I'm on Al Gore's radar – for showing a path forward

Heh. Apparently, I must be destroyed for having an opinion. From Al Gore’s “Reality Drop” project, the GoreBots have been given the orders.


What’s all the hullabaloo about? An interview I gave with a website that covers energy issues. 

I’m sure now the “Cooked up” conspiracy theory ideation that I’m in the employ of “Big Oil” will get even wilder. The fact is though, I’m not employed by “Big Oil” nor any energy company. I’m not employed by any NGO either.

Read the entire interview by James Stafford here to see what’s got them in a tizzy. One of the things I talk about in the interview is the need to move forward with energy, and surprise, it isn’t about oil. It is about Thorium powered reactors.

My observation on Thorium power from the interview last week is backed up today by the fact that the Chinese are moving forward on the taxpayer funded work we discarded in a  big way, and was handed to them by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

From an article in the Telegraph:

The thorium blueprints gathered dust in the archives until retrieved and published by former Nasa engineer Kirk Sorensen. The US largely ignored him: China did not.

Mr Jiang visited the Oak Ridge labs and obtained the designs after reading an article in the American Scientist two years ago extolling thorium. His team concluded that a molten salt reactor — if done the right way — may answer China’s prayers.

See this NYT article from March 11th: In Search of Energy Miracles

Among the new nuclear approaches, fission reactors based on thorium are especially intriguing, offering potentially huge safety advantages. The basic concepts were proved in research by the American nuclear establishment in the 1960s, but the idea was ultimately abandoned by the Nixon administration in favor of a riskier approach called breeder reactors, which turned into an $8 billion black hole.

An engineer in Alabama, Kirk Sorensen, has helped excavate the old thorium work and founded his own tiny company, Flibe Energy, to push it forward. But it will surprise no one to hear that China is ahead of the United States on this, with hundreds of engineers working on thorium reactors.

“They’re doing laps around the track, and we haven’t even decided if we’re going to lace up our shoes,” Mr. Sorensen said.

Here’s a 5 minute video summing it up:

And, there is a petition you can sign if you agree.

US White House Petition


focus the bulk of American regulatory and technical prowess on developing a test Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor. (LFTR)



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Do you recieve money in any capacity from any oil company or NGO, directly or indirectly? Same for Koch Brothers interests….?
Reply. [Did you not “read” the first sentence of the thread? “I’m sure now the “Cooked up” conspiracy theory ideation that I’m in the employ of “Big Oil” will get even wilder. The fact is though, I’m not employed by “Big Oil” nor any energy company. I’m not employed by any NGO either.” Mod]
REPLY2: And that goes for Koch, as well as indirect funding as well. Some shared ad revenue with wordpress.com (where WUWT is hosted) along with the tip jar and some prints, calendar and mug sales are it. – Anthony

Good for you. Good on USA.

Alan A.

Oh for crying out loud, Anthony… why do you keep giving those clown activists so much attention? It’s like arguing about the meaning of life with a 12-year-old, i.e., a waste of time.

Do you mean you haven’t got millions of Middle Eastern petro dollars like some fat bore we all know?

Joe Public

Do you receive any government grants to carry out research?
REPLY: Nope, never even applied for one – Anthony

lurker, passing through laughing

The Gorebots are non-rational kooks. Ignore their conspiracy based delusional accusations.
That their fearless leader and so many other AGW opinion shapers actually engage in what they are accusing you of is just another source of endless entertainment.

John R T

“… an $8 billion black hole.” NYT excerpt
. ..= one day of Obama deficit spending!


Brad says:
March 12, 2013 at 11:05 am
Do you recieve money in any capacity from any oil company or NGO, directly or indirectly? Same for Koch Brothers interests….?
I consulted for many big oil companies, and still have an interest in some wells. I just put another $50 in the tip jar. I’m sure that invalidates any science presented here.
PS: Brad, remember, i before e, except after c

I’m starting a new campaign.
Let’s rename Kenji to “Big Oil”. Then you can turn your company ownership over to Kenji er “Big Oil” actually….
The you can hold interviews on TV in the company of your new employer. He can handle the difficult questions. I can hear him now.. Is the Globe Warming? Woof Woof!. Is the Climate Change Disruptive? Bow Wow! Once people see it’s “true” that should generate a good laugh –maybe even at the Gorey ones expense.
You can add in that boring scientificky stuff that is not covered by the important policy setters — your new boss will handle that! Woof!
Nothing like working for “Big Oil” — maybe he can do something about your Pay Rate!


