Scientific American: Hope after Lima – Preparing the loyalists for failure

COP20Eric Worrall writes:

The mainstream media is awash lately with messages of optimism about the upcoming Lima conference, about the thousands of people gathering in Lima (no doubt after a long wind powered sea voyage) to help the international climate process reach a legally binding conclusion. But at least one green outlet – the Scientific American – is taking a more pragmatic view, acknowledging the likelihood that Lima will not produce anything of value, and urging green readers not to lose hope.

According to the Scientific American;

“No matter what comes out of the traveling circus known as the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru over the next few weeks, nations are taking action to curb global warming on their own. And by the end of the meeting in Lima, the world should be well on its way to delivering national commitments for combating climate change.”

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2014/12/02/how-the-world-can-fight-global-warming-no-matter-what-happens-in-lima/

Interestingly the Scientific American is talking up the benefits of nuclear power – a rare acknowledgement of the nuclear elephant in the room, when it comes to CO2 emissions;

“Electricity generated by the wind and sun has boomed in recent years, as has the hydropower from dams. China is building more nuclear power plants instead of coal-fired ones—and has pledged to increase such low-carbon energy to 20 percent of its supply by 2030.”

Nuclear power should be where greens and skeptics meet up. Most of us skeptics love nuclear power, because it is the future, the next stage of human civilisation. Greens should love nuclear power, because it reduces CO2 emissions. But as long as most greens irrationally reject the only option which can deliver what they want, in a realistic timeframe, the debate will remain stalled. No change to the status quo can or will occur.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/02/james-hansen-pushes-nuclear-power-as-saving-more-lives-than-it-has-harmed-with-new-study/

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126 thoughts on “Scientific American: Hope after Lima – Preparing the loyalists for failure

  1. There is no reason to think that the travelling circus will do anything different than it has the for the last > 20 years. Lima will come to naught. Just as every other climate conference ever has.
    The idea that we are giong to control climate by way of taxing CO2 is a clownish idea in the first place.
    Those who authorzie this waste of public funds are both suckers and enablers of this unentertaining circus.

    • Yes, but the conference attendees will get to experience a really great, first-class trip to Peru.

    • Hmmm…sounds like they modeled the outcome of prior failures of luxury city conferences, and, having discovered a trend of frequent conference failures in luxury cities, they can now confidently predict future conferences in luxury cities.
      This is good stuff; at least their modeling is improving.

  2. “(no doubt after a long wind powered sea voyage) ” … Eric, I loved that line. The beauty of the tall ships with their white billowing sails coming from all around the world was an image to make my heart rise with joy.

    • And then they hit the doldrums.
      “Oh dear, we’ll miss Al Gore’s speech. Look, all those nice dolphins. They’re so intelligent, they will carry us all the way to Lima on their backs.”
      Thus the legend of the Green Marie Celeste arose.

      • @ConTrari That is why really old ships had oarlocks and middling old ships had longboats – to tow through the doldrums. (But would any of these attendees do anything so common as to assist in the rowing of their ship? NO!)
        @Leigh: Many Americans can hardly stand to hear the man speak, but what can we do when there is no recourse to pull him up short. Even after the elections there are not enough votes to impeach him and he still has two years to do damage. He doesn’t care about his party enough to moderate his actions to allow for a few of them to be re-elected. It is his way or the highway and his own party can’t or won’t curb him even though he is leading them over a cliff. Everyone is too afraid of being labeled a racist if they impeach the first black president (which of course since they modify their reaction based on his race makes them even more guilty of racism!)

  3. From the SA article:
    Imagine if the world’s two largest polluters unilaterally decide to cut emissions of carbon dioxide …. And that’s exactly what is happening in the world right now.
    ==========
    Nope. China has said is its emissions will peak in 2030. Allowing them to increase them as much as they want for the next 15 years. The faster they increase now, the easier it will be to peak in 2030.

    • Also by 1930 China probably thinks that either the CAGW game will be up by then or no one will kick up too much of a fuss if they extend their concession for a decade or few more as they mumble something about “changing circumstances”.

      • Of course that is how they think. And honestly, I believe that’s how the US government thinks too. Anyway, the EU is off the French Hook; they can leave Paris with no legally binding commitments, because the world’s greatest “polluter” is not pulling its part.

      • Popeye’s buddy Wimpy told the restaurateur that he “would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Our rallying cry was “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely.” Reminds me of the jester the King condemned to death that made a bargain with the King to be spared if he could teach the King’s horse to talk in a year. An advisor told the jester he was crazy: he wouldn’t be able to teach the horse to talk in a year. The jester replied: “In a year I may be dead, the King may die, or the horse may talk!” Reminds me of the Mexican beauty who said she would love me mañana, but mañana never came.

    • The NY Times printed a similar lie. They claimed that China agreed to “decrease its emissions by or before 2030.” They then used that lie to express optimism for getting the rest of the world to agree to similar cuts in Lima. At the end of the article, they finally admit the truth about China. “China plan calls for emission to peak in 2030.” There is a big difference between decreasing emissions by 2030 and reaching peak emissions by 2030. They would never admit they deliberately put a lie in their report, but it served its purpose. If they are so happy about the China agreement, why not allow the U.S. to do the same thing? Allow us to peak our CO2 emission in 2030 and then start thinking about decreasing them, just like China.

    • This was false also. “China is building more nuclear power plants instead of coal-fired ones—and has pledged to increase such low-carbon energy to 20 percent of its supply by 2030” China is on pace to add tremendous coal, almost equal to the current US total coal out put. No European nation is allowed by the zealots to add both nuclear and hydro, like China plans, while still building several coal plants per month.
      China’s agreement to do radically increase CO2 production is business as usual, and is hailed as a success by the gullible and the manipulators, by the useful idiots and the centrist bastards.

