The IPCC gives us good news about climate change, but we don’t listen

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website.

Summary: Now that the alarmists have had their day trumpeting the IPCC’s worst case scenario (it’s unlikely and becoming more so), let’s look at their best case scenario (hidden by journalists). The risk probabilities are asymmetric: the good news is more likely than the bad news. This is inspirational, telling people that we can make a better world.

“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
— Attributed to Roy Charles Amara as paraphrased by Robert X. Cringely.

Climate Good News

The IPCC’s AR5 used four scenarios to discuss the future of climate change. These Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) describe trends for future emissions, concentrations, and land-use, ending with radiative forcing levels of 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5 W/m2 by 2100. The worst case is RCP8.5. It assumes ugly changes in long-standing trends of population growth and technological development. It is unlikely, and becoming more so each year. But it allows climate activists and click-hungry journalists to spin useful nightmares to terrify the public.

The middle two scenarios seem likely, RCP4.5 and RCP6.0. Both would have ill effects on the world, adding to the stress from increase in pollution and population growth. Neither are Armageddon (combined with our other problems, RCP8.5 might be close to Armageddon).

RCP2.6 is the ignored orphan. It provides no sad stories for journalists and no propaganda for activists. In a sane world it would be headline news, showing us a feasible future achievable — with some work. But not like the revolution activists advocate. See the best guide to this path to a better world.

RCP2.6: exploring the possibility to keep global mean temperature increase below 2°C.” by Detlef P. van Vuuren et al. in Climatic Change, November 2011.

This paper is too complex to summarize here. Let’s look at the key points about this vision of the future, and how it is already happening.

One way to get to negative emissions by the 2020s.
From “Ecosystem Services, Land Use Change and future Emission Pathways
by Andy Wiltshire of the UK Met Office.

RCP2.6 Emissions Pathway

A decline in the use of fossil fuels after 2020 contributes most to reduced emissions, along with a shift to biofuels and carbon-capture systems. How can that be done? In the below graph, Detlef P. van Vuuren et al. shows one path to negative emissions while energy consumption continues to grow. Like most of these projections, they assume a century of tech stagnation — so that coal becomes the fuel of the future. CCS is carbon capture and storage. There are no signs whatsoever of this happening.

Primary energy use per year (in EJ), by source.

RCP2.6 Primary Energy Sources

Explaining one of the good paths to the future.

Detlef P. van Vuuren et al. explains one path, relying on strong government policies. Low assumptions for technological progress is a prudent conservatism in the construction of the RCPs, but that is seldom mentioned by the fear-mongers that dominate the news media.

“Clearly, emissions would need to decline substantially in order to reach a level of 2.6 W/m2 by the end of the century. The cumulative emission reduction over the century amounts to about 70% and the emission reduction in 2100 to more than 95% compared to baseline. …The emission reduction rates for methane and nitrous oxide are less than for CO2. The reason is that the abatement potential for several important sources of these gases is limited. …

“Climate policy leads to an improvement in energy efficiency, more use of {carbon capture and storage (CCS)}, increased use of bioenergy, and some increase in the use of nuclear power and PV/Wind. PV/wind increase their market share in the energy system but the increase in absolute terms is only small in this scenario, caused by 1) other options (e.g. CCS) being more economic, 2) limitations associated with intermittent nature of renewables, and 3) the share of power in total energy use. …

“Both the IMAGE calculations and the current literature suggest that there are a number of key conditions that need to be met in order to achieve the required level of emission reductions.

“First of all, emissions need to be reduced rapidly (around 4% of 2000 emissions annually) over a period of decades. This requires an improvement of greenhouse gas intensity of around 5–6% per year, considerably above the historical rates of around 1–2% per year. …

“Secondly, achieving the ambitious emission reductions associated with the RCP2.6 requires sufficient potential to reduce emissions for all major emission sources. In RCP2.6, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use are reduced by a combination of energy efficiency, increased use of renewables and nuclear power, use of carbon capture and storage and increased use of bioenergy. …

“The third important condition is that non-CO2 gases are strongly reduced.”

Good news about the climate

How can we do this?

Cost of solar cells.……..

Price of solar cells

From The Economist. Click to enlarge.

