged Buyout “gold rush” started with former US Secretary of the Treasury William Simon in 1982 Reagan through his laissez faire attitude did nothing to stop it.

    …The three regulatory factors were the Reagan administration’s relatively laissez-faire policies on antitrust and securities laws, which allowed mergers the government would have challenged in earlier years; the 1982 Supreme Court decision striking down state antitakeover laws (which were resurrected with great effectiveness in the late eighties); and deregulation of many industries, which prompted restructurings and mergers. The main economic factor was the development of the original-issue high-yield debt instrument. The so-called “junk bond” innovation, pioneered by Michael Milken of Drexel Burnham, provided many hostile bidders and LBO firms with the enormous amounts of capital needed to finance multi-billion-dollar deals….
    Corporate takeovers became a prominent feature of the American business landscape during the seventies and eighties… public tender offer – …allows bidders to seek control directly from shareholders—by going “over the heads” of target management—the tender offer is the most powerful weapon available to the hostile bidder….

    Hostile tender offers have been around for decades, but they were rare and generally involved small target firms until the midseventies. Then came the highly controversial multibillion-dollar hostile takeovers of very recognizable public companies. By the late eighties there were dozens of multi-billion-dollar takeovers and their cousins, leveraged buyouts (LBOs).
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/TakeoversandLeveragedBuyouts.html

    Of mergers and acquisitions each costing $1 million or more, there were just 10 in 1970; in 1980, there were 94; in 1986, there were 346. A third of such deals in the 1980’s were hostile. The 1980’s also saw a wave of giant leveraged buyouts. Mergers, acquisitions and L.B.O.’s, which had accounted for less than 5 percent of the profits of Wall Street brokerage houses in 1978, ballooned into an estimated 50 percent of profits by 1988

    THROUGH ALL THIS, THE HISTORIC RELATIONSHIP between product and paper has been turned upside down. Investment bankers no longer think of themselves as working for the corporations with which they do business. These days, corporations seem to exist for the investment bankers…. In fact, investment banks are replacing the publicly held industrial corporations as the largest and most powerful economic institutions in America….

    THERE ARE SIGNS THAT A VICIOUS spiral has begun, as each corporate player seeks to improve its standard of living at the expense of another’s.

    Corporate raiders transfer to themselves, and other shareholders, part of the income of employees by forcing the latter to agree to lower wages.
    January 29, 1989 http://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/29/magazine/leveraged-buyouts-american-pays-the-price.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all New York Times

    In the 1980s during the great takeover boom and hollowing out of the industrial heartland, many states adopted amendments to their corporate codes that codified directors’ fiduciary duties, so-called “constituency statutes”. In general, these provisions made it clear that a director need not “maximize shareholder value.” Rather, in complying with their fiduciary obligations, directors may take all sorts of things into consideration – the impact of their decisions on various constituencies, including employees, the community, the environment, the color of the sky, whatever…

    When these statutes were first passed, they were heralded as way to protect jobs, etc….

    My problem with these statutes is that they strike me as a bit of a head fake. While they certainly give boards the power they need to protect local communities, etc should they so desire, they don’t actually require directors to protect those constituencies. In effect, such statutes, simply give directors another fiduciary lever to pull when negotiating with a potential acquirer.

    I’ve said this before, but you know a board might be very concerned about the impact of a potential acquisition on employees and the community when the bid is $69. At $75, the board’s concerns about the impact on the community might start to fall away. Why not move the HQ to Paris? It’s so much nicer there than Cambridge. At $85? Employees … we have employees?!

    There’s no requirement that a board share the incremental price increase with those stakeholders who will lose out when a transaction is ultimately done….. http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mergers/state_takeover_laws/

    RESULTS
    Statistics (courtesy of Bridgewater) showed in 1990, Foreign ownership of U.S. assets amounted to 33% of U.S. GDP. By 2002 this had increased to over 70% of U.S. GDP. http://www.fame.org/HTM/greg%20Pickup%201%2010%2003%20report.htm

    Industries with over 50% foreign ownership, is listed by Source Watch http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Foreign_ownership_of_U.S._corporations

    Even out ports, roads and bridges are bing sold off. The Department of Homeland Security says 80% of our ports are operated by Foreigners and they are buying US bridges and toll roads. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-02-22-ports-flap_x.htm and http://carnegieendowment.org/2006/04/03/congressman-kolbe-speaks-on-dubai-ports-world/3blj and http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-07-15-u.s.-highways_x.htm

    Most recently it is our farmland http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-10/being-like-soros-in-buying-farm-land-lets-investors-reap-16-annual-gains.html

    As I said I loathe politicians.

  65. JohnB says:

    The change is likely in response to the recent West Virginia Democratic primary where an unknown, Keith Russell Judd received 41% of the vote. Keith Russell Judd is a felon currently serving time in jail but the anti-coal sentiment is so strong in some of the coal belt that he beat Obama badly in several counties and earned delegates to the convention.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-loses-to-felon-several-west-virginia-counties

  66. Gail Combs says:

    Robert Clemenzi says:
    May 11, 2012 at 6:17 am

    What about hydroelectric? Low carbon footprint and all that.
    Shouldn’t that icon also be there?
    ____________________________
    NO, it hurts the little fishies. (EPA again) The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System was created by Congress in 1968 (Public Law 90-542; 16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.) to preserve.. rivers so the Econuts already have that covered. Hydroelectric is EVIL because as I said it could hurt the little fishies. Beaver dams are OK though.

  67. Gail Combs says:

    Berényi Péter says:
    May 11, 2012 at 6:34 am

    ….Based on cui prodest or follow the money things we can conclude that current hijacking of the environmental movement by anti-CO₂ agents is financed by no one else, but hydrocarbon interests. That’s the dirty secret warmistas are so reluctant to reveal.
    ____________________________
    Thank you for adding the last dot to the follow the money picture.

  68. Werner Brozek says:

    A billion dollars for 1/10,000 of a degree?

    I did some number crunching on this issue since in Alberta, Canada, they still want to spend about a billion dollars on one carbon capture project. At the present time, humans emit about 90 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every DAY. I DO NOT believe this to be the case, however let us assume there will be the IPCC average number of 3.000 degrees C increase in temperature due to our emissions if we do nothing. So if a billion dollars is spent to capture 1 million tons a YEAR, this amounts to a fraction of 1 in 32,850. So if nothing is done, let us assume the temperature will presumably go up 3.0000 degrees C, but if a billion dollars is spent, the temperature would go up by 2.9999 degrees. Or to put in another way, if we take the temperature of 10,000 cities now and then again in 100 years from now, 9,999 cities will have the same temperature and one city will be 1 degree C colder if a billion dollars is spent.

    P.S. At one time, we had four different projects on the go. During the last election, the Wildrose party was willing to scrap all four and pay the penalty required. But they lost and are now the opposition party. The ruling party won and they do not seem to be for carbon capture either but seem obligated to honor previous commitments. At present, the Project Pioneer did pull out but the other three are still on the go. One of the others asked for public input and I submitted the above along with the stagnation in temperature for RSS over the last 15+ years.

  69. Tom says:

    @ DirkH said “Because people like you are not capable of delivering one? Remember, Tom: Theoretically, you’re a commenter too, not only a troll.”

    Quite interesting. So on a science site no one besides Juice know that burning coal emits SO2, N2O, Mercury and others and that coal ash typically arsenic, selenium, and cadmium? To be fair levels will vary, but these are an inherent byproduct of burning coal. Not to mention CO2. Lots and lots of CO2.

    Now how could that be? Or maybe, perhaps just maybe, there is a double standard here were assertions that from one “tribe” are handled differently than from another “tribe”?

    Could that possible be?

  70. Alec Rawls says:

    Juice says:

    Measures have been taken over the decades that have greatly reduced pollution from these power sources, but to say that burning coal is “perfectly clean” is simply delusional.

    When I say that “what the CO2 alarmists call ‘dirty coal’ is perfectly clean,” I am referring to the fact that their modifier “clean” refers to the sequestering of perfectly clean CO2.

    Does Tom, who also takes exception to this sentence, dispute that CO2 is clean?

  71. Craig Moore says:

    Actually the obvious winner is Warren Buffet: http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/05/03/b-c-protest-this-saturday-to-stop-warren-buffetts-bnsf-coal-trains/

    Sell coal to Asia at a premium. Ship on his train. Whisper in Obama’s ear.

  72. Gail Combs says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Alec says “Of course what the CO2 alarmists call “dirty coal” is perfectly clean. The only difference is that it produces CO2—that most healthful gas, the beginning of the food chain for all life on earth—which remains alarmingly close to the minimum levels needed to sustain life.”
    ….

    So if this is a science site, why is there not a rounding rebuke to such a silly statement as the above? Shouldn’t independent and truth seeking thinking correct such an inherently wrong statement?
    _________________________
    Yes and as you will notice Juice nailed it at May 11, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I will add the major safety hazards of mining coal. I had a friend with an MS in Geology who quit because of the company’s disregard for physical safety procedures but that was in the late 1970’s.

    I will add that black lung disease, is still a problem despite the US government eradication program of 1969. http://www.umwa.org/?q=content/black-lung

    More people die from coal than die from nuclear which is why I am pro-thorium. In looking at the death rates per watt produced for nuclear, oil and coal, nuclear wins hands down. …for every person killed by nuclear power generation, 4,000 die due to coal, adjusted for the same amount of power produced….

  73. Very scary but accurate.
    For more on Obama’s socialist agenda & the “Obammunists” plans for America see:

    http://Www.TheOldGuyPhD.com

  74. Tom says:

    @ Alec – with all due respect, that makes utterly no sense.

    Alec said “Does Tom, who also takes exception to this sentence, dispute that CO2 is clean?”

    What does clean mean? Naturally occurring? If one takes that definition then wholesale burning of coal on the scale we are doing is clearly not naturally occurring. So that must be rejected….

    Does “clean” mean then perhaps “natural” in the environment? Well by that logic since our atmosphere naturally contains krypton so therefore and unlimited amount of additional neon is a good thing? Wait one moment, too much krypton will kill you so clearly that logic does not hold.

    So natural must mean then that it is required for life, therefore more is inherently better. Ah yes, that is why we submerge our crops in water since they all grow with an unlimited amount of water. My goodness, that sounds silly, so that cannot be the logic at work here.

    So what is the logic and science behind the statement Alec?

  75. Alec Rawls says:

    bsk writes in support of CAFE standards:

    The 8 speed transmissions, lighter materials and better engines are going to improve fuel efficiency the 2013

    If these innovations are real advances, worth it in energy, cost and performance terms, then they will be adopted by free markets (as previous worthwhile innovations have been) without any need for government regulation, which only limits choices and adds cost.

  76. DirkH says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

    @ DirkH said “Because people like you are not capable of delivering one? Remember, Tom: Theoretically, you’re a commenter too, not only a troll.”
    Quite interesting. So on a science site no one besides Juice know that burning coal emits SO2, N2O, Mercury and others and that coal ash typically arsenic, selenium, and cadmium

    So you’re actually trying to formulate an argument. Great, you’re making progress. With regard to the pollutants you mention, you probably have not heard of that invention called flue gas scrubbers, but I can help you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flue_gas_scrubber

    My city of 250,000 in Germany, Braunschweig, has a coal- and gas fired plant right besides central residential areas. And I’m glad it has, 300 MW that can keep the city going when the wind/ solar power instabilities wreck the national grid. No, no pollution here I am worried about.

  77. J. Bob says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but when I took a course in Combustion,, some 40+ years ago, natural gas & coal were classified as Hydro carbons.. That is, they both contain carbon, which when burned, normally, changes to CO2.
    While coal may contain more contaminants, CO2 & H2O are the primary emitted gases.,

    This was attested to in my youth, as to the comments by many homemakers, about the local coal plant’s small “cinders” be blown in the hanging laundry. However many residents did make use of the local coal pile for “midnight requisitions”. MN does get cold in the winter.

    We also had a local “gas” plant, that converted coal to gas.. In the summer, when it was warm, they had the doors open. Watching the guys shoveling coal into the boilers, was like looking at a scene from hell.

  78. Alec Rawls says:

    Tom is having trouble figuring out what “clean” means.

    Is it salutary? Is this very modest source of the entire food chain “healthful” as I wrote in the post?

    Alarmists try to claim that it is not salutary because it is going to cause harmful global warming, but there is ZERO evidence for that. In the history of mankind, warming has always been salutary, cooling harmful. It is only by claiming that CO2 has such powerful warming effects that it will cause runaway global warming, feeding on itself through powerful water-vapor feedbacks, to catastrophically change our world, but all the evidence points AGAINST that.

    So on what basis does Tom want to call CO2 dirty?

  79. Tom says:

    @ DirkH – sorry, but was that noise you dragging the goal posts to another location?

    Alec said “Of course what the CO2 alarmists call “dirty coal” is perfectly clean. The only difference is that it produces CO2—that most healthful gas”

    That is a rubbish statement. Burning coal produces SO2, N2O, Mercury and others and coal ash typically arsenic, selenium, and cadmium. It burning coal were “perfectly clean” it would produce none of those. It does. Alec is simply wrong.

    It is still odd that the comments have shifted to making personal attacks/smears – which I thought we had all agreed was not helping anything – rather than asking Alec to correct his mistake.

    So given that his statement is factually wrong, why are you not asking him to correct it? In the interest of science of course?

  80. Tom says:

    Alec – quite strange. Avoiding the topic at hand. I am sure that was an oversight.

    Are you saying that burning coal does NOT produce SO2, N2O, Mercury and others and coal ash typically arsenic, selenium, and cadmium?