      • Long term China is going to need on the order of 2,000 GW worth of ‘peakers’.
        The Chinese have very little in the way of domestic natural gas supply and most of that is used for things like cooking gas and chemicals.
        So building coal now for baseload and then transitioning to coal for peaking later while their nuclear industry matures makes total sense.
        The US nuclear industry could expand quickly because we had a ‘nuclear navy’ which provided a pool of experienced nuclear power personnel. The Chinese are building from scratch.
        2030 is a conservative estimate as to when the Chinese nuclear industry will be mature enough to expand faster then the Chinese electricity demand.

      • Cheap, reliable energy that doesn’t kill more people than it saves.
        Don’t care what that is.
        Just want it.

    • The only solution I can find to the need for Industrial amounts of power supply is Nuclear.
      If you have a better solution, please spell it out so we can have the benefit of your wisdom. pg

      • Nuclear or space based solar (I know, it’s a problem getting it down here). That’s the only two that make any real sense long term with our current understanding of physics.

      • For sure Willis 🙂 – I personally burnt plenty of fossil fuels when I lived in a cold country. But you can understand a country like China going for nuclear power, to clean their coal smoke polluted air.

      • Fossil fuels are the best and only inmediately available solution for the massive amounts of power needed to advance and grow industry and to adequately feed a mostly poor and growing human population. The CO2 scare is the largest and most insidious scientific fraud ever perpetrated and it is shameful that the UN is its main instrument.

      • Space-based solar. Hmmm…
        Assume for a second we could somehow economically construct (big assumption) such in very-high orbit. You gotta get it down somehow. Only way I’ve read is by very powerful microwave beams to receiving stations on the surface. Lo be it to whom might pass in front of such beams — human or animal. Or perhaps people near the receiving stations might appreciate instant-microwaved birds or people falling from the sky.
        And of course, because of the low energy-density of sunlight, the space-based PV-arrays would have to be hundreds & hundreds of square kilometers.
        Oh, wait, giant focusing mirrors beamed toward surface receiving stations! Better hope nobody irresponsible (or some random problem) focuses a mirror on a big city…

      • We have entered the era of methane hydrates. Within a millennium we may need to look at alternatives. Coal, hydro, wind, solar, too many environmental problems. Not competitive. Nuclear, duhhh… come on. Get real.

      • beng, there is no problem getting into space, if we really, really have to.
        The following is a design for a space launcher, developed in the 1950s by the Manhattan scientists. The proposed launcher was capable of affordably lifting millions of tons per launch into orbit. The most extreme design could have propelled a starship up to 10% of the speed of light – fast enough to reach Alpha Centauri in 40 years, with enough payload to keep people alive for the duration of the trip.
        For a while the space drive was seriously considered for the Apollo Moon mission, but in the end they went with the Saturn V chemical rocket instead.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

      • I’m with Willis on this one. With several hundred years’ worth of proven coal reserves in the ground and bursting at its seems with natural gas, the U.S. has no business expanding or replacing a stable of nuclear plants that cost WAY more per kilowatt-hour of output than the other two technologies, fuel costs included. The capital cost of nuclear is very high. Nukes only look good to the consumer by comparison with fossil when they have been run past their economic design lives and their capital component has been extinguished. That unhealthy situation exists for much of the U.S. nuclear stable today and it exacerbates a downside safety risk that far outweighed the economic upside of nukes in the U.S. in the first place. The catastrophically failed units at the Fukushima plant in Japan are basically copies of our own Browns Ferry Nuclear plant units, near Huntsville, Alabama. The first time I looked at that “boiling water reactor” design, all I could see was a hundred ways for the genie to get outside the bottle. Had Browns Ferry lost offsite power during or after its calamitous “cable tray fire” in the 1970’s, we would have been facing our own version of Fukushima.
        Stuff ’em!

      • The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) is already feasible, and is just what all sides of this discussion would agree is needed if thought conquered emotion. And on its way, courtesy of the Skunk Works of Lockheed Martin, compact fusion demonstrated in five years, on the market in ten. We are at the point with nuclear that we were with computers fifty years ago. In less than fifty years, no one will understand what we thought we were doing with solar, wind, biofuels, hydro, and all the other products of mysticism and ignorance.

      • Eric W
        Coal burned properly doesn’t emit smoke. That is why smoke is really called ‘particles of incomplete combustion’. When it is combusted properly (in anything modern) there is no ‘smoke’ at all. It can also be done on a very small scale (household level). I have worked on this for years and it is being implemented as I write. The smoke in China was only there because of the lousy burners they had on boilers. Another reason is that it was cost efficient to blow vast amounts of coal ash through the heat exchanger and a lot ended up in the sky. But that is ash, not smoke.
        In the same way, Europe cleaned up its diesel emissions – by better combustion, not by replacing the fuel.

    • I understand what Eric was trying to say, but “love” is not necessarily the right descriptor, as too many people associate “love” with the emotional feeling of infatuation.
      Acceptance of nuclear power as a necessary reality for the long-term survival of a technological human society that values individual freedom and human rights while preserving our Earth’s natural biological-ecosystem is why the Greens should embrace a next-generation nuclear power-based energy infrastructure.

      • joelobryan
        “Acceptance of nuclear power as a necessary reality for the long-term survival of a technological human society that values individual freedom and human rights while preserving our Earth’s natural biological-ecosystem is why the Greens should embrace a next-generation nuclear power-based energy infrastructure.”
        ‘long-term survival of a technological human society that values individual freedom and human rights ‘
        Individual freedom, human rights.
        I am intrigued to see you link these admirable values to Greens.
        Just enquiring – do you have any evidence that the perceived watermelons – with an apparent aim for a global population of perhaps 500 million [per citypop.de – less than the population of the twenty-five biggest cities] – are big on individual freedom? Or human rights?
        Their right to try to have 90% of us all die soon for their misanthropic dreams, agreed – but y o u r rights?
        The commuter on the bus in Bogota, Birmingham [Al. or W. Midlands] Beirut, Bangkok etc.?
        Auto

    • Nuclear is a multidimensional topic. If you say we have built enough light water reactors, I would agree. There are some gen 4 proposals that tackle the current nuclear problems – safety, waste, and proliferation.
      The nations that have the largest problem meeting the electrical needs of their population are investing heavily in nuclear – China and India. China is developing at least 5 types of gen 4 reactors. pebble bed MSR, Liquid fuel MSR, SFR, SWCR, and HTR. These are all massive programs. They will be built for internal use and China will start to export the technology once complete.
      10 years from now, if not sooner, China will start a massive nuclear export business. Delivering reactors, fuel and maybe even personnel to operate them.
      Think outside of what ever country you live in.
      Check out http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/ for more information

      • This post is really salient. The Gruberizing Greens have been talking about the US getting passed up by the likes of China with wind and solar power. The reality is that the people that produce replicable, scaleable , fail-safe, non-proliferation nuclear power that does not have a waste problem will rule the world.