There are two keys to achieving RCP2.6 without massive government policy action. First, replacing coal as a primary source for electric generation. Second, replacing petroleum liquid fuels as a primary source for cars.

The first is already happening. Renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal) are slowly becoming able to provide substantial grid power. For example, see the graph on the right showing Swanson’s Law in action, the relationship of solar cell costs to volume.

For the near future, substitution of natural gas for coal will make the most difference. Burning coal to produce a million BTUs of energy produces an average of 210 pounds of CO2; burning natural gas to do so produces 117 pounds of CO2 (see coal produced and CO2 emitted per EIA) — a reduction of 45%! For details read Coal bankruptcies point to a better future for our climate.

The second is also already happening. Volvo plans to make only hybrid or all-electric cars by 2019. Toyota plans to sell a car in 2022 powered by a solid state battery that significantly increases driving range and reduces charging time. Norway plans to allow sale only of electric cars after 2025. India is aiming for 2030. Britain will ban sales of gas and diesel cars after 2040. As will France. These are just first movers in this race.

Looking further out, a host of radical new batteries are under development. For example, U Texas-Austin engineers led by Professor John Goodenough, co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, have developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging, longer-lasting rechargeable batteries (see their press release and their paper in Energy & Environmental Science, Jan 2017).

If pushed with government policies, these measure can push us towards the RCP2.6 scenario during the 2020s. To get the rest of the way we will need breakthroughs that give us new energy sources. These are already under development. A 2015 report by Third Way describes that some have matured to the stage attracting private capital:

“The American energy sector has experienced enormous technological innovation over the past decade in everything from renewables (solar and wind power), to extraction (hydraulic fracturing), to storage (advanced batteries), to consumer efficiency (advanced thermostats). What has gone largely unnoticed is that nuclear power is poised to join the innovation list.

“A new generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and investors are working to commercialize innovative and advanced nuclear reactors. …Third Way has found that there are nearly 50 companies, backed by more than $1.3 billion in private capital, developing plans for new nuclear plants in the U.S. and Canada. The mix includes startups and big-name investors like Bill Gates, all placing bets on a nuclear comeback, hoping to get the technology in position to win in an increasingly carbon-constrained world.”

More daring are projects to harness fusion. Nature reviewed them in this 2016 article. Most interesting is Tri Alpha Energy (see Wikipedia) was founded in 1998 and has raised $150 million from hard-nosed capitalists ($500 million according to the company, $700 million per Pitchbook). Their fifth-generation reactor, “Norman”, achieved first plasma this month. An article in this month’s Scientific Reports describes how the previous generation reactor (C-2U) …

“led to the discovery of an unexpected record confinement regime with positive net heating power in a field-reversed configuration plasma, characterised by a >50% reduction in the energy loss rate and concomitant increase in ion temperature and total plasma energy.”

Animation of their previous machine at work, the C-2U.

“Watch an animation of Tri Alpha Energy’s C-2U machine in action. It is 23 meters long. The machine forms two smoke rings of plasma and fires them toward the middle to merge into a bigger FRC. There they turn kinetic energy into heat.”

 

Is this unrealistic? No. We need only continue current trends.

Energy efficiency has been improving for decades, as shown in this graph from “Reaching peak emissions” by Robert B. Jackson, Nature Climate Change, January 2016 (also see energy efficiency by nation from the World Bank). New technologies, such as cheaper and better batteries, can take this trend to levels we can only imagine today.

Increased energy efficiency.

Progress has been fastest in the developed nations. For example, one form of energy intensity — electricity use/GDP — has been declining in the US since 1976. Per capita electricity consumption has been declining in the US since 1999. See this April 2017 Bloomberg article for details (e.g., “most other developed countries have experienced a plateauing or decline in electricity use similar to that in the U.S. over the past decade.”).

The results are already visible — except in the mainstream news. Growth in CO2 emissions was strong during the China-driven boom years of 2000-09, but has been slowing during the past five years. Emissions were flat in 2014-15, and are estimated to have grown only slightly in 2016. This graph is from”Global Carbon Budget 2016” by Corinne Le Quéré et al in Earth System Science Data, 14 November 2016. Click to enlarge.