    Kindly answer that question and then we shall move on to your claim that more CO2 is inherently better and why better neglects any considerations for the rest of the life on the planet.

  81. Smokey says:

    Tom the Tool man:

    Here is a testable, falsifiable hypothesis. Your job is to falsify it, per the scientific method… if you can:

    At current and projected levels, CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere

    Remember: only thestable, measureable evidence [ie: no models] is allowed. We go by the scientific method here, and leave Post Normal Science [which is not science at all] to the amateurs at RealClimate, Pseudo-Skeptical Pseudo-Science, Closed Mind, etc.

    It could not be more simple and straightforward. Have at it.

  82. Wijnand says:

    @dirkH:
    Have to agree with Tom. Coal fired powerplants are definitely dirtier than gas fired combined cycle plants, with respect to emissions of heavy metals, particulates, NOx, SOx, etc., even with particulate filters, SOx scrubbers, deNOx-scrubbers (catalitic reductors) installed.

    And @ Alec Rawls: I would suggest you remove the link to the $761 per ton article, because the numbers are incorrect. Please see my earlier post at 4:51am.

    Regards,
    Wijnand

  83. Jim G says:

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck and flys like a duck it must be a duck. BHO is supported by Soros who makes his money destroying national economies. Virtually everything Obama supports is destructive to our economy. Logical conclusions= 1) He is trying to destroy our economy or 2) he is an ignorant idealogue. Take your pick. The only issue keeping our currency from taking a crap is that in a global economy it is still better than others on a relative basis, at least for now. And, by the way, last time I checked coal was 53% of our national electrical generating capacity. I suppose it depends upon whose numbers one uses and what year or even what time of the year.

    Obama will take actions like freeing up 370 mm tons of coal in Wyoming and then have his sychophants at the Sierra Club et al file suit with some liberal judge and obtain an injuction against digging it. Makes old Slick Willie look like a horse hoof rasp file by comparison.

  84. Julian Flood says:

    Philip Bradley said May 11, 2012 at 1:14 am

    quote
    The ‘dirty coal’ meme was all about implanting in the public mind that so called carbon pollution is the same as the soot and other pollutants that come from burning coal in home hearths and stoves, which only a few million Chinese peasants still do.
    unquote

    Oi, watch it! I’ve used about a ton and a half of coal this winter to keep warm. Admittedly it’s burned in a cast iron Rayburn, but still. I’m not a Chinese peasant. I’m an East Anglian peasant.

    JF
    (I’ve heard something about a proposal that country dwellers will be forbidden to use gas-fired central heating in future: this means I will just stick with burning coal which is much more carbon intensive than gas. Well, one can’t expect much in the way of intellectual coherence from these people — they are, for example, thinking of raising speed limtis to 80 mph while making us reduce our fuel consumption by increasing fuel prices. Ho. Bloody. Hum.)

  85. Smokey says:

    @Wijnand:

    Quit nitpicking. You sound like you’re ready to wet your panties. Scrubbers remove 99.99% of all particulates. Residential fireplaces emit more particulates that all of our coal plants.

    Everything is a trade-off. Have you never heard of cost/benefit analysis? To eliminate that remaining 0.0001 of particulates from coal plants, your “solution” is to shut them down. Of course electricity costs will skyrocket. The minuscule benefit is not nearly worth the immensely higher electric bills and widespread brownouts that would result.

    Coal provises more than half of all U.S. electricity. To avoid being a hypocrite, stop all your electricity use for fifteen days out of every month. Report back, and tell us how that worked out for you.

    Finally, I see nothing in your comment regarding the fact that China is building 2 – 4 new coal fired power plants every week. But you are afraid to criticize China. Hypocrite.

  86. shrnfr says:

    Der Speigel had a story on CO2 sequestering today. For purposes of completeness, here it is: http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/promising-carbon-capture-facility-launched-in-norway-despite-doubts-a-832284.html

  87. nc says:

    Seems most of the by products in burning coal are used in the manufacture of solar panels. So burn coal, make solar panels, pollution neutral, grow plants, win win:)

  88. Ric Werme says:

    I should check to see if “nuclear” includes LENR research.

    Yes, it’s time to see what Andreas Rossi is up to. Oh, here’s something from just a week ago. This could be big. Or the next step in a big deception. High temperature steam means efficient electricity. It could even save us from Carrington events by eliminating the need for long “antennas.”

    Rossi tends to mention big news in little droppings in his blog in English but with an Italian accent. Fortunately there are people who make sure the gems don’t get lost.

    From http://www.e-catworld.com/2012/05/rossi-talks-of-breakthrough-stability-at-very-high-temperatures/


    By the way: we are working very hard on the temperatures, and we have reached a tremendous goal in the last week. We are making a test which endures since a week, that could make a revolution in the revolution. It will go ahead for a month.
    For now, just working.

    May 5th

    Dear Dr Joseph Fine:
    I agree.
    It’s Saturday, but today and tomorrow we will work 24 hours a day on the reactor we have made here in the USA: we have stabilized it at very high temperatures…and when I say very high I mean it. We understood the reason of the instability, so now the work is going on hard.

  89. Wijnand says:

    Hi smokey,
    Please calm down! I by no means suggest to shut down coal power! I am right in the middle of building an 1100MW coal fired power plant for christ sake,I will start commissioning soon (lead commisioning for main cooling water system).
    I am FOR coal power, gas power and a fervent CAGW skeptic. I was merely responding to the statements made that coal power is clean. It is not, especially not compared to gas fired combined cycle plants which have higher efficiency and lower emissions (“regular” and CO2). I know China opens a coal station or two a week and think that is fine, dont put words into my mouth!
    I usually like your posts and fireyness, but is the name calling necessary? Please do not put words in my mouth and DON’T CALL ME A HYPOCRITE please!

    Regards,
    Wijnand

  90. Alec Rawls says:

    Wijnand keeps suggesting that I remove the link to the $761/pound story for carbon sequestration. Sorry, but we don’t remove links. He is free to criticize the story, and thanks for the input, but I actually don’t have any problem with it. So what if the costs are not fully amortized over the lifetime of the plant? There is no lifetime. The plant will never be used, so the actual magnitude of the boondoggle is even larger in cost per ton. See my other link, about England’s first carbon capture project being given up on as utterly unworkable after 1.5 b pounds spent. Price per ton, infinite. It’s a unicorn. Non-CO2 producing coal generation doesn’t exist, and it shouldn’t exist. CO2 is BENEFICIAL.

    I notice also that Tom won’t answer my question about what he thinks is unhealthful about CO2, or on what other grounds he thinks it is “dirty.”

  91. Ric Werme says:

    [Yes, it's OT, but he started it!]

    Affizzyfist says:
    May 11, 2012 at 6:16 am

    > CT looking really suspicious havent moved for 12 days now!
    > http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    They told me they’re having server disk problems. I don’t fully believe that, but it will do. I wrote a NSIDC-based compare program and am using that in place of Cryosphere’s for now. See the WUWT reference page at http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

    I haven’t done anything about the SH images. Leaving them there for a while longer makes sense to me.

  92. Bruce Cobb says:

    I think I see Tom’s problem. He doesn’t seem to realize that what they mean by “clean coal” simply means the C02, through a technology that still doesn’t exist, is captured and stored underground. If he has a problem with the phrase “clean coal” then I suggest he take it up with the Obama administration pushing the idea. Likewise, the reverse phrase “dirty coal” simply means the process of burning coal and allowing the life-enhancing C02 to escape to do its dirty work greening the planet.

  93. Tom says:

    @ Smokey says “Quit nitpicking”

    Smokey says “I attack pseudo-science, and the climate charlatans who hide out from debate”

    So a focus on accuracy and validity are “nitpicking”? Is dismissing a clear case of accuracy not in fact the very pseudo-science you rail against?

    Why the personal attack/smear (which I though we all agreed was bad form and not helping anything)? All Wijnand did was point out an accuracy issue.

    I do not expect that you will ever show me any civility, but I fail to see what Wijnand did to deserve this reaction.

    An apology and acknowledgement / correction of the error he found would be in order.

  94. Smokey says:

    Wijnand,

    My apologies. I misunderstood what you were saying. My mistake.

    • • •

    Alec,

    I note that Tom did not respond to my hypothesis either.

  95. Ric Werme says:

    Wijnand says:
    May 11, 2012 at 4:51 am

    … and it will drag down the efficiency of a powerplant by 15-20% at least, meaning one has to burn 15-20% more fossil fuels to generate the same amount of power.

    Percentages only work (approximately) that way for small values, and you’re pushing into larger ones. If the efficiency goes down 20%, then the output is 0.80, you need to burn 1 / 0.80 as much coal, 1 / 0.8 ==> 1.25 ==> 25% more.

    Likewise, 1 / 0.85 ==> 1.176 ==> about 18% more.

    I can be a pedant in both verbal and math spaces!

  96. Smokey says:

    Tom,

    You are not the referee, so butt out. I had already apologized to Wijnand for misconstruing what he wrote. Now how about doing your best to falsify my hypothesis. That is my challenge to you. If you can falsify it per the scientific method, you will be the first to be able to do so.

    And answer Alec Rawls’ question: What is unhealthful about CO2?

  97. Tom says:

    Alec says “He is free to criticize the story, and thanks for the input, but I actually don’t have any problem with it.”

    So are you OK with being wrong?

    Or are you OK with not disclosing methodology upfront?

    Or is it that you don’t feel the need to document your assumptions?

    I take note that you are, as Smokey et al, insisting on trying to move away from the the issue at hand here.

    Alec said “Of course what the CO2 alarmists call “dirty coal” is perfectly clean”

    Burning coal is far-far from clean, and that is indisputable even if you remove (as Gail points out) that byproducts of actually getting the coal to a point where it is available to burn.

    May I also point out that the salutary argument here is, how to put this, patently ridiculous.

    Under that logic natural must mean then that it is required for life, therefore more is inherently better. Ah yes, that is why we submerge our crops in water since they all grow better with an unlimited amount of water.

    Or people need Vitamin D in their diet, therefore an unlimited amount of it is better. Oh wait, no that will give you kidney damage.

    Bad argument Alec…but evidentially you do not care.

  98. Tom says:

    Alec says – “”Alarmists try to claim that it is not salutary because it is going to cause harmful global warming, but there is ZERO evidence for that. In the history of mankind, warming has always been salutary, cooling harmful.”

    Surely you are not saying that CO2 causes warming, now are you? If CO2 is unrelated why string the words together like that.

  99. Wijnand says:

    @ric werme:
    You are absolutely right, my mistake, thanks!

  100. Wijnand says:

    @smokey,
    No problem.

  101. Alec Rawls says:

    Tom asks: “Surely you are not saying that CO2 causes warming, now are you? If CO2 is unrelated why string the words together like that.”

    Is this guy for real? Hey Tom: CO2 does cause warming. That why I “string the words together like that.”

  102. CRS, DrPH says:

    http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/transportation/a_freightrr.html

    See the graphic Class I Gross Freight Revenue by Commodity: 2003

    Hauling coal represents the largest revenue source for US railroads (21% of total).
    I’d think the railroad unions would be a bit miffed at Mr. Obama’s proposals….

  103. Gail Combs says:

    OK it is time for an actual definition of “Clean Coal”

    Lets go directly to the EPA – Section 415 Clean Coal Technology Regulatory Incentives [42 U.S.C. 7651n]

    (a) Definition.–For purposes of this section, “clean coal technology’ means any technology, including technologies applied at the precombustion, combustion or post combustion stage, at a new or existing facility which will achieve significant reductions in air emissions of sulfur dioxide or oxides of nitrogen associated with the utilization of coal in the generation of electricity, process steam, or industrial products, which is not in widespread use as of the date of enactment of this title….

    Well that definition is pretty clear. What about Obama’s definition?

    President Obama wants 80 percent of the nation’s electricity to come from clean energy sources by 2035…..

    chieving this, he says, will take a mix of solar, wind, nuclear, and even fossil fuels like natural gas and coal.

    It may also take a liberal definition of “clean.”

    Obama’s plan is to force the generation of electricity from coal and natural gas, which together account for 70 percent of the nation’s fuel mix, to get cleaner….

    But what exactly will be considered clean or dirty is not yet known. The answers will depend on whether the concern is greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide or hazardous chemicals like mercury and sulfur dioxide, or, most likely, some combination of both.

    How “clean” is ultimately defined by the administration and Congress will determine how the nation’s energy mix changes over the coming decades….

    Obama’s … “clean energy standard” differs from renewable energy standards adopted by many states by making room for nuclear power and fossil fuels like coal and natural gas….

    New nuclear plants could more viable if Obama’s clean energy standard forces utilities to use power that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide…. A clean energy standard would give both wind and solar a big push forward. Though a renewable energy standard would do more….

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41280794/ns/us_news-environment/t/obamas-definition-clean-energy-broad-one/#.T61jdx-wcxI

    Sure looks like the Obama definition of “Clean” is sort of fluid but certainly is aimed at CO2. No wonder Tom and Alec Rawls can not come up with an agreement. There is no agreement of the new definition of “Clean” yet. A classic example of Politics in action typical of the pre-election Sidestep.

  104. Bryan A says:

    “Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

    @Bryan A – a 50% change in fuel economy is simply not possible due to fuel formation alone as the formulations are not wildly different. Something else had to have also changed.

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/gasoline/faq.htm
    All the driving was done on US interstate 5 with Cruise Control set at 65MPH except for occasional construction zones, the only difference was the fuel used since I drove the entire way.

  105. Tom says:

    @ Alec ” Hey Tom: CO2 does cause warming. That why I “string the words together like that.”

    OK then, so we have agreement that CO2 causes warming. So now the question is how much warming we want to have it cause, how quickly that happens, and what side effects come along with it.