    • I can’t speak to what “most” skeptics think of nuclear power, but I can recognize the abject poverty of thought (if not integrity) on the part of environmentalists who strongly argue against it.
      Name a technology that has a better track record for safety than commercial nuclear generation in the US.

  4. “China is building more nuclear power plants instead of coal-fired ones—and has pledged to increase such low-carbon energy to 20 percent of its supply by 2030.”
    And China has made no commitment to reduce their co2-emissions until “around 2030”, it could be twice as much as today. In fact, they are not even comitted to reduction, but to an ending of growth in emissions. That’s how the world is saved from global warming disaster.

    • China may be building more nuclear power station but they are still building coal fired power stations in great numbers. Similarly Germany has seen the error “of the Green ways” and are building about 20 new coal fired power stations ( to burn brown coal, I believe)

  5. The volume of wind from the blow-hard exhortations in Lima should generate a few KW. Maybe even enough to pay the light bills at the 5 star hotel rooms these prattleartists will occupy.
    One of the megacriminals on the run in Thailand right now may make an appearance, for sure he is/was a great proponent of the millenniums scam of alternative energy.

  6. I wonder if they have anywhere enough limos in Lima to support a such high-end conference… Didn’t they have to import limos from all over Europe, for the last Copenhagen bash?

  7. I sometimes wonder how the procedure is for choosing the next host city for climate conferences. With all those thousands pouring in, and with quite a bit of money to spend as well, it must be lucrative for the host city.
    No small encouragements involved, I suppose? The UN is always above any suspicion of corruption?

  8. Eric. I think that your statements. “Greens should love nuclear power, because it reduces CO2 emissions. But as long as most greens irrationally reject the only option which can deliver what they want, in a realistic timeframe, the debate will remain stalled. No change to the status quo can or will occur”. Pretty much sums up the whole problem. Rational people are trying to deal with irrational people..It just doesn’t work.

    • Only part of the problem.
      The main issue is China doing cheap stuff with coal, cheap coal, for us to buy, and Greens liking that happen.

    • Is nuclear radiation as dangerous to birds as we have been told?

      28 April 2014
      In the 28 years that have passed, birds have learned to not only survive, but to thrive on the radioactive land. Though long-term radiation exposure usually damages cells with free radicals, researchers have found that birds in the Chernobyl exclusion zone were in much better condition than expected.
      “Previous studies of wildlife at Chernobyl showed that chronic radiation exposure depleted antioxidants and increased oxidative damage. We found the opposite — that antioxidant levels increased and oxidative stress decreased with increasing background radiation,” lead author Ismael Galván said.
      Why this is important: Theoretically, prolonged exposure to radiation can force humans and other organisms to adapt and even build resistance to larger, heavier doses. But this idea has only been tested in laboratory settings — until now.
      http://mic.com/articles/88483/something-surprising-happened-to-the-animals-around-chernobyl-28-years-after-the-disaster
      =========
      24 April 2014
      Chernobyl’s birds adapting to ionizing radiation
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424223057.htm
      =========
      Abstract
      http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12283

      • Anyone heard of the Hormesis Hypothesis? Cell & DNA repair mechanisms are activated by moderate radiation, and catch and deal with other deviances, too. The suppressed study of nurses in high-radon areas of the country who had far lower cancer and other mortalities comes to mind.

  9. “No matter what comes out of the traveling circus [..] nations are taking action to curb global warming on their own.”

    Translation=
    1) “We know the models are wrong but we’ll ignore the facts.”
    2) “We know that our actions are futile, but we will ignore the rest of the non-English-speaking world.”
    3) “That’s it.”
    4) “Where’s the next stop after Lima?”
    5) Ooohh…Paris! I love Paris in the Spring. Is it a Spring meeting? I know a lovely little bistro hidden away behind the Louvre….

  10. The coalition of watermelons and progressive elitists are trying to set the stage and position themselves for a possible coming natural global cooling by being able to say to a naive public that it was their CO2 emission curbs that were responsible for arresting-reversing AGW.

  11. (UN)Scientific American, let’s see…I recall something…
    http://invention.psychology.msstate.edu/inventors/i/Wrights/library/WrightSiAm1.html
    Three years later, this GEM was published:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wright-brothers-plane-in-flight/
    I recall that there is record of correspondence with the Wright Brothers BEGGING them to help with a “featured” article on their “Aeroplane”.
    Now, not that I have a complete EDGE against the (UN)Scientific American, but in the ’80’s they published an article “supporting” the “Nuclear Freeze”. I was asked by a conservative group to research that article which had a 4 page fold out, detailing the 30,000 nuclear warheads the USA had and the paltry 12,000 the Russians had. (Boo Hoo!) Problem was that listing had dozens of “obsolete”, out of inventory weapons (as the Genie Missiles, and the Nike Zeus Missiles. The author was Randell Forrester, a propaganda hack from the Union of Concerned Scientists (Kenji Watt’s organization).
    As though to add insult to injury, of “fabricated” articles, they (shortly after) published another article on the
    fall out from the Russians targeting all of the nuclear power plants in the USA as their strategic targets.
    Although I have no quarrel that that action would be bad, although you’d really have to make the “containment” building “ground zero”, the profiles and maps that Koska Tsipsis provided were later shown to be made of “whole cloth”. I.e., nice colored pictures but based on no real data.
    Again, “(UN)Scientific American”. It is my firm hope that by keeping examples as these in the FOREFRONT we can eventually obtain an understanding in the “general public” that the Union of Concern Scientists, are really the “Union of Concerned, left wing, radical, hippie…activists, and the rag “Scientific American” is a journal of ZERO credibility these days, and merely another “left wing, radical, hippie activist platform”.

