Dr. Syun Akasofu: 20 points of context on global warming, politics, and the economy of the world.

From Roger Pielke Sr. – Guest Weblog By Syun Akasofu Of International Arctic Research Center At The University of Alaska Fairbanks

Dr. Syun Akasofu has provided us with a guest weblog based on a translation from Japanese of an article he wrote. I pleased to use my weblog to communicate viewpoints on climate science issues from credentialed climate scientists.

Recommendation to postpone the 2009 Copenhagen Conference:

The so-called “global warming” issue viewed in the context of politics and the economy of the world.

Syun Akasofu International Arctic Research Center

1. The US must have decided to drop the making of cars as their primary manufacturing activity and gave it to Japan. The Obama administration and the US public believe that enough has been done for the ailing car makers, and hope that they will be able to survive by making good electric (not fossil fuel powered) cars.

2. What does this mean? In the history of manufacturing, there has been a trend in which advanced countries lose their primary manufacturing capabilities one after another to developing countries. The textile industry in the UK was taken over by the US, then by Japan, then by China and others. The iron manufacturing industry in the UK was taken over by the US, then by Japan, and then China and other ‘catching-up’ countries. The car manufacturing industry in the UK was taken over by the US (mainly by GM), then Japan (Toyota and Honda), and some day perhaps China. This historical trend cannot be stopped. (The US tried to take over the world’s financing activities from the UK, which had lost interest in manufacturing altogether, but failed miserably in the recent days and caused the current economic recession.)
3. Then, the question is what kind of primary manufacturing industry is the US going to choose to work on in the future? It is likely that the Obama administration has chosen the construction of atomic power plants as the next great US manufacturing effort.

4. The reasons for choosing atomic power plants are obvious. First of all, the US has to secure future electric power because electricity is needed for everything, including future electric cars. The US wants to get away from its reliance on oil (and the unstable oil-producing countries), which will undoubtedly either diminish or become very expensive within the next 50 years. Reducing oil imports will reduce the great deficit. It should be noted that the primary purpose of changing from carbon power to atomic power is not necessarily to reduce the release of CO2 and global warming. It is an excuse. This will become clearer as we look into the related issues.

5. How is global warming related to atomic power? In order to understand this question, it is important to learn how the global warming issue was born. In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher, then the British Prime Minister, came to the conclusion that the UK needed atomic power energy for their future, but she faced strong objections by her people. It was also about the time when the first crude computer simulation of the greenhouse effect of CO2 was made, and it predicted a great disaster and catastrophe due to the expected temperature rise, unless the release of CO2 could be greatly reduced.
Margaret Thatcher must have taken this result into account in promoting atomic power, asking her people to choose either atomic power or global disaster/catastrophe, which would require a great sacrifice in their standard of living in order to avoid it. Without her strong endorsement, the IPCC would not have been established. She also established the Hadley Climate Research Center for further study of the effects of CO2. Until that time, climatology was a rather quiet science (not something dealt with in newspaper headlines), but Thatcher put a great spotlight on it for her political purposes. Therefore, although the CO2 hypothesis is appropriate as a hypothesis in science, the IPCC was related to atomic power from its birth and its destiny was to predict a great disaster/catastrophe. This, in spite of the criticism that the IPCC is predicting the end of the world, although we are not doing very well at even predicting the next day’s weather or the severity of the next winter. Science was used for political purposes. At the same time, the world news media was looking for something exciting to report on because the Cold War was ending. Global warming and reporting on imaginary disasters/catastrophes caused by CO2 has become one of their major headline topics.

6. How is the history of global warming and the IPCC related to the Obama administration’s interest in atomic power plants, making the construction of atomic power plants as the new primary manufacturing industry of the US? This is because if they proposed atomic power plants by singling the issue out, they will face fierce opposition of the people. Since the Three Mile Island plant accident, there has been no atomic plant built on US soil. Therefore, the Obama administration, like Thatcher, will ask the people to choose between atomic power plants (maintaining or improving their present standard of living) or a great disaster/catastrophe caused by CO2 (actually, reducing drastically the present living standard, including not being able to drive (electric) cars).

7. For these reasons, from the perspective of the Obama administration, the greater the disaster/catastrophe predicted due to CO2, the better it is for the purpose of promoting atomic energy. As a first step toward the goal of switching to atomic power, the Obama administration states that atomic energy is “green” (meaning no air pollution), that atomic energy is “non-carbon”, and even that CO2 is “unhealthy”. Note also that Obama uses the words “climate change”, not “global warming.”
The physics of CO2, absorbing and re-emitting infrared radiation is clear. On the other hand, geophysicists must find how much heating CO2 will cause when a given amount of it is released into the complex earth system. Thus, in this situation it is meaningless and useless for the real science of global warming/climate to face off against the political decisions and propaganda for the planning of atomic power plants.

8. One problem in this particular discipline of science is that scientists who base their research on computer simulations have become too arrogant, saying that they can predict the temperature in 2100, although too much is still unknown about the earth system. Ignoring natural causes of climate change and even unknown aspects of cloud physics, they rely on computer work in predicting the temperature rise in 2100. However, a computer is like a robot. It can perform only what it is instructed to do by the programs produced by the human brain. If a computer program is incorrect or inaccurate, the output will also be incorrect or inaccurate. In science, incorrect programs or hypotheses (produced by one or a group of scientists) are criticized by other scientists and can thus be improved. That is the way science should progress. However, the IPCC regards those who criticize them as “skeptics”, or “deniers”, etc., and brought this newborn and immature science to the international stage. They stated in 2007 that scientists have done all they can and that the science is settled, and the rest of the task should be in the hands of policy makers. Such a statement is very irresponsible.

9. However, even if the US decides that its next primary manufacturing industry is the construction of atomic power plants, there will be fierce competition between the US group (US, Japan, Russia) and the French group, which has more experience than the US, at last in the safety of operation. (A further problem is that Toshiba owns much of the Westinghouse stock.) There will eventually be uranium wars in the future; energy securing wars will continue forever.

10. The Obama administration is promoting wind power and solar power. However, there is no way to supply more than 10% of the US power needs (Obama says that they should try for 20%, but has he estimated the cost involved?) It is only about 2.5% at present. In any case, 80-90% of future electric power has to be found.

11. The US has to rely on coal power plants (at present 40%), until a large number of atomic power plants can be built, perhaps about 15-20 years from now. Thus, there is no way for the US to agree on any international agreement on a near-future CO2 reduction at the present time. The US has been saying that unless China and India agree to a significant reduction of the release of CO2, any agreement is useless. On the other hand, the US has made China its factory, and furthermore the US owes a great debt to China. Unless China can remain healthy, politically and financially, and with sufficient energy, the US will have a serious problem. Therefore, the US cannot force China to reduce its CO2 emission. On the other hand, in spite of the fact that China is now “richer” than the US, it continues to claim that it is still one of the developing countries and that the developed countries should reduce their release of CO2 first. The US and China must surely understand each other, so that the above statements are only rhetorical. The IPCC chairman has stated recently that India will not agree to a “cap”. Further, global capitalism is such that the rest of the world relies on the US buying power (even if they are using credit cards), so that the US economy has to be healthy. EU officials have had a large number of conferences on the reduction of CO2, but they have not reached any conclusion they can agree on.

12. For the above reasons, is it useful to have any more conferences on global warming? How many international conferences with the heads of nations have been held in the past? There has been no substantive agreement on the amount of release of CO2 by individual countries, in spite of the fact that protecting the earth from the CO2-based disaster/catastrophe should be the most solemn duty of the heads of nations (although environmental destruction caused by global capitalism is conveniently forgotten). So far, all the past conferences ended with a “fight” between rich nations and poor nations. The latter trying to snatch money from the former using the so-called “cap and trade” as an excuse, and the former trying to protect themselves from such an assault, in spite of the fact that the “cap and trade” negotiations have no effect on reducing the overall release of CO2. It is suspected that the heads of nations do not really believe in the global disaster/catastrophe scenario caused by CO2. However, they stated they believe in the IPCC, so they cannot publicly say that they do not believe in the disaster scenario, because they and their countries would be called enemies of humanity, like George W. Bush.

13. It has been said that the only thing they agreed on at the past conferences is to decide on the time and place for the next meeting. Such conferences are useless, although they are better than a world war. It is suggested that they should postpone future meetings until the science of global warming will advance farther. It is not too late, as the proponents of global warming advocate, since there has been no predicted disaster/catastrophe after the release of CO2 increased rapidly in 1946. In the tropics and middle latitude, there has been no discernible disaster/catastrophe so far. This is why the world media flocks to the Arctic and reports on erroneous global warming effects. None of the phenomena and changes they reported are related even remotely to the CO2 effects. A good example is glacier calving at the terminus. Nevertheless, the world media reports that the changes are caused by the CO2 effect.

14. In Japan, they are overjoyed by the statements of President Obama, saying that he is quite serious about “global warming” (actually, he says “climate change” instead of global arming). They interpret his statements as a sign that the US has finally become serious about the release of CO2, and that Obama is different from George W. Bush.

15. It is very unfortunate that science is being used for political purposes. Global warming is an imaginary product used for promoting the atomic power industry. When the truth will eventually become apparent, the credibility of science will be seriously damaged, since so many scientists (not only climatologists, but also many scientists in general) blindly trusted the IPCC and accused their opponents as “skeptics” and “deniers”, etc.

16. Actually, judging by what has been described earlier, the IPCC is NOT a scientific research organization, although they skillfully mobilized 2500 “world experts in climatology”; they were used by the IPCC, some probably unwittingly. The IPCC skillfully created the impression of “consensus” among 2500 scientists. Their contribution, a large volume of publications, is conveniently used for the IPCC publication, “Summary for Policy Makers”, as an apparent back-up document, although the IPCC charter clearly states that they are not supposed to make recommendations to policy makers.
The IPCC has tried to emphasize that global warming began unexpectedly and abruptly after 1900 because of the enhanced release of CO2. However, global warming began as early as 1800-1850s at the same rate as the present (0.5°C/100 years), namely about 100 years earlier than the beginning of a rapid increase of CO2 release, as the earth began to recover from the Little Ice Age (1400-1800). The recovery from a cold period is warming. Actually, the warming until 2000 and the present cooling trend can reasonably be explained as natural changes. The IPCC has ignored natural changes as at least a partial cause of global warming, in order to promote their CO2 hypothesis.

17. The IPCC tried to ignore the fact that the earth experienced the Little Ice Age by using the co-called “hockey stick” figure, because it is not convenient to know that the global warming began in 1800-1850, and not as they claim in the 20th century. The recovery from the Little Ice Age (a cold period) is warming. How many of the 2500 scientists trust the hockey stick figure? Perhaps only very few. Is this then the “consensus” of 2,500 experts in climatology? Unfortunately, the IPCC and the world media have presented this hypothesis as a fact.

18. There is another reason for proposing the postponement of future global warming conferences. After 1998 or 2000, global temperature has stopped rising and shows a sign of cooling, in spite of the fact that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is still rapidly rising. This is an observed fact. Therefore, their temperature prediction for the year 2100 has already failed during the first 10 years. However, IPCC scientists have not recognized it, saying that it is just a temporal change; but 10 years of consistent change is considered climate change.

19. The world political leaders should be able to decide to postpone future conferences until scientists could find the causes for the present halting of global warming. Temporary or not, there must be unknown forces and causes to suppress the CO2 effect or even overcome it.

20. We should bring back the science of climate change to a basic science, avoiding interferences by policy makers and the world mass media. Only then can this particular science proceed in a scientifically healthy way. Only then can we discuss any global warming hypothesis as proponents and opponents (instead of as “believers” and “skeptics” or “deniers” in the religious sense), regardless of one side being in the majority or minority. In science, unlike in politics, a minority can be right.

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232 thoughts on “Dr. Syun Akasofu: 20 points of context on global warming, politics, and the economy of the world.

  1. Errr… US car industry going to Japan? I didn’t know Fiat and Magna were Japanese companies…

    The argument that “temperatures stopped increasing while CO2 was rising” is somewhat surprising coming from an educated guy. Especially since one simply has to take a look at the 1980-2000 period to see that such “slowing downs” appeared several times.

    BTW, Lean and Rind (Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, L15708) made some interesting short-time predictions. Using a GCM, they can reproduce quite well the behavior of the global temperature until very recently. They predict that temperatures should increase again from 2009 to 2014 at a rate 50% higher than the IPCC predictions, before making another pause between 2015 and 2019. At least, that’s something we will be able to test rapidly!

  2. Quit reading regardless of the merits of the paper. Poor text structure: no separation between paragraphs except meaningless numbers.

    REPLY: Yeah the formatting sometimes gets wonky when importing into wordpress. fixed that .- A

  3. Flanagan (22:51:30) :


    BTW, Lean and Rind (Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, L15708) made some interesting short-time predictions. Using a GCM, they can reproduce quite well the behavior of the global temperature until very recently. They predict that temperatures should increase again..

    As the song says,”when will they ever learn? when will they learn?”
    that you can fit anything given the number of parameters of GCM models( even an elephant as Von Neumann is supposed to have said) and that it means absolutely nothing for future projections of chaotic systems.

    And for me, an educated gal, with a doctorate and over forty years experience in fitting models to data with computer programs, the ten year hiatus of temperature rise while CO2 rises merrily on is a good indication that CO2 has little to do with the case.

  4. Uranium wars seem unlikely. Either fusion or thorium based fission will probably work out eventually (see recent Scientific American article regarding the latter). In the meantime, there will be enough people with common sense to enable continued use of coal (hopefully with unabated pressure from us all to continually reduce actual pollutants such as sulphur compounds, mercury, heavy metals, etc.).

  5. One small comment:
    In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher, then the British Prime Minister, came to the conclusion that the UK needed atomic power energy for their future, but she faced strong objections by her people….

    I don’t know if nuclear power was a big draw, but getting rid of coal was. In 84/85 the UK endured the NUM strike, which was estimated to cost over 1.5 Bn Sterling in lost output and cost of alternate energy. Promoting gas (also plentiful, but expensive in the UK) as a replacement for coal promised to hurt the NUM, and reduce their political power and ability to disrupt the economy. In addition, the UK is relatively well endowed with gas, compared to the rest of the European Union – a policy that forced substitution of coal with gas would play to the UK’s competitive advantage. The combination would be attractive to any UK PM – particularly one who was ideologically opposed to the NUM.

    From ’88 to 98 coal consumption in the UK (in Bbl of Oil Equivalents) declined from ~70MT to ~41MT, while gas increased from ~52 to ~88MT. Over the period, nuclear electric generation (the only civilian use of nuclear) stayed roughly flat. See
    http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/publications/dukes/dukes.aspx (look for DUKES 60th Anniversary Edition)

  6. Flanagan (22:51:30) :

    The argument that “temperatures stopped increasing while CO2 was rising” is somewhat surprising coming from an educated guy. Especially since one simply has to take a look at the 1980-2000 period to see that such “slowing downs” appeared several times.

    BTW, Lean and Rind (Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, L15708) made some interesting short-time predictions. Using a GCM, they can reproduce quite well the behavior of the global temperature until very recently. They predict that temperatures should increase again from 2009 to 2014 at a rate 50% higher than the IPCC predictions, before making another pause between 2015 and 2019. At least, that’s something we will be able to test rapidly!

    Actually, world temperatures have gone down twice since 1958, when consistent CO2 measurements began, in spite of constantly rising CO2 levels. See the second graph found at http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateReflections.htm#20080927:%20Reflections%20on%20the%20correlation%20between%20global%20temperature%20and%20atmospheric%20CO2

    The author points out:

    Apparently, the period of positive correlation between the amount of atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures are limited to the time window 1975-2000.

    This clearly demonstrates the lack of confirmation of the AGW hypothesis, which is what Dr. Syun Akasofu is saying.

    From your own observations, we can conclude the GCM model of Lean and Rind has already joined the ranks of all the other GCM models in failing to predict world temperatures. We don’t need to wait to see if their future predictions will fail. As you stated:

    Using a GCM, they can reproduce quite well the behavior of the global temperature until very recently.

    Why do these GCM models fail to predict world temperatures?

    Because all GCM models start off with the assumption that increases in CO2 lead to run away global warming.

    The chart above, and Dr. Syun Akasofu agrees, clearly demonstrates the fallacy of the CO2 AGW hypothesis. Until GCM models take into consideration natural processes such as the sun and cloud formation, there is no hope of successfully modeling climate. This doesn’t mean that by taking these other factors into consideration the models will work, it simply means there is no hope of getting them to work until they do so. Even if an accurate GCM is developed, we will have to wait at least 30 years to confirm.

    So why not follow the suggestion he makes? Let’s determine what causes these cooling off periods in the face of increasing CO2 levels.

    In all events, the experiment continues. China, India and other developing countries will not halt their growing production of CO2 to satisfy the AGW crowd. Even if the US is stupid enough to do so, CO2 levels will continue to rise and we will all get to see what effect this process will have on world temperatures.

    Based on what has happened over the last fifty years, I would expect world temperatures to be driven by natural processes, not CO2 produced by the industrialized world.

  7. While it is encouraging that Dr Akasofu has taken the time to list many of the major things wrong with the Warmist creed, all he has done is cover old ground already well mapped by the likes of Chris Monckton. This article doesn’t actually add anything new to the debate.

    O/T More proof that the scientists of the once revered Royal Society are bizarro bonkers when it comes to AGW:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8231387.stm

  8. Don’t agree with his reason. The main political motivation for AGW is to get poor countries to hand over their mineral rich land to the world bank in exchange for debt relief. The principle presented to the media ( in the poor countries ) is that people aren’t responsible enough to look after the land.
    George Hunt had the pattern correct back in 1987 when he realised the newly formed world consevation bank was agreeing to take land as collateral in loan agreements to poor countries.
    The 1st world public and it’s middle independant thinkers (us!), are as usual, keep subdued over a debate which doesn’t involve or interfere with the main plan.
    That said, AGW is now used as an excuse in such a broad range of legislations that perhaps it’s no longer plasible to pinpoint and label a particular policy as it’s main goal.
    Grab and control as much of every industry in the world. Money changers.

  9. I don’t know this might be tinfoil hat time but, if I was the leader of a first world country and I was seeing all my manufacturing going to other lands I would look at 3 things you need to manufacture: labor, energy, and raw materials. You really can’t do anything about their population so cheap labor is out, they have the raw resources in the ground so that’s out, so that just leaves energy. The problem is they have their own energy in the form of coal, so you need some way to get them to buy your “new green” energy at ridiculously high prices.

    Step 1, make coal and oil evil (old technology, cheap technology, anyone can use)
    Step 2, force 3rd world countries to use new technologies like wind and solar (expensive, difficult to create, inefficient, and all the new patents are “ours”)
    Step 3, profit

    As for the nuclear, Canada has TONS of uranium, sure its cheap, safe and simple to produce, but has a nasty tendency to be turned into weapons so I think creating another set of Indias and Pakistans throughout Africa may not be the best idea for export.

    Thus the reason wind and solar and not nuclear are on the front burner, and a very logical reason why Global Warming exists at all.

  10. thank you Mr. Akasofu!

    I like your work on climate science and this response to politics and ecconmics.

    Go on this way, Antony and Syun!

  11. Flanagan (22:51:30) :

    are you an IPCC denier?

    forgett this useless GCM`s, which will rebild a climate, which was wrong predicted before.
    we know there is warming, but there is no evidence that it will go so far as simulated and not this fast at all. the daramatic part of climate is only made for reasons you can read above. wake up!

  12. The way of the political world is to offer two choices: a silly one and a catastrophic one.

    This is because politicians are only needed to defend the indefensible, so if they proposed sensible policies, they would soon be needed rather less.

    The fact that they would be happier and the world would be happier if that happened does not yet seemed to have permeated the political ether.

    That’s life.

  13. Flanagan (22:51:30) : Errr… US car industry going to Japan? I didn’t know Fiat and Magna were Japanese companies…

    Flanagan you are pathetic. In 2008 Japanese vehicles had 38.5% of the US market European cars 5.8%. Toyota alone has 16% almost 3 times the European total. Their share so far in 2009 40.5%, just slightly less than all American cars sold in America.

    The rest of your equally specious comments have been adequately dealt with by anna v (23:22:25)

  14. Dr. Syun Akasofu’s blog is indeed insightful. Intellectually challenged greenies can live in tree houses and bond with polar bears, but the world needs energy. Oil, coal and Nuclear are the only feasible ones for the moment.

    anna v (22:50:05) – I’m sorry fusion is a pipe dream for the foreseeable future. UK were the leaders in this and they have abandoned it.

  15. Flanagan (22:51:30) :

    BTW, Lean and Rind (Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, L15708) made some interesting short-time predictions. Using a GCM, they can reproduce quite well the behavior of the global temperature until very recently. They predict that temperatures should increase again from 2009 to 2014 at a rate 50% higher than the IPCC predictions, before making another pause between 2015 and 2019. At least, that’s something we will be able to test rapidly!

    Have we got already at that point? Can we expect to see a CGM modeller right along an astrologer in a prime time end-of-year TV show predicting what will the wheather be like next decade and who will get a divorce next year?

    Don’t you see that at some point someone has got to actually predict something that really happens if enough predictions are being published?

    Unfortunately, your quoted paper is most probably not going to be it.

  16. anna v (22:50:05) “My only disagreement is in his prediction of energy wars for Uranium sources.”

    Could statements like that be designed to keep Canada & Australia in fear (& perceived need of powerful allies)?