    That is quite an interesting conversation to have. First, however, I would like to check with our fellow commentators that we have agreement on that “Hey Tom: CO2 does cause warming….”

    Are we all agreed to proceed?

  106. Tom says:

    @ Bryan A – Hi there. I am not saying that you did not see a mileage difference, what I am saying is that the energy differential in the fuels is not enough to explain a 50% mileage differential. In any case hope it was a good drive.

  107. Smokey says:

    Tom says to Alec:

    “I take note that you are, as Smokey et al, insisting on trying to move away from the the issue at hand here.”

    The “issue at hand” is whether coal power is, on balance, good or bad.

    Since coal power is about the least expensive power, and since the U.S. has immense coal reserves, and since scrubbers eliminate harmful emissions [note that China does not use scrubbers], and since more than half of U.S. electricity comes from coal, and since CO2 is completely harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere [the earth is greening as a direct result of the added CO2], and since the *very* mild warming [a small fraction of a degree] from human-emitted CO2 is entirely beneficial, and for the great number of jobs created by coal, the conclusion is that coal power is, on balance, beneficial to the country.

    I will leave it to Tom to try and gin up some coal evil.

  108. Miss Eunice says:

    Thank you for an excellent article. The green zealots are costing us a bundle. In Kentucky, home of Cap and Trade supporter, Congressman Ben Chandler, Kentucky Utilities has applied for $2.5 billion in price increases due to upgrade requirements. This is for starters. They are anticipating having to close 2 coal-fired power plants, replacing the electricity with ?????.

    http://www.seebenspend.com/shutting%20down%20america.html

    http://www.seebenspend.com/coal.html

    http://www.seebenspend.com/coalmine%20new.html Pictures of a surface mine 30 years later.

  109. aharris says:

    Such a devious master plan! Once they force us all to buy electric cars and then kill the means of producing the electricity, our cars will the most “efficient” ever! We know what we need to do in Novemeber; the real question is … does he know what needs to happen to the EPA?

  110. Neil Jordan says:

    I posted this yesterday on Tips and Notes about the coal-fired S.S. Badger steamship:

    http://www.wasterecyclingnews.com/article/20120510/NEWS08/120519999/ship-ready-to-sail-on-lake-michigan-but-will-coal-ash-problems-make

    Regarding demon coal causing a tipping point: “A disaster waiting to happen,” the Sierra Club’s Wisconsin chapter called it on its website. “If the S.S. Badger does not get cleaned up, the effects will be horrendous and could devastate Lake Michigan forever.”

    The S.S. Badger website

    http://www.ssbadger.com/content.aspx?Page=History

    notes that this is the last of many coal-fired steamships in the US. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers designated its propulsion system as a mechanical engineering landmark. If Lake Michigan did not tip over from hundreds of S.S. Badger’s predecessors, the threat of perpetual devastation from continuing operation of one last steamship is meaningless.

  111. Bryan A says:

    @Tom
    Wonderful drive from Santa Rosa up to Seattle and back…Thanks

    Perhaps a viable alternative to Coal and Gas might be Thorium

    http://energyfromthorium.com/

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2011/09/11/is-thorium-the-biggest-energy-breakthrough-since-fire-possibly/

    Some Pros & Cons

    http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/liquid-fluoride-thorium-power-pros-cons/

    “The pro-thorium lobby claim a single tonne of thorium burned in a molten salt reactor (MSR) – typically a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) – which has liquid rather than solid fuel, can produce one gigawatt of energy. A traditional pressurised water reactor (PWR) would need to burn 250 tonnes of uranium to produce the same amount of energy.”

    If the claims can be proven, it sounds like a promising alternative

  112. Babsy says:

    Bryan A says:
    May 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    “If the claims can be proven, it sounds like a promising alternative”

    Why ask for proof when a consensus will will suffice?

  113. acparker79 says:

    polistra,

    Obama is a weak politician who is handled by both pragmatists and ideologues. He usually sides with the ideologues. He himself is so intensely driven by ideology that his actions and uncontrolled statements appear to be those of an idiot (or an academic).

    I am afraid that the Progressives (renamed marxists) are determined to play this thing to the end, regardless how ridiculous or futile it may seem. They have complete confidence in the stupidity of the masses and the apathy, fatalism or corruptibility of the rest.

    After next January, they may no longer govern the US, but they don’t need to govern the US to win. They simply have to break it. There is a lot of time between the election and the inauguration to do irreparable damage. What if they refuse to leave?

  114. Tom says:

    @ Alec – did we loose you?

    OK then, so we have agreement that CO2 causes warming. So now the question is how much warming we want to have it cause, how quickly that happens, and what side effects come along with it.

    That is quite an interesting conversation to have. First, however, I would like to check with our fellow commentators that we have agreement on that “Hey Tom: CO2 does cause warming….”

    Are we all agreed to proceed?

  115. Alec Rawls says:

    Tom: you’re pretty out of touch if you think that agreement that CO2 causes some warming is a novel basis for conversation. It has been the basis for every conversation on this website since it began.

    There are many reasons to oppose CO2 alarmism. I have focused on the fact that the evidence points overwhelmingly to solar activity having a BIGGER effect on temperature CO2, which means that the real danger has always been cooling, not warming. The grand maximum of solar activity that began in the 1920’s was bound to end sometime, at which point the warming would stop (if solar and CO2 effects are similar in size) or reverse (if CO2 effects are smaller).

    Mother nature decided to spring the natural experiment on us with the end of solar cycle 23, where the sun dropped into a profound funk, where it is likely to remain at least for another solar cycle or two, and possibly much longer. Preliminary results from that experiment are already in. The planet has not warmed significantly for 15 years, falsifying the “consensus” theory that CO2 is a dominant driver of climate and taking the possibility of dangerous global warming off the table completely. Well, it was already off the table completely, but the sun’s natural experiment confirms it.

    That leaves only the beneficial effects of CO2, which are vast. To be unplugging the modern world in a battle against CO2 is insane.

  116. Tom says:

    @Alec – given that there are frequent claims here that CO2 does not cause warming, and any who say it does is subject to personal attacks/smears you are being quite brave.

    But wait – you are not being personally attacked. How odd, it is as if there was a double standard in effect here. That cannot be because protectors of science like Smokey would clearly not let that stand…

    In any case what you are arguing for is to use CO2 warming properties to engage in planetary wide Geo Engineering. I thought that was considered bat-sh!t crazy?

    Did you crack some law of the universe that provides you unique insight as to the exact level of CO2 to use to do this in combination with the other GHGs?

    Any chance you scribbled that formula down?

  117. Brian H says:

    Peter Stroud says:
    May 11, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Staggering! We have warmist alarmists in our UK government, but none of these equate to the position of President of the USA. The man seems completely stupid.

    I listened to his 2008 promise. But, like most sensible people, thought he would learn how stupid it was when he actually walked into the White House.

    That’s only part of it. During the campaign debates he was reminded of the revenue increases resulting from cap gains tax reductions, and revenue losses resulting from c.g. tax increases, and he said he wasn’t focused on revenue, but on “fairness”. Parsed, the country and government can go bust as long as the rich are hit even harder, and it’s all good.

    When analysing his actions, never attribute to simple stupidity what is more parsimoniously explained by pure maleficence.

  118. Alec Rawls says:

    It is the alarmists who rely on an “exact formula,” if you want to call it that. Only by insisting that CO2 accounts for virtually all of 20th century warming are they able to calculate that the very small radiative forcing effect of CO2 must be getting multiplied up several times by water vapor feedback effects to get the observed amount of warming. That is how the alarmists arrive at their picture of a dangerously unstable world where small impacts on temperature are to be avoided at all costs because they threaten to send the environment spiraling out of control.

    But if solar activity explains any substantial amount of 20th century warming, those high-feedback possibilities are off the table, which is why the IPCC systematically excludes the evidence for a solar driver of climate from its reports. I document that omission here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/22/omitted-variable-fraud-vast-evidence-for-solar-climate-driver-rates-one-oblique-sentence-in-ar5/

    Tom, you are just so damned ignorant about the most basic issues. You actually think that people get attacked on this blog for acknowledging that CO2 has some warming effect. Why don’t you make some effort to understand the subject before jumping in with a lot of opinionation?

    (To be clear: it is possible for CO2 not to have any warming effect, if negative feedbacks just happen to completely offset CO2’s small radiative forcing, but nobody is going to attack anybody for not holding to that special case.)

  119. DirkH says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    “But wait – you are not being personally attacked. How odd, it is as if there was a double standard in effect here. That cannot be because protectors of science like Smokey would clearly not let that stand…”

    That “double standard” seems to be a fixation of yours. This is getting tiresome. Are you paid by the comment? I’d like to complain to your superior (would that be an Über-Troll?) about the quality of your snark.

  120. Brian H says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    @Alec – given that there are frequent claims here that CO2 does not cause warming, and any who say it does is subject to personal attacks/smears you are being quite brave.

    But wait – you are not being personally attacked. How odd, it is as if there was a double standard in effect here. That cannot be because protectors of science like Smokey would clearly not let that stand…

    In any case what you are arguing for is to use CO2 warming properties to engage in planetary wide Geo Engineering. I thought that was considered bat-sh!t crazy?

    Did you crack some law of the universe that provides you unique insight as to the exact level of CO2 to use to do this in combination with the other GHGs?

    Any chance you scribbled that formula down?

    Works like this: even if the inane CO2→warming theory were correct, it would be better to increase it in order to prevent the highly probable global cooling disaster coming down the pike. If it’s not correct, increasing CO2 to boost agricultural output and plant robustness and water-use efficiency is by far the best policy.

    So there is no point whatsoever in reducing CO2 output and levels — unless the hypothetical contra-factual water vapour/cloud positive feedbacks are suddenly discovered to be correct after all. Which is a very, very poor bet.

  121. Otter says:

    Tom, one quick question if I may_ Where do you see ‘unlimited’ amounts of CO2? The rest of us see a tiny % added on to a tiny %.

  122. Tom says:

    @ Alec – shall we put aside the “it is the sun” argument for a moment? There is so much to learn here before you take me to school on that.

    You are asserting that CO2 causes warming, and warming is good, therefore we should purposely continue releasing massive amounts of it. That is planetary wide Geo-Engineering.

    May we agree that is what your are indeed arguing for?

    If not – exactly how are you not arguing for planetary wide Geo-Engineering?

    Once that is understood we will address exactly how you are going to fine-grain manage the Geo-Engineering process, since clearly it would be massively irresponsible to just have a go at it without being able to precisely control the outcome, yes?

  123. DirkH says:

    Bryan A says:
    May 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    “The pro-thorium lobby claim a single tonne of thorium burned in a molten salt reactor (MSR) – typically a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) – which has liquid rather than solid fuel, can produce one gigawatt of energy. A traditional pressurised water reactor (PWR) would need to burn 250 tonnes of uranium to produce the same amount of energy.”

    It looks like this quote goes back to the Grauniad

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/23/thorium-nuclear-uranium

    who reprinted it from Eifion Rees for the Ecologist (I am in no mood to try to find the article there); and it looks like Eifion has only a slight knowledge of physical units. Not that the Grauniad would have noticed. One must say that Der Spiegel is somewhat better in that regard.

    You need to “burn” 250 tonnes of Uranium to produce “one Gigawatt”? That sounds not even wrong. the closest I can find on the web is
    “200 tonnes of uranium mined per gigawatt-year of electric power generation”

    http://enochthered.wordpress.com/category/uranium/

    Gigawatt-year, that makes more sense… given that you only burn the 235.

    As usual, the “nuclear experts” of the anti nuke movement…
    Eifion Rees
    Eifion Rees writes a lot about environmental matters, but he has also covered men’s interest and public sector issues. He has been working in an office as a sub-editor on a weekly magazine for two years, and felt it was time for a change, …

    http://arabic.ufollow.com/sources/the.ecologist/all/

    Okay, men’s interests, I see… It’s so amusing to track down this stuff…

  124. DirkH says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm
    “Once that is understood we will address exactly how you are going to fine-grain manage the Geo-Engineering process, since clearly it would be massively irresponsible to just have a go at it without being able to precisely control the outcome, yes?”

    The greenhouse effect of CO2 is logarithmic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithm

    So don’t pee your pants.

  125. Tom says:

    @ Otter – Alec is arguing that CO2 is clean, it is natural, and healthful and should not be restricted in any way. In other words more is better.

    Alec indicates there is no CO2 PPM limit in his amazing – and proprietary as of this point – unified law of ideal CO2 levels that take into perfect account all the climate drivers formula.

    And surely there is a calculation behind all of this otherwise he is advocating something which is uncertain in outcome except that we’ll up the warming without understanding how much or how that will impact Earth’s systems.

    And that would just be dumb, yes?

  126. Tom says:

    @ Bryan H – so Alec is inane then for stating that we all know that CO2 causes warming?

  127. Smokey says:

    Alec Rawls says:

    “Tom, you are just so damned ignorant about the most basic issues.”

    Exactly; doubled and squared. And Tom says: “Alec is arguing that CO2 is clean, it is natural, and healthful and should not be restricted in any way. In other words more is better.”

    That has been my position for years. Tom could look it up.

    I challenged Tom to try to credibly deconstruct my testable, falsifiable hypothesis, using the scientific method [that means no computer models, which are not evidence]:

    At current and projected concentrations, CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere

    Tom has not responded. Therefore, the hypothesis remains standing. But Tom is welcome to try to falsify it any time he thinks he is able. If he does, he will be the first to be able to provide testable evidence, per the scientific method, showing global harm due directly to anthropogenic CO2.