  12. Hey, can I go too? Can somebody else pay for me to go? – I don’t have the money. You see, it’s December in Chicago. In about a month it’s going to be below zero here. Now, I don’t know much about Lima, Peru but I do know that when it’s winter here it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere. So, checking out what those temperatures actually are in Lima I discovered that this is the month for the clear skies, low humidity, and warmest temperatures – perfect for the beach. Did I say beach? Yep, discovered that about Lima too: sand beach (ok, it’s not a white sand beach but who’s complaining?); oceanfront drive; palm trees. Gotta hand it to those high living UN IPCCers; their oceanfront beach addiction (Bali, Durban, Cancun) just can’t go without satiation. I want in this gig.

    • Tom,
      You know with the climate circus in town a cold front straight out of East Antarctica will blow through and freeze everyone with sleet storms like they have never seen in December don’t you? It isn’t worth it! Go the week after when it is back to normal.
      (sarc for those who need it)

    • Oh geez Tom, you’ve been reading the travel brochures. Lima is like, well, Los Angelas without Hollywood, Malibu or money. 80% of the days are dull marine layer overcast, but it never rains. It is one the edge of the driest desert on earth, with a population of 9 million. The beaches are, well, I want yo be polite to any Perivians reading this, but, um, not exactly what you would call a tropical paradise. Leaving the city it takes more than an hour at highway speed to get clear of the shanty towns that extend as far out into the desert as electricity lines can reach.
      Peru is a fine country just like Califorbia is a beautiful state, except for LA. But I know LA. LA is a friend of mine, and Lima is no LA.

    • Mercury and sulphur emissions must still be addressed. No one wants to be downwind of a coal plant belching high sulphur, nitrites, or mercury. Just look at many Chinese cities’ horrid air quality to see that result. The CO2 is not the problem for coal. The acidic fly ash must be responsibly disposed of too.

      • Agreed, Mercury and sulphur emissions must be addressed when they post a problem. There is mercury in all soil – it is part of the environment, like background radiation. Fly ash is a very solvable problem. Combined cycle power plants connected to district heating systems (common in China) are extremely efficient (over 80%) and extremely clean burning. A lot cheaper than nuclear too. A combined heat and power (CHP) nuclear district heating system would be very efficient too.

      • Google W.E.’s “Mercury the Trickster God” and “The EPA’s Mercurial Madness”. Downwind of the Ohio Valley’s emissions, nada.

  13. If you want to know one of the reasons that I, personally, believe that nuclear is the natural next step (NOT wind, solar, geothermal, or any of the other pipe dreams of the eco-loons), check this:
    http://xkcd.com/1162/

  14. “But as long as most greens irrationally reject the only option which can deliver what they want, in a realistic timeframe, the debate will remain stalled.”
    Rephrase: “Most greens rationally reject the only option which can deliver what they do not want.”
    Never forget their end goal. They do not want “Cheap abundant power”. That is NOT their goal. The goal is for renewable energy to supply all the electricity for the masses. The masses will necessarily have very, very small needs.
    Why is any of this not glaringly obvious? Why dance around and pretend we are dealing with people who are looking out for your interests?
    Cheers!

    • How true. 9th century technology is what they want the masses to have. The oligarchy in charge, you know, the intelligent ones will need to keep the status quo so that they can spend their time making decisions for us instead of performing medieval labor.

    • True. The greens have absolutely no interest in the environment. ManBearPig was invented when it became obvious that capitalism and free enterprise had won and collectivism had failed to convince people on its own merit.
      This is why you can tell the viability of a venture such as a particular type of power generation by the greens’ reaction to it: if they hate it, then it’s viable; if they like it, then it’s not.
      They’d love hamster wheels with generators. Think of the polar bears’ grandchildren.

  15. “China is building more nuclear power plants instead of coal-fired ones”
    I’ve read that the PRC is bringing a new coal-fired power plant on line every two weeks or so. Does this mean that they are commissioning a new nuclear plant more frequently that two weeks or so?

  16. The anti-nuclear greens can only consider coal, oil and gas not being the fuel of the future is CO2 storage is implemented on a global scale. CCS development and implementation at a cost-effective basis – or simply mandated, with energy costs rising to support it as a result – is, in this view, the determinant of whatever timetable we are supposed to follow for atmospheric emissions of CO2 reduction.
    Simple. Show us the plan.

  17. They keep making us attend meetings until they hope we submit but we are getting stronger. Thanks to WUWT et al supplying a trickle of scientific fresh air to us all, the water boarding isn’t producing the expected results. SciAm seemed to have twigged that the moving Gitmo of international climate conferences is an exercise in futility.
    Perhaps that is why Obama tried on his stunt ‘agreement’ with China recently and dissed the Australians by preching to their schoolchildren and freshman university students. Desperate times bring on desperate measures?

  18. You are correct about coal thru the end of the 2016 plan. It actually a pace of one new USC unit (all over 1000 MW) every three weeks. The first 4 unit station came on line in 2007. See essay Clean Coal in Blowing Smoke. China is also building nucs (their own version of the gen 3 Westinghouse AP1000 design) but not at this rate. What happens in the next plan (2017 on) IMO depends on their gen4 LFTR prototype that should be operational next year. There is a lot in flux with other potential gen 4 nuclear designs at present. Covered in essay Going Nuclear. Going big now with gen 3 designs makes little sense. Going big with some gen 4 design(s) might make great sense a decade from now as the engineering dust settles. Shows how badly Obummer just got played.

  19. Engineer,
    I think it just means they are producing more nuclear power plants period. They use the word “instead of” to make you think it means: China is building more nuclear power plants “than” coal-fired ones. It’s intentionally misleading. Like Steve McIntyre says: “watch the pea”.