    Interesting read.

  17. O/T More proof that the scientists of the once revered Royal Society are bizarro bonkers when it comes to AGW:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8231387.stm

    …Yes, the British public are being softened up for Copenhagen, which is set to wrench eye-watering amounts of new so-called “green taxes” from us. The BBC, ITV and Channels 4 and 5 are all promoting the CO2 myths for all they’re worth.

    If anyone needs reminding about all the lies the doom-mongers propagate, try yesterday’s Guardian [September 1]. From the “disappearing” arctic, to melting glaciers, polar bears, rotting seal carcasses, the Eskimos/Inuits, rising sea levels, millions of people dying, collapsing ecology, destroyed industries and the destruction of most of our civilisation, etc, it’s all there. If anyone actually wants to read all their lying, propagandist, junk science claptrap, it’s there on the front page.

  18. Dt. Akasofu is correct that nuclear was the plan Mrs. T. had in mind.

    It’s an indication of the shear bloody-mindedness of the U.K. populace that her plan didn’t pan out.

    Since then, the majority have been cowed into submission to the green alternatives, (which according to the EU masters doesn’t include nuclear,) of wind & solar.

    The green movement won’t accept the only logical power sources are coal & nuclear, so basically, we are stuffed!

    DaveE.

  19. Nice! You find the best stuff Anthony:) I agree with most of it too, not so much on uranium wars tho. It would be nice if we could recycle some of the pre existing waste we already have tho.

  20. I don’t buy the argument that Obama is going to push nuclear energy, doesn’t fit his party’s blinkered legacy of anti-nuke hysteria.

    It is ironic that conservatives set off the AGW catastrophe scare to drum up support for nuclear energy. Shameful conduct.

    However, today the not-so-hidden animating ideology behind AGW is the socialist ideal of statist control of every aspect of private life. Just like HCR isn’t really about providing better medical care to Americans, AGW fear mongering isn’t really about saving the planet.

    It’s all about appropriating legal control over every aspect of your life and ultimately reducing your constitutional rights to that of a medieval serf. What a better start than to seize power over every Americans’ health-related choices combined with anything you do that uses energy.

    Hey, relax, have a soma pill – a centralized government technocracy can provide free universal health care and legislate fine weather for tomorrow, Obama swears it’s all true.

    Hope and change? It’s time for a revolution, alright.

  21. I think Mr Akasofu has done a very good job of summarising the situation, although I suspect that Uranium Wars will not happen, well not on any significant scale! Surely there is still the potential to use hydrogen extracted from seawater to produce energy, after all it is the most explosive element in the Universe so far known. If we cannot put that to good use then we really are a sorry bunch. If we can put the damned stuff into cars well who knows where the ceiling lies?

    BTW – Disneyland (UK) has started its Autumnal dance with lunacy already – every other media stream has to mention C/C somewhere. Yesterday we had a probably well educated, intelligent reporter ( he was the BBC’s “Science” correspondent I believe) on the BBC News commenting on the latest pronouncement from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, stating with great emphasis & passion (he’d been on the “I am a caring reporter” full weekend course I suspect) that “the trouble is we’ve put so much carbon into the atmosphere that the planet can no longer cope”! From whence this profound piece of wisdom came is anybody’s guess, the poor dear chap, woudn’t do to actually think about it all for a few moments would it? He had all the authority of an IPCC Chairman. I guarantee the BBC will have such topics rammed down our throats almost daily all the way “to Copenhagen & beyond!”, (now that’s a phrase that could catch on). All the old hackneyed stories about Arctic ice melt (they’ll get those Catlin goons in there somewhere), Antarctic ice melt, sea-level rises, the Hockey Stick, the AR4 SPM, et al. I dare say the US will ditto!

  22. As a P.S. to my above post.

    Nuclear is given a carbon equivalence by the E.U..

    This makes France one of the worst carbon polluters in the eyes of the E.U.!

    The French however are even more arrogant & pig-headed than the British and will therefore take bugger-all notice of what the E.U. tells them to do and good on them is all I can say to that!

    I just wish our government would grow some balls & tell the E.U. where they can stick their directives.

    DaveE.

  23. Good advice: Give up the Climate Change edicts and cancel C02penhagen. One library burned at Alexandria was enough, don’t you think?
    Besides, you heard the man, all Obama is really after is an excuse to slap up those Nukular things.

    Fusion, I hate to say, isn’t even practicable at this point. About as useful as perpetual motion, only in this case, perpetually 30 years away.

    Now, there’s just a messy detail or two:
    1.) Where are you going to put all that nuclear waste and
    2.) If you’re thinking about breeder reactors you have a proliferation/theft problem that’s through the roof. Suffice to say there’s some nasty problems to be solved with nuclear power on scale.

    Meanwhile, there’s something going on with the Sun that needs attention.

  24. Flanagan (22:51:30) :
    The argument that “temperatures stopped increasing while CO2 was rising” is somewhat surprising coming from an educated guy. Especially since one simply has to take a look at the 1980-2000 period to see that such “slowing downs” appeared several times.

    Those slowdowns were caused by Pinatubo and El Chichon eruptions and lasted 2-3 years. There have not been such event since 2000, but there were oceanic oscillations going negative or neutral.
    Concerning AGW political motives, they vary – from hardcore eugenics, tax-hungry politics, socialists wanting to finally destroy capitalism, Europeans jealous with US prosperity, nutters with self-destroying tendencies, third world countries expecting payments from the West for “new technologies” (understand – new source of corruption money), big business ready to make a deal with governments to sell their products like wind turbines, up to dreamers about one worldwide government.

  25. Jim B in Canada (00:33:16) :

    Nukular, failsafe?? Until there’s an accident, it’s always presumed safe. Checked up on Chernobyl lately?
    How about those idiots contemplating sticking Nukes in Volcanoes?
    How about those terrorists who would die for the chance to get their hands on some nuclear stuff?

    Ok, I’ve ranted enough.
    How about a catchy slogan?
    21st century: Powered by Pandorra.

  26. A very succinct examination of the state of play.
    As has been reported in the UK media yesterday, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6816796.ece, we’re highly likely to be facing power cuts within the next 8 years, as our current (& hopefully soon to be replaced!) Government has vasilated over the past decade or so, about how to replace our existing nuclear power plants, as they reach the end of their designed life spans.
    They’ve compounded their error by agreeing to close coal-fired plant, so we can do our bit to “Fight Climate Change”!
    “The looming power shortage is caused by the scheduled closure by 2015 of nine oil and coal-fired power plants, as part of anti-pollution measures”
    The “renewables” phantom is noted
    “The latest figures cast doubt over the Government’s pledge that renewable sources can make up for lower output from nuclear and coal. ”
    I think the good Dr has hit the nail right on the head here.
    ” It is suspected that the heads of nations do not really believe in the global disaster/catastrophe scenario caused by CO2″
    The much-maligned President Bush seems, in my eyes, to have fitted this perfectly. Ignoring the idiocies of Rio, Kyoto. etc, etc, until someone whispered in his ear…”George, there’s votes to be lost by your stance, it may be right, but just say you’ll sign us up, then do what the French do, ignore the parts you don’t like”

  27. He’s right about Thatcher starting the CO2 scaremongering: Confirmed by Nigel Lawson. But some facts get lost with time. Yes she wanted to destroy the powerful coal mining union but the nuclear lobby had lied to her about real costs and she only discovered the truth when nobody wanted to buy the nuclear industry during privatisation attempts. It was eventually sold off to foreigners on promises that the UK taxpayer would underwrite all cleanup costs. The pseudo-greening was just a good excuse to raise fuel taxes – to the detriment of what remained of UK industry. Meantime natural gas came onstream in huge amounts and saved the day. That free fossil fuel bonanza was frittered away on paying all the newly unemployed from her abandonment of manufacturing. Now the oil and gas is running out so nuclear has been put on the table again. And again they are realizing just how expensive it is. The only way forward I see for the UK is coal-to-gas tech. Happily they still have 200 years worth of coal left. You can only use what you’ve got.

    IMO the policy from Thatcher through to Blair was a) move money around instead of making things, b) sell all your assets cheaply to pirates, c) pretend your short-term fossil fuel bonanza is really long-term growth, d) adjust unemployment numbers with endless accounting tricks, e) hike up GDP with household debt. This tooth-fairy policy, labelled “the economic miracle” was adopted by the World Bank and the IMF and forced on 3rd world economies where it failed every time. Reality bites eventually.

    I wonder how many predictions of thermageddon need to fail before people like Flanagan become a little skeptical.

  28. I’m fond of this analysis. We live in a big world with lots of competing ideologies, lifestyles, and values. AGW affects everything so every group can hitch its own agenda to it.

    The greens I read about and have met seem to want a simpler lifestyle of community and sharing, and a system that’s less materialistic and slower. Basically they’re like lay Buddhist feminist psychotherapists who’ve projected God onto Nature. One environmentalist told me straight up that AGW didn’t even have to be real, because it was really about “reducing greed”.

    Meanwhile the typical modern person who is used to material progress, education, medical advances, stability, and so on, sees AGW as a way to reduce dependence on the Middle East and reduce the prospect of more wars. New technology sounds appealing and obviously we don’t want it to come with problems like pollution, so there is some interest in so-called “clean renewables”.

    There’s more groups, but try to imagine what a politician must be thinking. In addition to the population at large, there are business interests, the various engines of the economy, the sources of energy and power and growth. The politicians have a country to run. Like them or not, they don’t on the whole wish to see our nation ruined. There are limits to what they can achieve. There are social trends, fashions, different groups with different worldviews. How to you get your plans implemented?

    Both Obama and Brown have made speeches recently where they talk about the environment, about world peace, about renewables, about climate change, about new jobs, and if you listen carefully, they do pop in the word “nuclear”.

  29. From the post:

    “It is likely that the Obama administration has chosen the construction of atomic power plants as the next great US manufacturing effort.”

    Obama will have to get that one past his base. Good luck with that!

    Will “manufacturing” nuclear plants put 6-8 million people back to work? I don’t think so.

  30. UK Sceptic. It may well be that he’s covering old ground. However, there are billions of people who are unaware and kept in ignorance, and for whom it would be quite revealing. Just like Galileo is old ground now regarding the motion of the planets around the sun, in his day it was heresy. We’re in the position of Galileo before the inquisition.

  31. Amazing article, it should be a must read for anyone who is interested in global climate change and/or in energy politics.

  32. The article as translated from the original Japanese gets his message across, critics please read the original then comment !
    The world needs a new energy source , be it butterfly milk or starlight. Why nuclear ? simple, money, it is a money maker, if the same amount of research finance/energy was invested into the ”heat beneath our feet” the problem would have been solved a hundred years ago, what is that problem ? it’s free, all the worlds countries have ”geological hot spots” but it would seem, that, ”butterfly milk ” is the only way to go !

  33. Hi there!

    Anna (and others): if temperatures were strictly following CO2, that would prove CO2 is the ONLY climatic driver. The fact that GCMs including greenhouse-based feedback can reproduce the observed variations is a sign that it plays a role. Another such sign is the fact that no model not taking into account such a feedback can do it. Moreover, most GCMs correctly predicted the 1990-2009 trend. Try to read other sources of information
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/02/08/how-hot-should-it-have-really-been-over-the-last-5-years/

    Richard: we’re not talking about parts in the US market, but about what happens to the US car industry. Chrysler is now part of Fiat. GM is selling parts to Magna, or possibly to a Belgian consortium.

  34. Flanagan,
    I don’t think Fiat and Magna are the result of displaced auto manufacturing in the U.S. Clearly the premis was that the U.S. chose not to build and buy Chevys and Fords, and chose instead to “let” Japan build Nissans and Toyotas and bought those instead. I don’t think Fiat and/or Magna enter into the U.S. auto equation. I understand that they have an impact in the UK, and that the fewer cars GM and Ford produces overall, the bigger the opportunity for Fiat and Magna to grow, but that’s not his point.

    Jim B in Canada,
    Your scenario assumes that there is much hand-wringing by the leader of the 1st world industrial country over the loss of manufacturing. I don’t believe this to be the case. Politicians have essentially pushed manufacturing OUT of this country for the sake of votes. The second place your scenario falls down is in making fossil-fueled energy “bad” for the new manufacturing base. China has no such concern over their energy usage, and has made that pretty clear. We’re not going to get China to buy U.S.-made windmills OR nuclear power plants. China is pretty happy to build whatever they need, and right now, from their perspective, the U.S. is an interesting economic experiment that takes place “over there”, and has little or no impact on their future plans, other than the fact that they can exercise complete control over the U.S. economy at any time of their choosing.

    Back to Dr. Akasofu’s writings, I disagree with the whole premise regarding Obama becoming a nuclear power advocate. First, it would hardly make a dent in the manufacturing losses the U.S. has incurred. Second, politically, he won’t be around long enough to pull this flip-flop off, as there is every indication that his administration is such and abismal failure in almost every aspect, that a second term is highly unlikely at this point. The only support he has left right now are the hard-core leftists, and were he to start promoting nuclear power, he would lost even them.

    The other point that plays into this, that Dr. Akasofu fails to expand upon is money. It’s been said many times that AGW is a money machine. True, it currently has some cracked gears and is leaking oil (pun intended), but the old gal is still running, and as long as that’s true it gives hope that the meme can be used to extract untold billions of dollars to feed the political machine.
    In short, no AGW =’s no means to fund approx. 1/3 of the proposed budget.

    JimB

  35. I have a cunning plan…

    We lobby our respective governments to point out that as the ‘science is settled’ no more research funds are needed to study climate change and that as the tax is no longer needed it should be returned to taxpayers.

    That will immediately ensure that all the various climate research organisations will immediately lobby Govt for funds for their particular project citing a ‘special case.’

    This will flush out thousands of projects and enable the world to see that far from being settled, the science has barely scratched the surface.

    I would hazard a guess that faced with funding cuts EVERY research organisation will suddenly admit that on reflection they don’t know as much as they claimed.

    We might then be able to have a sensible debate and a little more humility from those who think they have all the answers.

    Tonyb

  36. I live in France. My monthly electricity bill from EDF has the following information:

    Power generated in 2008:

    nuclear power 82.9%
    renewable energy 9.3% of which 7.5% from hydropower
    3.1% coal
    3.0% gas
    1.4% oil
    0.3% other sources

    I think the French are doing it the right way. The French are also building a new nuclear power plant in Finland (5th nuclear power station there).

    I pay 0.0802 EUR/kWh. Go nuclear.

  37. Anna V

    “When fusion comes on line the energy sources, from the seas and oceans, will be plenty for all.”

    I was, 30 years ago, confidently predicting to my students at the time economic meltdown for the Gulf States when fusion power made their oil-based economies obsolete. Are we any closer to achieving sustainable fusion power or is this goal still but a distant pipe-dream?

  38. I was in an interesting conversation recently, the bit relevant to this thread summarised as:-

    – A major backup for European “green” power is French nuclear electricity

    – The French solution to the looming UK power problem – “How about we build another 5 or 6 nuclear plants and sell you the electricity?”

  39. I don’t know if his theory about Obama and nuclear is right — as the “far left” seems unshakably anti-nuclear.

    I, however, am pro-nuclear. So, I hope we do start a major nuclear power effort — eventually morphing into fusion energy production. I can dream, can’t I?

  40. As a Brit myself, it’s a touch depressing to read in the above comments that this global warming scam was started by Mrs Thatcher’s government. I hadn’t realised before that it was all our fault. Er……Sorry, folks!

  41. It is nice to have these thoughts about nuclear base-load energy independence, but I’m sure that they are not Obama’s plans.

    Firstly, Obama brought in the original $700 billion (say it quickly, it doesn’t sound a lot…) stimulus package.

    I commented at the time that if he really wanted a simulus, the $700 billion not be spent on bailing out Wall Street cronies, but be spent on modern nuclear plants – $2 billion each is roughly seven (7) brand new, state of the art pebble bed reactors in each and every state in the USA. 350 new reactors, bring the United States’ capacity to somewhere near France’s level of energy security.

    But nooooooooooooooooooo.

    There is no way that Obama’s socialist minders will ever allow anything like this to happen.

    All they desire is the complete and utter destruction of Western industrialised society.

    Thinking that Obama has a “plan” for nuclear is just dreaming.

  42. Certainly during the 80’s Thatcher was at war with coal miners, and Middle East Oil Barons, so the AGW thesis suited her ambitions. This was the first step in the politicisation of science. Then came James Lovelock saying it would be so bad that only nuclear power could make a difference. I’m sure that if all the world’s problems regarding international politics and energy were to come to an end, this AGW thesis would cease to exist. In other words, the process is advocacy and politics based, and not scientific

  43. There is a lot of wisdom and insight here by Akasofu. He’s absorbed many lessons from a diverse number of fields. I’m less impressed with nuclear as the ultimate driving force of present political trends; I think Akasofu correctly describes the confusion among politicians, and the reason for it which is the failure of AGW science, but I think he imputes more disguised nuclear fervor than is present. Obama and the wild and crazy guys, Chu and Holdren, still believe in the chimera of alternative, so-called renewable, energy sources. Obama, the Chicago homeboy, is also dearly beholden to biofuel interests.

    If, as present science is now showing, that CO2 is not a climate threat, then fossil fuels will continue to dominate energy production, being only replaced in the energy market by nuclear as the need for hydrocarbons for structure rises. Biofuels are counterproductive except for specialized uses, and solar and wind are too land intensive and not energy dense enough to ever solve many problems. They are, at best, a gigawatt solution to a terrawatt problem.
    =============================

  44. Well, if we go nuclear then there is no point in making electric cars. We don’t have the rare metals to make electric cars for everyone- but we could use the nuclear energy (electricity) to make hydrogen for hydrogen powered cars. No co2 emissions- just water. Why, we could solve the water shortages by driving more… Just sayin..

    I still like the article- good read.

  45. DaveE (02:01:40) :

    As a P.S. to my above post.

    Nuclear is given a carbon equivalence by the E.U..

    This makes France one of the worst carbon polluters in the eyes of the E.U.!

    The French however are even more arrogant & pig-headed than the British and will therefore take bugger-all notice of what the E.U. tells them to do and good on them is all I can say to that!

    I just wish our government would grow some balls & tell the E.U. where they can stick their directives.

    DaveE.

    Hear, Hear! That’s why I admire the French so much, they go through the motions so well, but disregard anything they don’t like &/or affects the French way of life!

  46. For the time being we’re stuck with fossil fuels whether we like it or not. Our biggest short term concern should be capacity. There is no way alternative energy sources can step up to the plate in the short term (I’m referring to power generation). And if the present Administration believes it can force the issue by adding surtaxes, carbon taxes, and more regulation, it will only reduce capacity. The result will be brown-outs and other types of power interruptions (think of California circa 2000 writ large), and higher utility bills.

    One other point of contention is imported oil. Oil is priced on the globally. Big Oil buys its oil from brokers who represent the people who own the wells. There is no way we can change this. The vast majority of our imported oil comes from Canada and Mexico. Venezuela comes in third; Nigeria, and the Persian Gulf nations follow. However, even if we were to allow more drilling and cut imports, the price of oil would still be determined by a global standard; just because we drill it here doesn’t mean it will remain here. If demand goes up and China outbids US firms on the trading floor they get the oil -even if the oil came from Texas or North Dakaota.

    In the long term there are other alternatives such as atomic power and natural gas (according to rumour, the US has some of the largest untapped natural gas deposits in the world). Currently, there are no alternative sources that do not require huge federal subsidies -atomic power included. One could argue that if we increased alternatives the price of oil would drop, as demand would weaken with less US imports. In that case, the costs of alternative energy would become prohibitive when compared to fossil fuels. Whether we like it or not fossil fuels are still the most efficient energy source in the world.

    The economic arguements concerning AGW are quite untrue. Getting off our “addiction” to oil could be quite expensive.

  47. Flanagan (22:51:30) :

    I’d like to ask a warmer just exactly what is the score these days? The whole AGW thing was built on the idea that Anthropogenically derived CO2 was causing Global Warming, right? So is Anthropogenically derived CO2 now supposed to be causing ‘climate change’? Because that idea would never have got out of the starting gate. You can’t have it both ways.

  48. I read a little atomic phobia in the message. Obama has no plans for the US to become energy independent, he is a socialist, his advisors are socialists and hard core communists. He is simply spewing out whatever he needs to in order to distract the people as he quietly goes about destroying the US economy.
    Why? Because the only way the believers in a World Government can make it happen is to ruin the US. Get the world off the dollar and their takeover becomes a whole lot easier. In the end, it is always about having the power and keeping it.

  49. Would that it were so. If the goal was nuclear power it would in fact be almost a good idea long term. However, Obama and most of his allies oppose all types of efficient power production on principle. They do support lowering living standards.

  50. Dr. Syun Akasofu only covers a part of the story.

    If AGW/Climate Change would be the excuse to introduce nuclear energy, why would we need an international agreement on CO2 emissions that stop the development of the third world, our economies and force us to drive around with electric cars, a technology that is in need of years of development before it is effective and affordable? Why are we screwing arounf with stupid wind mills when even GreenPeace asks for Nuclear energy?

    It might be possible that our Iron Lady adopted the basic plan to replace coal by nuclear but the days ot Thatcherism are over.

    Today the Liberals are infiltrated bu radical Marxists and Fascists and they have high jacked the entire AGW/Climate Change docrine, but not to replace coal plants by nuclear power plants.

    No, this is about Global Governance, about control over the world’s resources and this is about population control.