CO2 emissions by year from the Global Climate Budget 2016

The bottom line: Co2 levels in an RCP2.6 world

Here are predictions of humanity’s CO2 emissions in three RCP scenarios, at decade intervals. Green is RCP2.6, blue is RCP4.5, and red is RCP6.0. RCP8.5 is off this scale. In RCP2.6 CO2 emissions steeply fall in the 2020s. Graph is from the interactive tool at the RCP Database.
RCPs: future CO2 emissions

What about levels of greenhouse gasses (GHG)? This shows the total expressed as equivalent of CO2 (in parts per million). For reasons discussed above, they only decline — and slowly — starting in the 2040s. By 2100 the level is … It does not matter. That is far beyond what we can reliably predict now, any more than the people of 1934 could predict our world of today.

RCPs: future greenhouse gas levels

What happens to global atmosphere and ocean temperatures in the world of RCP2.6? Estimates vary. The rise is probably close to 2 degrees Centigrade over pre-industrial levels, a long-standing goal for limiting anthropogenic climate change.

Why we don’t hear more good news?

The answer can be seen from readers’ reaction to the 4,000+ posts on the FM website. “If it bleeds, it leads.” People want to read scary stories. They want to read exciting stories cheering our side’s angelic warriors — and hissing at our foes, satan’s minions. Good news does not get big traffic. We love scary stories. The reason why reveals a secret about America.

No Fear

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information about this vital issue see the posts about the RCPs, about the keys to understanding climate change and these posts about the politics of climate change…

  1. About RCP8.5: Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No!
  2. Manufacturing climate nightmares: misusing science to create horrific predictions.
  3. Ignoring science to convince the public that we’re doomed by climate change.
  4. Good news for the New Year! Salon explains that the global climate emergency is over.
  5. Good news! Coal bankruptcies point to a better future for our climate.
  6. Good news from America about climate change, leading the way to success.
  7. Stratfor gives us good news, showing when renewables will replace fossil fuels.
  8. Focusing on worst case climate futures doesn’t work. It shouldn’t work.
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112 thoughts on “The IPCC gives us good news about climate change, but we don’t listen

  1. The good news, for anyone paying attention, is that we do not need to be at all concerned about CO2 levels. It is not a pollutant, and increasing its portion of the atmosphere will increase crop yields. Further, any warming that does occur will be welcome, possibly letting winters become less strenuous and dangerous to endure. The entire article is a waste of space, depending as it does on a panic-driven view of CO2.

      • ++
        What is supposed to be the “good news” here??

        “Climate policy leads to an improvement in energy efficiency, more use of {carbon capture and storage (CCS)}

        This is blatant contradiction. CCS is a massive and pointless waste of energy. How can you pretend to be advocating energy efficiency whilst at the same time proposing waste enormous proportions of generated power pushing carbon back into the ground. It’s totally disingenuous.

        There are two keys to achieving RCP2.6 without massive government policy action. First, replacing coal as a primary source for electric generation. Second, replacing petroleum liquid fuels as a primary source for cars.

        How is this “good news” ? This is just the alarmists’ “leave it in the ground” crap which means failing to exploit available resources and throw away perfectly good petroleum powered vehicles and lose the freedom of movement they provide.

        Owning an electric car controlled ultimately by the manufacturer or the state and which can be disabled remotely and tracks your every movement is NOT “good news” . Sorry.

    • Could you give us some links to show that your personal opinion has any science behind it? Nope?

      “The mean net plant growth for all treatment combinations with elevated CO2 was about 4.9 tons per acre — compared to roughly 5.5 tons per acre for all treatment combinations in which CO2 levels were kept normal”.

      This is an extract from a study completed by Stanford. Here is the link to the full article,

      http://news.stanford.edu/pr/02/jasperplots124.html

      • Steve here are over 100 published science papers showing the very opposite:

        From CO2 Science,

        Plant Growth Database

        http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php

        Steve, many large Greenhouse nurseries use CO2 generators,to increase plant growth and health. It is why plants looks great when they first arrive at local nurseries,then slowly revert back to a lower level in a week or two.

      • Problem here is we are comparing Stanford’s lab experiment with nature. It appears the added ingredient in the Stanford study is catastrophic warming from CO2 emissions something that nature is well missing out on. LOL!