  20. Tall ships, billowing sails, a following wind . . .
    Has anyone calculated the per-person “carbon footprint” of getting, say from Geneva to Lima without ships, planes, trains, and automobiles powered by fossil fuels?
    Taking a Boeing 787 Dreamliner might be the better idea.

  21. Agreements at the end of the COP process is just the first of a sequence of 4 unlikely events, ALL of which have to come to pass before Man can influence the climate:
    1. Reach an agreement to do something to change the atmosphere
    2. Actually do what was agreed
    3. Find that the atmosphere changes to what is desired
    4. Find that the changed atmosphere has the expected (by whom?) effect on the climate
    I can’t see the thing ever getting past step 2.

  22. Well, it seems there is more money to be made with a failing plan than a successful plan.
    After all, how else do you solicit more funds?

  23. No matter what is the reality of it – that: there has been no warming for umpteen years. And that, natural background warming – it always had nothing to do with what man pumps [his puny CO2 emissions] into the atmosphere. Yes, despite the reality “what warming?”……Verily – the political and corporate elites in tandem running the western world: are fully signed up to the UN agenda 21 madness.
    This is not much of a concern for people living in China, India or, the USA for that matter, it is though rather a big problem for poor silly bu88ers living and paying green taxes and domestic energy bills here in the UK.
    Not too far into the future, thanks to an energy policy formulated, drafted by the ‘green blob’ and enacted by a gang of political claque who were and still are – taken in by the, living on the lies of great global warming scam.
    “Energy policy”….did I really call it that, no I think I’ll rephrase that and name the 2008 Climate Change Bill – an act of political vandalism which will bring about an industrial and energy catastrophe, in effect it was an act of PERFIDY AND DELIBERATE DESIGN TO BRING ABOUT THE DECONSTRUCTION OF BRITAIN’S INDUSTRIAL BASE.
    I am not an engineer but even I know that……
    Electrical Base load is crucial. it doesn’t matter how many bird mincers the UK can plant round its benighted shores and solar arrays covering good arable land [tragedy on tragedy] – windmills and solar will never replace coal and nuclear power! Presently Britain is closing down coal and nuclear plant and in the next few years Britain will close it’s coal fired generators and shut most of its nuclear facilities, gas can provided some of the shortfall but the gap is far too big for ‘renewable energy’ to take up the slack.
    The DECC and the Westminster goons think renewable energy is the answer, it is – the road to blackouts and poverty, rioting on the streets – something wicked this way comes.
    Stuff Lima, stuff them all – Britain needs a new way, roll on the May 2015 general election – after that – Paris in 2015…….. will be stuffed.

  24. I am sitting in front of my lovely coal fire with a glass of ginger wine in hand. If someone can make a nuclear fireplace small enough to warm my feet I’ll change from fossil fuels. Otherwise, in the words of the great Glaswegian, F**k o**!

    • You can get some quite nice electric ‘fireplaces’ these days which will not only keep your feet toasty warm but will also simulate flickering flames to create that nice mood as well. The nuclear part you keep in a nice big safe building run by experts somewhere away from where you live. I do understand the attractions of a real fire, but not mucky stinky coal though. I much prefer burning wood.

  25. Larry Geiger said December 3, 2014 at 12:45 pm:
    Nuclear or space based solar (I know, it’s a problem getting it down here). That’s the only two that make any real sense long term with our current understanding of physics.
    In the mid seventies my thermodynamics professor had just returned from a project with NASA looking at space-based solar power. As far as I can tell the physical obstacles have not been overcome and the enviro-political ones will never be overcome.
    If you think that the Ivanpah solar farm is tough on birds and aviation, consider the concept of beaming vast quantities of microwave energy down to receiving stations. Now consider the possibility of this energy scattered by precipitation and dust, or “accidentally” mis-aimed.
    I am worried enough about the potential for hacking into a smart grid or internet infrastructure. I would rather not consider a scenario wherein “Honey, they cooked the kids”.

  26. That rag stopped being scientific years ago.
    Hopefully the Gore effect will occur and Lima will experience record lows and snowfalls.

  27. I’ll take oil and coal over nuclear, any day. And, not that you can tell over the internet, I work in the nuclear world (a major federal nuclear research facility — when I say “I herd nuclear physicists for a living”, I mean I handle their dosimetry). I am not afraid of radioactivity as such; I resent the EPA trying to limit how much radon I’m allowed to have in my home (search “Bernard Cohen radon studies”). And IMO nuclear power can go to Hades where it belongs, although I’m open to maybe being persuaded by thorium power.
    I’m not fond of the carbon MONoxide that’s part of the oil/coal deal, to say nothing of the partially-burned hydrocarbons in the exhaust. But nothing’s perfect, and both are more tolerable than a Fukushima. I’d personally accept a vastly-“reduced” “standard of living” in order to avoid going nuclear. But I know some of you would not, and the poison of imposing my views on you is, to me, worse than Fukushima. Going nuclear, though, imposes your (maybe) views on me, which is equally toxic, so we do need to talk.
    [Despite the above paragraph, someone lambastes me for trying to impose my views on them in 3…2…]
    Considering America’s well-known obesity issue, I’d love to see municipal gyms, where I could go run the rowing machine–hooked up to a municipal generator–in exchange for a local tax break. I don’t suppose it would amount to more than a percent or two of civic needs, but my son-in-law and daughter do an awful lot of exercise that, apart from their fitness, is just going to waste. Why not use it?

    • Remind me again of how many people have died as a result of the events at Fukushima?
      After that one, see if you can provide an example of an industry with a 60 year long record for safety and reliability than that of commercial nuclear generation.
      Perhaps your views are a result of working at a government nuclear facility. With the track record of places like Rocky Flats, Hanford and SRP, I see why you might feel the way you do. But comparing federal facilities to commercial generation is comparing apples to horse shit. Sure the stuff from the horse might have elements similar to the apple, but would you treat it the same?