    The world will face a 30% increase of the population by 2030.

    We will need 50% more agricultural output to feed the world, and we need 30% more energy.

    Instead of building new power plants the West is talking about replacing existing coal fired plants by natural gas plants, a kind of cash for clunkers for energy plants instead of cars.

    This is utter madness because it has taken us many years to build the current energy infra structure which could serve us for decades to come and we could spend all that wasted money for other purposes.

    So, we have to conclude that the West does not intend not to expand the agricultural output and will not to increase but instead replace the current energy infra structure, thus concluding that they will NOT prepare for an increase in population and go the way of a population reduction (by starvation).

    WWF, a Fascist Organization already has a vision how to reduce the population in the big cities and reduce airtraffic at the same time: http://www.foxnews.com/js/photoPop.html?0

    And all over the world people have started to talk about over population, poles are held, winners announced and yes, they are convinced.

    80% of the people believe we are with too many people on this planet.
    http://www.economist.com/debate/overview/151?source=most_commented

    This is a great success for the marxist and fascists wacko’s that now have infiltrated our Governments because it provides them with a free bee to start the biggest carnage in the history of human kind.

    The last time they told us there were too many people on the planet was in 1972
    and the world population was 3.2 billion.

    Before that, the German’s in search for “Lebensraum” started a “destruction war” against Poland, actually killing every Pole they could find.

    For Fascists and Marxists, there are always too many people and a small group of of these wacko’s believe this planet is better off without any people.

    I don’t agree with any of them

    September 12 will be the day when America hits the street to make clear that the current Government and policies is not their cup of tea.
    They will make clear that in the USA the people make their own decisions and they don’t need Government for that.
    They will chose for the economy instead if C&P.
    Cheap energy is the basis for any industry, including steel and cars.

    And there is no scientific or economic reason why it could not be available.

    We have plenty of it for years to come.

    Dr. Syun Akasofu

  51. “The recovery from a cold period is warming. Actually, the warming until 2000 and the present cooling trend can reasonably be explained as natural changes.” says Dr. Syun Akasofu in item 16.

    I think the warming until 2000 and the present (non-existent) cooling trend can reasonably be explained as resulting from the labours of benevolent unicorns. As we all know perfectly well what benevolent unicorns are, just as we are excellently educated as to the grand mysteries of ‘natural changes’, I would consider the AGW-discussion closed.

    By the way, I’ve finally had the chance to read the 100.000 pages of the most recent IPCC report. It’s a boring read, don’t try it. I mean, the line ‘The world is gonna end RIGHT NOW!!!’ is written on average no less than eighteen times per page!

    Please, Wattupwiththat, this article is a joke, no?

  52. Flanagan

    Fiat and Magna?
    The US auto industry is going to Fiat and Magna? Really? What the H is Magna?

  53. DaveF

    John Daly gave a more objective view of the process.

    http://www.john-daly.com/history.htm

    Basically Mrs Thatcher wanted to make a name for herself, and as she was the only world leader to have a Bsc in chemistry was well placed to dazzle them with the very new science of climate change. It worked and she gained (rightly) world prominence.

    What is interesting are the green dynasties that are now being created. Her science adviser was Tickell. You will see that his son is very big in the green movement as is Goldsmiths son, Zac.

    Tonyb

  54. The article is a good rehash of material many have been touting for a long time, but the idea that the Obama administration has “chosen” nuclear energy is rather absurd. Its a serious overestimation of his foresight and goals. Obama is a classic leftist, who see’s capitalism as an evil in itself. Therefore, controlling energy by limiting supply or artificially increasing costs via taxation is very much in his sights. I do not believe he has ANY inclination to push atomic energy, and even if he did, his sponsors on the left would never let him. I think there are those on the right in America who certainly would line up according to this article – that is using AGW to push atomic energy, but the left in America are only using it to push a more socialist agenda and, in effect, government control of the energy complex.

  55. The funny thing about Obama is that right wingers call him socialist and socialists call him a right winger. I’m not sure he has any policy at all except to listen to people who have the loudest voices in the vain hope that they know better than he does. Lets see; he took over massive debts, deficits, a housing crisis, a depression, car manufacturers losing billions, bankers losing trillions, a bust paradigm of phoney Wall street wealth and two hugely expensive wars. Does anyone else want the job?

  56. Actually, Thatcher acted not so much out of a desire to get nuclear power as to crush the coal miner’s union, which is understandable, as they had the entire country in a vice grip at the time.

  57. Unfortunately, Obama and the green contingent haven’t the intellectual capacity to have thought this thru as well as Akasofu expects. They only mention Nuclear as an appeasement to those who rightfully see the folly of wind and solar. Obama is all about redistribution of wealth, rather than enslavement of the poor. I think all players are in this game for their own motives. For the political left here in America, that motive, sadly, is an elitist fantasy world of locally grown, fair trade Organic produce, consumed by a chemo phobic hyper environmentalist society, housed in modern eco-yurt condos, recycling everything from worn out cloth grocery bags to toilet paper, and driving bicycles or electric golf carts to and fro. They envision those who work in a highly paid, high tech job, most income from which is then confiscated for the grand socialist redistribution to the “underprivileged”. No room in this fantasy for your F350 dually, sporting a camper and pulling a V8 ski boat into the mountains for a weekend of energy consumption, or blasting Bambi into oblivion.

  58. Another really excellent article by Dr Akasofu. He lays out the current scenario so anyone can understand it. I especially liked the conclusions from about #10 on.

    Contrast this well reasoned article with the formerly impressive Royal Society’s ‘solutions’ to the CO2 non-problem:

    …a giant mirror on the Moon; a space parasol made of superfine aluminium mesh; and a swarm of 10 trillion small mirrors launched into space one million at a time every minute for the next 30 years.

    Ri-i-i-i-i-ght.

  59. This is good. First we have the Whackoman and Malarkey Climate Bill delayed and in disarray, and now a call to postpone Copenhagen as useless. First the scientific wheels fall off, now even the political ones are coming off the CAGW/CC bus. No time to gloat, though. This is their last hurrah, and it could be an epic battle.

  60. I don’t know about anyone else but this link locked up my computer.

    Jack Simmons (00:23:24) :

    Flanagan (22:51:30) :

    The argument that “temperatures stopped increasing while CO2 was rising” is somewhat surprising coming from an educated guy. Especially since one simply has to take a look at the 1980

  61. Point One: First, the global warming issue was not begun by the iron lady. When I was in undergraduate school in early 1974 we had a seminar, put on by a physicist from some institution in the NW, all about doom from CO2 induced warming. The topic was already in the wind, so to speak. Among his various statements was that an increase of a few degrees centigrade would hold all water on the planet as vapor in the atmosphere. None of the physicists at the seminar offered any rebuttal, but the economists were all over him. I was young at the time, and loathe to make comments to my professors, but I had also taken enough geology to know that the earth had been far warmer in earlier epochs without the oceans vanishing into vapor. Thus began my suspicion of people who blab about global warming.

    Point Two: Obama will not promote nuclear energy because he has shown no stomach at all to buck the more extreme elements of his party unless he can duck responsibility. Rather, his advisors and he appear to be under the spell of the renewable energy fairy dust. Instead, we will be treated to at least one more decade of an incoherent energy policy with Obama’s party gladly blaming the opposition for any apparent failues, delaying making any decisions such as sensible allowances for domestic production to buy time and provide income to make transitions in technology, and the mainstream media playing along.

    Point Three: The author overstates the present contribution of wind and solar. The latest figures I have show the over-all contribution of solar to be about 0.07% and wind to be about 0.35% of U.S. consumption. To get to 100% of renewable electric, which Gore insists is possible, would require at least all of national savings for the next 10 years. We would be a poverty stricken people by the end of that time, and would be paying somewhere between two times and three times as much for energy as we currently do. Gore’s statement in just this context ought to have placed him permanently in the lunatic fringe, but instead he is a “prophet”, and by the way, a major statesmen of Obama’s party, which is more evidence for point number Two above.

    Point Four: Manufacturing constantly moves to more efficient venues. It has always been so, and always will be. However, if we remain an innovative, optimistic, and ambitious people, there will always be new opportunities to make money–even in manufacturing. Of course it is also possible for politicians to hobble us so effectively that we will become a bunch of whiney supplicants for government handouts–and a permanent welfare society.

  62. Things happen in nature spontaneously, not because of the wishes of man, no matter how feverish. Nothing can be done or changed by decree or by any goverment bill, so the market will decide, be it the market where climate “scientists” are sold and bought, which will dry up, or the fossil fuels market , where reserves keeps increasing.

  63. Nogw (06:16:01) :

    Things happen in nature spontaneously…

    Newton down the drain. There is no cause for anything happening in nature, only spontaneous mysterious utterly immeasurable effect…

  64. Well, for some reason my previous answer (with links showing how well GCM predicted the last 20 year temperatures) is not appearing so, for the curious:

    Chrysler is now part of Fiat, and Magna is a Canadian group which is fighting rightnow against a Brussels-based consortium to take over most of GM (including Opel/Vauxhall).

  65. Yeah I have to weigh in with the Thatcher history, being another Brit that lived through it. After the comedy situation in the UK in the 70s (and I was a strong union advocate at the time, believed in it all 100% – doofus that I was..) the tories came to power when the nation basically got fed up with strikes and cuts in services. The various ‘winter of discontent’ seasons whereby the miners, train drivers, car manufacturors etc held the country to ransom ticked everyone off. Thatcher had a mandate to basically break the unions, the ‘biggest’ of these was the NUM. The NUM believed they held all the cards because we were so coal dependant. Therefore we had to find an alternative to coal, and a reason for doing so. But the intent was political, to regain control from the unions, ideas about enviroment etc were a nice topping to the cake, but this was not the real issue. However there are real concerns because removal of home produced coal eventually caused the UK to become addicted to Gas, which in Europe means buying from Dobi the House Elf…back to where we started.
    So yes the UK has particular problems and getting over the CND hurdle is one of them. As someone said, short term solution is to buy nuclear energy from the French, which I believe already happens ‘down south’. Europe is too caught in the crosshairs of this Gas from Russia…attempts to take gas from other countries by circuiting around Russia seem to have stumbled when Dobi showed his intent by invading Georgia.
    Sooo…for us we have windmills and maybe nuclear in 20yrs…oh joy.
    The French are sitting pretty.
    But there are some consolations, the Germans have got it worse than us, heh!

  66. I have seen no evidence the Obama administration is interested in nuclear power.

    Certainly, our current congress is not. They recently killed the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository project. I used to live in Nevada, where there is still quite a controversy over Yucca Mountain. I’m personally convinced the site will be safe, but that it it just a dumb idea to bury an energy source. Other nations, such as France, reuse, reprocess and recycle their nuclear waste. The USA needs to do the same and find a permanent storage site for the waste that remains.

    No, this adminstration and this congress want only green energy — that includes solar and wind, maybe waves, but certainly not nuclear energy. Just the word ‘nuclear’ makes most greens turn, well, green. The USA won’t be investing in more nuclear plants soon, but it’s quite alright for Iran and North Korea.

    Nuclear should be, of course, an important part of our energy supply. But the people now running this country are not interested in practical solutions to real problems, they are more interested in remaking the world into their vision of a better place. They do not care about practicality or results, only ideology.

    I don’t even see much evidence that the USA is interested in manufacturing solar panels or wind turbines. It’s likely that work will all be performed in developing countries that are outside our regulation. The design and engineering of these products will likewise move to developing countries as well because our education system is not interested in results or achievement, either.

  67. Akasofu has put meat on the bones of an argument I have been putting forward ever since the IPCC was set up. I was dismayed to find that a nuclear representative (and sometimes two) was to be found on almost every national panel. I do not remember seeing a single representative from the oil, gas or coal industries.

    More importantly I was always intrigued by the fact that a little known second division scientist like Hansen was given the opportunity to talk to Congress about a little known second rate hypothesis like anthroprogenic global warming.

    I suspected that the Three Mile Island accident 6 months before had something to do with it. If I was in the Nuclear Industry and faced with the proposistion that my industry was to dangerous to survive my only hope would be to find a reason why my competition were even more dangerous.

    The uneasy dependence on the Greens is why the Nuclear industry has had to play this very cool. I think subsequently other social and political issues have overtaken Nuclear in driving AGW to where it is now, but I suspect the genesis is 3 Mile Island.

  68. ..oh…and I’d just like to say when I talked about this very subject, AGW in the UK being part of an attempt to get nuclear back on the agenda, about a year ago on this site, I was scorned by numerous posters.

    So its nice to see myself validated.
    I shall now go and have a nice cup of tea to celebrate…

  69. Nogw (06:16:01) :

    “Things happen in nature spontaneously, not because of the wishes of man, no matter how feverish. Nothing can be done or changed by decree or by any government bill, so the market will decide, be it the market where climate “scientists” are sold and bought, which will dry up, or the fossil fuels market , where reserves keeps increasing”.

    Nogw, I only agree with your remark about increasing reserves of fossil fuels.

    To prevent the effects of the proposed Government Bills, the people have to fight.
    If they don’t, the bills become law and fossil fuels will become very expensive.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/BP-announces-giant-oil-find-apf-2273328778.html?x=0&.v=1

  70. meemoe_uk (00:32:08) :

    Don’t agree with his reason. The main political motivation for AGW is to get poor countries to hand over their mineral rich land to the world bank in exchange for debt relief. The principle presented to the media ( in the poor countries ) is that people aren’t responsible enough to look after the land.
    George Hunt had the pattern correct back in 1987 when he realised the newly formed world consevation bank was agreeing to take land as collateral in loan agreements to poor countries.
    The 1st world public and it’s middle independant thinkers (us!), are as usual, keep subdued over a debate which doesn’t involve or interfere with the main plan.
    That said, AGW is now used as an excuse in such a broad range of legislations that perhaps it’s no longer plasible to pinpoint and label a particular policy as it’s main goal.
    Grab and control as much of every industry in the world. Money changers.

    Since we began this story with Thatcher’s role, it’s important to remember that Europe’s Greens were supported by the Soviets and other Communist countries. AGW is not about capitalists seizing land in third-world countries, it’s about Neo-Marxists and Progressive-Fascists seizing control of the world’s economy.

    They want you to remain poor, uneducated and “pure.” They want to keep the third world as it is and they want people to barely survive on subsistence farming, which is, after, all much closer to nature. They would be happier if the rest of us lowered our standards over living.

  71. TonyB 05: 26:51.

    Thanks for that link, Tony. I’ve only read a little so far – I’ll look at the rest later – but I get the idea. I’d still be a lot happier if it were a non-British bunch of numpties that had dreamed this whole AGW thing up, though; then I could laugh at the dopey foreigners! Oh well, at least we beat the Aussies at cricket this year.

  72. Timetochooseagain:

    Sorry, but you are mistaken when you assert:

    “Actually, Thatcher acted not so much out of a desire to get nuclear power as to crush the coal miner’s union, which is understandable, as they had the entire country in a vice grip at the time.”

    The policy was in agreement with destroying the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) by demolishing the UK’s coal industry, and desire for that destruction by her political party (the Conservative Party) was useful to her gaining support of her political party for the policy. But that desire was not the reason for the policy, and her government would have caused that destruction (by means of the ‘Ridley Plan’) with or without the policy.

    Tony B:

    You say:

    “John Daly gave a more objective view of the process.
    http://www.john-daly.com/history.htm
    Basically Mrs Thatcher wanted to make a name for herself, and as she was the only world leader to have a Bsc in chemistry was well placed to dazzle them with the very new science of climate change. It worked and she gained (rightly) world prominence.”

    Your summary is accurate but, with respect, I point out that the article you cite is in my name because it is my article. The late and very lamented John Daly published the article on his web site.

    The cited article on Daly’s web site (see URL) is an updated account I made in 1999 of a report I had provided ten years before. I was commissioned to conduct the study by the British Association of Colliery Management (BACM) that was struggling with the ‘acid rain’ scare in 1988. BACM commissioned me to determine if there were other potential environmental scares that BACM needed to know about.

    I interviewed several people to determine if there were any such scares and to determine the nature of them. On the basis of the information thus gleaned I produced influence diagrams for micro-dust, mercury emissions and anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW). The AGW influence diagrams are in the cited article at the URL.

    On the basis of the influence diagrams I concluded that AGW would become so severe a scare that it would displace the ‘acid rain’ scare and all the other potential scares I had discovered.

    Importantly, I concluded that AGW would supplant the ‘acid rain’ scare whether or not AGW had any supporting scientific evidence. This is because the positive feedback loops in Figure 2 of the article would remain if there were complete absence of any mention of any science (i.e. remove everything connected by the green arrows in Figure 2 and the system would still operate). Also, I concluded that AGW would grow to become an international concern because of the economic competitive advantages it would provide to all nations except the USA (i.e. the world’s most powerful economy): this is also mentioned in the article at the URL.

    But in 1988 AGW was so trivial an issue that BACM had not heard of it until I provided my report. And BACM considered my report’s findings to be so “extremely unlikely” that they rejected them. Specifically, BACM considered my findings were “implausible” because BACM could not accept my conclusions that (AGW) would supplant the ‘acid rain’ scare and become an international concern whether or not AGW had any supporting scientific evidence.

    Others can judge whether or not subsequent events have shown the study and its findings to have been “extremely unlikely” and “implausible”.

    Richard

  73. pkatt (01:54:49) :

    Nice! You find the best stuff Anthony:) I agree with most of it too, not so much on uranium wars tho. It would be nice if we could recycle some of the pre existing waste we already have tho.

    The French still do that.We just hide it..
    to those who would yell Chernobyl!Chernobyl was a poorly excecuted design, if it had a containment vessel to begin with,and some sort of competent operation, it probably wouldn’t have happened in the horrific way it did..
    Here in my opinion , is the next big development:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_bed_reactor

  74. Obama will have a “plan” for nuclear power, or anything else, when he reads it on his teleprompter. What we really need to know is: Who’s running this show?

  75. I don’t see the nuclear program in Obama’s “vision” – as murky as it is – for providing for US electricity demands. All that is being played, or hyped, is solar and wind, neither of which can viably meet increasing demand, much less meet base load requirements. I think that ascribes improbable farsightedness in our very myopic political playground.

    What I do see is play at addressing “green” demands, and they themselves are pretty hard to pin down. He has yet to define what “green” really means in terms of industry. Changes in behavior, by taxation and social engineering (already underway) are the main venues for reducing demand.

    We’ll get CO2 regulations by hook or crook, as Dr Akasofu correctly points out that the “science” is politicized and reasonable process is absent.

  76. Barry has closed Yucca Mountain and chosen not to supply a loan guarantee to USEC, our only domestic uranium enricher. I don’t see any movement towards nuclear. It looks like the Dims want to ply the road already traveled by Europe.

  77. Stefan (02:25:47) :
    . . .The politicians have a country to run. Like them or not, they don’t on the whole wish to see our nation ruined. . .

    . . . Both Obama and Brown have made speeches recently where they talk about the environment, about world peace, about renewables, about climate change, about new jobs, and if you listen carefully, they do pop in the word “nuclear”.

    It is a conceit of politicians to imagine that they are ‘running the country’. The people, businesses, and local governments run most of it. The politicians sit atop it all and when they stick their hands in, generally muck it up.

    Contrary to Dr. Akasofu, I have seen no sign that the Obamunists have any real interest in nuclear power. As Kaboom (03:44:27) points out, if they had really wanted to stimulate the economy and promote energy independence, they’d have taken the so-called ‘stimulus’ money and put it into nuclear power. For all his faults, I think John McCain would have moved in that direction.

    /Mr Lynn

  78. I, along with several other posters, am amazed by Akasofu’s assertion that Obama has made a decision to go for Nuclear. Didn’t his administration recently announce something about pulling funding for a waste storage site in Nevada? Is this all part of a “cunning plan?”

  79. Richard (01:09:11) :

    anna v (22:50:05) – I’m sorry fusion is a pipe dream for the foreseeable future. UK were the leaders in this and they have abandoned it.

    Some of us have hopes for Polywell Fusion.

    And the best part about Polywell? We Will Know In Two Years

    I do agree with Plasma Physicist Dr. Nicholas Krall who said, “We spent $15 billion dollars studying tokamaks and what we learned about them is that they are no damn good.”

  80. If Obama gets the “nuclear power plant” option past his anti free-market base, he will surely follow his statist ideology and have the Department of Energy build the power plants.

    As we know from undergraduate economics classes, the GDP growth factor for a dollar spent by government is between .65 and .9. Therefore, this power plant building program will decrease economic activity.

    Green jobs continue to harm the economy.

    We need nuclear engineers, scientists, power plant engineers, and regulatory agencies to form a convention to design “cookie-cutter” nuclear power plants that have interchangbility of parts as their primary goal. This interchangeability of parts will create operating engineers that can operate any “cookie-cutter” power plant.

  81. I find Dr. Akasofu, whom I respect, more convincing on science than on politics.

    There are a couple of factual errors in his article:

    1. He writes that no nuclear power plant has been brought online in the United States since Three Mile Island’s accident in 1979. But Diablo Canyon (1985) and San Onofre (1983) — both in California, incidentally — disprove this. I suspect that there are others.

    2. He gives a figure of 41 percent for how much electricity the United States derives from coal. The actual number is 45 percent. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epm_sum.html

    I second those who say how unlikely it is that Obama is a secret nuclear advocate. One person, though, who did change his stripes on this issue is Patrick Moore, who frequently makes comments such as the following:

    My message and my overview resonates with people in the utility industry who are charged with the practical task of providing electricity 24-7 in a very complex grid system to many different customers. If anything ever goes wrong, they get blamed.