Lol – as a Fort McMurray oil sands worker with my wife in upper management here, I can confirm we ain’t paying you anything Mr. Watts. But you have on occasion mentioned the Keystone Pipeline – and only ended up with ten thousand eco little devils that hated you. Now you just had to venture out into Thorium reactors? And gain even more demonic worship? Having all the AGW fans already hating you not enough? Would it be fair to say you top the list on the world’s most hated list? I cannot think of one single individual on planet earth more hated than you. Sure you weren’t a sh*t disturber in grade school?


Are you now, or at any time have you ever been, a failed politician, happy to join any passing bandwagon playing flute music, which offers an enormous gain in your personal wealth based on specious nonsense?


Then again, the eco-Fourth Reich will have something else to divert them now that Japan has managed to extract gas from deep sea methane hydrates. That’ll keep the little buggers (the bots) busy for a bit! (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21752441)


Thanks Brad – for proving once again that as soon as you hear information and facts you (and the many other warmists/alarmists) don’t like, go into the standard “Are you in the pay of BIG OIL” stance. I’m sure Anthony (and me) would greatly like to be receiving BIG OIL money to refute your position. But I think the cheque has gotten lost. Brad – and Joe Public – please lose that BIG OIL arguent. Its so out of date and worn out. Oh – here comes the postman. Maybe he as my cheque. (sarc)


Just for information, in the summer of 1960, a friend of mine, Norm Snidow, was operating a thorium solid fuel (pin type oxide) powered reactor designed by Babcock and Wilcox at Consolidated Edison Indian Point, NY The plant is a short distance north of New York City. Quite successful but the momentium was for Uranium fuel.

Alex the skeptic

Hi Anthony. (Sarc on>) Can you please tell me how to contact Big Oil. I need to get rich fast. As a minimum I need to become as rich as Al Gore.

Fluoride? Who’s going to handle THAT!!

Thorium’s a possibility – it even has its own website, which I visit from now and then.
But fast reactors (Generation IV reactors) are the far closer reality and every bit as safe as a Thorium reactor, and has the added ability to burn up all our nuclear waste, which I might add,contains enough residual energy to provide all the energy this country needs for the next 1000 years. Russia’s world class nuclear company has already deployed fast rectors and
they are due for widespread commercialization probably in the next 5 to 7 years. If Thorium
reactors prove more cost-effective they will prevail, otherwise it looks to me like fast reactors will, along with water reactors are the future. I have no bets one way or the other.

Objectively, the US DOE should be spending at least as much on Thorium flavors of Nuclear energy as it does on fusion research.
Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) looks to me like the commercial challenge it is down to a chemical refining engineering problem. You must reprocess the entire fluid body of the reactor in the span of a month or two and pyro-chemically separate the reactor poison daughter products at an economical yield. This is an unsexy aspect of the LFTR that gets too little discussion in videos like that above.
We shouldn’t be under the assumption that there is no radioactive waste. But what there is seems to be of very short half-life or quite manageable quantities. In any case, the radioactive waste is likely orders of magnitude less than some fusion designs currently funded for research. Hence, my conclusion that LFTR deserves at least as much funding as fusion.
LFTR might not be low hanging fruit, but it is much closer to our reach than fusion.


Anthony, I could care less where you get your funds from, NOMB, I do care about your ideas, please keep expressing them here. Thank you.

Bloke down the pub

The only way the ecos would accept thorium power would be if you could convince them that it was made from concentrated sunbeams.

Gunga Din

I wish “Big Oil” or “Big Coal” or whatever other “Big” group that is being demonized by the CAGW crowd would but big bucks into dispelling the lies surrounding the myth.
I also wish those so concerned with where Anthony and others earn their money would be as concerned with where their heroes are getting theirs.