      • 😀 Well, ya got me there, regarding govvamint.
        But, indeed, how many people — or other critters; sorry, but I do also care about my fellow Earthlings, all of them; I believe healthy neighboring species are essential to good human health — have died or will die from Fukushima? See, the thing about a stochastic problem, like increased cancer, is that you can’t pin any individual cancer on any specific stimulus. E.g., my dad quit smoking at age 50 and died of lung cancer at 75; Mom kept on smoking (both started at around age 14) and was cancer- and emphysema-free when she died at 80; go figure. And I even know that low-level radiation — call it 3x background for “low” — has an immune-system boosting effect.
        And still there are increased cancers around both Chernobyl and Fukushima.
        Seriously, there’s got to be a better way. It’s sort of like seat belts: it’s possible to tease out stats that suggest seat belts may be slightly more harmful than helpful (the push against drunk driving coincides with the push for seat belts; how much of the increased safety is due to the decreased drunk driving?) But the, shall we say, obsession for seat belts may have delayed the development of a better technology.
        That’s why I say I am open to maybe being persuaded by thorium power. What little I’ve heard of it suggests that it produces much less high-level waste, and/i> is inherently safer. I could be wrong. I hope not.

  28. Peru Is a great place to visit! The food there is wonderful and I highly recommend Machu Picchu. I hope the delegates have a good time there because that is all that is going to come of this.

  29. Hurry up with the Thorium already! Get electrical power down to 1 Cent U.S per megawatt, and we gots ourselves a future.
    I day dream of course, but if our energy costs were a mere 1% of our income, me and my seven billion close genetic friends would all be getting ahead.
    And there’s the vision that’s lacking in the Green Movement, all of humanity lifted up, instead of the commie desire to level everyone to a medieval peasantry.
    Some day in the future, our descendants will look at this period of our history, and weep for its cruelty and madness. As usual, promulgated by the do-gooders, who wanted to save the Earth (by killing Humans!), so much for the road to Hell yadda,yadda.
    /Rant Ends
    /Rollback #Rant

  30. I don’t think sailing boats are on the agenda; albeit that Lima is a port, so perhaps there will be more than the usual number of private yachts during the summit.
    given the excesses seen at Copenhagen: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6736517/Copenhagen-climate-summit-1200-limos-140-private-planes-and-caviar-wedges.html
    I doubt that this bunch of hypocrites has anything more on its mind than luxury hotels, too much food and maybe a bit of Latina on the side! (I don’t mean to be rude, but if you look at the telegraph article, you will see that the delegates were offered free sex by the local hookers in Copenhagen).

  31. For the advocates of space based power a note of caution. Any concentrated high energy beam that can be pointed will be pointed.

  32. The climate gurus visiting Lima would be well advised to visit Machu Pichu and learn a little about the history. Until about 1200AD, the Urubamba valley was a high desert, supporting only subsistence farming along the banks of the rivers flowing off the rain deprived west side of the Andes. Then climate change happened (Medieval warm period?) and the valley became much warmer and wetter than before. Population soared and the Inca climax civilization grew until around 1500 when the Spanish arrived and stole all their cool stuff. They never found Machu Pichu though.
    However, the real end of the Inca empire was brought about when the warm wet period ended. Even in the 1500s, the Spanish optimistically built their South American capital in Cusco. The climate changed back to what it is now, cold high desert, and the Spanish departed for Lima, a pit, but at least on the coast so you could escape by ship. The Incas reverted to the subsistence farmers they had been before the climate change.
    When you travel up the Urubamba Valley to Machu Pichu today, you can still see the terraces and irrigation channels built hundreds of feet up the mountains, far above the highest point of agriculture today.

  33. Owen said ” Even after the elections there are not enough votes to impeach him …………….”
    There are enough votes to impeach Obama as all that that requires is a simple House majority.
    There aren’t enough to convict as the Senate requires two-thirds to convict.
    Carry on!

    • Yes, I was using an imprecise shorthand. It is true; the Senate convicts with a two-thirds majority and quite frankly we would have difficulty reaching cloture on a censure proclamation in the Senate even in January.

  34. Ivanpah, the largest, most successful, operational solar power plant. Cost USD 2.2 billion, gross income annualized 28 million, after deducting maintenance, gas, eco guards, zero. Yes very effective.,
    The supporters point out it is not a grant its getting but a payment to repay loans????????????????????
    Gas usage, well the law specifies 2% max but they use 5 hours and dont address that little aberration.

  35. I was a multi decades-long subscriber to SA. Had several years to go on my subscription. I cancelled and asked for refund on the remaining unused subscription due specifically to the CAGW/CACC position SA had elected to support, damn the empirical evidence and good science. Did the same with my Nat Geo subscription as well, for the very same reason. Could no longer stomach the one-sided – and dicey – “science” being pushed down my throat. Told ’em both so, too. Probably just a tiny drop in their respective financial buckets, but at least I felt better.

  36. Can’t everyone just agree to follow China’s “historic commitment” and agree to stop increasing CO2 output by 2030? If it is such a great thing for China to do, according to Western Greenies, then we should all be able to kick back for the next 15 years and stop worrying!