  128. Gail Combs says:

    Bryan A says:
    May 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm
    A proof of design reactor was run at Oak Ridge for four years in the 1950’s It was successful enough that the Chinese visited Oak Ridge over 1500 times and hacked into the computer system. They hope to beat the USA to the patent. (I posted all the links some where on WUWT earlier today.)

  129. Tom says:

    @DirkH, So you are saying that CO2 always and only acts alone then does it?

  130. OssQss says:

    Um, if you have not noticed,,,, Jim

    Sorry, Tom, does not understand forcing and or feedback.

    Have a nice day :-)

    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US

  131. Gail Combs says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm
    …..You are asserting that CO2 causes warming, and warming is good, therefore we should purposely continue releasing massive amounts of it. That is planetary wide Geo-Engineering.

    May we agree that is what your are indeed arguing for?

    If not – exactly how are you not arguing for planetary wide Geo-Engineering?
    ______________________________
    Oh good grief, drop the alarmist rhetoric.

    CO2 is 400 ppm or .0004% and .00019% is ALL the human contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere. (If the USA shuts down coal China will replace it with really dirty coal plants so it is actually a lose lose situation)

    Now compare that to the OTHER green house gas at 4%, that varies from almost zero on up, that has been actually used for real honest to the diety geo-engineering for thousands of years. Yeah, I am talking about WATER. The ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Anasazi, Chinese… to name just a few, all used irrigation and in some cases terracing and literally filled those terraces with dirt carried up the hillsides in baskets. You can add slash and burn and controlled burning in the mix too. Humans have been “Geo-engineering the planet since Ugla chipped a rock into a tool and started using fire.

    But “Geo-engineering” does not start with humans. It starts with life itself when the anaerobes (prokaryotes) put themselves out of business by making the earth “Toxic” with that nasty reactive gas oxygen.

    References:

    http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/cowen/~GEL115/115CH17oldirrigation.html

    http://library.thinkquest.org/16325/y-farm.html

    http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1574-the-ancient-maya-a-commercial-empire

    http://cpluhna.nau.edu/Change/waterdevelopment2.htm

    http://history.cultural-china.com/en/54History2795.html

    http://www.tutorvista.com/content/biology/biology-iii/origin-life/origin-life-steps.php

    http://science.jrank.org/pages/1387/Chemical-Evolution.html

  132. OssQss says:

    Oh my, it seems I was dealing with a Gremlin on my last post. LOL

  133. Steve O says:

    Republicans can safely bus their campaign workers from WV to Virginia. Leave behind a couple of billboards and the state will safely go to Romney.

    NPR has a recent story on a convict (still in prison) from Texas taking over 40% of the vote in the Presidential primary but you have to read the comments to get a sense of denial the Democrats are in. They just couldn’t understand how a bunch of dumb, racist hicks could be SUCH dumb hicks to do that. But they were SURE it wasn’t voters sending Democrats a message.

    I mean, what else could POSSIBLY explain it.

  134. Gail Combs says:

    DirkH and Bryan A, for information on thorium try
    Thorium – World Nuclear Association

  135. Gail Combs says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    @ Otter – Alec is arguing that CO2 is clean, it is natural, and healthful and should not be restricted in any way. In other words more is better….
    _______________________________
    Alec is correct.

    CO2 levels were starting to get critically low. Most life on earth depends on CO2 that is captured via photosynthesis and turned into usable chemical compounds like sugars, starches and amino acids. CO2 levels had gotten so low in the near geologic past that plants were forced to evolve more efficient means of capturing CO2, that is C3 plants (many of our food plants plus trees) were being replaced by C4 plants and CAM plants.

    Coal (and oil) actually represent the carbon dioxide taken out of the air over geologic time periods that actually needs to be put back into the air if carbon based life forms are to continue to exist. In other words hatred of CO2 is actually hatred for life itself.

  136. Tom says:

    @ Alec – I was so hoping you could educate us exactly how your amazing – and proprietary as of this point – unified law of ideal CO2 levels that take into perfect account all the climate drivers formula works.

    Given that you are lobbying for planetary wide Geo-Engineering to increase warming via CO2 as good thing to do, surely you must have figured out precisely how all the extra CO2 exactly interacts with the other GHG in the atmosphere. And given your claim that the sun is actually responsible for the warming, and that GHG can linger for a very long time indeed, that you have figured exactly how the sun will behave several hundreds of years into the formula?

  137. Alec Rawls says:

    Tom: Trying to reduce CO2 is also “geo-engineering.”

    The evidence about CO2’s effect is that it is small, and to the extent that we can put a value on it, positive, thus my position is that we should NOT be trying to geo-engineer less of it. If we were going to do anything pro-active, we should subsidize it, but I am not suggesting we do this. I am against doing anything pro-active with CO2. That requires getting government involved, which imposes huge costs, and CO2’s expected-to-be-small effects are not worth imposing those costs.

  138. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    Alec Rawls says:
    May 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Tom, you are just so damned ignorant about the most basic issues.
    <<

    Actually he qualifies as a classic troll. Why are you feeding him? You’ll notice he doesn’t answer questions posed to him.

    And notice that he talks about natural/unnatural events/occurrences. Some forest fires are natural. Should we allow all forest fires to burn? There are natural coal seam fires. Should we burn all coal this way or run some of it through our energy extracting systems. Our coal burning operations also run “cleaner” than natural coal seam fires.

    He also carries things to logical extremes–such as too much vitamin D or atmospheric krypton. I’m not sure what he hopes to gain with this nonsense. Next he’ll try to ban water because it causes water intoxication in large doses.

    I’d stop wasting time on him.

    Jim

  139. Smokey says:

    Apparently Tom is not capable of falsifying my hypothesis. Therefore, the hypothesis stands. CO2 is harmless and beneficial to the biosphere. More is better.

    There is one door leading out of Tom’s dilemma: falsification. If Tom cannot falsify the hypothesis, then he loses the debate.

  140. Steve O says:

    Tom, reading your comments reminds me of the opening scene in Reservoir Dogs. Mr White (Harvey Kietel) is driving Mr Orange (Tim Roth) away from the heist where Mr Orange has been shot. Mr Orange wants to go to the hospital because he says he’s going to die. Mr White asks Mr Orange if he’s a doctor (the answer is no), and then he says “So, you admit that you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    To cut out a step, whenever you want to use the words “So what you’re really saying is…” consider whether that actually is what the other said or means. You seem to be consistently extending people’s positions beyond what they said.

    As far as whether or not our “planetary geo-engineering experiment” is dumb or not depends on the alternative. If the alternative is to unplug our modern society, then based on the sketchiness of the science that supports an alarmist position, I’ll take my chances.

  141. Alex Heyworth says:

    Coal is most definitely not “clean”, although its dirtiness has nothing to do with CO2. On top of the nasty mix of chemicals burning it produces, mining coal is a hazardous and dirty business. I don’t understand why the Obama administration doesn’t stress these aspects of coal, rather than the CO2 production, as reasons for reducing its use.

    I would not want to live downwind of a coal burning power plant, however modern. Nuclear? No problem.

  142. Tom says:

    @Jim – is there something wrong in asking on topic questions of people making assertions.

    For example, you take issue with npt putting limits on things but isn’t that what Alec and Gail and Smokey are arguing for?

    Did not Alec say CO2 is healthy without qualification.

  143. Alex Heyworth says:

    Bryan A says:
    May 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    “The pro-thorium lobby claim a single tonne of thorium burned in a molten salt reactor (MSR) – typically a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR) – which has liquid rather than solid fuel, can produce one gigawatt of energy. A traditional pressurised water reactor (PWR) would need to burn 250 tonnes of uranium to produce the same amount of energy.”

    As well as the shortcomings of this statement noted by Dirk H above, might I point out that a gigawatt is a unit of power? Of course, power is what we actually want from a power station (funny about that – wonder why they are called power stations, not energy stations?). Bryan, I’m sure you’re not the first, nor will you be the last, to confuse power and energy.

  144. Alex Heyworth says:

    Bryan A, my apologies, I see you were quoting someone else, so it is their confusion between power and energy, not yours.

  145. Smokey says:

    Tom says:

    “…is there something wrong in asking on topic questions of people making assertions.”

    Plenty, if all you do is ask deceptive questions, and never respond to the questions others ask. Such as your stupid question about: “…npt [sic] putting limits on things but isn’t that what Alec and Gail and Smokey are arguing for?”

    Your incessant nitpicking serves no purpose, except to show that you are a crank.

    No one is putting ‘no limits’ on anything, tool. You’re just threadbombing.

  146. OssQss says:

    Please stop letting the Little Bunny affect you all………..

    Just sayin, the cut and paste scripts being used on you all should not invoke anything but muted invisibility.

    Reminds me of how cloud formation is taken into consideration with climate models. ……

  147. Tom says:

    @ Smokey says “No one is putting ‘no limits’ on anything, tool”

    Smokey says June 22, 2011 at 9:30 am “Conclusion: CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better.”

    So which one of those assertions is incorrect?

    Oh, and perhaps you can show me where you, Alec, Gail and Jim have indicated that that more is not better, or for a limit?

  148. Tom says:

    Alec said “Trying to reduce CO2 is also “geo-engineering.”

    That is rubbish, that is like saying that stopping polluting is also polluting.

  149. Smokey says:

    Tom, you nitpicking ass. I have repeatedly given you my hypothesis to try and falsify:

    At current and projected concentrations, CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere

    ‘At current and projected…’ is the limit.

    You have mental problems. I suppose posting here takes the place of your imaginary friends.

  150. RACookPE1978 says:

    Stopping the use of coal (in particular) and fossil fuels (in general) has the purpose of NOT stopping pollution – because CO2 is NOT a polluting gas nor a harmful gas as it is now, and will be emitted in the future – but stopping CO2 is intended to kill people.
    To kill (Western capitalistic) economies.
    To harm people and to stop progress towards health, better food clothing and shelter.
    Longer, more productive lives.

  151. Tom says:

    @ Smokey – No need to become so emotive.

    I simply asked if perhaps you can show me where you, Alec, Gail and Jim have indicated that that more is not better, or for a limit?

  152. OssQss says:

    I give up! Gnight>

  153. Tom says:

    @ Smokey say “if all you do is ask deceptive questions”

    Sorry, but how is asking clarifying questions deceptive? Or are you just uncomfortable with someone being skeptical of assertions being made here?

  154. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    @Jim – is there something wrong in asking on topic questions of people making assertions.
    <<

    Yes, if it’s to waste everyone’s time.

    >>
    For example, you take issue with npt putting limits on things but isn’t that what Alec and Gail and Smokey are arguing for?
    <<

    I take issue with trolls wasting everyone’s time.

    >>
    Did not Alec say CO2 is healthy without qualification.
    <<

    If you start engaging with posters instead of acting like a troll, maybe I’ll answer your silly assertions.

    >>
    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Oh, and perhaps you can show me where you, Alec, Gail and Jim have indicated that that more is not better, or for a limit?
    <<

    Ibidem.

    Jim

  155. davidmhoffer says:

    I have long defended the right of trolls to post, and have advocated responding to them in order to discredit them. This Tom character is a whole new class of troll. He has clearly studied NLP, uses it reasonably effectively, and produces nothing worth refuting. He deserves to be drop kicked into oblivion.

  156. Tom says:

    @ Jim – how is it wasting time exploring the assertions the people make? I mean, if the assertion has merit what harm is there in exploring it?

    For example, Jim says “Should we burn all coal this way or run some of it through our energy extracting systems. Our coal burning operations also run “cleaner” than natural coal seam fires”

    That suggests that the CO2 released from the coal seam fires is greater than our impact from the dawn of the industrial revolution. Is that indeed the case? And doesn’t that assertion engage in the more is better argument?

    Is trying to understand what you said a wait of time?

  157. Tom says:

    @ OSS – “Right, one rabbit stew coming right up.”

    Great clips!

  158. JPeden says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Alec said “Trying to reduce CO2 is also “geo-engineering.”

    That is rubbish, that is like saying that stopping polluting is also polluting.

    Tom, if only in the interests of salvaging or improving your own mental health I suggest that it’s high time for you get to work on your own fairly obvious full-blown phobia to “CO2″, whose existence at current, increasing, and much higher levels in the past has essentially been proven to have either no significant adverse effect climatically or even the opposite effect as compared to the disaster-delivering agent you have been dogmatically taught to think it is by the CO2 = CAGW lobby, including the EPA which has been instrumental in demonizing CO2 by incorrectly postulating that it is a “pollutant”.

    There is no evidence whatsoever that CO2 is a pollutant. Our own human bodies carry a ballpark concentration of CO2 at about 56,000 ppm which is still pretty easily maintainable at an atmospheric CO2 concentration of at least 10,000 ppm. [All we have to do is to be able to eliminate the CO2 we produce internally as a result of living so as to keep body pH at around pH = 7.37 – 7.41 [+/-]. The gradient between exhaled CO2 = 40,000 ppm and atmospheric CO2 = 10,000 ppm is still 30,000 ppm, so increased rate and depth of breathing can handle this increased atmopheric CO2 concentration of 10,000 ppm without any significant threat to human life and living.]

    This being the case, you simply must realize that you are not in control of your own thought process if you have accepted the CO2 = pollutant propaganda, since you have fallen prey to a bona fide phobia – which for example whole countries such as India and China have in fact not fallen prey to!

    Aside from the EPA’s CO2 as “pollutant” lie, even the UN’s UNFCCC severly hedged against the validity of the ipcc’s CO2 = CAGW climate change “science” by excluding countries containing ~5 billion of the earth’s ~6.7 billion people from having to follow its Kyoto Protocols, thus apparently only very half-heartedly directed at reducing fossil fuel CO2 output. Again, India and China obviously don’t buy the ipcc’s climate “science”.