    Yet they are being — forced is probably too strong a word — through political pressure to adopt strategies that they, themselves, do not believe are the best way to go. And renewable mandates is one of those problems …

    The idea that we can replace fossil fuels and hydro and nuclear with intermittent sources of solar and wind is a complete pipe dream. It is impossible, and yet it is being promoted as the solution.

    From http://wenatcheeworld.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080605/NEWS04/641779115/1001

    Moore is a particular advocate of modern pebble-bed nuclear reactors.

  82. Obama has no plans to increase nuclear power. He has stopped work on the nuclear waste site. Work on new nuclear power plants cannot proceed.

  83. Wondering Aloud:
    Magna is a car parts supplier. Originally Canadian based, started by Frank Stronach, an Austrian immigrant. Plants all over the world now.
    http://www.magna.com/magna/en/about/
    They say they have complete car mfg capabilities, but I don’t believe they own a final assembly plant. Not sure.

  84. Look for the current US gov to push green tech and then gas. When these prove less than sufficient, and they will, than a new administration will look to nukes. Also, don’t forget the concept of “one democratic world government” whose proponents have been stealthily pushing this world catastrophe wagon.

  85. Tiles (03:14:00) : “Are we any closer to achieving sustainable fusion power or is this goal still but a distant pipe-dream?”

    Yes, we are much closer! The JET, in operation since 1983, was the first international step, and steady progress has been made since. The Japanese JT-60 achieved the highest value of fusion triple product of any device to date. US fusion installations have reached temperatures of several hundred million degrees. Achievements like this have led researchers close to the long sought after “plasma energy breakeven point.” So far, JET has generated 70% of input power.

    The exciting thing is that researchers have now actually designed a new reactor – ITER – which will generate more output than input; 500MW generated for 50MW consumed. ITER is due to commence construction this year. However, don’t get too excited. It is not expected to reach conclusion until the 20’s.

  86. He does not denies CO2 effect and the CO2 problem seems to be originated in an error, which contradicts common sense, that of the imaginary “green house effect” vs. the very low heat capacity of atmosphere.
    “Absorption Peaks
    Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (IR) in three narrow bands of frequencies, which are 2.7, 4.3 and 15 micrometers (µM). This means that most of the heat producing radiation escapes it. About 8% of the available black body radiation is picked up by these “fingerprint” frequencies of CO2.
    ….
    if normal temperature matter were really giving off a significant amount of infrared radiation, as the Stephan-Boltzmann constant indicates, a thermometer in the shade would not show a reliable temperature, because radiation would be altering its temperature.
    Of course, the air is emitting black body radiation apart from sunshine. But how much? Emissions from a gas are nothing resembling emissions from the surface of a solid, because a gas does not have a surface. The extreme difference between a gas and a solid means radiation would not equilibrate at the same temperature as air temperature. But everything equilibrates extremely close to air temperature, which indicates that there is, in truth, very little radiation given off by normal temperature matter”

    http://nov55.com/ntyg.html

  87. Where are these nuclear power plans? I’d love to see that, but I’m fairly certain Obama has no nuclear plans at all.

    Nice article, but the whole premise is simply not supported by anything you can point to. Bush weakly supported nuclear power and may have slowly helped grease the wheels of regulations, but that’s about all the plans I’ve seen for 30 years. We’ll be lucky to see one plant come online in 10 years.

  88. It is likely that the Obama administration has chosen the construction of atomic power plants as the next great US manufacturing effort.

    Naw, agreeing with some others above, that would make too much sense, and it would contradict both the progressive Left’s “looter” mentality and its drive to regress us back either to their version of the Garden of Eden or to “our” = their own deserved nonexistence.

  89. Anthony,

    Maybe it’s time to do some articles on nuclear power and or fusion, as I see a number of comments on this thread whith folks basically asking about it. I am the son of a nuclear engineer, so I’ve kinda kept up on some of the technology. Here’s some starting points:

    About Three mile Island and Chernobyl (Neither was as bad as people make it out to be):

    -www.iaea.org/Publications/Booklets/Chernobyl/chernobyl.pdf
    -www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Features/Chernobyl-15/cherno15_main.shtml
    -www.nea.fr/html/rp/chernobyl/c01.html
    -www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/3mile-isle.html
    -www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf36.html

    Fission Powerplants:
    GenIII:
    -www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf08.html
    -nuclear.energy.gov/np2010/neNP2010a.html
    -www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/design-cert.html
    -www.ans.org/pubs/magazines/nn/docs/2006-1-3.pdf

    GenIV:
    -nuclear.energy.gov/genIV/documents/gen_iv_roadmap.pdf
    -www.engr.utk.edu/nuclear/colloquia/slides/Gen%20IV%20U-Tenn%20Presentation.pdf
    -www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf77.html

    Fusion power (Closer than you might think)
    Polywell:
    -www.emc2fusion.org/
    -iec.neep.wisc.edu/
    -www.talk-polywell.org/bb/
    -www.fusor.net/board/view.php?site=fusor&bn=fusor_theory&key=1174701490

    Focus Fusion:
    -lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.com/index.php?pr=Focus_Fusion
    -focusfusion.org/

    Enjoy
    Doc

  90. JamesG (05:40:47) : ” Lets see; he took over massive debts, deficits, a housing crisis, a depression, car manufacturers losing billions, bankers losing trillions, a bust paradigm of phoney Wall street wealth and two hugely expensive wars. ”

    All of this written with the hand of the DEMOCRATS who have been in the majority of Congress for the last 2 1/2 years.

    “Does anyone else want the job?”

    This isn’t the job he wants, it’s President of the World for Life!

  91. Syun Akasofu Of International Arctic Research Center At The University of Alaska Fairbanks should have confined his comments to the science for which he would seem to have been credentialed.

    His purile take on the status of global hegemony and the motives of the powers percieved obviates any credibility he might have imbued with the minimal reference to the science he actaully did eventually get to.

    A waste of time spent at WUWT, today~

  92. Vincent:

    Just to let you know.. The ITER is trash. It’s a gigantic international money pit that IMHO will NEVER work.

    Dr. Bussard was one of the men who invented torroidal plasma fusion (Tokamak)… he later realized he was wrong and moved on to IEC/Polywell.

    If I was a betting man… I’d lay my $$$ on Dr Nebel over at EMC2Fusion.

    Doc
    PS.
    Shout out to M. Simon!

  93. Flanagan (06:23:28) :

    “Well, for some reason my previous answer (with links showing how well GCM predicted the last 20 year temperatures) is not appearing so, for the curious:

    Chrysler is now part of Fiat, and Magna is a Canadian group which is fighting rightnow against a Brussels-based consortium to take over most of GM (including Opel/Vauxhall).”

    They are not trying to take over most of GM, jus the Opel unit in Geremany, and possibly the European operations.

    GM Board Brushes Off Magna Bid for Opel

    August 24, 2009
    http://www.autoobserver.com/2009/08/gm-board-brushes-off-magna-bid-for-opel.html

    “The Wall Street Journal reported late last week the new GM board has rejected the bid of management’s favored suitor for the company’s Adam Opel AG automaking unit.

    A consortium headed by Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. has been vying with RHJ International, a Belgian investment firm, for control of Opel, but GM leaders and much of the German government have long been reported to favor Magna, which for one thing resolved to minimize job losses in Germany, the main base of operations for Opel and the other portions of GM’s European operations up for sale.”

    It has nothing to do with US production.

    And your link in post (02:45:36), if that is the one you are talking about, works for me.

  94. Did you know that the 10 year investment in fusion power research by a consortia of leading western countries is less $$$ than what ExxonMobil would made in one single quarter in 2008. (Not to mention all the taxes that ExxonMobil would have paid during that same quarter….in terms of corporate tax and royalties etc. the tax part would be several times whatever profit they were left with…yes all those taxes went to Governments…and yes ExxonMobil is big but we are only talking ONE company here)

    if you get the impression that IPCC and bla bla bla Green Energy Security talk of Western Government’s is foolish if not downright stupid and inane then you would probably be right. Obviously, the money to fund future Energy solutions for the planet is available (in the form of current energy taxes) but where is the will?

  95. Richard Courtney,

    A very interesting and perspicacious analysis. However, I have one question. Why do you assert that carbon taxes would be beneficial to nations except the United States, for whom it will be detrimental?

    True, the US has the highest per capita CO2 emissions, simply because they use energy less efficiently than Europeans. But that only leads to the conclusion that the US are in a better position to make a given proportional reduction than are the Europeans, because there is more slack, so to speak.

    There can be no benefit to any nations that impose an energy tax upon themselves, except in Obama fantasy land, where unimaginable revenues will be generated for the Government out of thin air.

  96. Harold Ambler,
    Without checking, I’m sure that San Onofre was around long before 1983. Possibly you are referring to expansion of existing San Onofre and Diablo Canyon plants?
    John

    • Harold Ambler:

      San Onofre was around long before 1983, it was UNIT1 that shut down then and unit 2 and 3 started up in 1983. The plans for this had been put in place long before TMI.

      FYI- The original San Onofre Unit-1 Power Plant was used as the “Gotham City” Atomic Reactor in the 1960s Batman TV show starring Adam West.

      Diablo Canyon construction started in 1968, but operation was held up for 6 years due to lawsuits and eco-challenges. It would have been online much earlier than 1985 if not for that.

  97. Does anyone else want the job?

    Lots of people. Here’s a partial list:

    _ Barack Obama, U.S. Senator from Illinois
    _ Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York
    _ John Edwards, former U.S. Senator from North Carolina
    _ Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico
    _ Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative from Ohio
    _ Joe Biden, U.S. Senator from Delaware
    _ Mike Gravel, former U.S. Senator from Alaska
    _ Christopher Dodd, U.S. Senator from Connecticut
    _ Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa
    _ Evan Bayh, U.S. Senator from Indiana
    _ John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona
    _ Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas
    _ Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts
    _ Ron Paul, U.S. Representative from Texas
    _ Fred Thompson, former U.S. Senator from Tennessee
    _ Duncan Hunter, U.S. Representative from California
    _ Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City
    _ Alan Keyes, former U.S. Ambassador from Maryland
    _ Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator from Kansas
    _ Jim Gilmore, former Governor of Virginia
    _ Tom Tancredo, former U.S. Representative from Colorado
    _ Tommy Thompson, former Governor of Wisconsin

  98. “I guarantee the BBC will have such topics rammed down our throats almost daily all the way “to Copenhagen & beyond!”, .. All the old hackneyed stories about Arctic ice melt … Antarctic ice melt, sea-level rises…”

    Spot on! And it only took three hours for this story to appear exactly as forecast on the BBC. The cowards that the BBC are, they are only quoting the World Wildlife Fund, not their own conclusions, you understand.

    And check this out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/guides/457000/457037/html/default.stm

    This is the evidence upon which the BBC base their “global warming” reports, supplied, wouldn’t you know, by the IPCC. Notice the graph of the Estimated Temperature Changes in the Northern Hemisphere AD700 – 2005 has a very convenient upward-shooting squiggle from what looks to be about 1995.

    This is the BBC’s blurb:
    “Our world is getting warmer. Over the last 100 years the average global surface temperature has risen by about 0.74C.

    This seemingly small rise has already had a significant effect on our planet.

    For example, the record books have had to be re-written recently, as 11 of the 12 hottest years recorded so far have all taken place since 1995.

    It is “very likely” that the rising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the cause of climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, are the primary source behind this increase.”
    ……………
    For a complete page of “climate change” hysteria, go here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8233632.stm

    This is what we have to put up with every day in Britain, and it’s why the BBC should be renamed the British Brainwashing Corporation.

  99. Jari (03:13:08) :
    “nuclear power 82.9%,” & “3.1% coal” “I pay 0.0802 EUR/kWh. Go nuclear.”
    = $0.115/kWh
    In Indiana I pay 0.0468 EUR/kWh or $0.067/kWh for coal fired power – which also provides CO2 to help our corn and soybean agriculture become more prosperous. I fail to see why I should have to pay 71% more for my power to go nuclear for the “privilege” of reducing our agricultural production!
    Solution – develop solar thermal power cheaper than both coal and nuclear!

  100. I would like to congratulate BP on their discovery, announced today, of a new “giant” oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico. It is about 4 billion barrels, which exceeds their previous find in the Gulf of Mexico of 3 billion barrels.

    Seven billion barrels should keep the lights on for quite a while. Well done BP.

  101. Corey

    yes, the link finally works but it took ages before the comment got published!

    My remarks with respect to Magna, Fiat, RHJ, etc. are to be considered in view of the original post stating that “The car manufacturing industry in the UK was taken over by the US (mainly by GM), then Japan (Toyota and Honda), and some day perhaps China.” This is over-simplified, at best. Important manufacturers are found in Europe (Germany, Belgium, Slovakia, etc.), South America, Asia of course, …

  102. to Nogw

    re-radiation from the earth represents a tiny fraction of the energy budget. All the heating is done from the sun which heats oceans and land mass, via shortwave. This represents the optimum temperature possible.

    When what is left is converted into longwave, the energy loss is such that there is no way that it could take land or sea surface temperatures to a higher level than the already achieved optimum. For starters, longwave radiation cannot penetrate oceans. Superadded to this is the effect of c02, which the following analogy might put into perspective: A normally fit and healthy individual who drinks 2 litres of water a day, from this minus perspiration, urination etc.. increases his water intake by 2 millilitres per day.

    This extra 2ml per day sends this individual into a tipping point and runs the risk of dangerous side effects and biological catastrophe.

    this is the best anaology of the c02 thesis and what we’re being told.

    Of course, this hypothetical extra 2ml is probably entirely beneficial and benign

  103. Mike from Canmore 07: 38: 35

    Magna’s subsidiary Magna-Steyr, manufactures a lot of complete cars in Austria on behalf of other companies, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

  104. Vincent:

    Thankyou for your interest in my item at
    http://www.john-daly.com/history.htm

    You ask me:

    “Why do you assert that carbon taxes would be beneficial to nations except the United States, for whom it will be detrimental?”

    I address this in the article where I say:

    “The USA is the world’s most powerful economy and is the most intensive energy user. If all countries adopted ‘carbon taxes’, or other universal proportionate reductions in industrial activity, each non-US industrialised country would gain economic benefit over the United States.”

    The effect is like handicapping in a horse race. The handicapping in a horse race causes each horse to slow down but every horse gains relative to the fastest. The handicapping of universal ‘carbon taxes’ (or other universal proportionate reductions in industrial activity) cause the commercial and industrial activity of each country to slow down but each country gains an ability to compete against larger economies. The effect is to induce transfer of economic activity from larger economies to smaller ones.

    The US had such a dominant economy that everybody would obtain a net gain from the handicapping except for the US which would lose economic activity. Simply, the handicapping would result in a redistribution of economic activity with every country gaining economic activity at the cost of the US losing economic activity.

    The total effect would be a net loss of economic activity by the entire world. But the redistribution of the total economic activity would provide a gain of economic activity by every country except the US (and the US would lose economic activity).

    However, if a few nations adopted the constraints then they would increase their manufacturing, transportation and energy costs and thus lose economic competitiveness and industrial activity to all other nations. Indeed, occurred as an effect of the Kyoto Protocol because much economic activity was encouraged to transfer from developed countries (Annex A) that accepted the constraints to developing (Annex B) countries that were not constrained.

    I hope this brief explanation is clear.

    Richard

  105. As ever, posts on WUWT that go beyond the climate science provide much pause for thought, but I had stopped reading through the whole blog as it was giving me such a poor impression of American political intellect – where greens, fascists, communists, socialists and some other category intent on the destruction of world capitalism are all interchangeable epithets, implying no real distinction and thus betraying a deeply disturbing ignorance of world history.

    Can someone please explain how socialist/commie/green Obama seeks to destroy the US (and world) economy by giving £700 billion to Wall Street? He surely is advised that Wall Street will invest this money in the regions of the world where capitalist ‘growth’ is still happening – and maintain the credit crunch on the stricken zero growth areas (as also happened in the UK). Perhaps he has a deeper cunning plan – like, give them more rope and they will hang themselves? But I don’t think so – he is simply advised that the bankers know best.

    And on Thatcher and nukes. I sat down with Arthur Scargill in 1984 to try and work some alliance between the ‘greens’ (of which I was a strategists and activist) and the miners who were trying to defend their communities and way of life. Scargill and his henchmen were a nightmare to work with – thoroughly manipulative, narrow minded and undemocratic, and we broke off negotiations. I thought that whatever his personal motivations, Scargill’s actions would destroy the miners as surely as Thatcher wanted. Instead of picketing nuclear stations, they picketed their own mines.

    And the Thatcher agenda was not nuclear – that was already well underway under previous political administrations. In fact – post-Thatcher, only one nuclear station, the US-designed PWR at Sizewell was commissioned – after an inquiry in 1983, and it came on stream sometime in the late 90s. She could have blasted ahead as the French did by tear-gassing the opposition on-site (including myself), under the political dictum ‘we don’t consult the frogs when draining the marsh’. French nuclear power is a state-run corporate monopoly, with the real costs, waste problem and hazards well covered by state secrecy. Is that what US apologists really want?

    Other commentators think the green movement was funded by Russia – that is lamentable. I was there at the outset. It was funded by James Goldsmith, the arch-capitalist, by virtue of his brother, Edward – and amounted to a few (very few) thousand pounds for office costs and travel expenses. I was also there at the beginning of Greenpeace (as a science advisor) – and knew all the directors personally. Not a penny came from any political or business source – it was all public donation – and it was our team that eventually stopped nuclear reprocessing in German and Sweden, nuclear dumping in the oceans, UK weapons testing in Nevada, Fast Breeders in Germany, other toxic waste dumping and incineration at sea and also paved the way for the Clean Production Strategies enshrined in modern law.

    Whilst I will be the first to agree that the ‘greens’ have lost sight of reality where global warming is concerned, and that they promote completely unrealistic supposedly renewable energy solutions – many of which will damage both community and biodiversity across the planet far more certainly than will climate change, the situation will not be improved by their critics putting themselves in equal denial of reality – nuclear options cannot solve the problem created by dwindling oil supplies and the end of the era of cheap fuel. Fast breeder reactors and fusion are illusions maintained for ‘jobs for the boys’ – they are vastly more expensive and cannot be rolled out on any scale and timing relevant to this crisis and are just as much an illusion as wind/solar/biofuels. Hydrogen cars will be ten times the cost of today’s cars, even allowing fro economies of scale and reduced production costs. The era of the private car is nearing its end – entirely on cost grounds.

    At some point, a world leader may stand up and say ‘there is no solution to the energy question, other than to get used to it running out and using less’. But that will be a brave leader.

    Meanwhile, the real threats to peace and world order lie more with our vulnerability to natural climate cycles, precarious world food supplies, and fragile economies – these risks are with us today and will bite harder over the next ten years – that is, before any climate policies can take effect, or any new technologies developed.

    And all of this, including a bit of green history, is rehearsed in my as-yet little-reviewed book ‘Chill: a reassessment of global warming theory’, which looks at both the IPCC false consensus – as ably described by Prof Akasofu, and the politics of delusion and collusion that has afflicted the ‘greens’. We are not served by the current alliance of government/greens/renewable energy advocates but it is as well to understand the forces at work, rather than simply conflate all into a single meaningless enemy entity. If the US signs up to cap-and-trade, it will be the arch-capitalist business-man Al Gore who benefits most, along with his buddies drawn from Goldman Sachs in Generation Investment Management and thousands of carbon brokers and carbon banks worldwide. The man is not green, nor is he fascist, socialist, communist or stupid. He is very clever and wants in on the high-table. Better to really understand the motives of such a man, than label and denigrate and hence avoid real and effective action.

  106. P Wilson (02:35:00) :

    UK Sceptic. It may well be that he’s covering old ground. However, there are billions of people who are unaware and kept in ignorance, and for whom it would be quite revealing. Just like Galileo is old ground now regarding the motion of the planets around the sun, in his day it was heresy. We’re in the position of Galileo before the inquisition.

    Actually that would be Copernicus. Galileo simply confirmed Copernican theory and made it more publicized…

  107. Flanagan (02:45:36) :

    Hi there!

    Anna (and others): if temperatures were strictly following CO2, that would prove CO2 is the ONLY climatic driver. The fact that GCMs including greenhouse-based feedback can reproduce the observed variations is a sign that it plays a role. Another such sign is the fact that no model not taking into account such a feedback can do it. Moreover, most GCMs correctly predicted the 1990-2009 trend.

    Predicted? So they model runs prior to 1990 were spot on? Why such a short time frame?

    Not to mention, there’s simply no way for them to know if they “predicted” for the right reasons. As I understand it, they take an ensemble of runs and average them, and somehow that’s meant to represent reality. Some model runs could have gotten it “right” purely by chance. So they pick the ones that look “right” and voila, instant postdiction.

  108. I much doubt Obama has plans for nuclear power. There is no evidence of that and Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law ensures that he is unlikely to receive good advice to move in that direction. It would have been better to spend a good percentage of the stimulus package on cheap energy.

    There are good fission solutions, like Liquid Thorium Salt Reactors, that can even burn the radwaste from existing reactors and only produce 0.1% of the waste of the existing generation of plants. Government regulations ensure that they can’t be commercialized until one has been ”demonstrated to be safe” for ten years. Forget all the past research experience. Using thorium would eliminate any uranium wars.