  37. timg56 says:
    Remind me again of how many people have died as a result of the events at Fukushima?
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    The fabulous feature of radiation deaths is that you can hide them in the general population, or, like the 1/2 million Americans that died as a consequence of Merck’s’ Vioxx(TM), you can simply not report it at all! Instead of referring to an act of “manslaughter” (killing by stupidity and negligence) you can report a few “excessive deaths” and move on to the next story. Euphemisms are the key to good P.R.
    But I digress…
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Rare cancers, blindness, birth defects and now, two deaths.
    “Hundreds of U.S. sailors who took part in rescue efforts following Japan’s earthquake and tsunami say they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Now a federal judge has ruled their class-action lawsuit against the Tokyo Electric Power Company can go forward.
    “We sat in this plume for over 5 hours,” said Simmons.
    All the while his commanders insisted there was no danger.
    “I’ll be honest, I hit the ‘I believe’ button,” he said.
    But within months, Simmons, once an avid hiker, began feeling weak and sick with uncontrolled fevers and severe night sweats. Soon he was in a wheelchair, unable to walk. He says military doctors would never tell him what was wrong.
    Every one of them wanted to discredit radiation as a possible cause,” Simmons said.
    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/11/21/navy-sailors-report-radiation-sickness-japan-quake-tsunami-fukushima-nuclear-power-plant/
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    So remind me again: how much does it cost to clean up after a nuclear disaster?
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    “The Japanese government just announced that it’s borrowing about $30 billion more to cover costs related to Fukushima, bringing the total amount the Japanese government has borrowed to clean up the mess to around $80 billion, more than three times the amount BP spent to clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. ”
    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/bulletin/the-staggering-costs-to-clean-up-fukushima/
    “Decommissioning the four reactors is estimated to cost at least 1.15 trillion yen [$15 billion (USD)].”
    http://fukushima.ans.org/report/cleanup
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    (That’s just the beginning of a long and messy process. Conservative estimates put the eventual cost at between $250-$500 Billion)
    What price do you put on an exclusion zone?
    If nuclear power is so wonderful and efficient, why can’t it compete in the free market?
    i.e., Why it so heavily subsidized?
    What happened to the promise that it would be “too cheap to meter“?

    • ‘the fabulous feature of radiation deaths is that you can hide them in the general population,’
      you can also claim 101 things ‘must be ‘ down to radiation , no matter how poor the link, because you just known they are , its has if before nuclear power there was no cancer and natural radiation just did not exist.

  38. Khwarizmi December 3, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    The fabulous feature of radiation deaths is that you can hide them in the general population, or, like the 1/2 million Americans that died as a consequence of Merck’s’ Vioxx(TM), you can simply not report it at all!

    The fabulous feature of your claim about Vioxx is that while Vioxx was indeed recalled for causing an increase in heart attacks and strokes, at the end of the day there was a class-action lawsuit, which included anybody and everybody who thought they were injured. The court found in favor of Merck, and forced Merck to pay for deaths and suffering. It cost Merck well over a billion dollars to settle the claims.
    The fabulous feature was that in that lawsuit, it was found that Vioxx was responsible for a total of 2,878 deaths from heart attacks and 590 deaths from stroke. And while that’s far too many, and represented a huge failure by the FDA … it’s a long way from your claim of half a million deaths.
    Such a wild exaggeration, of course, calls into question all the rest of your claims … and it’s a quite unnecessary exaggeration. Your claims need to stand or fall on their own, they have nothing to do with Vioxx.
    Finally, you report the “Rare cancers, blindness, birth defects and now, two deaths” from Fukushima as though they were established facts. They are not. All the court ruled was that the suit could go forwards, not that the claims were correct.
    As I said, this doesn’t invalidate your argument, which seems to be that if you build a poorly-designed nuclear power plant right on the coast in a known tsunami zone, you’re asking for trouble … but then I doubt many people would dispute that.
    Best regards,
    w.

    • I agree with Willis that exaggerated claims and figures should be avoided when presenting your case. Such exaggerations only makes it easy for your essential argument to be refuted.

    • Willis,
      I definitely agree with you. The fantastical claims detract from the argument. I don’t agree with the implication that a civil court ruling proves the death is caused by the one forced to pay. I personally think the courts get it wrong as often as they get it right on scientific issues. There was a black box warning on Vioxx and most of the physicians prescribed it as a last resort pain reliever for the severe cases. They were supposed to be doing workups on these patients to make sure there were no heart problems developed as treatment progressed. Some physicians failed on that part and some patients didn’t take the warning about the severity of the side effects seriously enough and report any changes to their physician, but for many patients this pain killer was the only thing that allowed them to live a normal life. If I were told that my pain level would cause me to be a recluse unable to leave my house because of the pain involved in moving and live for 20 more years, or I could live a fairly normal life with the risk that I might develop heart trouble and die in 5 years and nothing else would give me any relief, I’d take the risk for the normal life. Other’s mileage may vary.
      On Fukishima’s building in a tsunami zone. That isn’t really the problem. The problem is that they didn’t follow the design suggestions the engineers made for building at that site. The problems were: 1. Backup generators in the basement, 2. Use of standard diesels rather than marine diesels on the backup generators, 3. Lack of easy external power hookups.
      If they had addressed any of those concerns individually, the disaster would not have occurred. If they had addressed all three, few outside of Fukishima would even know the name. If they had placed the generators above the reactor chamber or pool chamber, the backup generators would not have flooded and cooling would not have been interrupted. If they had used marine diesels on the generators they could have pumped the water out of the basement and started the generators in about a day which would have prevented most of the crisis though there would have been reactor damage. If they had made easy external power hookups, a frigate would have been able to power the coolant pumps until the generators were brought back on line. Thus avoiding a crisis. If all three had been done this was a non-crisis.
      The original design engineer left the project because of the refusal of the company to make the first two changes. I actually thought up the third with full 20/20 hindsight. So really Fukishima was not caused by a natural disaster, but by human failings in decisions made more than 40 years ago.
      The problem now is we have people who want to dump all nuclear power because “it’s too dangerous!!!!!!”, (See Germany) when the newer generations of designs don’t exhibit these problems. The German decision makes no sense unless all their power stations were on the coast in an area prone to tsunami. (I always thought the German coast was very sheltered from such events, but what do I know?) Their decision makes absolutely no sense for inland power station and especially not for any newer generation inland stations. So now they are stuck burning brown coal with all the problems inherent in scrubbing those emissions of a bunch of nasty stuff (no not CO2, but SOx NOx Hg, etc) or freezing to death in the northern European winters. Makes no environmental sense to this outside observer, but more sense than relying on solar power at 40N latitude in the winter.

  39. Greens should love nuclear power
    That assumes that Greens actually want us to have an effectively unlimited source of power.
    They don’t, they want the very opposite, in fact.