    To start with I suggest that you totally ignore the thoroughly discredited “might-could” disasterizing pleas from “mainstream” Climate Science; and immediately forget the Precautionary Principle, under which everything becomes a lethal threat simply because nothing can be proven to not possibly constitute the cause for a disaster or apocalypse, including using the PP itself!

    Tom, in this case the CO2 = CAGW lobby has got you running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and that is simply no way for you to live your own life.

  159. Gunga Din says:

    Tom says:
    BlahBlahBlah …. (with his pinky raised, of course)
    ================================================
    I went Troll hunting and look who I found!
    He just wants to hear himself type.
    He gets an ego boost (sorely needed it seems) whenever anyone responds to him.

  160. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm
    <<

    More content free posting.

    >>
    Is trying to understand what you said a wait of time?
    <<

    Trolling is a waste of time.

    Jim

  161. Tom says:

    @ JPeden – so the human body is a good proxy for the entire planet ecosystem response to CO2? No, don’t believe that is true.

    JPeden says – “There is no evidence whatsoever that CO2 is a pollutant.” Oh, so there is no level at which it becomes problematic in anyway? None? Ever?

  162. Tom says:

    @davidmhoffer said “According to UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut, the earth has been cooling since 1998. ”

    Odd, as the GISS data actually said this.

    “NASA Finds 2011 Ninth-Warmest Year on Record
    01.19.12

    The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.

    NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.”

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2011-temps.html

    Oh, and what was the sun doing at that point?

  163. Tom says:

    @ Gunga Din, so why is it that anyone simply behaving as a good skeptic by asking questions about assumptions gets everyone gets so worked up and triggers such a rousing barrage of inbound personal attacks/smears? Odd in light of Anthony making an astute (seriously) observation that personal attacks/smears serve no good purpose, but anyway..

    They are merely questions my good man. Questions to better understand the big, bold, sweeping and certain assertions being made. Bully for them! Now how can that be so problematic as to get everyone all lathered up? Especially when there such grand things being discussed as planetary Geo-Engineering. Who among us wouldn’t like to know the specifics of exactly how that is done precisely. Riveting stuff, I think you would have to agree?

  164. Tom says:

    @ Jim, wait, so you are saying your owner assertion was a waste of time? Clearly not my good man, chin up. I shall ask again since it deserves follow-up.

    Jim says “Should we burn all coal this way or run some of it through our energy extracting systems. Our coal burning operations also run “cleaner” than natural coal seam fires”

    That suggests that the CO2 released from the coal seam fires is greater than our impact from the dawn of the industrial revolution. Is that indeed the case? And doesn’t that assertion engage in the more is better argument?

  165. davidmhoffer says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm
    @davidmhoffer said “According to UAH, RSS, GISS and HadCrut, the earth has been cooling since 1998. ”
    Odd, as the GISS data actually said this.>>>>>>>>

    That’s an out of context quote from a completely different thread! Further, it is an abvious use of neuro-linguistic programming, a strange (and dangerous) branch of psychology being put to ill use.

    Ban him.

  166. Tom says:

    [snip]

    • • •

    OK, it is clear other commenters are getting weary of Tom Deutsch (who already outed his name here yesterday in several comments before switching back to just “Tom”).

    And I’ve grown tired as well especially since Tom is a shape shifter in violation of site policy. So far, he has had these personas here (at least the ones I’ve found, there may be more), all coming from the same Cox communications IP block, and with four different email addresses, three of which appear fake.

    Tom
    Tom Deutsch
    Bystander
    FairPlay
    Moderate Republican

    WUWT site policy says:

    A real working email address that you own (as a commenter) is required, so that I may contact you if needed. False or misleading email addresses may earn banishment. Changing handles and/or changing email addresses to get around this will also earn the same fate.

    Therefore, I’m pulling the handle for you.

    Enjoy your weekend, Anthony

  167. Alec Rawls says:

    Okay, I won’t mention any troll’s name. I’ll just point out that there is only one side fo this debate that wants to go to huge civilization-destroying lengths to try to target a particular level of CO2. As for MY side of the debate, well, AS I ALREADY SAID, while I think CO2 is beneficial in pretty much any amount that man can produce, I am very much against government taking any steps to try to influence the level of CO2 one way or the other.

    If we start to drop into another Little Ice Age then we will indeed need to be ready to jump in with some geo-engineering, but CO2 is by all indications too much of a pipsqueak to be of much help. My idea, which I have stated here several times, is that we should be developing an optimum technology for quickly spreading mass amounts of soot across the great white north in order to decrease its albedo and stop albedo feedback effects powering continuing cooling.

    Albedo is one of several feedback effects that is weak in the warming direction but strong in the cooling direction. Temperate latitudes cover vastly more surface area than polar latitudes so as ice and snow expand towards temperate latitudes the magnitude of the albedo feedback increases dramatically. We had better be ready to interdict it. Warming is benign, but cooling is devastating. Nothing gobbles up the biosphere like being buried under a mile of ice.

    Really really dirty coal, in the old fashioned sooty sense, is what we need to engineer, and forget using it for electricity generation. Power lines from northern regions to population centers would not be worth building. We just need a soot-spewing technology that can be deployed quickly and widely.

  168. JPeden says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    JPeden says – “There is no evidence whatsoever that CO2 is a pollutant.” Oh, so there is no level at which it becomes problematic in anyway? None? Ever?

    Tom, again I beg of you, please…please, for your own sake…forget the Precautionary Principle or any similar train of thought! How will you be able to function in life if you think everything is a “pollutant”? Just look where it’s got you so far!

  169. Alec Rawls says:

    Sorry, when I left my comment I didn’t see that the troll had already been banned. I didn’t want to annoy other commentors by feeding the troll so I referred to him obliquely, but if I had seen Tom was banned I would have dropped my first paragraph. The rest of my comment is general interest, about the need to be ready to do something about dangerous global cooling should it start to be evidenced.

  170. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    JPeden says – “There is no evidence whatsoever that CO2 is a pollutant.” Oh, so there is no level at which it becomes problematic in anyway? None? Ever?
    <<

    Low CO2 level is a problem now. That’s why green plants evolved a whole new pathway. The old pathway is called C3. About 95% of all green plants use this pathway, but it’s wasteful (like trolls). About half of the CO2 processed in this fashion is lost. It wasn’t a problem until CO2 levels drop to the low levels we have now.

    So a new pathway evolved–called C4. About 1% of green plants use this less wasteful pathway (efficiency is another matter). (The remaining green plants use CAM pathway.)

    What’s interesting is that under increasing CO2 levels, it was assumed that C3 plants would benefit, but C4 would not. It turns out that all green plants benefit from increased levels of CO2.

    Commercial greenhouses increase their CO2 levels to about 1000 ppm. That’s three times the current levels. The reason is obvious. CO2 has a fertilizing effect on green plants.

    Jim

  171. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    That suggests that the CO2 released from the coal seam fires is greater than our impact from the dawn of the industrial revolution. Is that indeed the case?
    <<

    Actually what I asked was what you previously implied: since it’s natural, should we burn all of our coal in this way? You ignored my question and made up something I didn’t ask, say, suggest, or imply.

    But your question is interesting. Why don’t you research it and report back here after your ban expires.

    Jim

  172. DirkH says:

    Tom went into all-flame-out mode in this thread – he had been a small time drive by troll for years under his other monikers, but on this thread he really exploded. It reminds me of some trolls at Breitbart who answer every comment on a thread to make it unreadable.

    So obviously the Obama-EPA trolls don’t want people to have debates about coal power, they want it dead, dead, dead.

    Alec, if you’re still reading: This hurts them. Do more of it!

  173. Myrrh says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm
    @ Otter – Alec is arguing that CO2 is clean, it is natural, and healthful and should not be restricted in any way. In other words more is better.

    ====

    http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/Sci/CO2&Health.html

    “Conclusion

    Over the last 350 million years CO2 has varied by 10 fold, approximately 250 ppm to 2,500 ppm with an average level of 1,500 ppm. This average level happens to be the optimum level for plants, it seems by evolutionary design, and is the reason that this level of CO2 is used in greenhouses Since plants and animals evolved together it’s likely that humans also evolved to function best at some higher level.

    However, at 380 ppm we are not far from the lower end of that 10-fold range. Because so many people benefit from enhanced levels of CO2, it appears that our present atmosphere is already lower than the minimum to which some people can adapt. Scientific studies and established medical practices leave no doubt that increased levels of CO2 help people with respiratory problems and, some time in our lives, that will include nearly every one of us.”

  174. Julian Braggins says:

    For those who are concerned about burning coal, there is a small silver lining to those dark clouds (artistic licence, they are rarely dark ;)), those trace elements released do some good, and a recent report on mercury levels in natural soils as opposed to downwind of coal powered stations found that many natural areas had higher levels than the downwind areas.
    nora.nerc.ac.uk/586/1/Biofortification.pdf (selenium lack since clean air act)
    people.csail.mit.edu/…/sulfur_obesity_alzheimers_muscle_wasting.ht.. (sulphur lack ditto)

  175. Myrrh says:

    Adding to my post: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/11/if-obama-is-going-to-kill-coal-he-has-to-hide-the-body/#comment-983121

    Carbon dioxide is essential to the maintain the pH balance in our bodies – cancer is over acidification – you can actively participate in keeping your levels in the alkaline by the foods you eat and taking bicarbonate of soda which releases carbon dioxide on meeting the acid in your stomach. Athletes after physical exertion and those gasping for breath because of some shock or other are not trying to get more oxygen into the lungs, the lungs have plenty, but more carbon dioxide; it is carbon dioxide which is required for transportation of oxygen into the blood – breathe into a paper bag a few times.

    http://www.awaken.cc/awaken/pagesE/library/CancerSoda.html

    History: http://members.westnet.com.au/pkolb/henders.htm

    “But even as early as 1885, Miescher, a Swiss physiologist, in a paper that is one of the masterpieces of physiology, had summarized all the evidence then available and reached the conclusion that it is the variations in the amount of carbon dioxide which principally induce the immediate adjustments of respiration. In a classic phrase inspired by the insight of genius he wrote: “Over the oxygen supply of the body carbon dioxide spreads its protecting wings.” He died before he could complete his work and his death may be said to have closed the second chapter in the history of respiration and the functions of carbon dioxide in the body.

    The Breath of Life.—- The first 3 decades of the present century have witnessed an extraordinary reversal of standpoint and increase of interest in regard to the functional importance of carbon dioxide in the animal body. Moreover, discoveries in this field, which were initially purely scientific and theoretical, are now finding a wide range of clinical applications for the alleviation of suffering and the saving of life.

    Before considering these matters, it will be best that the mind be cleared of certain deep rooted misconceptions that have long opposed the truth and impeded its applications. It will be seen that carbon dioxide is truly the breath of life.”

  176. Gail Combs says:

    Tom says:
    May 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    @ Smokey – No need to become so emotive.

    I simply asked if perhaps you can show me where you, Alec, Gail and Jim have indicated that that more is not better, or for a limit?
    ________________________________
    Tom, Why the heck does the government have to micromanage everything especially when they so totally screw it up. A life time of working in safety engineering and quality engineering has given me lots of first hand experience in how messed up government bureaucracies are. The carbon cycle does a find job of “Limiting Carbon Dioxide” all by its lonesome. Unlike you, Smokey, Alec and I are capable of seeing that it was the carbon cycle that removed most of the carbon dioxide in the primitive atmosphere in the first place.

    Plants handle levels up to 2,000 ppm just fine and humans up to 5000 ppm so get back to me when the CO2 level reaches 1000 ppm. Of course we will be back to an ice age by then.

  177. Gail Combs says:

    Myrrh says: @ May 12, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Since plants and animals evolved together it’s likely that humans also evolved to function best at some higher level….. However, at 380 ppm we are not far from the lower end of that 10-fold range. Because so many people benefit from enhanced levels of CO2, it appears that our present atmosphere is already lower than the minimum to which some people can adapt.
    ______________________
    Myrrh, since Tom is so convinced that CO2 is evil incarnate perhaps he should be placed in an isolation room with absolutely no CO2 and with CO2 scrubbers for a week to get the point across. Hansen, Mann Jones… should also get the benefits of a no CO2 environment. /sarc

    If you do not understand that Tom I suggest you do research before trying it.

  178. Otter says:

    I would suggest that tommy is not interested in actually arriving at the Truth, and should be permanently SNIPPED.

  179. wayne says:

    LFTR in 5 Minutes – THORIUM REMIX 2011

    If you ever feel you never learned LFTR down to the nitty-gritty, the chemistry involved, the exact decay cascades, everything, this might be for you. Only problem, it’s not five minutes but more like about 2 hours. A great video that filled in all of the missing spots for me.

  180. Gail Combs says:

    Otter says:
    May 12, 2012 at 5:08 am

    I would suggest that tommy is not interested in actually arriving at the Truth, and should be permanently SNIPPED.
    ________________________________
    Tom certainly seems to be looking for “sound bits” he can take out of context to show how “Deniers” agree that CO2 is evil and should be regulated doesn’t he.

  181. DirkH says:

    Gail Combs says:
    May 12, 2012 at 5:25 am
    “Tom certainly seems to be looking for “sound bits” he can take out of context to show how “Deniers” agree that CO2 is evil and should be regulated doesn’t he.”

    Gail, when I answer a troll like Tom, I always intend two things at the same time.
    a) Treat him like the piece of crap he is
    b) add some information for other readers; not for the troll, as he is not interested in any information.