    Pebble Bed reactors, whilst not as good, can be approved, and China is starting a production line to make them in quantity. Perhaps we can buy them at a discount in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The Traveling Wave Reactor looks interesting too.

    Fusion may not be that far off. Not the government sponsored $19 billion ITER Tokomak dinosaur (that can never be economical even if they get it to work) but one of the several other ideas being worked on by small private companies. These include Focus Fusion’s DB-11 fusion reactor, General Fusion’s Magnetized Target Fusion, Helion Energy & Tri Alpha’s linear approach and the Polywell.

    The thing needed for transition to electric vehicles is a better storage battery. I hope EEStor’s 52kWh ultracapacitor works out. In EEStor’s patent of December 2008 they claim their 52kWh EESU (storage unit) is safe, weighs 281.5 pounds and can be charged in 5 minutes. This would allow electric cars to have the same range as gas powered ones and has countless other uses, including leveling the grid and much improving the practicality of wind & solar power. Production is due to start this year, but there are many who doubt if it is real.

  109. Richard S Courtney :(6:57:31) :
    As regards your investigation of the “acid rain” scare , what did you find about ” acid rain” ? Was it baseless ? I ask because , if memory serves , in N America the problem seemed to be with evergreen trees in Eastern Canada and the US – mostly in the Appalachians . I seem to remember thinking that the apparent lack of damage to hardwoods was peculiar . Years later , I saw similar patches of dead and dying pine and spruce in the Western US . This die off proved to be a result of pine bark beetle infestation brought on primarily by drought and poor forestry management . Pine bark beetles continue to be a problem throughout Western NA , although said infestation is now blamed on climate change , at least in part .

  110. Nuclear is nuts, period. Nobody in their right mind will build these things, unless heavily subsidized by government. France’s reactors are heavily subsidized.

    The cost to build a Mod III reactor is roughly $10,000 per kW, meaning a twin-reactor, 2200 MW nuclear plant will cost $22 billion, if built in the U.S. There are published cost estimates in this range. The power sales price to pay off the capital and operating costs will be 30 to 40 cents per kWh — not the optimistic figure of 3 to 4 cents so often quoted by the nuclear advocates.

    The Finnish reactor, currently being built by France’s Areva, using their modern reactor design, is many years behind in schedule, and billions of Euros over-budget. The South Texas Nuclear Project expansion is hotly debated today, as it is probably closest to becoming a reality. Yet, the company’s cost estimates are far lower than the true costs, just like the last time they built in the 70’s.

    WUWT had a long discussion on this a few weeks ago, and I write about this on my blog http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/search?q=nuclear, and in particular on my blog entry titled Nuclear Nuts.

    Natural gas and coal are by far superior means of producing power for low cost and reliability.

    As to Dr. Akasofu’s assertion that manufacturing follows cheap labor, that is only partly true. Factory automation makes the cost of labor immaterial. The industries that cannot be automated, or where the cost of automation is too high, will remain labor intensive. What drove the industries out of the USA were labor Unions, and their extortionistic tactics to increase pay scales, reduce work hours, and increase benefit packages. The chickens are coming home to roost on that one, as the automobile manufacturers have demonstrated.

  111. Jeff Alberts (09:41:46) Indeed it was Copernicus, but Galileo took the flak as he represented a challenge to papal authority and was forced to recant on pin of death. He also took the flak for contradicting some of Aristotle’s logical assertions (such as that which states an object weighing 10 times as much as another object will reach the ground 10 times more quickly from the same height).

  112. Obama hasn’t said a word about nuclear power, and he’s had plenty of opportunities.

    While it may have it’s flaws, at least nuclear power could feasibly address our energy needs, as opposed to the utter fantasy of those who continue to ignorantly claim that solar and wind are the answer.

  113. Peter Taylor, it is very good to read the points you make but one area that I disagree, as I disagree with all who advocate it, is that we are not short of HC energy. The planet is awash with cheap oil and gas. Gas prices are falling and oil is too after a false bear run. We have doubled proven reserves twice since 1970 and I believe that we will do it again. There will never be peak oil or peak gas because supply and demand will always balance by price as long as ecologists and politicians keep out of it and leave the market and human ingenuity to sort things out as they will. We will have to make the transition to non-HC energy and I believe that nuclear is the only way if we want to maintain our standard of living and our mobility and freedom from control via petrol, hybrid or eventually electric cars. To deprive ourselves of, if necessary, maximising the use of HC energy on the basis of a bogus scientific hypothesis is the idiot way forward. We have to stop the ecological hooliganism that man is responsible for, we have to stop world poverty but I do not believe that we have to take immediate and massive steps to reduce population or CO2 emissions, these will happen naturally as we continue our wonderful evolution. The catastrophists have always been wrong and they are especially so now but they are winning the argument via propaganda. They are the defeated left in disguise and they are now doing under the green banner what they had no hope of doing under the red flag.

  114. @Richard S Courtney (09:37:49) :

    Not following your logic in anyway whatsoever. You’re saying that by locking a ball and chain around their economic legs, countries will benefit?

    Is the idea of a carbon tax to hobble a country’s economy to an extent that it loses any advantages it has? Tax a country unequally (some more than other, some less than others) so as to create equal results?

  115. Flanagan wrote:

    ?The argument that “temperatures stopped increasing while CO2 was rising” is somewhat surprising coming from an educated guy. Especially since one simply has to take a look at the 1980-2000 period to see that such “slowing downs” appeared several times.”

    But Aksofu’s full quote, in point 18, was: “After 1998 or 2000, global temperature has stopped rising and shows a sign of cooling, in spite of the fact that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is still rapidly rising.” The prior slow downs were short-term noise.

  116. Thanks Mike from Canmore

    My point was though that Magna is not what has replaced US auto manufacturing. Rather it has been Toyota, Honda etc. I was supporting the point made by others earlier. Manufacturing jobs continue to move to where it is done more efficiently.

    Speaking of Fiat though how does the market share of any or indeed all European manufacturers today compare to 35 years ago? dismal?

  117. “Can we expect to see a CGM modeller right along an astrologer in a prime time end-of-year TV show predicting what will the weather be like next decade and who will get a divorce next year?”

    And it’ll be seer reviewed!

  118. Jeff: right, they predicted increase of global temperatures, and that’s what happened. Is it by chance? 20 years of chance?

    Roger: the temperatures in the 20th century tell us that pauses were frequent in the warming. If internet had been present at those times, I can only imagine the “global warming has stopped” titles all over the blogosphere. Now, of course, we know that Ts actually increased on the long term. Which makes wiggle-analysis quite silly.

  119. ITER has had problems, it’s behind schedule. I didn’t save a link, IIRC ITER scientists have said not to expect a viable fusion power plant to come out of the ITER research line for 100 years.

    With Polywell, we’ll know within 18 months, Focus Fusion is just getting seriously started in the experimental stage, they are at least a couple of years behind Polywell. But both are comparatively cheap, the two them could be funded by rounding errors in ITER’s budget.

    Nuclear “waste” (I assume you’re referring to spent nuclear fuel SNF) has always been a political problem, not a technical one. France has has been doing for decades. When Gen IV reactors are developed, SNF will be a valuable resource, it can be used to start up a Gen IV reactor, while merely fertile fuel can keep it going (thorium, un-enriched uranium, depleted uranium). So our existing stock of already mined, depleted uranium will be sufficient for a long time.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=smarter-use-of-nuclear-waste

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/08/sandia-designing-factory-mass.html

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/08/nuclear-fuel-transitions-higher-burnup.html

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/08/previous-dense-plasma-focus-research.html

  120. Excellent. One of the most lucid observations of the ‘climate change phenomenon’ I have read.
    Of course, being a sceptic, I do not automatically accept every word, but a clear demonstration that the science is NOT settled.

  121. Dr. Akasofu has based his hypotheses on quick sand. Two of the American owned car produces have gone belly up, for several reasons. Among them is a union, to which the government exempted from anti-trust laws back in the 1930s. They set the work rules and pay scales. Average wages of over $80 per hour imposed by United Auto Workers Union has not been helpful. Further, the American auto industry set a car maker requirement for each company to meet an average mile per gallon requirement. If memory servers, it was around 27 miles per gallon. It was imposed to prevent more imported oil. The problem is two fold, one is geography and the other is cost. They cannot make a small car profitably. Yet, the must build them and sell them at a loss to be able to meet Federal Government requirements. They are able to make profits by selling SUVs and pickup trucks, which sell for much higher prices.

    Secondly, current laws mandate all sorts of safety features, such as air bags. I recall a new BMW was given to a teenager by his parents, and proceeded in volve it in a light accident. Which, however, caused all of the air bags to deploy, with little or no damage to the rest of the car. The car was totaled. It would cost more to repair the air bags then the car was worth. The buyers have no choice.

    Thirdly, a family with three small children cannot transport the family in a normal sedan, because they must be placed in a portable car seat and strapped down, in the back seat, which will only hold two such car seats.
    They must drive SUVs, by law.

    The Japanese and German companies are competing very well, in factories built in the South, where unions are not generally looked upon with favor. However, they are well represented in other industries and governments.

    The Obama administration just increased the miles per gallon requirment to over 30 miles per gallon for each car company, to go into effect sometime later. GM and Chrysler will not be in business for long, unless they move elsewhere, say China.

    The company which provides San Antonio with electric power is trying to build a new neclear plant, and hordes of unwashed lawyers are preparing to sue in various courts to stop them. It does not make any difference what Obama thinks. Other plants are on the drawing board, but will be lawyered to death.

  122. @Peter Taylor (09:39:41) :

    To state that all Greens groups were funded, founded or entirely supported by the Soviet Union or other hostile nations would be patently false and to asserted that was implied is equally false. During the Cold War, the Soviets provided backdoor support and funding to many radical dissident groups. The West German Greens are a prime example of this.

    I’m sure Green Peace was founded by people with only good intentions in mind. Regardless, Green Peace is not today what it once was and has become more and more left-wing, anti-industrial, anti-Capitalist with each passing year. That it is still considered a mainstream environmental group shows just how far left the entire movement has shifted.

    There is enough coal in this world to last centuries. Despite breathless reports to the contrary, world oil supplies will last for decades. New discoveries are made every year. As the price of oil rises, it becomes economically feasible to drill in more locations. New technologies will also be developed and allow us to drill in places we can only dream of now.

    The big problem isn’t the world’s supply of oil. The problem is the radical groups blocking development of new supplies and new refineries. They have a mistaken belief that multinational corporations are blocking the development of alternate energy and if they can stop Big Oil, then new energy sources will magically appear to replace hydrocarbon fuels.

  123. Peter Taylor (09:39:41)
    “Whilst I will be the first to agree that the ‘greens’ have lost sight of reality where global warming is concerned, and that they promote completely unrealistic supposedly renewable energy solutions – many of which will damage both community and biodiversity across the planet far more certainly than will climate change. . .”

    I agree with you there Peter. I cannot think of anything less “Green” than burning rain forest to produce palm oils to be burnt in road vehicles (to mention just one of the current crop of idiocies).

    “. . . the situation will not be improved by their critics putting themselves in equal denial of reality – nuclear options cannot solve the problem created by dwindling oil supplies and the end of the era of cheap fuel. Fast breeder reactors and fusion are illusions maintained for ‘jobs for the boys’ – they are vastly more expensive and cannot be rolled out on any scale and timing relevant to this crisis and are just as much an illusion as wind/solar/biofuels. Hydrogen cars will be ten times the cost of today’s cars, even allowing fro economies of scale and reduced production costs. The era of the private car is nearing its end – entirely on cost grounds.”

    Now however, I am afraid you’ve gone all Malthusian on us. Suddeny Fast breeder and fusion are illusions. Maybe so, but we still have the current technology of reactors to fall back on, and I’ve heard good things said of Thorium fission. Last time I checked, the cost of conventional fission is less than even the most optimistic forecasts for wind power – and that includes the decommisioning costs.

    You claim that Hydrogen cars will be 10 times more expensive even allowing for economies of scale and reduced production costs. I don’t know if you’re privy to economic research or have undertaken your own research but even if you have, do I need to remind you how many times in the history of the twentieth century “they” said something would never happen, would be too expensive only to be made to eat their words. I can think of computers (there would only be a need for 3 in the world), air travel (it would never replace the ship), mobile phones (will never catch on). And Kelvin famously declared that all that is to be discovered in Physics has been discovered, and the future can reveal nothing fundamentally new.

    And even if you prove to be the exception and are correct about hydrogen cars, so what? The only thing special about hydrogen cars is that it represents an idea that has been kicked about for sometime. What about gas cars, or liquid fuel from coal cars, or electric cars powered by a new generation of thorium fission reactors? Will the automobile become obselete at some time? Of course it will. But when this happens it will be because something better is developed not because the world can no longer aford to power them. Oh yeah, did you read about BP’s new Mexican oil find?

    BTW, good luck with your new book.

  124. Flanagan (11:00:59) “Now, of course, we know that Ts actually increased on the long term. Which makes wiggle-analysis quite silly.”

    How big’s your wiggle Flanagan? Mine is thousands of years big. I’m talking Holocene optimum, Roman warm period, MWP, modern warm period. Measured against this background, the modern warm period is a perfectly expected part of a natural 900 year cycle.

    But of course, warmists are in denial about all these other warm periods. They are like the drunk who is searching for his car keys by the street light. Unbelievable”

  125. On the economics:

    EIA report on 2007 energy subsidies
    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energy_in_brief/energy_subsidies.cfm

    IER Levelized Cost of New Electricity Generating Technologies,
    analyzing EIA’s 2009 Annual Energy Outlook
    http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2009/05/12/levelized-cost-of-new-generating-technologies/

    Yes, coal and natural gas are the cheapest forms of electrical production, but nuclear is not that bad.

    Now that we’re starting to manufacture nuclear power reactors, instead of hand craft them, the capital costs will come down some, and that is the biggest part of the expense of a nuclear power plant.

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/06/27/discussion-thread-is-the-eia-forecast-of-2016-energy-prices-realistic/
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/08/23/recent-nuclear-power-cost-estimates-separating-fact-from-myth/

    On the Integral Fast Reactor:
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/07/01/brave-new-power-for-the-world/
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/06/20/why-is-the-us-ignoring-the-integral-fast-reactor/

  126. On the economics of power generation:

    EIA report on 2007 energy subsidies
    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energy_in_brief/energy_subsidies.cfm

    IER Levelized Cost of New Electricity Generating Technologies,
    analyzing EIA’s 2009 Annual Energy Outlook
    http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2009/05/12/levelized-cost-of-new-generating-technologies/

    Yes, coal and natural gas are the cheapest forms of electrical production, but nuclear is not that bad.

    Now that we’re starting to manufacture nuclear power reactors, instead of hand craft them, the capital costs will come down some, and that is the biggest part of the expense of a nuclear power plant.

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/06/27/discussion-thread-is-the-eia-forecast-of-2016-energy-prices-realistic/
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/08/23/recent-nuclear-power-cost-estimates-separating-fact-from-myth/

    On the Integral Fast Reactor:
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/07/01/brave-new-power-for-the-world/
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/06/20/why-is-the-us-ignoring-the-integral-fast-reactor/

  127. It is likely that the Obama administration has chosen the construction of atomic power plants as the next great US manufacturing effort.

    Obama isn’t that clever. He is little more than a unqualified racist Chicago thug who gained the Presidency with the help of a slobbering media, and the publics complete disgust with Bush. While the media still race to tell us how brilliant Obama is, I have seen no evidence of it. He is a racist, socialist ideologue and nothing more.

  128. Peter Taylor-who made a long post above- has impeccable credentials as a thoughtful promoter of thoughtful green issues and has an excellent grasp of climate science and the politics behind it.

    As someone who reviewed his book ‘Chill’ I can thoroughly recommend it. It deserves a very wide readership as it makes some very perceptive comments.

    Tonyb.

  129. Ron de Haan (05:22:33) :,

    Spot on. First it was too many Jews and other untermenschen. But that was found to be too racists for the tastes of some. So now it is just too many people. The socialists don’t seem capable of more than minimal change.

  130. I agree with much of what Dr. Akasofu says about the junk science of man-made global warming. It is certainly nonsensical and absurd to believe that we have the best possible climate at this moment and that the trivial effects of man’s feeble emission of CO2 will lead to environmental catastrophe unless we burden ourselves with trillions of dollars in carbon taxes. Only the scientifically naive, ignorant or devious could still actually believe that fantasy.
    However, Obama is not likely to be a pro-nuclear wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s an ultra-liberal, socialist greenie. They don’t want nuclear either. Their plan is to push Americans back to a 19th century lifestyle where we don’t need 21st century energy. Try to get all the permits you’ll need to build a new nuclear generator. The greenies have made it impossible. They want us to eat locally grown vegies, ride to work on our bicycles and stop all travel beyond the county line. They don’t want Americans to have any new energy sources, not even renewables.
    It’s ironic, but if Obama and his comrads have their way, China will soon be the wealthiest and most powerful country and Americans will be eating rice grown in their own paddies.

  131. M. Simon (07:30:09) : I do agree with Plasma Physicist Dr. Nicholas Krall who said, “We spent $15 billion dollars studying tokamaks and what we learned about them is that they are no damn good.”

    Almost like the AGW hypothesis? Except that we have spent over 50 billion dollars and people still dont realise its no damn good!

  132. Doc Navy, you do us no favors conflating Three Mile Island with Chernobyl. The first was a small glitch that did little damage (other than political, thanks to our ever credulous media), while the second was a poorly engineered man-made catastrophe, many orders of magnitude more damaging in every conceivable way. We can live with the one, but not the other.

  133. Guys:

    Uranium…TONS and TONS and TONS in the “fly ash” fields outside of

    coal power plants, which burn western coal.

    Anywhere from 150 PPM to 600 PPM.

    Say 400 PPM average.

    That means 1 million tons of fly ash has 400 TONS of uranium.

    One million tons of fly ash per year per coal plant. 100 coal plants.

    40,000 tons of U per year being “banked”. 10 years = 400,000 TONS of U.

    enough to run Nukes for a century.

    Easily chemically extracted. (See Benedict and Pigford, “Nuclear Chemical

    Engineering”.

  134. The article mentions the role of China as an offshore manufacturer, maybe even more so as there are reports that China is considering banning or restricting exports of rare earth minerals including neodymium used extensively in highly efficient magnets for of course Wind turbines and Electric Car engines.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/6082464/World-faces-hi-tech-crunch-as-China-eyes-ban-on-rare-metal-exports.html
    A reason given being that they need to serve the interests of their own manufacturing. The link is a sobering read.

    I see the other comments re. recent increases yet again in the TV propaganda , this evening the UK ITV early evening news at 6.30pm included a report from the ever faster melting of the Arctic ice cap where the UN top man has taken his carbon footprint, The report stated that the ice continues to decrease each year and that it getting warmer faster than anywhere else on Earth. I emailed the links for the Ice extent and DMI north of 80deg. temperature to their address, I do not expect a reply but the report was left out of their 10pm edition of the news. Just maybe…

  135. Very intelligent article. Syun-Ichi Akasofu is a brilliant mind.

    For the fact that WattsUpWithThat posts this article on what the politics of energy is doing to science, while other science blogs in the US aren’t tackling the real issues of the science of climate, shows that WattsUpWithThat is again heading to being Science Blog of the Year.

  136. Obama & nukes for energy, not likely for 3.5 years, but as the article points out we (the US) are likely to be forced to it; not doing this may well be what drives the man from office.

    Does anyone have a good link to how feasible the 3rd and 4th generation reactors are and can they truly reprocess the partialy spent fuel from current reactors?

  137. P Walker:

    You ask me:

    “As regards your investigation of the “acid rain” scare , what did you find about ” acid rain” ? Was it baseless ?”

    By far the best paper on that subject was published by Sonja Boehmer-Christansen (it was better than both of mine on the subject). I commend her paper if it is still possible to get a copy of it.

    But you ask my findings, so I report those and conclude with an unfairly brief statement of some information in Sonja’s paper and a comment on the present situation.

    I was employed at the UK’s Coal Research Establishment (CRE) at the time, and British and German coal fired power stations were being castigated as causing ‘acid rain’ that was inducing ‘waldsterben’ (i.e. forest death) in Scandinavia and central Europe. So, I looked at the geographical pattern of acid deposition, and it did not fit the claim that the power stations were causing the enhanced acidity.

    All rain is acid because it contains carbonic and sulphurous acids. Indeed, sulphur in acid rain is an integral part of the sulphur cycle and all life on land would die without it. The acidity of rain over Northern Europe was observed to correlate with its sulphur content but the pattern was of highest acidity near river estuaries. Acidity of rain was low near power stations and downwind from power stations except where power stations were near river estuaries. And the acidity was very high near the estuaries whether or not there were power stations in those regions.

    Sulphur compounds emitted by power stations are very soluble in water (sulphur compounds are scrubbed from power station flue gases by putting them through a shower) and, therefore, highest acidity of rain could be expected near power stations, especially downwind of the prevailing wind. But there was no enhanced acidity and no waldsterben near and/or downwind of the power stations. Furthermore, high acidity of rain in Scandinavia occurred at tracks which had to pass over regions of high acidity of rain near river estuaries. There was no clear reason why the sulphur was being deposited preferentially in those regions.