  40. The Greens are for any power source that doesn’t work. They are against all sources that do work. The reason is simply because they are shooting for global deindustrialization, and to do that requires massively reduced power generation. This will get them to their “final solution” – greatly reduce human global population to a few million. This requires many early deaths, and few births. The Greens are the most evil movement in the history of humanity, surpassing the evil confronted during WWII. If they win, the world will choke with blood.

  41. Willis,
    Perhaps I should have said “perhaps,” or “it’s very likely” that Merk killed 1/2 a million Americans with Vioxx.
    But it’s not a wild exaggeration.
    =====================================
    “The headline of the short article that ran in the April 19, 2005 edition of USA Today was typical: “USA Records Largest Drop in Annual Deaths in at Least 60 Years.” During that one year, American deaths had fallen by 50,000 despite the growth in both the size and the age of the nation’s population. Government health experts were quoted as being greatly “surprised” and “scratching [their] heads” over this strange anomaly, which was led by a sharp drop in fatal heart attacks.
    On April 24, 2005, the New York Times ran another of its long stories about the continuing Vioxx controversy, disclosing that Merck officials had knowingly concealed evidence that their drug greatly increased the risk of heart-related fatalities. But the Times journalist made no mention of the seemingly inexplicable drop in national mortality rates that had occurred once the drug was taken off the market, although the news had been reported in his own paper just a few days earlier.
    A cursory examination of the most recent 15 years worth of national mortality data provided on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website offers some intriguing clues to this mystery. We find the largest rise in American mortality rates occurred in 1999, the year Vioxx was introduced, while the largest drop occurred in 2004, the year it was withdrawn. Vioxx was almost entirely marketed to the elderly, and these substantial changes in national death-rate were completely concentrated within the 65-plus population. The FDA studies had proven that use of Vioxx led to deaths from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, and these were exactly the factors driving the changes in national mortality rates.
    […]
    Patterns of cause and effect cannot easily be proven. But if we hypothesize a direct connection between the recall of a class of very popular drugs proven to cause fatal heart attacks and other deadly illnesses with an immediate drop in the national rate of fatal heart attacks and other deadly illnesses, then the statistical implications are quite serious. Perhaps 500,000 or more premature American deaths may have resulted from Vioxx, a figure substantially larger than the 3,468 deaths of named individuals acknowledged by Merck during the settlement of its lawsuit. And almost no one among our political or media elites seems to know or care about this possibility.”
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/chinese-melamine-and-american-vioxx-a-comparison/
    =====================================
    As with the rise and drop in mortality rates correlating with the introduction and withdrawal of Vioxx, it is probably just a coincidence that a significant number of the crew on the U.S.S. Reagan who spent 5 hours in the radiative plume have been afflicted with rare cancers and other debilitating medical problems.
    And there is still the problem of the heavy subsidies involved in nuclear power, plus the tremendous cost of the cleanup operation when it blows up in our faces. Those problems can’t be whitewashed quite so easily.

  42. “… is taking a more pragmatic view, acknowledging the likelihood that Lima will not produce anything of value, and urging green readers not to lose hope.”

    The “losing hope” is an artifact of the inescapables of falling real-wages, rising utility bills, rising impatience with taxation backed government-corruption and the spending the pubic purse into unaffordable debt-oblivion and interest-servicing (to bankers of course … who are the primary political donors to said politicians); all of this is in fact going to stick a red cigarette tip to the engorged global blood-sucking leach, regardless of another primadonna encrusted snouts-in-trough Lima conference.
    Those facing an election cycle in the near term will of course continue the trumpet loudly need to act, and will continue to grandstand vocalize to hither to unseen levels of BS making, tisk-tisking and endless public demonstrations of deep concern and galvanized disappointment.
    hahaha! … what warming???

  43. I only know what I read, but on that basis it appears unavoidable that the whole energy conundrum requires a wide-ranging rethink. To wit:
    The idea that the human contribution from burning carbon fuels has anything to do with ‘man-made global warming’ is not only IMHO the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever – but so say voices from the IPCC themselves: http://tinyurl.com/q4rtmvf
    That AGW fraud has one beneficial side effect: “Global warming did serve a couple of useful purposes. The issue has been a litmus test for our political class. Any politician who has stated a belief in global warming is either a cynical opportunist or an easily deluded fool. In neither case should that politician ever be taken seriously again. No excuses can be accepted.” http://tinyurl.com/ptgrz34
    Does that mean we should forget about pollution and carry on regardless? No, for we can all agree that pollution is not a ‘good thing’ – we all could not miss seeing it from pictures of those dirt laden grey and black smokestacks and smog laden Chinese and other cities (and I well remember the heavy London smogs in the early 60s when even some London Underground platforms had to close because of nearly nil visibility, apart from deaths from breathing that stuff). Only one thing is sure in these circumstances: what you can see, is with 100% certainty not CO2, which is invisible. What is visible is pollution, consisting of NOX, SOX and OBNOX (nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, particulates and anything else obnox-ious) all of which are the province of Clean-Air-Acts (as so blatantly in London) and have nothing to do with global climate – they are simply the ‘dirt in the linen’ that has to be ‘washed out from’, or never put into these smokestacks of sorts, in the first place. CO2 per se appears far too trivial to consider as Global Climate driver.
    The climate driver of all climate drivers I found described by John L Casey in his COLD SUN, introduced here http://tinyurl.com/p6ra4f3 together with a BBC NEWS video with comment on Robert Felix’s web site: http://iceagenow.info/2014/11/video-sun-sleep/
    An elementary order-of-magnitude calculation – relying on the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics – shows that, even when allowing the IPCC calculation of man-mad global warming by 2100 reputedly caused by CO2, it’s so trivial when compared to solar input variability alone, as to be totally irrelevant to ‘climate’: http://cleanenergypundit.blogs
    Some further study of probably the most underrated book on energy also appears necessary, as in: http://tinyurl.com/obhq3w9
    The role of Civic Energy is also destined to play a significant role especially, but not only for rural empowerment: http://tinyurl.com/oedupee

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