  182. Otter says:

    Gail, DirkH, agreed~ his ‘unlimited amounts’ of Everything, would appear to me an attempt to link to such ill-conceived thinking as ‘big oil’ wants to destroy the world in order to make profit.

    Of course, being unable to understand the closed warmist mind, I could be wrong. One thing is certain, tommy has unlimited amounts of [self-snip] for brains.

  183. Myrrh says:

    Gail Combs says:
    May 12, 2012 at 4:56 am
    Myrrh, since Tom is so convinced that CO2 is evil incarnate perhaps he should be placed in an isolation room with absolutely no CO2 and with CO2 scrubbers for a week to get the point across. Hansen, Mann Jones… should also get the benefits of a no CO2 environment. /sarc

    When I first began looking into this only a few years ago, I didn’t know there were arguments about it before then, I first took the science arguments seriously until the list of why I shouldn’t kept growing until I had no choice but to reject it, but the last straw was when I heard carbon dioxide called a poison and found it was being put on government toxic lists. Around the time there was an ad on UK tv which had daddy reading reading to little girl a bedtime story demonising carbon dioxide, and I realised there was an agenda driving this which didn’t give a damn about the environment or passing on our hard earned and recent knowledge of science through childrens’ education, but was deliberately dumbing them down through fear by destroying the wonder of life around them they should have been exploring. Truly despicable. It didn’t surprise me when I later found the character of the ideology of those manipulating the science.

  184. DirkH says:

    wayne says:
    May 12, 2012 at 5:23 am
    “LFTR in 5 Minutes – THORIUM REMIX 2011 ”

    Thanks Wayne; marvelous video!

  185. Alec Rawls says:

    Wow. I did some googling and this Deutsch character turns out to be a serious Deutsch-bag. Apparently he spends a LOT of time spamming every climate story at the Orange County Register with vacuous attacks on virtually every other commentator. An example if anyone actually wants to look:

    http://sciencedude.ocregister.com/2012/04/25/timebomb-balloon-spotlights-global-warming/170905/

    The story is about a big black eco-balloon, blown up to represent a ton of atmospheric carbon. Somebody puts up the funny comment:

    Should have been an air filled hockey stick to represent the “data trick” the Penn State scientist came up with a few years ago.

    Here is wet-rag Deutsch-bag’s response:

    Mike – sorry, but that is simply a wrong assertion on Mann’s work.

    Multiple separate studies using OTHER data confirm the same trend he shows. The land, ocean an satellite based measurements all show a continuation of the trend.

    So fine, don’t invite Mann to Thanksgiving dinner and toss out his work, it doesn’t change anything that all the other sources have confirmed. And it doesn’t change the basic physics and chemistry involve here.

    Really? It is wrong to say that Mike used what Phil Jones called “Mike’s Nature trick“? Deutsch is constantly demanding that other commentators back up their statements with peer reviewed literature, but he just asserts that Mann’s obliteration of LIA and MWP is not at odds with other findings. Liar.

    Deutsch has a dollop of disinformation for everybody. What a pestilence! Media Matters does pay people to be trolls, all in accordance with the plan laid out by Obama’s “regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein, who argues that:

    government should engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups that produce conspiracy theories.

    In particular, he is keen to disrupt anyone who claims, “that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.”

    The White House was recently found to be coordinating Media Matters via weekly propaganda planning meetings. Given how much work Deutsch is putting into his disinformation, he’s an obvious person to suspect of being one of Sunstein’s anti-democratic minions. Of course he could just be a volunteer Brown Shirt, entirely self-motivated and self-directed, if that is any better.

  186. Some day, I suspect we may be able to purchase – for a price – electricity from China who is putting one new coal fired power plant on-line every week. This remains an option to supplement our foray into unpredictable, unsustainable alternative energies on which we are squandering our resources.

    Obama has done what the Communists predicted: The USA is being destroyed from within by an anti-Capitalist, bowing to every foreigner, never apologetic enough, class warfare, Federal debt buster, embarrassed to be an American.

    Obama’s re-election campaign slogan should be: Vote For Obama. Let Him Finish The Job.

  187. Alec Rawls says:

    If Tom has anything to say in his own defense, he can email me, alec at rawls dot org.

  188. Spector says:

    I believe that Roger Revelle is widely credited with making the public aware of the ‘danger’ of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in his ground-breaking article “Carbon Dioxide and World Climate,” which appeared in the August, 1982 edition of The Scientific American. I believe this article gave the impression that this was a linear or accelerating effect with no indication of logarithmic saturation. As far as I can recall, there was no serious criticism of the proposed theory–it was generally accepted as an established fact. It also was attractive to those who like to think that modern man is the root of all evil. It is no wonder, then, that the new cadre of atmospheric scientists since then have eagerly striven to be the first to detect ‘real’ evidence of the obvious truth of this theory.

    I do not recall seriously questioning this myself before watching a David Archibald video presentation. The “miniscule effect” of CO2 can be readily seen in this MODTRAN plot of the effect of CO2 doubling on the amount of thermal radiation escaping to the upper atmosphere:

    I have not been able to altogether dismiss the claims of the professional ‘Peak Oil’ presenters, as the data on declining discoveries appears to be like the proverbial “Hand writing on the wall” signaling the coming end of the petroleum age. One speaker (Video: “Unconventional Oil and Gas: Reshaping Energy Markets” at the 59 min mark) said that this decline was due to investors, from about 1984 on, regarding oil exploration to be an unnecessary expense. However, it does appear we are going ever further afield to obtain the remaining petrochemical energy.

    As far as I can tell, thorium nuclear is the most likely successor to the use of petrochemical energy. I do not know if a Romney Administration would advance or delay its development. The characterization as “Nuclear Green” by some of its proponents may not sit well with new appointees who might now regard “green energy” to be “propeller-head energy.”

  189. stpaulchuck says:

    “One of these things is not like the others…” – Big Bird knows.

  190. Steve P says:

    There seems to be a fair amount of evangelizing for thorium reactors. This discussion from From NPR, May 4, 2012, may offer a more balanced view:

    Is Thorium A Magic Bullet For Our Energy Problems?
    As the search for cheap, safe and non-carbon emitting sources of energy continues, a band of scientists say the answer may be nuclear reactors fueled by thorium. Others caution that thorium reactors pose waste and proliferation risks. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the pros and cons of thorium reactors.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/05/04/152026805/is-thorium-a-magic-bullet-for-our-energy-problems

    It’s not all peaches & cream.

  191. Gail Combs says:

    Steve P says:
    May 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    There seems to be a fair amount of evangelizing for thorium reactors. This discussion from From NPR, May 4, 2012, may offer a more balanced view….
    It’s not all peaches & cream.
    ________________________________
    National Public Radio is “liberal” and as the liberals will tell you. “There was a lot of bad stuff about Barack Obama, they never told their trusting Liberal audience.” So I am afraid I would take anything on NPR (or any news media) with a very large grain of salt.

    “It’s not all peaches & cream.” Of course it is not all peaches & cream. Life is Lethal We all have to make choices and weigh the pros and cons. Even not making a choice is still making a choice.

    Civilization requires energy in some form.
    The earliest form was human muscle in the form of slaves or the labor of women and children.
    Then we harnessed the muscle power of animals but that has major draw backs The Great Horse-Manure Crisis of 1894

    Coal kills miners with mine collapses and black lung. Black Lung Disease Kills 1,000 Coal Miners a Year

    Oil kills with well explosions, and transporation leaks: Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion

    Natural gas can explode. San Bruno Explosion & Fire

    Of the bunch Hydro is probably the best but there is still danger from dam failure.
    From WIKI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroelectricity#Failure_risks

    …The Banqiao Dam failure in Southern China directly resulted in the deaths of 26,000 people, and another 145,000 from epidemics. Millions were left homeless. Also, the creation of a dam in a geologically inappropriate location may cause disasters such as 1963 disaster at Vajont Dam in Italy, where almost 2000 people died.[29]

    Smaller dams and micro hydro facilities create less risk, but can form continuing hazards even after being decommissioned. For example, the small Kelly Barnes Dam failed in 1967, causing 39 deaths with the Toccoa Flood, ten years after its power plant was decommissioned…

    So thorium nuclear holds promise even though it is not “All Peaches and Cream” and it looks like the most promising way forward at this time.

  192. Steve P says:

    Gail Combs says:
    May 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    National Public Radio is “liberal” … So I am afraid I would take anything on NPR (or any news media) with a very large grain of salt.

    You can’t judge a book by lookin’ at its cover.
    –Bo Diddley

    Attacking source rather than substance is not a good way to start, and I notice you never did get around to addressing the substance of the discussion, which as I read it, shows there are issues with waste and proliferation.

    In my view, it makes a lot more sense to exploit existing resources than to invest very heavily in a technology we don’t need, one with potential problems, and one with unknown costs.

    Simple solutions, like simple explanations, are almost always better.

  193. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    Spector says:
    May 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    . . . who might now regard “green energy” to be “propeller-head energy.”
    <<

    Beany and Cecil. (Or does that date me?)

    Jim

  194. Otter says:

    steve p~ we’re talking climate change. The science is more and more solidly on Our side. When it comes to AGW shills like NPR, the source must also be attacked, as there sure as HELL ain’t no substance…

    And YES, we DO want nuclear in the mix. We’ll take everything we can get.

  195. Eugene says:

    The inclusion of “Fuel Efficiency” on the original info graphic makes me think less than longingly of the term “megawatts.”

    Did anyone else here see the article on Carbon Sequestration and Storage in The Economist? Here’s the link: http://www.economist.com/node/21554501

    Excerpts (direct quotes from the article):
    __________
    “According to the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental body that monitors these matters, CCS would be the cheapest way to manage about a fifth of that reduction [i.e., a fifth of halving carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050].

    To do this, the agency reckons, requires the building of 100 capture facilities by 2020 and 3,000 by 2050. Which is a problem, because at the moment there are only eight, none of which is attached to a power station.”
    __________
    “All of which is fine and dandy except that, if rigged to the average coal-fired power station, this process might use a quarter of the energy the plant produces. According to Howard Herzog, a chemical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has made a study of the matter, that implies a cost of between $50 and $100 per tonne of carbon stored.”
    __________
    “There was a rush of interest in CCS in the late 2000s, including $3 billion for it in America’s stimulus package of 2009. But many projects are now being cancelled. Either the developers have lost confidence in government commitments to support them or their costs have turned out higher than expected.”
    __________
    “The upshot is that there is no free lunch. If people are serious about carbon capture and storage, they will have to pay for it. The best that facilities like Mongstad can do is make the meal as cheap as possible.”

  196. Eugene says:

    There are also these related yet relatively recent articles, discovered separately, on the high price of CSS technology:

    Combating climate change: Net benefits
    The idea of pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is a beguiling one. Could it ever become real? (Mar 17th 2012)

    http://www.economist.com/node/21550241

    Tackling climate change: Deep storage
    Carbon capture remains a good idea, but not much more
    Oct 29th 2011

    http://www.economist.com/node/21534822

  197. Spector says:

    This, perhaps, is more applicable to this topic than I earlier thought. It is a long, dry, technical, (and perhaps politically motivated,) but upbeat report on progress being made by the Administration to alleviate the near-term energy crisis by developing unconventional oil resources.

    Moderator: Frank Verrastro — CSIS Senior Vice President and Director, Energy and National Security Program.

    Speakers:
    Dan Poneman — Deputy Secretary of Energy.
    David Lawrence — Executive Vice President for Exploration for Shell Upstream Americas.
    Michael Bromwich — Director Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.
    ED Morse — Managing Director, Global Head of Commodity Research at Citi Group.

    Unconventional Oil and Gas: Reshaping Energy Markets”
    “Published on Apr 12, 2012 by csisdc”
    2 likes, 0 dislikes, 70 views; 1 hr, 19:37 min
    “Amid volatile energy markets, one notable bright spot has emerged on the energy landscape: the development of vast unconventional oil and gas resources in the United States. The success of these resources has widespread economic, geopolitical, and environmental implications and offers a unique opportunity to rethink conventional energy policy.”

  198. wayne says:

    Thanks Eugene.

    “There was a rush of interest in CCS in the late 2000s, including $3 billion for it in America’s stimulus package of 2009. But many projects are now being cancelled. Either the developers have lost confidence in government commitments to support them or their costs have turned out higher than expected.”

    That is not what scares the crap out of me. Super high pressure CO2 pumped under the ground will, in time, release to devastating ends. An earthquake, a fracture, a malfunction. When this occurs if any population is within proximity they will be killed, asphyxiated, along with all animal life forms for many, many kilometers around. This has occurred naturally in Africa deep lakes as they very occasionally decide to turn over.

    CO2 Gas Build Up Causes Lake to Explode
    “Over 1700 people were asphyxiated up to 16 miles away along with all their livestock, some 3000 head of cattle.”

    http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2008/01/co2-gas-build-up-causes-lake-to-explode/

    Lake Nyos
    “On August 21, 1986, possibly triggered by a landslide, Lake Nyos suddenly emitted a large cloud of CO2, which suffocated 1,700 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby towns and villages.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_nyos

    The only reason you would ever want to attempt CO2 sequestration is if your wanted to kill possibly many million people and animals all due to a terrorist act, natural occurrence, equipment failure, or, on purpose by the greens who “want to save the planet from the nasty humans”.

    We say we are afraid of the nuclear industry but what could ever occur by them is totally dwarfed by what disaster CCS could bring into reality. People, CO2 does not make the Earth warmer. Co2 in the high atmosphere is a coolant and CO2 in the lower atmosphere does nothing, zip.

  199. Spector says:

    RE: Steve P: (May 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm)

    “There seems to be a fair amount of evangelizing for thorium reactors.”