    I suggested that the major cause of the enhanced sulphur content of rain was probably a disruption to the sulphur cycle as a result of altered agricultural practices. Nitrogen and phosphur rich fertilisers had become widely used by agriculture following WW2 and excess fertiliser could be expected to be delivered to the North Sea by rivers. This could be expected to fertilise the phytoplankton which produce DMS (dimethyl sulphide and associated compounds) with resulting increase to the rate of the sulphur cycle. Indeed, there was evidence that such fertilisation was happening because toxic algal blooms were starting to wash up against shores. If this suggestion were true then the enhanced acidity of rain was a result of the agricultural industry and not the electricity industry.

    Upon investigation, this suggestion proved to be correct. And this brings us to Sonja’s brilliant political analysis.

    France had a large nuclear electricity industry but Britain and Germany had large coal-fired electricity industries. Forcing coal-fired power stations to fit flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) equipment would increase the cost of coal-fired electricity (FGD adds ~20% to the capital cost and ~10% to the operating cost of a power station). And the electricity grids of Gemany and France are connected. So, France promoted the ‘acid rain’ scare because that would increase electricity costs and, therefore, the costs of everything that used electricity in Britain and Germany. This would provide economic advantage to France. Scandinavian countries went along with this because they feared for the health of their forests. Britain and Germany had no answer except to agree to their reducing the ‘acid rain’ emissions from their power stations. This resulted in establishment of the European Union’s Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) that limits the ‘acid rain’ emissions permitted from power stations.

    Then the true cause of the ‘acid rain’ was discovered to be agriculture and not electricty generation. Also, the waldsterben was discovered to have been a myth that was not happening. France had a large agricultural industry with much political influence so the ‘acid rain’ scare was conveniently forgotten.

    However the LCPD and its bureaucracy had been established. The bureaucrat need to justify their jobs and so they keep lowering the emission limits set by the LCPD. The limits have now been set so low that Britain is being forced to close almost all its coal-fired power stations during the next eight years. As yet, nobody has explained how the lights are to stay on in Britain when these closures are completed.

    Richard

  138. I recall hearing a report from an earlier climate conference that after the scientists had presented their data, the political representatives were ‘negotiating’ the final scientific report.
    Science by negotiation is no science at all.

  139. Kate (09:04:32) :

    “I would like to congratulate BP on their discovery, announced today, of a new “giant” oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico. It is about 4 billion barrels, which exceeds their previous find in the Gulf of Mexico of 3 billion barrels.

    Seven billion barrels should keep the lights on for quite a while. Well done BP.”

    I agree 100%, No peak Oil this Century or the next or ever!
    Is oil the true renewable?
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/deep_oil_a_giant_discovery.html

  140. John Galt:

    I am sorry that I failed to be clear. You say to me:

    “Not following your logic in anyway whatsoever. You’re saying that by locking a ball and chain around their economic legs, countries will benefit?
    Is the idea of a carbon tax to hobble a country’s economy to an extent that it loses any advantages it has? Tax a country unequally (some more than other, some less than others) so as to create equal results?”

    No, that is not the point at all. It is a matter of redistribution.

    As I said, the effect of handicapping every country in proportion to its economic activity is
    (a) to reduce total economic activity of the world, and
    (b) to redistribute the world’s economic activity such that those with least get more.

    Each country is interested to maximise its own economic activity. And no country is interested in the maximising the world’s total of economic activity unless that increases its own economic activity.

    In the period around 1990 the US was by far the major economic power. The handicapping would have reduced total economic activity of the world, but every country except the US would get more economic activity while the US would get much less.

    Is it any wonder that so many countries grabbed at the idea but the US Senate voted 95 to zero to reject it?

    I hope I have managed to clarify the matter.

    Richard

  141. Richard S Courtney – Thank you for your reply . I had suspected as much , at least in regard to sulpher emissions from coal fired plants . Agriculture hadn’t occured to me , but after scrubbers were added to coal fired plants the issue died . In the US , at least .

  142. “Richard S Courtney (16:05:00) :

    Richard”

    An interesting insight to that period. So Britain being labelled “The Dirty Man of Europe” in the scaremongering days of “acid rain” was all political hogwash in reality. Fantastic!

  143. Dr. Syun Akasofu’s analysis is very insightful in many respects. For example “Temporary or not, there must be unknown forces and causes to suppress the CO2 effect or even overcome it.” That the AGW is a convenient bogey man to raise taxes.

    But I am doubtful of his contention that Obama is favouring this in order to promote Nuclear Power. He maybe forced to consider it, but I doubt that he has thought it out as clearly as Dr. Akasofu has. He maybe intelligent and a good orator but he is not as brilliant. Most AGW believers are not particularly brilliant.

    Never attribute to intelligence that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

  144. The Yucca Mountain nuclear disposal site was probably canceled because it is a fault zone near the Colorado River, because there was no way to calm the public. http://articles.latimes.com/2007/sep/25/nation/na-yucca25

    Residents of the desert areas of California and Nevada (my neighbors) tremble at the thought of a leak or a terrorist attack on a shipment of nuclear waste. In part because television programs always show it as metallic cylinders or pellets light enough for an individual to carry.

    Someone with a clear head, like Richard Muller, should be making the rounds of the news programs, talking some sense into the pundits who shape public opinion on the behalf of the politicians. http://muller.lbl.gov/TRessays/26-Witch-of-Yucca-Mountain.htm

    The potential leakage should be compared to radon and formaldehyde exposure in homes and workplaces. Not to Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.

  145. I don’t think Margaret Thatcher ever imagined that global warming would turn in to a carbon credit commodity market.

  146. Ron de Haan (16:33:29) :

    There’s plenty more in Alaska. There isn’t much else in that location of Alaska but oil. Alaska really is Seward’s Folly because that oil, oil that could solve more than one problem in America, is just sitting there and could be removed so much easier than this “”giant” oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, drilled to a total depth of 35,055 feet”.

  147. Vincent: yes, the earth has been much warmer, and much cooler also. But how is this relevant here? How many humans were on earth during the holocene exactly? And how much time did it take for the temperatures to increase? Millions of years?

  148. I’ve heard this hoary old line about the unions causing the end of car manufacturing in the UK and the US for a long while. It doesn’t explain how the Japanese then went to both countries, built factories there, used the same workers, sold those cars and made good profits. And it doesn’t explain how the Germans and the French with far more powerful unions than the UK or the US, still have viable car manufacturers. Those facts just don’t fit the union-bashing dogma.

    The real trouble with Anglo-Saxon engineering businesses is that too often they are run by bean-counters. In Germany, Japan and France however they are all run by engineers. It is the short-termist thinking of the bean-counters that destroy the businesses and then perpetuate the self-serving myth that it was labor costs that caused the decline rather than the quality reduction caused by poor management decisions. So in any economic argument you should ask is this just another industry-destroying, short-termist, bean-counter talking or is it a job creator?

    On a similar note, according to Richard Courtney, all fuel taxes are a drain on the economy. Well only unless forced efficiency measures more than offset that tax. It’s as simple as buying a car that does 30mpg rather than 10 mpg or perhaps even a diesel that gets 40 to 50 mpg. And those European efficient small diesel engines were developed entirely because of high fuel taxes. Meantime in the US cheap fuel produced inefficient gas-guzzling clunkers. Real world economics isn’t as one-dimensional as some people like to imagine.

    And maybe some of you can tell Obama how to fix this depression (apparently caused by 2.5 years of a democratic run congress – yeah right!) instead of just bitching about what he does do. Among that list of bellicose jokers who wanted the job, Ron Paul was the only one that had predicted this credit fallout, and said that it was 100% due to the Fed’s fiat money management. He also predicted, in common with Obama and too few other Americans, that these costly wars were totally dumb from the outset. A little less partizan blame-game and a little more common sense easily identifies the real perps rather than convenient scapegoats and might even sort out some real fixes.

  149. Flanagan:

    Let me try to help unravel your confusion. You say to Vincent:

    “yes, the earth has been much warmer, and much cooler also. But how is this relevant here? How many humans were on earth during the holocene exactly? And how much time did it take for the temperatures to increase? Millions of years?”

    There are several reasons why it is very relevant that the Earth has been warmer and cooler than now in the past.

    Firstly, the Earth is constrained within close limits of global temperature in each of two stable states; viz. glacial and interglacial. And its temperature has been the same within narrow bounds in each of those stable states throughout the ~2.5 billion years since the Earth gained an oxygen-rich atmosphere. But heating from the Sun has increased by about 30% over that time. If that additional radiative forcing from the Sun had a direct effect on temperature then the oceans would have boiled to steam long ago.

    Clearly, the climate system contains very strong constraints that keep global temperature within close boundaries in each of the two stable states.

    But the global climate system changes between the two stable states.

    Data obtained from the Vostock ice core indicates that transition between the states exists as a series of ‘flickers’ between the states. The transitions occur in decades or centuries and they repeat until the system stays in one of the states. Thus, over geological ages there are very many instances when global temperature increased at much, much faster rate than has been observed recently: decades and centuries are much shorter than “millions of years”.

    Furthermore, in each of the stable states global temperature varies within its bounds.

    The rate of global temperature change during each year is much greater than the rate of global temperature change over the last century. During each year mean global temperature increases by 3.8 degC from January to July and falls by 3.8 degC in the other half of each year (n.b. this is global temperature change and NOT hemispheric temperature change). But annual mean global temperature only rose by about 0.7 degC over the last century.

    Simply, the change to global temperature during each year is more than 5 times its change over the last century as a whole.

    And the global temperature changes during each year at a rate that is more than 1000 times greater than its rate of change over the last century as a whole.

    Furthermore, global temperature has not recently risen to its upper boundary because there is much evidence that global temperature was higher than now in the Roman and the Medieval warm periods.

    The number of humans is not relevant to any of these changes.

    But, some people (e.g. James Hansen and Al Gore) assert a fear that a rise in mean global temperature of 2 degC could result in catastrophe. And, as Akasofu says, politicians are responding to this fear by calling for constraints on carbon dioxide emissions which – if imposed – would cause much harm.

    It is not clear why 2 degC rise in global temperature over about a century threatens catastrophe when global temperature rises (and falls) by nearly double that each year with no discernible effects.

    How is the rise of 2 degC rise in global temperature over about a century supposed to overcome the upper boundary of interglacial temperature that is so robust that it has existed for about 2.5 billion years?

    And what mystical effect is the existence of humans supposed to have on the upper boundary of interglacial temperature?

    We need to suggest a way to enable the politicians to reverse their intentions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions without causing them to lose face with resulting loss of votes: politicians will not make policy changes that would cost them votes. As a subject of another thread on WUWT I provided such a suggestion: i.e. research geo-engineering to rapidly reverse global warming if and when mean annual global temperature reaches 2 degC higher (it will not) but do nothing until then except to proclaim the research and to continue talking (n.b. not deciding) how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This would allow the AGW scare to fade away as the ‘acid rain’ scare did. But few read my suggestion and understood it (ho hum).

    Richard

  150. Re: Richard S Courtney (02:43:05)

    The ‘acid rain scare’ was no ‘scare’ but a real problem. People old enough to have lived consciously through the nineteeneighties will remember the haggard or even bald pine trees in European forests and I guess in American and Canadian forests as well.
    The problem has been solved by real government and company effort – see e.g. http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/hall/9111/DOC.HTML and remember this:


    “In 1991, the United States and Canada signed an air quality agreement. Ever since that time, both countries have taken actions to reduce sulfur dioxide emission. The United States agree to reduce their annual sulfur dioxide emission by about ten million tons by the year 2000. A year before the agreement, the Clean Air Pact Amendment tried to reduce nitrogen oxide by two million tons. This program focused on the source that emits nitrogen oxide, automobiles and coal-fired electric utility boilers.”

    Comparable measures were taken in Europe.
    If you want to see what acid rain does, you can still find out in China, where it is a prime environment disaster, and Russia.
    http://www.google.nl/url?source=imgres&ct=img&q=http://www.rst2.edu/ties/acidrain/miscgraphics/Acid_Rain.gif&usg=AFQjCNFgORc_uCEauiYZAxKkkbD2fnDU7g

    As to the argument of global warming not exceeding the annual global temperature variation I would like to seemingly strengthen it by taking the annual variation in temperature in Holland. It used to be from 1.8° C in January to 16.3° C in July; as of about 1988 these averages have risen by close to two degrees. This has the simple consequence that skating on canals and lakes in wintertime is now possible once in four or five winters, used to be >90% of all winters. The Dutch saying ‘all Dutch are born with skates’ now reads ‘… are born with skeelers’.

    The annual temperature amplitude in Holland is about 14-15 degrees C. Suppose global warming adds six degrees to all seasons. That is just a fraction of the annual variation. But it would put our temperate country in a climate that is normal for Spain, which has a desert-fringe climate (steppe). It would simply end existing flora and agriculture. We would become as famous as California for our uncontrollable bushfires.

    Fauna in Holland is already changing, both by disruption of ecological patterns (e.g. birds nesting find their food gone, as insects breed earlier in the year) and the introduction of new species from southern countries, some of which have become plagues because the balances and checks that exist in a settled ecology are not in place yet.

  151. Bill McClure (06:13:35) :

    I don’t know about anyone else but this link locked up my computer.

    Bill, I don’t know if you were referring to my link, which is a long one and may not have been picked up by your browser.

    Try this: http://tinyurl.com/noluk5

  152. Flanagan (22:45:18) : Vincent: yes, the earth has been much warmer, and much cooler also. But how is this relevant here?

    I think it is relevant because if the temperature has varied in the past, and more importantly, in the recent past, quite naturally, as over the last 150 years +1.5/2 C, then it is entirely possible that the current rise is also due to reasons similar to those in the past. It is also possible that the recent rise in CO2 due to fossil fuel burning is just coincidental to this natural rise and may not be effecting it to any significant extent. It maybe a mistake to attribute this rise to the rise in CO2.

    Astrologers thrive on the power of coincidence but science must guard against it while trying to determine cause.

    How many humans were on earth during the holocene exactly?

    Flanagan the Holocene has lasted about 10,000 years. 2/3rds of this time the Earth was as warm or warmer than today. These warm times were the times that saw the establishment of agriculture, the birth of villages and cities and flowering of civilisation. There were not nearly as many humans as today for 9,900 of these years and the temperatures managed to rise and fall quite naturally within the constraints it is in today.

    And how much time did it take for the temperatures to increase? Millions of years?

    No they rose and fell at similar rates as today. The Holocene has lasted for only 10,000 years.

    “We conclude that .. the evidence points consistently to a real but irregular warming over the last century. A global warming of larger size has almost certainly occurred at least once since the end of the last glaciation without any appreciable increase in greenhouse gases. Because we do not understand the reasons for these past warming events, it is not yet possible to attribute a specific proportion of the recent, smaller warming to an increase of greenhouse gases.

    Source IPCC 1990 report, before Mann took over with his hockey stick. That report also clearly showed the “Holocene Maximum” the Medieval Warm period, the Little Ice age and the recovery from it.

  153. JamesG:

    It seems you have some misunderstandings.

    I agree what you say about “union-bashing dogma”. But, of course, I am prejudiced because I am a trade unionist who has held the elected office of National Vice resident of a UK Trade Union that is affiliated to the UK’s Trades Union Congress.

    Hence, you completely misunderstand where I am coming from when you begin your comments begin by saying, “On a similar note, according to Richard Courtney”.

    And those comments are based on an error. You assert that according to me “all fuel taxes are a drain on the economy”. But I have never said that. Clearly, you misunderstand my views on these matters.

    Indeed, you imply that I think economics is “one-dimensional”. Perhaps I do because I do not have any idea what you mean by “one-dimensional” in this context.

    Indeed, you clearly fail to understand effects of energy efficiency. It has been known since the nineteenth century that increased energy efficiency induces additional energy use, and several studies have confirmed this since then. The effect is because reduced energy costs free monies that are spent on
    (a) additional activities that require additional use of energy
    or
    (b) profligate use of energy.

    As you say, “the US cheap fuel produced inefficient gas-guzzling clunkers”. That is an example of profligate use of energy. But the revenues raised by high fuel taxes in Europe were spent, and the activities they were spent on consumed energy, too, so they cannot be omitted from proper consideration of the total energy usage the taxes (or lack of taxes) induce.

    Life is not simple, but there are some useful simplifications that can be made to assist understanding. For example, by definition energy is the ability to do work and money is payment for work done. Reduce the required payment for work done and there is more money to do more work, so more energy gets used. For example, increase vehicle fuel efficiency without changing the cost of fuel and users of the vehicles have more money and they can use their extra money to take weekend brakes that they fly to in aircraft. Any increase to an activity that uses energy is an increase to economic activity.

    Importantly, blame is not a useful concept for analysis of political actions and I suggest that you do not apply it.

    Richard

  154. Sorry, but automobile manufacturing is not moving to Japan. What’s moving to Japan is the management of the manufacturing process. My Toyota Camry was made by American workers.

    Craven management in the US yielded to the union demands too often, and Edward Deming’s lessons were ignored here, but not in Japan. Bureaucracy reigns in large corporations.

  155. Statistical correlation does NOT prove cause and effect. It simply suggests where one might look for a cause.

    The (mythical?) tribe on the South Pacific island KNEW that the beating of tom-toms caused the sun to reappear after an eclipse. They’d been doing it for many generations and the drummers were important members of their society. When people suggested that they skip the drums during the next eclipse, they refused since the sun was too important to risk. Their entire database showed ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CORRELATION.

  156. Richard S. Courtney 06: 03: 38:

    You say you have “held the elected office of National Vice resident….” which sounds wonderful!!! Could you let me know how I could get a job as a vice resident, please?

  157. M. Simon (07:30:09) :

    Richard (01:09:11) :

    anna v (22:50:05) – I’m sorry fusion is a pipe dream for the foreseeable future. UK were the leaders in this and they have abandoned it.

    Some of us have hopes for Polywell Fusion.

    And the best part about Polywell? We Will Know In Two Years

    I do agree with Plasma Physicist Dr. Nicholas Krall who said, “We spent $15 billion dollars studying tokamaks and what we learned about them is that they are no damn good.”

    And links to publications please? From what I know the conclusion from Jet was that it performed as expected for its size, breaking even in energy. ITER is being designed as an industrial prototype which will give megawatt power.

    It is expensive, but will amortize its cost when it demonstrates the feasibility of plenty and “free” energy, at least free of political strangleholds.

  158. Sigh, I knew Flanagan hadn’t read my post properly as soon as I saw the words “millions of year”. Well, I suppose you see what you want to see.

    Richard (04:13:23) has given a suitable reply to Flanagan’s confusion and I leave the last words with him.

  159. Peter Taylor: Many thanks. I always try to stay out of the political side of WUWT for the reasons you state, but that was one of the sanest comments on these subjects I’ve seen here (or anywhere) for a long time.

    I’ve always maintained that a move to a more efficient way of living and conserving resources would be a good thing in all sorts of ways, whether you’re worried about CO2, Peak Oil, pollution, food security, deforestation or soil loss (or all of them) or just have an engineer’s instinctive dislike for inefficiency. The danger, of course, is that if you focus entirely on one potential risk (CO2) you rush headlong into others (rainforest destruction for biofuels, iron pollution, nuclear).

    But I do often wonder why any suggestion of reducing footprint (carbon or otherwise), or sometimes any kind of environmental concern at all, meets with such rabid reaction among some commenters here. I’m deliberately excluding Anthony himself from this because I know he actively supports energy efficiency in practice (again, it’s that engineer’s instinct, I think!)

    Anyway, enough politics for me; back to the data…

    REPLY: Quite, efficiency is part of nature’s way. I embrace efficiency and the technology that achieves it. As for the others, I think it is viewd as a threat to personal freedom. – Anthony

  160. JamesG (02:07:20) wrote an interesting post comparing automobile manufacturing in the UK/US with France, Germany and Japan. In the case of France he notes “the Germans and the French with far more powerful unions than the UK or the US, still have viable car manufacturers. Those facts just don’t fit the union-bashing dogma. The real trouble with Anglo-Saxon engineering businesses is that too often they are run by bean-counters. ”

    I’m not sure what to make of this hotch potch of incongruent ideas. Firstly, French manufacturing is highly automated – so much so that France had a secular unemployment rate of 8% even during the boom years. With such a high overhang of unemploment, the idea of militant unions run by Bolshei shop stewards is a myth.

    Secondly, Japanese workers have an entirely different relationship with their employer than either the French, Germans or Americans. For them, the company is family and jobs were considered jobs for life. Loyalty is everything.

    Thirdly, trade union activism was a real problem in UK manufacturing during the sixties and seventies. The closed shop led to high endemic unemployment while workers lucky enough to be employed enjoyed higher wages than would otherwise have been the case, with the consequence that the overhang of unemployment could not be cleared. Industry was further hamstrung by the idiotic restricted practice rules which scleroticised the work force since workers could not be deployed flexibly. When the country was virtually taken over by union activists in 1979 – the winter of discontent – the British public finally had enough and voted that lot out of office for good.

    The reference to ‘bean counters’ is no more than a politicians sound bite. What is it supposed to mean? By ‘bean counters’ I presume you are refering to management accountants. For your information accountants do not run businesses nor do they make strategic decisions – these are made by the board. Management accountants provide a vital service in reporting to the board what the marginal cost of production is and tell them the best way to respond to any decisions the board undertake. For example, should the board purchase more plant and machinery to increase output or should they hire more labour? This is not a moot question because the wrong decision will raise the marginal cost of production while the correct one will lower it. I ask you, how are the board expected to make these decisions on their own?