Alex the skeptic

India is also deep in thorium research according to this you tube video.:


At least you aren’t aiding and abetting Al Qaida like some not to be mentioned former Vice Preisdent. Funding terrorists is fine, working for oil companies is evil. So the goracle says….

Gary Hladik

One of the good things about NOT having a world government is that individual countries are free to pursue their own energy and economic policies. Even if one or several nations embrace economic suicide (*cough* USA *cough*), others can choose growth and technological advancement (*cough* China *cough*). Good for them.

Alex the skeptic

Japan cracks seabed ‘ice gas’ in dramatic leap for global energy
Japan has extracted natural “ice” gas from methane hydrates beneath the sea off its coasts in a technological coup, opening up a super-resource that could meet the country’s gas needs for the next century and radically change the world’s energy outlook.


Brad, did Al Gore send you a message via your tin foil hat to post here?

Please note that we now have both warmers (NYT) and skeptics (WUWT) taking note of what China/India are doing and advocating we work on LFTR technology. Luke warmer Roger Pielke is also on board.
What are we talking about?
Game changer: The “green” nuclear. Molten salt thorium nuclear reactors. Much cheaper, safer, and cleaner.
Feb 2011
“China has officially announced it will launch a program to develop a thorium-fueled molten-salt nuclear reactor, taking a crucial step towards shifting to nuclear power as a primary energy source.”
“The project was unveiled at the annual Chinese Academy of Sciences conference in Shanghai last week, and reported in the Wen Hui Bao newspaper (Google English translation here).”
“If the reactor works as planned, China may fulfill a long-delayed dream of clean nuclear energy. The United States could conceivably become dependent on China for next-generation nuclear technology. At the least, the United States could fall dramatically behind in developing green energy.”
June 2012
“The U.S. Department of Energy is quietly collaborating with China on an alternative nuclear power design known as a molten salt reactor that could run on thorium fuel rather than on more hazardous uranium, SmartPlanet understands.”
“Proponents of thorium MSRs, also known as liquid thorium reactors or sometimes as liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTRs), say the devices beat conventional solid fuel uranium reactors in all aspects including safety, efficiency, waste and peaceful implications.”
Jan 2013
And India
India is hosting what very well may be the first ever true conference dedicated to Molten Salt Reactor technology. They contacted me several months ago about giving a plenary talk and I was very surprised to learn of their increasing interest in MSR technology which is a bit of a departure from their traditional long term nuclear plans. They now have the website up regarding the conference.
If you browse through things you’ll see some of their interest is related to the fact that molten salt technology is also applicable to things like processing of solid fuel fast breeder designs. However in my discussions with the organizers and by looking at the subjects they wish to cover at the conference it is clear that they have an increasing interest in true molten salt or liquid fuel concepts. Perhaps this is slightly reactionary to increased Chinese MSR interest but a hopeful sign nonetheless. Please check things out and I’d encourage people to consider submitting papers and/or attending.
David LeBlanc
The solution is there. Technology developed in the US in the 60’s. Just needs to be updated. Fortunately the Chinese and India (who do and will burn the most coal) are on to it. We can all breath easier.Game changer: The “green” nuclear. Molten salt thorium nuclear reactors. Much cheaper, safer, and cleaner.

Frederick Michael

Wow. That video is almost as powerful as the one on desertification.
One contrast intrigues me though. With the science of desertification, the video explains how people (including the presenter) got it so wrong. Why/how did we get it so wrong on Thorium? Is there a counter-argument we’re not thinking of? I don’t see a motive for abandoning thorium, nefarious or otherwise.


Lawyering. Ur doin it rong. It’s like this:
When did you stop taking money from Bigoil, Inc.?

Peter in Ohio

Frederick Michael says:
March 12, 2013 at 11:57 am
“Why/how did we get it so wrong on Thorium? Is there a counter-argument we’re not thinking of? I don’t see a motive for abandoning thorium, nefarious or otherwise.”
I just read somewhere that our nuclear arms program depended on plutonium that was produced at uranium reactors. There was an incentive to keep uranium reactors running rather than adapt to thorium. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it sounds reasonable to me.

I enjoyed reading the interview, it’s an honest opinion. so many thoughtful and honest opinions are shut out of our politicized social engineered smiley happy society.