    The basic fact is the energy is there and thorium is so abundant that at near 100% efficient usage it should long out-last uranium 235 and perhaps the Earth itself. Also, it does not produce long-lasting plutonium as a primary end product. I think we had better *prove* that it cannot be made to work — nobody has done that — before dismissing it as a solution to the eventual energy crisis when our petrochemical gas tank runs dry.

    I am not confidant of high-tech solar or wind to fill this need because of the massive structures that would be required and the increasing scarcity of the high-tech materials, such as rare-earth magnets that make this possible. With a concentrated source of energy, we might be able to mine the oceans to recover scarce materials, but without energy to burn, these elements will be lost to technology.

    If we do not have a real alternative for the petrochemical energy we are now using, the Earth may only be able to support a small fraction of our current population. There may be more energy out there than most ‘Peak Oil’ speakers are predicting, but sooner or later, it will all be gone. It does appear that ‘conventional oil’ is peaking, and from now on, we will be increasingly dependent on unconventional petrochemical resources.

  200. Steve P says:

    Spector says:
    May 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I think we had better *prove* that it cannot be made to work — nobody has done that — before dismissing it as a solution to the eventual energy crisis when our petrochemical gas
    tank runs dry.

    Yep, if it don’t work, force it. Or go broke trying…

    Asking questions about a technology, or having a discussion about its possible pros and cons is not the same thing as dismissal. I’m sure you must appreciate the distinction. and I’m also sure you must be familiar with the logical fallacy known as a strawman,
    .
    I haven’t seen anyone here who is proselytizing for thorium reactors make any mention of any possible downside to the technology.

    Anyone old enough to recall the early PR campaigns for nuclear power, and who has paid attention since, knows that the credibility of the nuclear power industry is not very high.

    There is no telling how much money has been poured into the various nuclear projects, more than a few of them black. We do know that the generals have gotten their small & powerful bombs after hundreds of tests, but we’re all still waiting for that “too cheap to meter” part of the bargain.

    I oppose nuclear power because whatever man builds, nature can break. As Paul Simon sang it: “Everything put together sooner or later falls apart.”

    We are ignorant of the true potential of the forces of nature on Earth, and even where precedents exist, foolish men ignore them. Huge tsunamis along the Tōhoku coast have happened before, and they will happen again, perhaps even bigger and badder than the monster that swept ashore after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.

    I don’t get it:

    We’ve seen lots of excellent effort here to debunk the CO2 scare, and falsify the CAGW conjecture… so we can build thorium reactors?

    It seems to me that one likely reason for the CO2 scare was to demonize coal. All the other energy sources have benefited from coal’s persecution, including some without much merit, like wind and solar.

    Meanwhile, now that the CO2 scare has been thoroughly debunked, and the wheels shot off the CAGW bandwagon, what again is the reason for not burning coal?

  201. Spector says:

    RE: Steve P: (May 14, 2012 at 6:51 am)
    “I haven’t seen anyone here who is proselytizing for thorium reactors make any mention of any possible downside to the technology.

    “Anyone old enough to recall the early PR campaigns for nuclear power, and who has paid attention since, knows that the credibility of the nuclear power industry is not very high.

    “There is no telling how much money has been poured into the various nuclear projects, more than a few of them black. We do know that the generals have gotten their small & powerful bombs after hundreds of tests, but we’re all still waiting for that “too cheap to meter” part of the bargain.

    “I oppose nuclear power because whatever man builds, nature can break. As Paul Simon sang it: ‘Everything put together sooner or later falls apart.'”

    The primary problem, or technical challenge that I see with nuclear power in general is designing structures that must work in an environment where neutrons are flowing and thus progressive neutron capture will cause their atomic nuclei to increase in size and eventually decay into atoms having the next higher proton count. I assume this issue is dealt with by using structures that have low neutron capture rates when compared with thorium or uranium. I understand that existing reactor fuel rods must be removed after about only one percent of the fuel has fissioned due to neutron capture degradation. The liquid salt carrier proposes to avoid this process by allowing continuous refreshment of the fluid so that it is not necessary to remove unspent fuel.

    The Nixon and Ford administrations spent a large amount of money trying to make liquid sodium cooled, plutonium breeding reactors work to the exclusion of virtually all else as part of their vital energy security program. Here is a listing of government reactor research funding in millions of dollars that I extracted from a Kirk Sorensen video:

           USAEC Breeder Reactor Appropriations (FYI 1968-1985) 
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
                Advanced     Gas Cooled       Thorium     Liquid Metal
               convertors   Fast Breeder    Molten Salt    Fast Breed
    Year       and low-gain   Reactor     Breeder Reactor   Reactor 
                breeders      (GCFBR)        (MSBR)         (LMFBR) 
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    1968         51.6          1.3            4.6            68.4 
    1969         22.7          1.9            5.2            80.1
    1970         22.1          1.3            5.0            87.8
    1971         32.0          0.6            5.0            88.9 
    1972         28.8          1.0            4.8           123.2 
    1973         30.5          1.0            4.6           144.1 
    1974         12.6          1.8            1.6           206.6 
    1975         31.2                         4.8           308.9 
    1976         52.9          8.2            3.3           351.6 
    Transition   14.8          3.4            0.2           101.1
    quarter  ----------------------------------------------------------
    1977         53.0         12.8            0.0           564.5 
    1978         69.6         14.7            0.0           412.8 
    1979         90.4         21.0            0.0           456.0 
    1980         57.9         14.6            0.0           476.3 
    1981         95.0          0.0            0.0           459.5 
    1982         84.0          0.0            0.0           500.4 
    1983         81.8          0.0            0.0           451.2 
    1984         70.5          0.0            0.0           303.6 
    1985         64.4          0.0            0.0           236.9      
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    The primary concern here is the degree to which the factors that caused the plutonium breeding Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor project to fail, also apply to uranium breeding, ambient-pressure liqiud-state fueled reactors. Both systems do produce fission fragments with excess neutron count, however, most of these fragments decay by simple electron emission to a stable state. No long-lived plutonium or other transuranic products, which decay by fission, are produced as a *standard* part of the process. The scientist who invented the solid-state fueled, high-pressure, water-cooled reactor was convinced that this design was basically unsafe and attempted to foster a much safer system.

    The claim of energy too ‘cheap to measure’ was probably based on the fact that uranium (or thorium) have on the order of a million times the energy density of petrochemicals. As liquid salt borne thorium does not require a huge explosive pressure containment system, it is possible that these claims may be more accurate this time around. But, until we actually have a functional system, there is no guarantee that some ‘black swan’ might crop up to increase the cost. In the event that one of these reactors is disrupted by some natural or man-made event, it is expected that the liquid salt will freeze and encapsulate the waste. A simple power interruption is handled automatically by the fail-safe freeze plug and drain tank.

    As it takes on the order of forty years to make a major technology transition, we need to have an alternative energy resource online and ready to go before it is needed, not after people start dying as we run out of the petrochemical energy needed to support food production and distribution. Peak Oil speakers are intimating this might become a problem in the next few years; petroleum industry sources are saying that it is multiple decades away.

    Here is Kirk Sorensen’s video on why thorium was closed down to focus development on the Fast Breeder Reactor:

    The Thorium Molten-Salt Reactor: Why Didn’t This Happen
    (and why is now the right time?)

    “Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on Dec 22, 2011″
    461 likes, 13 dislikes; 38,961 Views; 36:02 min
    “Google Tech Talk
    December 16, 2011
    Presented by Kirk Sorensen”

  202. Spector says:

    On the credibility issue of the nuclear industry, I also question the claims being made by wind and solar power advocates, who, after decades of massive government support, have yet to deliver any significant fraction of the power we need.

    For additional reference, here is the most recent presentation of Dr. David LeBlanc, Formerly of Carleton University Physics Department, Ottawa Canada; Currently Founder of Ottawa Valley Research Associates Ltd. Ottawa Ontario, and who seems quite knowledgeable on the technical trade-offs between the various liquid fueled reactor core designs:

    David LeBlanc – Potential of Thorium Fueled Molten Salt Reactors @ TEAC3
    “Uploaded by gordonmcdowell on Nov 27, 2011″
    53 likes, 0 dislikes, 3,112 Views; 20:13 min
    “Dr. David LeBlanc explores the diversity of Thorium Fueled Molten Salt Reactor design options, and their rational and value.
    “Presented at the 3rd Thorium Energy Alliance Conference, in Washington DC.”

  203. Gail Combs says:

    Gail Combs says: @ May 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    National Public Radio is “liberal” … So I am afraid I would take anything on NPR (or any news media) with a very large grain of salt.
    ____________________________________
    Steve P says: @ May 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm
    Attacking source rather than substance is not a good way to start, and I notice you never did get around to addressing the substance of the discussion, which as I read it, shows there are issues with waste and proliferation.
    ___________________________________
    Let me translate for you. A large grain of salt means see if you can find primary sources to verify the data. Heck you should do that with ANY news media including my Father-in-Law’s paper.

    On the Thorium waste and proliferation. Kirk Sorensen’s video presented above addresses the issue much better that I can. Pay special note to the difference between the two plutonium isotopes. One is used in medicine? (from thorium) and the other is used to make bombs (from uranium?) – double check the video to make sure I remembered that correctly.

    The waste is also not a problem since it is “used up” unlike current reactors. That two is very well explained. In fact the thorium reactor can “burn up” the nuclear waste in storage.

    I linked to the websites since they are better than I at giving explanations.

    I am not against coal, oil, gas and pro-nuclear, I am against a MONOPOLY and that is what we are being herded into. The oil shortage in 1974-75 was a royal pain in the backside and so were the earlier blackouts. A diversified energy portfolio just makes sense.

  204. Steve P says:

    Spector, I watched the first video. I much prefer documents to video, but in this case I had the bandwidth and time to sit through it, I made an exception, and it was worthwhile. Thanks for your efforts and comments here.

    Let me emphasize this: I’m always in favor of R&D for promising technology, but we need to hear both sides of the story, and we need some informed discussion.

    On any kind of large scale, or in any critical application, neither wind nor solar power make any sense at all. The contribution to the grid from wind and solar is meager, at best, and it serves primarily to complicate its operation, and reduce its efficiency.

    At least nuclear power plants have made a significant contribution to our energy needs. The unfortunate part of the story is that the costs of this contribution are still being calculated, even while massive new ones have been added.

    There are always intrigues in the important affairs of men. Accurate information is a kind of treasure. Gail and “otter,” above are right to be skeptical of NPR and our mass media, but the better approach, IMO, is to evaluate each issue on its own merits. Along with what is said, and how, propaganda is also about what is left out.

    I think it’s plausible that, among experts who are knowledgeable enough to play the devil’s advocate about new or exotic technologies, most might not be free or willing to speak out.

    It might be interesting to hear what an expert would describe as a worst-case scenario with a TFMSR…

    We’ve heard some of the pros. What are the cons?

  205. Gail Combs says:

    Oh and for those who do not know a “proof of design” thorium reactor was run for four years at Oak Ridge. It was politics that killed it and nothing on the scientific front that I have come across.

    Thorium is much more abundant than other high energy material. Much of the preliminary work has been done. It is much safer and simpler than conventional nuclear and it provides constant power. Of the various “new” sources of power, bio-fuel, solar, wind and geothermal; thorium looks the most promising. If the government is going to waste my tax dollars at least we should pursue something promising.

  206. Steve P says:

    Gail Combs says:
    May 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Oh and for those who do not know a “proof of design” thorium reactor was run for four years at Oak Ridge. It was politics that killed it and nothing on the scientific front that I have come across.

    (Excerpts from the NPR discussion I linked earlier:)

    http://www.npr.org/2012/05/04/152026805/is-thorium-a-magic-bullet-for-our-energy-problems