    You then state that French, German and Japanese industries are run by engineers. I am not sure what you mean by this. Are the CEO’s of these companies former engineers or are you saying that the boards of these companies consult engineers on micro economic matters? If the latter is the case I would call that foolhardy. In fact I doubt it is true. Maybe you are saying that the CEO’s have the vision of engineers. Perhaps so. But either way I think your criticism of accountants who are simply providing metrics is both unwarranted and naive. If there is a management problem here then it surely lies with the board not with the accounts.

  161. ” RR Kampen (03:56:45) :
    Re: Richard S Courtney (02:43:05)
    The ‘acid rain scare’ was no ’scare’ but a real problem. People old enough to have lived consciously through the nineteeneighties will remember the haggard or even bald pine trees in European forests and I guess in American and Canadian forests as well.”

    This is nonsense; the trees looked the same as today. The haggard or bold trees could only be seen in newspaper pictures.
    A chemistry teacher went with his class to measure acidity of rain; he told me he got exactely pH 7.0.

  162. Alexej Buergin (08:02:33) :

    This is nonsense; the trees looked the same as today. The haggard or bold trees could only be seen in newspaper pictures.
    A chemistry teacher went with his class to measure acidity of rain; he told me he got exactely pH 7.0.

    Sorry mate, no nonsens. I will take your commentary on my own observations of Dutch and Scandinavian woods as a polite but uninformed comment.

    You may google ‘acid rain China’ and find out about one of China’s worst disasters. Then, you may take a plane and go look for yourself.
    Finally, you may report to me :)

    Your chemistry teacher found a rather bizarre result. pH of normal rain is 5.6 to 5.7 (please check this before replying). Acid rain is typically about 5.2.

  163. “RR Kampen:
    As to the argument of global warming not exceeding the annual global temperature variation I would like to seemingly strengthen it by taking the annual variation in temperature in Holland. It used to be from 1.8° C in January to 16.3° C in July; as of about 1988 these averages have risen by close to two degrees. This has the simple consequence that skating on canals and lakes in wintertime is now possible once in four or five winters, used to be >90% of all winters. The Dutch saying ‘all Dutch are born with skates’ now reads ‘… are born with skeelers’.”

    We all know and acknowledge the fortunate fact that climate has been warming for about 200 years (since the little ice age). The question is if the rise from 1970 to 1998 was due to human emission of CO2.

  164. Dr. Akasofu: Thank you for this article. I had not known the connection to Thatcher…

    You said:

    “There will eventually be uranium wars in the future; energy securing wars will continue forever.”

    I respectfully disagree. A clever Japanese scientist has shown how to extract Uranium from sea water at reasonable prices. There is a functionally unlimited quantity of U from the oceans available to us:

    http://www.taka.jaea.go.jp/eimr_div/j637/theme3%20sea_e.html

    After a critic here said it was not practical to put so much absorbent into the ocean, I made a ‘thought experiment’ or ‘demonstration design’ that shows a simple way (perhaps not the best, but workable enough to show practicality) that this could be done with little impact on the oceans:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/ulum-ultra-large-uranium-miner-ship/

    In the end, there really is no shortage of energy. We just need to stop having wars over it and go build the facilities we need:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

  165. WoodforTrees

    I agree with your comments-whilst I disagree with the AGW hypotheses, that doesn’t mean that I therefore automatically agree with waste and profligacy.

    I try to walk most places, cycle, buy local food in season and would like to install solar or wind units on my house if it was any sort of cost effective and practical soluition. It would be great to see an energy forum here where such things could be discussed.

    Incidentally, thanks to WUWT I saw the UK’s coldest winter for ten years coming and upgraded the insulation on my house last October!

    I think Anthony is right that some here view it as an attack on their personal freedom. One thing for sure is that we (in the UK) have a looming energy crisis and increasingly people here are starting to realise that the govts drive for renewables is not the answer to the problem, as they have many shortcomings as well as many virtues.

    tonyb.

  166. Alexej (08:25:14) – that question has been answered. Or rather, the CO2-signal that was already predicted sinds over half a century ago has risen above the normal variations as of about the eighties.
    The rise continues since 1998 (the year in which a massive el Niño coincided with the calender year!), modulated as it is by events like La Niña/PDA, solar cycle and volcanoe activity.
    2005 was as warm as 1998 and did that without El Niño.
    2007 and 2008 suffered the effects of a very strong Niña, a dip in the solar cycle that is proving quite deep, and two volcanoes; these years should have ended in the lower fifth of years since 1880 but both came into the top ten warmest: because of CO2 and the associated overall global warming.
    2009 now stands about 5th, but the effect of the new Niño is already so strong that temperatures have jumped to near record in July and record warm months may be expected for the coming one or two years. 2009 is going for a stab at 1998 and 2005, 2010 is probably going to bust those records.

    The only clear explanation for this is the increase in CO2. It ain’t the sun. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t look for alternative explanations but I wonder when some people will finally give up searching for hyperesoteric, immeasurable sun effects and stuff like that…

    By the way, the dip of the ‘Little Ice Age’ (which also sported some extremely HOT summers by the way) was about -0.3° C, which is less than the warming change since 1980.
    CO2 started to rise, slowly at first, by 1800, from anthropogenic causes.

  167. Except Obama and the donks have just closed down Yucca Mountain. That means they are very much AGAINST nuclear power.

  168. Anthony/TonyB: Yes, I do understand the point about personal freedom, and to some extent I share it, although my preference is always to do stuff rather than shout about it :-)

    Maybe it’s precisely because the focus is on top-down targets and Big Government/Industry solutions that it gets up people’s noses, when a gentler, more practical, ground-up approach might appeal precisely to that independent spirit that so values their freedom.

    On discussing alternative local power: I used to be very into this – I lived on a boat off-grid for 3 years – and the Usenet group sci.energy used to be very interesting, although (like the rest of Usenet) it was prone to occasional flamage. I’ve no idea if it’s still active, though – this was 15 years ago! I’d also love to see occasional articles around this area here; I trust Anthony implicitly to find interesting material…

    The key thing I remember from my off-grid days was this – and this goes somewhat to the “lights out in the UK” discussion above: do everything you can to avoid electrical heating or cooling loads, and it can be made to work. Passive solar design, good insulation and local heat sources (wood, methane, CHP) can deal with the heat (in either direction) in most scenarios.

    Best wishes, Paul

  169. Flanagan (22:51:30) : Errr… US car industry going to Japan?

    Check the sales statistics on the “Cash for Clunkers” program. Of the top 5 models sold, 4 were Japanese (only the Ford Focus made it to the top 5 list, and not at the top…)

    Moving a headquarters name plate is not the important part of moving an industry… So look where all those Honda and Toyota parts are made. That is where the U.S. industry is going / has gone.

    I didn’t know Fiat and Magna were Japanese companies…

    I didn’t know Fiat was a car company 8-)

    So far, nobody has been able to make Chrysler work. Fiat is likely to “break their teeth” on it too.

    The argument that “temperatures stopped increasing while CO2 was rising” is somewhat surprising coming from an educated guy. Especially since one simply has to take a look at the 1980-2000 period to see that such “slowing downs” appeared several times.

    You really want to use the non-correlation of CO2 increase with climate cyclicality as an argument FOR CO2 as causal? Really? Amazing…

    While you are at it, you can explain why there is no warming in August, but lots in January. CO2, it seems, is rather magical stuff. Takes the summer off, sometimes takes decades off at a time, but still, somehow is the cause of it all. Sure it is…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/co2-takes-summers-off/

    I think you will find it has more to do with The March of the Thermometers south and Airport growth than CO2.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/thermometer-years-by-latitude-warm-globe/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/agw-gistemp-measure-jet-age-airport-growth/

    And don’t waste your breath on a claim that Zones and Anomaly grids will save you from this. The 6 zones used by GIStemp are not enough. He lumps too much together to account for the drift of thermometers south. Also, I’m “in the anomaly code” now, and what I find in it is not good:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/gistemp-a-slice-of-pisa/

    Oh, and GIStemp uses large commercial sized airports as “pristine rural” stations for it’s “correction” of UHI in the anomaly steps. Not exactly a good idea. Somehow THE major Marine Air Station at Quantico and the Italian base at Aviano do not impress me as ‘rural’…

  170. Jerry Lee Davis (23:30:29) :
    Uranium wars seem unlikely. Either fusion or thorium based fission will probably work out eventually (see recent Scientific American article regarding the latter).

    THPW is the stock ticker for Thorium Power Ltd. I own a few thousand shares as a ‘toy’ (it is presently a 28 CENT penny stock…). They have fuel bundles in burn-up in Russian style reactors right now for NRC acceptance certification. Thorium based fission is real.

    Here is a link to their “technology” page:

    http://www.thoriumpower.com/default2.asp?nav=technology_solutions

    which cites papers published in the field in one of the links.

    Oh, and google “Thorium India”. They have more Thorium than anything else and have largely made it an industry. They are basically “ready to go” if Uranium prices rise too much.

  171. Flanagan (02:45:36) : The fact that GCMs including greenhouse-based feedback can reproduce the observed variations is a sign that it plays a role.

    No, it does not. Not at all. Not even a tiny bit. Nothing. Nada. ZIP. 0.

    All it shows is that CO2 either has a correlation to something else or has a completely random coincidence and moves in such a way as to produce the model results entirely by accident. Accidents do happen.

    You could just as easily stick in “economic growth” or “airport growth” and get the same results. (Why? Because these 3 things are all correlated, that’s why. You build a factory, put in an airport, and start consuming fuel…)

    You could just as easily stick in population growth, or vehicles per capita, or tons of swiss cheese eaten per year. They, too, correlate with growth.

    I could go on and list hundreds more. ANY ONE OF WHICH put into the GCMs would produce substantially the same result, because they all go together when they go. (Heck, even ‘artificial joints per capita’ ought to work… and in fact, it would be amusing to compare ‘increase in years with increase in warming’ since economic growth correlates with the passage of time. Maybe it’s just the passage of time that causes warming. Don’t like that idea? Then read the next sentence…).

    It is simply not possible to attribute CAUSALITY from CORRELATION. Ever.

    This is one of the key things that “warmers” constantly blow past in their desire for human guilt tripping.

    Coincidence, Correlation, Causality. At each step up that chain, the requirements for “proof” become more stringent. The AGW Thesis has not even effectively gotten their act together enough to leave step 1 – Coincidence. And a much better correlation is with thermometer placement and longevity of the record:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/gistemp-quartiles-of-age-bolus-of-heat/

    We are in “rebound” from the LIA on a 1470 year Bond Event cycle (and there are other cycles inside that). We may simply be “measuring” a coincidental growth of economic prosperity as that natural cycle matures. This correlation would match for he Roman Warm period and the growth of the Roman Economy. Would you assert that increases in Roman fuel consumption (to warm their baths, among other things) caused the Roman Warm Period? It correlates as well as CO2 does for us…

    And oh, btw, there are not sufficient temperature data to ever answer that question. Not a lot of thermometers around in 535 A.D. when we left the Roman Warm Period and fell into the Dark Ages (that really were cold and dark) nor in the Medieval Warm Period that followed, nor in the LIA that followed,… It’s all based on “proxies”.

    So we started to “instrument” just as the cycle turned again. Can you say “Coincidence”? Try real hard? Just once. If you don’t try, you can never learn to do it, so come on, just a little try? OK then, well come back to this tomorrow after nap time…

  172. ” RR Kampen (08:56:44) :
    2005 was as warm as 1998 and did that without El Niño.”

    The last time I looked at the MET-numbers, the anomaly (global, annual) was:
    1998 0.52
    2005 0,47
    2006 0,42
    2007 0,40
    2008 0,32
    But maybe they changed the numbers, just as GISS does?

  173. ” RR Kampen (08:22:24) :

    ‘Alexej Buergin (08:02:33) :
    This is nonsense; the trees looked the same as today. The haggard or bold trees could only be seen in newspaper pictures.’

    Sorry mate, no nonsens. I will take your commentary on my own observations of Dutch and Scandinavian woods as a polite but uninformed comment.”

    So maybe “Waldsterben” existed in Holland and Skandinavia, but not in the rest of central Europe? I did not observe what you did (and still ran around in forests almost daily at that time). I just remember how they calculated the percentage of dying trees: If you had a young, healthy tree of diameter 10 cm and an old tree (who was losing his “leaves” like old (male) people do, too) of diameter 50 cm, the percentage of dying trees was 96% (proportional to the area of the trunks). On “Waldsterben” the standard remark today is: But it did help clean up the air.

  174. ” E.M.Smith (09:35:16) :
    I didn’t know Fiat was a car company 8-)
    So far, nobody has been able to make Chrysler work. Fiat is likely to “break their teeth” on it too.”

    I own 2 Chrysler minivans and am very satisfied with them, but you are probably right.
    But although Fiat used to be known for rusty little cars, they are doing a good job with these red things with the jumping horse.

  175. Ron de Haan (05:22:33) :
    Dr. Syun Akasofu only covers a part of the story.

    But he did it so very well!

    We will need 50% more agricultural output to feed the world, and we need 30% more energy.

    And we can easily provide it with present methods and technologies. No Problem. Not doing it will be entirely a political act.

    Instead of building new power plants the West is talking about replacing existing coal fired plants by natural gas plants, a kind of cash for clunkers for energy plants instead of cars.

    This is utter madness because it has taken us many years to build the current energy infra structure which could serve us for decades to come and we could spend all that wasted money for other purposes.

    The good news is that any coal plant worth it’s salt can be retrofitted with gas nozzles and kept in service. If they choose not to do this, it is driven by some other agenda (maximizing government subsidy “rent seeking” or…)

    thus concluding that they will NOT prepare for an increase in population and go the way of a population reduction (by starvation).

    It does look like we are headed that way, even though there is no need for it at all. Politics is a very strange business that does not seem to ever really care about people.

    80% of the people believe we are with too many people on this planet.
    http://www.economist.com/debate/overview/151?source=most_commented

    And they are wrong…

    For Fascists and Marxists, there are always too many people and a small group of of these wacko’s believe this planet is better off without any people.

    I’ve never really understood why, but it does seem to be the case. Somehow the two “mind sets” seem to be fellow travelers on the road to destruction. They seem to completely miss the road to prosperity that comes from simply building and expanding understanding and wealth.

    Cheap energy is the basis for any industry, including steel and cars.

    Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but affordable energy is a great start. You also need to add a technological stock (i.e. all those Engineers who give us the wealth of modernity) and some labor (all the rest of us) along with a bit of capital stock to use it (what the loony left seems bound and determined to destroy).

    They tried for decades to destroy capital (and we saw the results in the old USSR and old communist China) but failed in the USA. So they have moved onto attacking energy supply too. There has also been a propaganda job done on “technology” to try to paint it as evil (amusing metaphor, given that substantially all paint today is a high tech polymer product 8-) so now a lot of the R&D is gone to Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, … Look at who produces the most Engineering degrees in the world now. Even a lot of the ones minted in the USA are foreign nationals who often head home.

    Oddly enough, China has gone to the capitalist side (in form, if not in name) just in time for the US capital stock to up roots and move to China and run away from the loonies here. Capital will survive if at all possible, it does not need a U.S, U.K., or E.U. address to do so.

    So bit by bit “The West” is being stripped of capital stock, technical skill leadership, and now cheap energy is on the chopping block. What will that leave? Labor.

    Know what happens to labor when capital stock is gone, and technology is lagging? Take a look at the falling real wage rates and rising unemployment rates. Direct consequence. Take a look at the $40 Billion deficit in California government. Direct consequence. They drove out capital and screwed around with the electricity supply. Business left. Tax revenue left. Unemployment rises. SPLAT!

    Coming soon to a State or Country near you; California Socialism Disorder:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/csd-california-socialism-disorder/

    And there is no scientific or economic reason why it could not be available.

    We have plenty of it for years to come.

    Exactly right.

    A while I ago I made a posting about how little of the earth is “used” by people. In it I “did the math” of what it would take to put everyone in a modern London style city environment or give everyone on the planet an ocean view condo. It is a bit enlightening.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/

    Everyone on the planet could live at the same density of London in roughly 6 patches about the size of the UK with the rest of the planet being completely empty of people. Last time I looked London was an OK lifestyle… and even six patches the size of the U.K. would disappear in the vastness of the world. (Heck, I think I could fit everyone into the space taken by Texas and maybe Oklahoma at the same density!) But what if you don’t like the view in West Texas?

    Want an ocean view? Last time I did the calculation, everyone could have an ocean view condo with no structure higher than about 4 to 6 stories (though it’s a bit hard to figure out due to the coastline being fractal and of indeterminant length) using ONLY the North American continent and with no structure more than a hundred feet deep. (i.e. a single building facing the ocean with no buildings behind it…) The rest of the world, again, being empty of people.

    The simple fact is that we have a planet that is mostly empty and we choose to live together in places like New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Buenos Aires because we like that life style; not because we are running out of land. And we choose to grow crops in a way that makes the most profit with the least capital stock and labor, not the maximum product per acre. It’s a choice, not a limit.

    How the Radical Greens and loony left can get it so exactly wrong so often baffles me, but they do. Why the Radical Right want’s to go along with them this time also baffles me. I guess it’s harder to hold onto a stable centered tidy mind middle ground position that I thought…

  176. I think the author is completely of his tracks where Obama is concerned. Obama has done absolutely nothing that I can see consistent with promoting nuclear energy. Taxing the pants off carbon is simply a way to suck financial resources from every citizen in the country in order to finance ambitious social plans and control redistribution of those tax revenues. Cap-and-trade is a monstrous scheme to convert significant individual discretionary funds into government funds on the theory that government will spend those funds more wisely. “Going green” is a convenient diversion on its face because the economics simply does not work.

    Would any proponent of nuclear have killed, by presidential decree, the only nuclear waste repository (Yucca Mountain) in the U.S. that had any chance of eliminating the biggest impediment to nuclear power expansion?

    CH

  177. “RR Kampen (08:22:24) :
    Your chemistry teacher found a rather bizarre result. pH of normal rain is 5.6 to 5.7 (please check this before replying). Acid rain is typically about 5.2.”

    You are right, and I am sorry to have abused a long dead friend. He must have said: “PFFF; absolutly normal”. But normal it was.

  178. Peter Taylor (09:39:41) : Can someone please explain how socialist/commie/green Obama seeks to destroy the US (and world) economy by giving £700 billion to Wall Street? He surely is advised that Wall Street will invest this money in the regions of the world where capitalist ‘growth’ is still happening

    Well, while I’m not sure I completely agree with the thesis, the mechanism is supposed to be:

    First off, the money was not “given” and it wasn’t to “Wall Street”. The money was flushed into a lot of banks (often NOT “Wall Street” players) and it came with CONTROL strings attached.

    Second, the money was not invested anywhere (and will not be). It was put on the books of the banks to sit there and raise their capital ratios to above the mandated minimums. (The alternative being a declaration of bankruptcy). This had more to do with the bogus requirements of “Mark to Market Accounting” that forget the market aphorism “The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent”, so BY LAW the banks were forced into insolvency due to an accounting change a few years back. Rather than simply reverse a broken law, the Fed pumped cash onto the banks books. To sit there and look nice.

    So where are we know?

    The US Government is a major stock holder in most of the nations banks.
    The US Government has a “Pay Czar” taking the old proctoscope to all the bank management.
    The US Government is going to determine the value of any of the managements stock holdings, warrants, bonuses, and pay package.
    The US Government determines the rules under which the bank lives, or dies.

    Now, exactly what banker is going to say “NO” to any plan from the US Government?

    So the bankers are now beholden to and rent seekers from the Obama administration. He can now do whatever he wants with the money system and the bankers will say nothing. If they do, the US Government takes back their money, the bank folds, that manager is out of a job, and a more “understanding” banker is put in charge, then the US Government provides “new capital” to ensure “solvency” and takes a larger share of the “ownership” (thus stealing the wealth of the original share holders – as they have already done a couple of times)

    So you get to steal the capital of the original share holders.
    You gain control and compliance of the banks and all bank management.
    You have complete control of the money supply.
    You set wage and compensation by fiat.
    You dictate the terms of lending and economic activity.

    Sounds more like a “Command and Control” economy than a “Capitalist” economy to me…

    But what do I know, I’m only an Economist by education…

  179. Re: shutting down coal fired plants and building natural gas plants, analogous to cash for clunkers:

    In Texas, a rather large electrical market with coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear (two plants with 4 reactors), wind, and a bit of solar, the result is somewhat different. Natural gas predominates in new plants built, but coal is not being shut down. Natural gas power plants are far superior with the long-term abundance of fuel, very low cost of fuel (under $3 per million Btu), very high thermal efficiencies (57 percent for combined cycle designs), excellent load-following capability, very low emissions, zero radioactive or toxic wastes left behind for future generations, low capital cost, and fast, dependable construction times. Given all the positives of gas-fired power plants, why would anyone ever want to build a nuclear plant or coal plant?

    MW completed since 1995 (through 1Q 2009):

    Natural Gas ………..34,178
    Coal ………………………227
    Nuclear ………………….200
    Wind …………………..8,403

    Retired since 2002/Mothballed:

    Natural Gas…………..9,606
    Coal…………………………..0
    Nuclear………………………0
    Wind………………………….7

    source: http://www.puc.state.tx.us/electric/maps/index.cfm

  180. There are some amazingly insightful comments here, Richard S Courtney, Vincent, Peter Taylor to name a few. They deserve a thoughtful read and comments which I shall do sometime.