What’s really amusing is the fact that folks like Gore and others are living in the bygone
USA-number-one past. We in this country are not in a position to determine which future energy or reactor types are going to be developed. China has already demonstrated the ability to build,
at much cheaper costs, a type AP1000 reactor. A Russian nuclear build company
is winning British contracts against the GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse groups, and also not
only developing, but deploying some pilot fast reactors commercially. The days when the
world followed along behind US technology are long gone. Apparently Al Gore still lives and thinks in a 1960’s time-warp capsule.


Gore’s violent thugs are using crosshair imagary! Someone call the civility police!


Its a shame your a rabid, racist, denier…. because if you were a sinless, smart, kind worshipper, you could claim these are death threats and demand a special lab built just for you with hi tech protection and billions in funding…

Al Gore has hundreds of millions to throw at projects, spam-bots that single out people and their views is what his crack-team came up with. what a joke!

Great job! I can tell you why you are now in the Gorebot’s targeting sensors. This is from his book, Earth in the Balance….
Page 204
The environmental crisis is a case in point: many refuse to take it seriously simply because they have supreme confidence in our ability to cope with any challenge by defining it, gatherings reams of information about it, breaking it down into manageable parts, and finally solving it. But how can we possibly hope to accomplish such a task? The amount of information and exformation—about the crisis is now so overwhelming that conventional approaches to problem-solving simply won’t work.
The issue is that because people like Gore cannot conceive of technical solutions to our energy and environmental problems, and of course since they are the smartest people in the world, then it is an article of faith that there ARE NO solutions except for the ones that they come up with.
They actually disdain technical progress as is illustrated in this further excerpt.
Page 207
We have also fallen victim to a kind of technological hubris, which tempts us to believe that our new powers may be unlimited. We dare to imagine that we will find technological solutions for every technologically induced problem. It is as if civilization stands in awe of its own technological prowess, entranced by the wondrous and unfamiliar power it never dreamed would be accessible to mortal man. In a modern version of the Greek myth, our hubris tempts us to appropriate for ourselves—not from the gods but from science and technology—awesome powers and to demand from nature godlike privileges to indulge our Olympian appetite for more.
This is nothing more than a slightly more hubristic restating of the same premises that are rife in the books “Limits to Growth” and “Beyond the Limits”.
The simple fact is that Thorium energy is a fantastic near term solution to our increasing need for electrical power, especially if we want to power all of these electric cars that Gore supports.
Next, Page 222
Industrial civilization’s great engines of distraction still seduce us with a promise of fulfillment. Our new power to work our will upon the world can bring with it a sudden rush of exhilaration, not unlike the momentary “rush” experienced by drug addicts when a drug injected into their bloodstream triggers changes in the chemistry of the brain. But that exhilaration is fleeting; it is not true fulfillment.
This is what Al Gore thinks of the process (industrial civilization) and the people (scientists and engineers) and the political system (freedom and capitalism) that has done more to improve lives, feed the poor, and heal the sick than any system outside of Jesus in the history of mankind.
What you the reader of this blog must understand is that if you think that we have the solutions to the mess that they have helped bring (stopping progress), then you are their mortal enemy.
I state it again, you are their mortal enemy, and thus people like Anthony Watts, myself, or any others who posit solutions that are technical in nature are the enemy, which must be crushed by any means, as the ends justify the means.
What are their ends?
Page 317
Unless we come to a better understanding of both the potential and the danger of technology, the addition of more technological power simply ensures further degradation of the environment, and no matter what new technologies we discover, no matter how cleverly and efficiently we manage to get them into the hands of people throughout the world, the underlying crisis will worsen unless, at the same time, we redefine our relationship to the environment, stabilize human population, and use every possible means to bring the earth back into balance.
These are Gore’s own words.
Remember, you are the enemy.