    Richard Martin is the author of “SuperFuel: Thorium, The Green Energy Source for the future, and he’s a contributing editor for Wired and editorial director for Pike Research. He joins us from Boulder, Colorado. Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY.
    FLATOW: Not everyone sees thorium reactors as cheap, clean and safe alternatives, that – as a bet for the future. With me is Dr. Arjun Makhijani. He is president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. He’s here in our D.C. studios. Do you agree with Richard Martin that we missed out on thorium? If we had started out with thorium, would be in better shape now?
    ARJUN MAKHIJANI: I don’t think so. I think the problems of nuclear power, fundamentally, would remain. The safety problems would be different. I mean, Mr. Martin and proponents of thorium are right in the sense that the liquid fuel reactor has a number of safety advantages, but it also has a number of disadvantages.
    [...]
    In this reactor, because thorium is not a fissile material, you actually need either plutonium or enriched uranium to start it. In fact, this reactor that operated in Oak Ridge for a few years, it actually started up in 1964, it never used thorium to breed uranium-233.
    [...]
    FLATOW: So you’re saying that it doesn’t solve the safety issues.
    MAKHIJANI: It doesn’t solve the proliferation problem. It doesn’t solve the waste problem, either. So every nuclear reactor, no matter what type, creates fission products, which are highly radioactive materials, some short-lived, some long-lived, to make energy.
    […]
    MARTIN: However – you’re welcome. However, some of those conclusions are just wrong. So when we talk about the waste, one of the things that skeptics of the liquid fuel thorium reactor ignore is the fact that because the core is a liquid, you can continually process waste, even from existing conventional reactors into forms that are much smaller in terms of volume, and the radioactivity drops off much, much quicker. We’re talking about a few hundred years as opposed to tens of thousands of years.
    So to say that thorium reactors, like any other reactor, will create waste that needs to be handled and stored, et cetera, is true, but the volume, we’re talking tenths of a percent of the comparable volume from a conventional reactor. And not only that, but we’ve got all that waste from our existing nuclear reactor fleet, just sitting around, and we’ve got no plan for it.
    […]
    And because this is a self-contained, liquid fuel system, it’s – there’s no point at which you can divert material. There’s no material sitting in a warehouse somewhere, getting ready to be put in the reactor and so on. And to be able to obtain that material, you would have to somehow breach the reactor, shut it down, separate out the fissionable material and get away with it.
    And as I say in “SuperFuel,” the book, good luck with that. But the other point is that even if you did manage to do that, the uranium-233 is contaminated with yet another isotope, U-232, which is one of the nastiest substances in the universe, and it makes handling and processing and separating out the U-233 virtually impossible, even for a sophisticated nuclear power lab, much less for a rogue nation, or terrorist group or someone of that ilk.
    […]
    MAKHIJANI: Quickly on proliferation, then I’ll talk about waste. The Princeton University paper says that the inline reprocessing, and this is a quote, offers a way to completely bypass the uranium-232, this terrible radioactive material, contamination problem, because the 27-day half-life of protactinium-233 could be separated out before it decays to uranium-233.
    I didn’t want to say that earlier, but the bottom line from that is you have that reprocessing, you can actually get rid of the U-232 problem. This particular reactor is more vulnerable to proliferation, and I think Mr. Martin should revisit this question just for accuracy.
    But on waste, here’s what Mr. Weinberg, who was the father, guru of this reaction, Dr. Weinberg, is very enthusiastic about nuclear energy. But in the ’70s, he grew more cautious on proliferation and waste. He coined the phrase Faustian bargain. It will give you a great energy source, but you’ve got to worry about proliferation and waste.
    He also said that, looking back, this enthusiasm about these reactors reminds me of what Mr. Weinberg said sort of ruefully about his own excitement. He says: I was a little bit like the Ayatollah is at the moment. He said that in 1981. And then in 1994, when he wrote his memoir, he really rued the fact that waste had been relegated to a secondary issue, which is exactly what the proponents of (unintelligible), the really solid ones, you know, enthusiastic, rah-rah crowd is doing, which is relegating to a secondary issue.
    Mr. – Dr. Weinberg said that if he had to do it over again, he would put the waste issue at the top of the agenda of Oak Ridge National Lab.
    […]
    MARTIN: […] But I also want to take just a step back, here, if I may for a moment, and talk about this whole issue of risk. We’ve been focusing in on some details of protactinium and the build-up of U-232 and so on, but my question to Dr. Makhijani would be: OK, you have concerns about thorium-based nuclear power, and those are not to be dismissed lightly. But what is the answer if this is not it?
    Because as I demonstrate in “SuperFuel,” the book, renewables are not going to solve our problem in the time scales that we need it – in other words, in the next 30 to 50 years. Solar and wind and so on are just not going to be at large enough scales and at the prices to really replace a significant fraction of fossil fuel-based energy in the timeframes that we need.

    Aaah. Now I see; if it’s not thorium, what else could it be? 30 to 50 years?

    Questions, questions…

  207. Spector says:

    RE: Steve P: (May 15, 2012 at 10:30 am)
    “We’ve heard some of the pros. What are the cons?”

    A list of nuclear energy cons presented by Green activist Elisabeth May appears at the nine minute mark in the video included the post above by wayne, at May 12, 2012 at 5:23 am, (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/11/if-obama-is-going-to-kill-coal-he-has-to-hide-the-body/#comment-983241). You can use the slider bar to select that section without going through the whole two hour video.

    Dr. LeBlanc says that it would be necessary to do something like forcing water into the LFTR core to cause a widespread release of radioactivity. One might say that the high-pressure, water-cooled reactor is an accident waiting to happen. However, it has been stated that the Fukushima reactor actually survived the incident, but the unprotected Diesel backup generators were all wiped out by the tsunami so there was no way to restart the reactor or keep the cooling pumps working after it had been shut down in response to the earthquake (See the 49:50 minute mark of the same video referenced above).

    A *secret* operational security, threat-analysis should be required of any such installation or design. That should include hostile cyber attacks.

  208. Spector says:

    Here is another long and detailed technical video presentation by Dr. David LeBlanc and hosted by the University of Tennessee, Department of Nuclear Engineering on the design trade-offs of Molten Salt Reactors.

    Design Fundamentals of Molten Salt Reactors
    “Abstract:
    “Molten Salt Reactors have a great potential as advanced nuclear reactors with rising interest worldwide. Historically known as the optimal Thorium breeder they are also surprisingly attractive as simple converter reactors using Low Enriched Uranium, not to mention being ideal for Transuranic waste destruction. Design flexibility also extends to a wide variety of choices such as Single Fluid vs. Two Fluid and/or fast spectrum vs. soft. A review of design fundamentals and proposed options will be covered with an emphasis on minimizing technological uncertainty.”

    2/1/2012 1:30 PM EST Length: 01:01:47

    http://160.36.161.128/UTK/Viewer/?peid=811fb3c7c7714c93a7954874bad331f5

  209. Brian H says:

    Smokey says:
    May 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Apparently Tom is not capable of falsifying my hypothesis. Therefore, the hypothesis stands. CO2 is harmless and beneficial to the biosphere. More is better.

    There is one door leading out of Tom’s dilemma: falsification. If Tom cannot falsify the hypothesis, then he loses the debate.

    To be upright and scientific about it, you should propose feasible falsification tests yourself, and indeed try to perform them. The true power of falsification is that it must be possible to perform such tests. Climate Science can neither propose any for itself, nor successfully falsify the default Null (natural variation did it all, no carbonic intervention required).

  210. Brian H says:

    Gail;
    By this time next year, the issues of Thorium and renewables may be moot. For years I’ve been following the privately funded work at LPPhysics.com and they’ve leveraged less than $3 million total to reach this point, so far:

    LPP’s patented technology and peer-reviewed science will guide the design of a compact, environmentally safe and virtually unlimited source of energy that would be at least ten times cheaper than any existing sources. Our research team has already achieved major experimental milestones, including the achievement of plasma confinement at energies equivalent to two billion degrees, high enough to fuse hydrogen and boron.

    Distributed, dispatchable, waste-free. Deployable within 5 yrs. Check it out.

  211. Steve P says:

    Meanwhile, we’ve still got quite a bit of coal. Figures vary, but I gather we have well over 100 years of proven reserves. It is conceivable that reserves are being downplayed, and – especially with oil – exploration either deferred (or done quietly) in order to create the illusion of scarcity, and thereby drive up prices.

    BP, in its 2007 report, estimated at 2006 end that there were several billion tons of proven coal reserves worldwide, or 147 years reserves-to-production ratio. This figure only includes reserves classified as “proven”; exploration drilling programs by mining companies, particularly in under-explored areas, are continually providing new reserves. In many cases, companies are aware of coal deposits that have not been sufficiently drilled to qualify as “proven”. However, some nations haven’t updated their information…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal#World_coal_reserves

    As Gail notes, you should try to get direct, source, or raw data, but unless you create your own, that is not always possible. There are middlemen of one kind or another involved in the process of data collection, reduction, analysis, and dissemination, and that creates numerous opportunities, not only for mistakes, but for mischief. But, that’s how bureaucracies operate, and that is how they go corrupt.

    So, whose data do you trust? As I’ve noted, accurate information is like treasure, and some of it is guarded as such, surrounded by Churchill’s “bodyguard of lies.”

    As I see it, the waste-disposal feature of the LFTR may be its most promising feature, since we have other sources of energy, but, as SuperFuel: author Richard Martin notes: “…we’ve got all that waste from our existing nuclear reactor fleet, just sitting around, and we’ve got no plan for it.”

  212. Spector says:

    A quick check of the internet yielded this highly technical, one-hour, 2007 presentation on Focused Fusion presented as a Google TechTalk.

    2007 Google Tech Talk: Focus Fusion –
    The Fastest Route to Cheap, Clean Energy?

    “Uploaded by FocusFusionSociety on Apr 20, 2011″
    67 likes, 1 dislikes, 6,657 Views; 1:04:36 hrs
    “Before Focus Fusion-1 became operational in October 2009, Eric Lerner presented the plan to make it happen at Google’s Mountain View, CA HQ. What do you think: Is it time Google added aneutronic fusion to its portfolio of wind and solar projects?”

    An ‘All of the Above’ policy probably should include support for this kind of research as well.

  213. Gail Combs says:

    Brian H says:
    May 16, 2012 at 2:53 am

    Gail;
    By this time next year, the issues of Thorium and renewables may be moot. For years I’ve been following the privately funded work at LPPhysics.com and they’ve leveraged less than $3 million total to reach this point, so far….
    ________________________________
    Thank you for the pointer. Like Thorium it looks like it is certainly worth watching.

  214. Gail Combs says:

    Spector says: @ May 16, 2012 at 10:15 am
    ….An ‘All of the Above’ policy probably should include support for this kind of research as well.
    _____________________________
    You are correct. It should be an ‘All of the Above’ policy. Solar, Wind and Geothermal can easily fill niche markets. If you are stuck with wood, cloth and hand tools (Africa) a windmill that can be build and maintained with readily available resources makes a lot of sense. Wind can be used to pump water and grind grain, any application where irratic behavior of the energy source is not a problem. Solar with batteries can be used for lights, fence chargers to confine livestock or keep livestock out of crops among other applications. Passive Geothermal is another relatively reasonable idea for the niche market.

    However for the grid you need a controllable and constant energy source. Solar and Wind just do not meet that criteria. Coal, gas, oil, and nuclear (fission and fusion) do. The fact that a large portion of the world’s politicians can not grasp that simple concept leaves me thinking they do not have the intellectual qualifications to make decisions for the rest of us.

  215. Steve P says:

    The driving force behind Focus Fusion at Lawrenceville Plasma Physics is scientist, writer, and researcher Eric J. Lerner. He authored the 1991 book The Big Bang Never Happened, A Startling Refutation of the Dominant Theory of the Origin of the Universe (1991), so it’s safe to say, he’s something of a maverick.

    At first blush, the technology looks very promising, with no obvious technical hurdles standing in the way. There’s quite a bit of information at the LPPhysics.com website, and no broadband required to consume it.

  216. Smokey says:

    Brian H says:
    May 16, 2012 at 2:40 am

    “To be upright and scientific about it, you should propose feasible falsification tests yourself, and indeed try to perform them.”

    I have proposed a simple and straightforward test of the hypothesis: to falsify it only requires showing global harm from the rise in CO2. Any putative harm must be traceable directly to the rise in anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Any such evidence of global harm must itself be testable and falsifiable per the scientific method.

    So far, no one has shown any global harm due to the rise in CO2. The second part of the hypothesis — that the rise in CO2 is beneficial — has been confirmed by satellite measurements. The planet is greening as a result of the rise in CO2. The biosphere is clearly benefitting. Thus, more CO2 is beneficial.

    It is really a simple, testable, and falsifiable hypothesis. I cannot falsify it, and so far no one else has been able to, either. So until someone can show global damage or harm due to the rise in CO2 emissions, the hypothesis stands.

  217. Brian H says:

    Smokey;
    True; but the big focus has been on whether CO2 is a back-radiator, etc. The underlying issue of harmfulness has been pushed by Hansen-esque nonsense. It needs much more attention. My take is that it is so beneficial the world should be aggressively unlocking the sequestered stores in fuels and rock at every opportunity.

  218. Brian H says:

    Gail Combs says:
    May 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Spector says: @ May 16, 2012 at 10:15 am
    ….An ‘All of the Above’ policy probably should include support for this kind of research as well.
    _____________________________
    You are correct. It should be an ‘All of the Above’ policy. Solar, Wind and Geothermal can easily fill niche markets. If you are stuck with wood, cloth and hand tools (Africa) a windmill that can be build and maintained with readily available resources makes a lot of sense. Wind can be used to pump water and grind grain, any application where irratic behavior of the energy source is not a problem. Solar with batteries can be used for lights, fence chargers to confine livestock or keep livestock out of crops among other applications. Passive Geothermal is another relatively reasonable idea for the niche market.

    However for the grid you need a controllable and constant energy source. Solar and Wind just do not meet that criteria. Coal, gas, oil, and nuclear (fission and fusion) do. The fact that a large portion of the world’s politicians can not grasp that simple concept leaves me thinking they do not have the intellectual qualifications to make decisions for the rest of us.

    Indeed! The nicheness of the renewable sources is glossed over by the inane extrapolations into baseload territory. Patently unfit for purpose.

    As for funding sources, I know that LPP does not agree with me on this, but I really hope it is able to carry through without access to government funds, except perhaps some local city or state level grants. The pure horror of the decision-making process at the federal level (DoE, DoD, EPA, etc.) worsened by Congressional mandates and plug-pulling as happened early this century, means it is not worth having if you can possibly avoid it.

    BTW, if you want to make yourself dizzy, try extrapolating the effects of world-wide rapidly deployable generators at <10% best current costs, taking load OFF transmission grids by being distributed near local loads. I project an explosion of human well-being and wealth unparalleled for extent and speed in recorded history.

    Turning mass-deployment of renewables into instant economic roadkill is just an immensely satisfying side-effect.

  219. Spector says:

    Here is a PBS documentary style video presentation on another Fusion Power development effort. It looks like we may have several much safer nuclear options in the near future. BTW, The 4th Thorium Energy Alliance -The Future of Energy- Conference is going to be held in Chicago on May 31-June 1, 2012.

    In the Footsteps of Fusion
    “Uploaded by starscientific on Jun 26, 2011″
    97 likes, 3 dislikes, 11,168 Views; 14:24 min
    “This video provides an overview of the current state of play in the energy sector including current alternative energies, the history of fusion and those currently involved in the fusion race.”

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