  181. Richard (17:59:57) :

    Never attribute to intelligence that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    I hereby declare this to be “Richard’s Razor” and will name it such when I quote it! 8-)

    Gene Nemetz (21:47:02) : , is just sitting there and could be removed so much easier than this “”giant” oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, drilled to a total depth of 35,055 feet”.

    I agree with you about Alaska. But what makes the BP find truly spectacular is that this is the SECOND find at “theoretically impossible” depths. Prior theory said that at that depth, oil would be destroyed, so don’t bother looking. We now have a whole new “shell” of depth to explore over the entire surface of the planet. There is no telling at this point how much oil there really is on this rock.

    JamesG (02:07:20) :
    I’ve heard this hoary old line about the unions causing the end of car manufacturing in the UK and the US for a long while. It doesn’t explain how the Japanese then went to both countries, built factories there, used the same workers, sold those cars and made good profits

    Well, at least in the US, they did it by opening those plants without unions and with much lower labor costs.
    As did the German makers.

    woodfortrees (Paul Clark) (07:42:41) :

    I’ve always maintained that a move to a more efficient way of living and conserving resources would be a good thing in all sorts of ways […]or just have an engineer’s instinctive dislike for inefficiency.

    Me too. Inefficiency and waste are a sin.

    But I do often wonder why any suggestion of reducing footprint (carbon or otherwise), or sometimes any kind of environmental concern at all, meets with such rabid reaction among some commenters here.

    Well, for me, I’m sort of like the French (“The French don’t really care what you do so long as you pronounce it properly.”) in that I get rankled when the “reduction” is driven by the wrong “cause”. An error or lie is still an error or lie, even if the result is good.

    So tell me we ought to use more efficient cars because we can, it will reduce fuel costs, and pollution will drop. I’m 100% on your side. Tell me we need to do it because we are “running out of oil” or “need to save the planet” and those are ‘fighting words’ because they are based on falsehoods. Tell me we ought to do it “because of CO2, and even if CO2 isn’t the cause it is still a good idea” and I’m sharpening my logic axe…

    Now if you said “We ought to reduce or CO2 footprint to reduce the cost of our electric bills” I’m 100% on your side… (Oh, BTW, one of my major gripes about the AGW agenda is that it drives the REAL conservation issues off the agenda. We need to stop deforestation and the loss of species. Now. A rounding error in the AGW waste would fund that.)

  182. Alexej Buergin (11:24:19) :
    ” E.M.Smith (09:35:16) :
    I didn’t know Fiat was a car company 8-)
    So far, nobody has been able to make Chrysler work. Fiat is likely to “break their teeth” on it too.”

    I own 2 Chrysler minivans and am very satisfied with them, but you are probably right.

    It was a joke!

    BTW, the cars they made were often great. One can make good product and fail as a company. I have drooled over many a Cummins Diesel powered Dodge truck; but never could afford to buy one…

    But although Fiat used to be known for rusty little cars, they are doing a good job with these red things with the jumping horse.

    I have a great fondness for the Fiat 600 of about 1970 vintage… but that story is not for here… IIRC Fiat also own Alfa Romeo? Oddly, I have an italian made radiator in my 1981? Mercedes SLC sports car. They made the best replacement part (and my fan decided to go to pieces and mate with the prior radiator…)

    I do hope Fiat manages to make a go of it with Chrysler. I’m still hoping that some day I can get that Cummins Diesel Dodge Truck…

    And a buddy once made a memorable cross country trip in an old Spider… we both would love to see a modern equal on the Dodge lot…

  183. Gene Nemetz (21:47:02) : , is just sitting there and could be removed so much easier than this “”giant” oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, drilled to a total depth of 35,055 feet”.

    Only now have I been struck with the actual depth of this reserve. I don’t know exactly how much water was there, but if we say 5,000 ft that still leaves 30,000 ft of rock – nearly 6 miles. Now I’m no geologist but I’m trying to work out how long ago this depth of rock was layed down. It is complicated by whatever foldings have happened in the past, but by any simple calculation this would be billions of years. That is, way before oil was supposed to have formed from dead organisms.

    Could this be evidence for the abiogenic hypothesis?

  184. Re: the oil we have not found yet: if we consider the earth’s surface to be like a stack of pancakes, we have not even fully explored (for oil) the top pancake. Very few wells were drilled into the other lower layers.

    The only reason there is a (supposedly) shortage of oil is lack of access to known oil deposits, and lack of drilling to depth. It costs more (a lot more) to drill deeper. When oil prices rise, the drilling will occur and the oil will be produced.

    The reality is that oil storage tanks are nearly full world-wide, and transportation costs for crude oil are very, very low. This suggests a crude over-supply, or glut, situtation.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a5BtHOaXx.7o

    The only question is, if alternatives to oil will be developed first because they will be much more economic than drilling for deep oil. By alternatives, I refer to tar sands, oil shale, and coal-to-liquids processes.

  185. Richard C
    But it isn’t only increasing efficiency that leads to profligacy but also cheapness of the fuel. Efficiency increases seem to need to be mandated because otherwise they won’t happen spontaneously. Of course rising oil prices will do the same job but maybe it’s best to plan ahead.

    Vincent
    Regardless of how outrageous the unions in the UK or the US were the union argument still cannot explain how the Japanese used the same UK and US workforces and made money, not in Japan, but in situ in the UK and US. And the union militancy in France and Germany is far from being a myth. Ask any French or German businessman. Unions really are as militant as the British were in the 70’s except that a deal is usually struck relatively quickly. It’s far from an ideal situation but crucially they still have high productivity and still make well-engineered cars that people want to buy. So the facts dictate that the car manufacturers failures in the US and UK just cannot lie with the workers or trade unions. Neither can it lie with automation or cultural differences.

    That of course leaves just management. And engineering firms in France, Germany and Japan are nearly all run, directed, controlled by qualified engineers whether you realized that or not. That is not the case in Anglo-Saxon companies. Coincidence? Given a need to cut costs there are two ways of doing it – a) by better engineering or b) by buying lower quality supplies. Which style of management would choose a) and which would choose b). Now remember the essence of good business is not just winning new customers in one or two quarters so that you can filch a nice bonus + stock options, you also want the old ones to keep buying over the long term. But customers move when they are presented with poorer quality for the same price and it’s not difficult to get a bad reputation. I’d say that’s what happened. Hotchpotch clearer?

  186. Flanagan, there have been many times where CO2 rose faster than it has now and when temperature rose and fell faster and not together.
    Have a good read of Ian Plimer’s Heaven and Earth and you will understand. Of course you can’t do that because nobody could read that book or Wishart’s Air Con without becoming a sceptic over AGW. Education is bringing people to the sceptic side only sheep are now on the AGW side. AGW is a busted flush which is now slowly but surely unravelling.

  187. E.M.Smith (13:21:53) :

    I’m still peeved with Chrysler over them killing the excellent Rootes diesel 2 stroke which had horizontally opposed pistons & worked in a similar manner to the Deltic diesel but with only one crankshaft by using rockers.

    The last prototypes had 3 cylinders & 6 pistons.

    A little noisy but high power output from a small engine. (Sure the noise problem could have been cured too.)

    DaveE.

  188. JamesG (14:06:01) :

    Try getting another union into Nissan in Sunderland or Toyota at Derby or Honda at Swindon.

    They went with single union deals & NO demarcation which was one of the bigger downfalls of the UK auto industry!

    They have as many workers as they need and those workers are flexible and can, (and do), do more than one job, as and when required.

    DaveE.

  189. EM Smith
    Are you sure it’s not the other way around and that Wall street is really in charge of the US government – specifically Goldman Sachs?

    In the UK they have single-union agreements and an internal arbitration council. The UK workers seem very happy so i doubt they are paid less. With good management unions are unnecessary. I think you’ll find that workers at Toyota in the US are pretty happy too. I read that it’s the workers who continually reject being in a union, not the company. So It all comes back once again to proper management doesn’t it?

  190. JamesG (14:06:01) :

    As a P.S. to my previous comment.

    Do you remember when a shop steward, (Red Robbo I think was the nickname,) was fired for sleeping on the job?

    They went on strike at Longbridge!

    DaveE.

  191. JamesG (14:06:01) :

    Another thing, GM does a large proportion of its manufacturing, (Vauxhall/Opel,) in Spain where labour costs are lower.

    Ditto Ford! The unions had to wake up eventually!

    Luton is pretty dead for auto manufacturing now, as is Dagenham. Birmingham, forget it, it’s all gone. Same for Oxford, (Cowley).

    DaveE.

  192. >> Flanagan (02:45:36) :

    Anna (and others): if temperatures were strictly following CO2, that would prove CO2 is the ONLY climatic driver. The fact that GCMs including greenhouse-based feedback can reproduce the observed variations is a sign that it plays a role. Another such sign is the fact that no model not taking into account such a feedback can do it. <<

    I have a model based on Kiehl & Trenberth 1997 (the quintessential GHG model) that when you only heat the surface with the addition of GHGs, then it requires atmospheric warming that is missing (the tropical hotspot). However, I can reproduce the lesser, observed atmospheric warming AND the entire surface heating by just decreasing the albedo. I only need to decrease the albedo by an amount that keeps the albedo within the current albedo error bars. Your statement “no model not taking into account such a feedback can do it” is not correct, but it is a common refrain of your side. The real problem with your position is that trying to blame the current surface heating (if present) on GHGs without the corresponding atmospheric warming violates the physical requirement of the standard GHG model.

    Jim

  193. WoodforTrees

    Paul

    I think one of the problems we have-and the same goes for food-is that we can access energy so easily and therefore we take it for granted and fail to realise what it took to get it to the place where it is being used. Consequently we are often profligate with our energy (and food) use.

    Whilst not living off the grid I did have a generator and water came from a well. The well water was drawn to the surface by an electric pump. When the power failed and I fired up the generator there were two noticeable effects.

    Firstly you could hear the generator straining as it drew the water from the well so we only drew just what we needed. Secondly when we boiled our electric kettle to make a cup of tea (It’s what we Brits do if we have an emergency like a power failure) the generator struggled even more, so we only boiled exactly what we nereded. Only one electrical activity could be undertaken at a time as it was a relatively small generator.

    On mains power neither activity caused the slightest problem and numerous appliances could be used at the same time.

    I think it would do people a lot of good to live ‘off grid’ for a couple of days and perhaps they would come to realise just how easy our lives have become and that the power we take for granted needs to be generated somewhere and that takes a lot of energy.

    From that day to this the vision of that straining generator caused me to curb my profligacy-I boil only enough water for our needs and turn things off when I’ve finished with them.

    This isn’t supposed to be a lesson for anyone, just an acknowledgement that we do take things for granted.

    Tonyb

  194. JamesG:

    You say to me:

    “But it isn’t only increasing efficiency that leads to profligacy but also cheapness of the fuel. ”

    Yes, I said that. Please read what I wrote.

    Richard

  195. RR Kampen:

    You say to me:

    “The ‘acid rain scare’ was no ’scare’ but a real problem. People old enough to have lived consciously through the nineteeneighties will remember the haggard or even bald pine trees in European forests and I guess in American and Canadian forests as well.”

    I am sure they do remember that. The damaged trees they remember were adjacent to major road ways and were affected by sulphurous emissions from vehicle exhausts. Move a few yards from the roads and there was no damage to trees. There was no significant waldsterben and the trees that were damaged were not damaged by distant emissions.

    Sulphurous emissions do cause local damage. For example, see the acid erosion of limestone carvings in Athens. But the ‘acid rain’ scare was based on assumptions that distant sources of sulphut emissions were causing widespread damage to forests. But the distant emissions were not having any discernible effect and there was no widespread damage to forests.

    Richard

  196. JamesG (14:48:06) :
    In the US , management has little say in whether workers choose to unionize. That’s why the likes of Toyota chose to build in the South , as the people there tend to take a dim view of unions .

  197. Richard S Courtney (16:29:37) :

    I had a brief conversation with a ‘tree surgeon’ once.

    I remember him saying there was an art to picking the right kind of tree for a location, eg for roadside locations IIRC sycamore.

    DaveE.

  198. Jim Masterson (15:10:36) : Anna (and others): if temperatures were strictly following CO2, that would prove CO2 is the ONLY climatic driver.

    That is not true. It would prove nothing.

    The fact that GCMs including greenhouse-based feedback can reproduce the observed variations is a sign that it plays a role.

    May produce a role. But not at all necessary. Models can be made to produce practically anything.

    Another such sign is the fact that no model not taking into account such a feedback can do it.

    That statement cannot be true. if that be so then what model can produce “a global warming of larger size (that) has almost certainly occurred at least once since the end of the last glaciation without any appreciable increase in greenhouse gases”? (IPCC 1990)

  199. >> Richard (19:17:06) : <<

    Those are nice comments. I was replying to Flanagan’s (02:45:36) post and apparently so were you.

    Jim

  200. “Richard S Courtney (16:29:37) :

    I am sure they do remember that. The damaged trees they remember were adjacent to major road ways and were affected by sulphurous emissions from vehicle exhausts. Move a few yards from the roads and there was no damage to trees. ”

    I can’t help but wonder where you get your information from. Acid primarily from Britain severely damaged woods in all of Scandinavia, woods that could literally be hundreds of kilometers from the nearest surfaced road and between one and two thousand kilometers from Britain.
    Take it from me, I’ve seen it.
    But you can also visit the northeastern US or the wide vicinity of Toronto, CND, to investigate damage still visible from about 20 years ago. The problem there still isn’t solved entirely.
    I won’t take the forest devastation in Holland as an example, because although some trees happen to be more than a few yards from a road, no trees are more than 5000 yards from one…

  201. Richard S. Courtney 16: 03: 43

    Damn. I was looking forward to being a resident and getting stuck into all that vice.

  202. The civil use of nuclear power by Great Britain was scarcely affected by the Prime Minister’s disagreements with coal unions. Their destruction was Mrs Thatcher’s primary aim, because they represented entrenched laziness, as they do now. The lead in the saddle of the economy. There was no good reason for the rest of British industry and society to subsidise their laziness. It was a popular political tactic to destroy them.

    Some of us did much the same in Australia at about the same time, but the rot has been allowed back into the system.

    The growth of peaceful nuclear power was based on economic analysis and the fundamental energy physics of competing sources. Notably, nuclear fuel costs were not a major part of total cost; but the opposite held for coal and oil. The rear end costs of each process were comparable. Solar and wind were too diffuse and hence costly and were early discards. Apart from small niche markets, that is where they should stay. The economic argument is overpowering.

    Anti-nuclear activism added synthetic costs to the nuclear industry, through irresponsible exaggerations about decommissioning, waste processing and storage, increased national ill health and so on. None of these has yet been sustantiated as a disdvantage anywhere. The official toll from Chernobyl remains at fewer than 50 deaths (some from non-nuclear impact or other illness such as heart problems) plus an undefined number of cancers indistinguishable from the unexposed population because the count is so small. Nobody was directly killed at Three Mile Island, so the public reaction was alarmingly disproportionate to the damage. The solution was in the instruction manual.

    France is the living demonstration that destroys many untruths offered in specious argument.

    France is the country most likely to form a future model, because it is able to be emulated. Domestic supplies of French uranium are small, in common with many other countries. Australia and Canada have major supplies through the superior application of mineral exploration skills and large land areas. But any country can emulate France. There is no need to resort to irrelevant and even silly arguments about greenhouse gases, carbon footprints and the like. Nuclear is superior in its own right and has a long assured lifetime.

    Most of the points made by Syun Akasofu can be supported by systematic, unbiased analysis. His excursion into British history is a bit of a popular misconception and is not central to his argument.

    In short, the advantages of going all out on large scale nuclear power have been demonstrated to be robust for 50 years, which is far longer than the 30 years needed to separate climate from weather.

    (I speak from personal experience of 30 years in the mining, sale, technology and theory of uranium and its power and half that time in its global politics. I don’t have to theorise. I was part of the action).

  203. Sandy:

    Of course it is OK that you copied what I wrote. I would not have written it if I had not wanted anybody to read it.

    RR Kampen:

    Believe whatever you want. That is your right. But beliefs do not alter facts.

    There was local forest damage as a result of local effects. There was no widespread forest damage. Indeed, several studies show that forest cover increased in Northern Europe throughout the latter decades of the twentieth century when the ‘acid rain’ scare was raging. Natural increase and growth of forests is not consistent with ‘forest death’ (i.e. waldsterben).

    The ‘acid rain’ scare is not unique in pretending there is problem that does not exist in reality. The DDT scare was promoted on the basis that DDT was thinning egg shells of wild birds: it was not. Now, AGW is promoted on the basis that it is harming polar bears: it is not. I could go on, but facts never alter beliefs.

    Richard

  204. Roger Sowell,

    There was an idealogue injection of anti-nuclear propaganda on that link, mostly by yourself, which I would dent was a “vigorous discussion”. I don’t know the cause of your anti-nuclear mental problem, but it might respond to treatment.

    As a quick lead-in to brig youself intothe modern era, try
    http://world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html

    Especially the Chinese new reactor costs show your figures to be about 3-5 time too high. I did not knock gas power, which comes in at much the same as nuclear delivered to the door, but in all these comparisons there are so many if and buts that a longer paper is needed to make a direct comparison.

    I note the Chinese figures because they lack much of the Greenpeace hate factor which has so inhibited rational discussion and pricing. And the confirmed fatalaties from Chernobyl remain below 50.

  205. ”E.M.Smith (09:35:16) :
    I didn’t know Fiat was a car company 8-)”

    Of course it is a joke. Et FIAT lux.

    But the black horse on yellow is not on Alfa Romeos, but on Red Heads from Maranello.

    And the good news for you is: They are talking about a new Topolino.

  206. “Richard S Courtney (10:10:01) :
    There was local forest damage as a result of local effects. There was no widespread forest damage. Indeed, several studies show that forest cover increased in Northern Europe throughout the latter decades of the twentieth century when the ‘acid rain’ scare was raging. Natural increase and growth of forests is not consistent with ‘forest death’ (i.e. waldsterben).”

    Well said. The worst problem has a name: Barkbeetle.

  207. Geoff Sherington (05:28:51) :

    You cite the Chinese experience – reportedly – for the proposition that nuclear power plants are inexpensive to construct. Let us hope that they do better with nuclear power plants than they do with coal mining — where they kill hundreds of people each year.

    Yet Chinese plants are subsidized by their government, and their cost accounting is not transparent. Not a yardstick by which to measure the cost of a plant, and thus the price of power in a capitalist economic system where profit and loss are important. The same for France.

    The French cannot even build one of their so-called “modern” reactors in Finland, which is having the same old problems of years of construction delays and billions of Euros (in this case) of cost overruns.

    The fact is that I am keenly aware of the facts of nuclear power, and I am happy to debate you or anyone else on those facts.

    Here is my challenge to you, and to anyone else in the nuclear advocacy camp: Find a private investor (not a government subsidy) that will invest his money in a 2200 MW twin reactor modern nuclear plant, and tell that investor that you have a firm contract to sell all the power from that plant at 3 cents per kWh. Or make it 4, or even 5 cents per kWh.

    Then let us know how you make out.

    The South Texas Nuclear Project’s proposed expansion is a case in point. This is to provide two new reactors of 2200 MW total, and the project proponents have a ridiculously lowball cost estimate of $13 billion and a 4 year construction period. It will be great fun to watch this plant make progress, if it ever gets financing and a construction permit. My fellow attorneys are quite anxious to bring lawsuit after lawsuit in matters related to this project.

    Nuclear is not the way. In addition to natural gas power plants, renewable energy backed by grid-scale storage is the way. No toxics. No fear of radiation deaths and illness. No leaving behind massive cleanup for future generations. No needlessly expensive power that disproportionately harms the low-income segments of society.

  208. Roger Sowell (09:32:41) :

    Ho ho. Look at the actual figures, not the dreamtime ones. Thay are in tables in the reference I gave, as at July 2009.

    Here’s a challenge back to you. Find a private investor (not a government subsidy) that will invest his unsubsidised money in a 2200 MW solar plant, and tell that investor that you have a firm contract to sell all the power from that plant at 5 cents per kWh. Or make it 7, or even 8 cents per kWh and that you will need no backup.

    What dreadful experience turned you into a Francophile? I find them charming when I visit.

    I cited the Chinese experience because I have been there a number of times working on major project development. One problem for the USA is that, as a group, the Chinese are more sharp-witted and better able to turn a quid.

    On toxics, study Paracelsus (1493-1541) with his famous observation that all matter is toxic; the poison is in the dose. Even ethane, propane, butane are pretty toxic at smallish dose, yet you seem to be rooting for them despite the ready ability of the public to access them and get a dose.

    Stop playing the fool. It is unbecoming. You know as well as I do that social costs raise the price of nuclear, while physics costs raise the price of solar. China is an interesting test bed on relative economics because they are not mabmy pamby about social cost obstruction.

  209. Roger Sowell (09:32:41) :

    Does this WNN news release start to meet the challenge you set me?
    Site permit for Vogtle in USA. Southern Nuclear Co has been granted an Early Site Permit (ESP) for its Vogtle site in Georgia (already with two 1215 MWe reactors). The ESP process resolves many site-related safety and environmental issues and determines that the site is suitable for future construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant. However,
    construction cannot begin until the company receives a combined construction and operating licence (COL) which it applied for in May last year, for two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors of 1105 MWe each. In March this year, the Georgia Public Service Commission voted to approve the new Vogtle units 3 and 4, which are slated to enter service in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
    WNN 27/8/09.

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