Actually, direct questions about funding are preferable to the alternative speculation and silly inductive reasoning that asserts WUWT must be funded by vested interests, but does not bother to verify the source of funding. Direct questions can be answered with specific, truthful, accurate, and up-to-date information.
Funding is now the most important question in science. The existence of hundreds of thousands of NGOs complicates this greatly, because the term “Non Governmental Organization” is not to be taken literally; the fact is that according to wikipedia, NGOs are government funded. Therefore, making statements that a group is not government funded if it is funded by Non Governmental Organizations is false. NGOs are also almost universally structured for the purpose of political and social action. The acceptance of funds from NGOs should be clear and authentic, one way or another.
Also, scientists should be aware that laws regarding these NGOs are liable to change. Russia has passed a law that requires them to file as “foreign agents.” Now, scientist accepting funding from foreign agents, NGOs, and engaging in political advocacy must not claim, at the very least, to be free from ties to governments and academic institutions. It simply is not truthful language.
ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-governmental_organization
ref: http://www.rapsinews.com/legislation_publication/20120727/263954264.html

Power Grab

I really appreciate the comments that have appeared so far. My two cents’ worth is prompted by the “hot” appearance of the attack graphic above. Its colors remind me of blood, fire, and – oddly enough – the battles on the anime programs my teenager watches on TV. I don’t really care for them, but I allow them to play because that allows me to know what the kids are allowing to fill their minds and imaginations. I can putter around in the kitchen or do other chores, and only half-way be aware of the contrived battles, etc. It’s all about superheros and supervillains, I guess. Every supervillain seems intent on either destroying the world or subjugating it. Or both. It’s always framed as a battle to save the world. Ho-hum. Gets a bit old. I guess the young people can’t drum up any interest in a conflict where the fate of the world doesn’t hang in the balance.
I don’t watch that genre of entertainment closely enough – has anyone ever created a supervillain whose aim it was to save the world from itself? For example, a supervillain who is insanely afraid of germs might have as his goal the destruction of all microbial life on the planet. Good luck with that.
Or how about a bureaucrat or powerful elitist whose insane fear has to do with the risk of losing his power/wealth (which he didn’t earn, himself, but only inherited or married into or got himself elected to run!), if he were to allow the “unwashed masses” to have any modicum of control over their own lives? They can’t seem to remember that it was the great unwashed masses who made that accumulation of wealth possible. Just goes right over their head….
Me? I prefer the old musicals. I have a long-standing appreciation of “The Music Man”. (Anyone ever dealt with a lying salesman?)
Or how about “It’s a Wonderful Life”? I never understood why Potter’s dream world was populated with miserable, poverty-stricken renters who never could dig their way out of debt. No, wait – he gets more interest when they always have to borrow to make ends meet.
Of course, there’s also the 2nd installment of the “Back to the Future” trilogy. Still not understanding why the villain’s dream world was populated with miserable, crime-besieged townsfolk in a locale where the only bright lights were in his own casino. He owned the cops, by his own admission. I’ve heard Las Vegas is like that, once you get off the strip.
I just don’t get it. Why would anyone with the wealth and resources that some people have, have as their goal the crippling of the world’s economy and subjugation of its people? I just can’t wrap my brain around that one.
Then, of course, there’s “1984”, either the book or the movie or the play. Prescient.
I wonder if it’s possible that, whenever the elitists kill off the electricity-generating industry, or at least elevate its cost to the point where most people can’t afford to use it at their current level, then the low-information people will be delivered from their short-attention-span entertainment and have to look real life in the face again.
But if they did that, wouldn’t they lose their best tool of control?
P.S. I’m not in the pay of Big Oil or the Koch brothers, either. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I must admit that my current ride (a 1991 GM sedan) was purchased with a signing bonus on an inherited lease. I never get royalties, but I do have wheels because of oil money. I think the odometer just turned over 142,000 miles this month.

Bill Jamison

MIT Technology Review has an article promoting the use of molten salt reactors. Nice to see that nuclear is being talked about again.


Nixon, a typical political puppet, was of the mind that what is good enough for the Navy is good for everyone. Thus, breeder reactors for all. That is my understanding.
omnologos says:
March 12, 2013 at 11:41 am
Fluoride? Who’s going to handle THAT!!
Free supply for all the major cities who want so much to protect the children from tooth decay. Forget diet; forced medication. Hmmm…read the warning on toothpaste. “Keep out of reach of children under 6.” Hmmm…what? …not another contradiction?
End result, it ends up in the sewer, right were they wanted it to start with.


Is there a leader board for the children out there destroying denial? Is there somewhere to go to see something along the lines of…
1. Pur3pwnag3 2,456,428
2. XxBigMannStickxX 2,067,241
3. 2ndChakraofLove 1,785,367
4. SuperMandia1 1,567,147
Just curious.


One cannot but laugh at the irony of demonizing one receiving (supposedly) support from “big oil” and yet inadvertently extolling the virtues of funding by “big government”.
Too many climate “scientists” at the big government trough….but this is apparently ok…or it might just be:. Douchebaggery.


I just visited the Reality Drop website. Is this really what the liberal mind is all about? “I have a really strong opinion about something…hang on while I check with Al Gore to find out what it is.”
I wonder if I could attain the rank of Lieutenant by using their links and then dropping comments that express support for the articles they’re targeting? Would they throw me out? I think I want to become the first Reality Drop Dropout.


If you take the letters from “Reality Drops”, add a few extra letters, take away a few letters, switch the letters around, the result reads “I made a few hundred million out of this scam”


Thorium-based reactors appear to hold great promise for reliability, safety, scalability, and portability. And, yes, China and India are currently leading the pack in developing the technology and the USA is missing a huge opportunity to lead the future.
A good book on the topic: Super Fuel, by Richard Martin is a pretty good read
He credits Elmo Zumwalt (Sec Navy) with biasing the nuclear reactor development toward Uranium because he wanted to launch as many nuclear-powered submarines as possible post-WWII, and Uranium-fueled reactors were more developed at the time.


Power Grab says:
March 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm
…”I wonder if it’s possible that, whenever the elitists kill off the electricity-generating industry, or at least elevate its cost to the point where most people can’t afford to use it at their current level, then the low-information people will be delivered from their short-attention-span entertainment and have to look real life in the face again….”
Or, rely increasingly on the government that made their life difficult to begin with. How to catch a wild pig. Future generations will evolve with more and more reliance on “big brother”, not “big oil” which is purely a diversionary tactic.


“We will never run out, it is simply too common”

Apparently France gets 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy and even exports some.
As for BRAD the first commenter questioning about oil funding and Koch. Here is a tip which I often point out. If WUWT was oil, fossil, gas funded it could do away with all the money generating pages on the right hand side bar and would have the following characteristics.
Furthermore, if you want evidence of fossil fuel funding then you need to look closer to home. Have you asked CRU whether they have ever been funded by Shell or BP (tip: they have)? Have you ever asked the Sierra Club if they ever pocketed $25,000,000 from gas interests (tip: they have)?
Well funded??? Here is well funded.

The Climate Works Foundation, though, is of special interest as it was in 2008, awarded $460,800,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation…..

Harvey Harrison

Anthony: I read your interview on Oil Price and found it to be WUWT 101. This is very good for people who have never heard of you before, calm, rational, sensible and they did include a link so you gained a few more readers.
Why then did it provoke such a knee jerk reaction from the CAGW bunch? You clearly stated they were half right, things have warmed slightly, and that is better than being totally wrong. Asking for clarification and to see the data is far from denial.
I apply the same degree of skepticism to the thorium reactor idea. Molten fluoride salts are far from safe for fluorine tends to dissolve all it contacts. Much more work needs to be done finding a less reactive medium and extracting electricity directly from the reaction rather than dealing with superheated steam and the expense associated with it. Even at that it is a worthy line of research for thorium reactors do indeed work.


Gunga Din says:
March 12, 2013 at 11:45 am
“I wish “Big Oil” or “Big Coal” or whatever other “Big” group that is being demonized by the CAGW crowd would but big bucks into dispelling the lies surrounding the myth.”
The scenario is “Big Oil” pays “Big Green” to lobby against “Big Coal” who then via “Big Brother” agency regulation replaces “Big Coal” with “Big Methane” who is owned by “Big Oil.” So don’t hold your CO2 (breath 🙂 ).


Hi Brad,
Can you let me know would Anthony would be pushing for Thorium powered reactors if he was in the pay of big oil / gas / coal? Does this make sense to you?