      • Got a few responses, one was linking to greenhouses, the other called me a troll. I produce a link to a scientific institution and I’m called a troll, WTF? No real science though.I was then told that we are not sure about what’s going to happen, really, so those record temperatures are not enough of an alert, or rapidly melting glaciers over the last 50 years, anyone seeing a trend? Nope, there are none so blind as those who will not see!

        [Perhaps most just found your contribution a bit boring “same ol’, same ol'” kind of thing. Don’t be downhearted , perhaps you can come up with something that the readers find stimulating. Perhaps you aren’t used to indifference when you speak but most folk here have a deep understanding of these matters, for and against, so adding to what they know can be tricky. . . . mod]

    • These aren’t the words of a sceptic I’m afraid. They’re more like the words of a dogmatist at the other end of the scale from the alarmists. . . The truth is that we don’t know. We have insufficient data and insufficient knowledge to be able to state categorically whether AGW will be a real threat or not, if Co2 levels continue to rise. Recent trends of any kind relating to climate can’t yet be extrapolated into facts about the future.

      Climate change has always been with us and yes, we don’t know what natural change would have occurred over the last 40 years or so without an increase in Co2 levels. Maybe it’s exactly as it would have been, but we don’t know that for certain. Maybe 20 years from we’ll have a clearer idea of what’s happening, but even then I’d be astonished if we’ll be able to predict exactly what will happen with the Earth’s climate.

      As for “any warming that does occur will be welcome . . ” that seems a bit reckless to me. Above a certain, though unknown, temperature level we are likely to suffer markedly raised sea levels and that will cause major problems that we can anticipate but may also cause many others that we can’t. . . . No, “any warming . . ” is just too vague to agree with!. Personally, I’d like Scotland to be warmer, but enough to make a noticeable difference will probably have an impact on sea levels at least. . .

      In the meantime it makes sense to opt for a cleaner and healthier planet (I’m thinking of particulates etc from diesel and petrol emissions that are causing health problems) but not at a ridiculous price. The costs shouldn’t outweigh the gains, And it makes sense to fight irrational or disproportionate or dishonest alarmist claims – as well as reckless complacency. A lot more dedicated and objective analysis, investigation and reporting by our best minds, whether scientists or not, is the way to go I believe . ..

      • Those aren’t the words of a man who can Do Sums.

        You are talking in woolly qualitative terms just like the IPCC advocates

        where is your evidence to link a warmer Scotland to any sea level rise for example, and how much sea level rise would render it (any more) uninhabitable?

      • Leo Smith. HI. Actually I come from that generation who were taught to count and I’ve always managed to hold my own with anyone in that department. I’m simply writing in cautious terms because I don’t know what the future holds and none of us knows (I mean really knows on a factual basis) whether there is or isn’t an anthropogenic component in the warming (if any – because I’m not utterly convinced by the claimed temperature change either) that has occurred in the last 40 years. Or do you have FACTS about the future to hand? Enlighten us if you do please. . .

        I said I’d like a warmer Scotland, yes, but I was thinking of that in a world context, on the basis that eventually increasing global warmth to a noticeable degree (from which Scotland would benefit) would produce a commensurate sea level rise, with the relationship between the two being roughly directly proportional. If it gets warm enough to melt Greenland and Antarctic ice signicantly faster than at present then we’re likely to have problems! That seems to me to be a reasonable assumption. Or do you think that sea level and global temperature are not connected?

        If you’re wondering if I believe the IPCC projections then that’s something different. I’m very sceptical of the whole AGW position actually, but, I could be wrong. It’s not impossible that the IPCC low end projections might not be far off. Think it was Feynman who said that first, we shouldn’t fool ourselves because we are the easiest to fool. Scepticism has to cut both ways . . . I don’t think it’s “wooly” to say that I might be wrong, or that someone I disagree with might actually be right, if only partly! That’s just common sense. And I believe it’s something that many contributors on here need to be reminded of. . . .

      • @ jim hogg July 29, 2017 at 5:42 pm

        Climate change has always been with us and yes, we don’t know what natural change would have occurred over the last 40 years or so without an increase in Co2 levels.

        jim hogg, just because you are ignorant of the “science of the natural world” you are part of, you really shouldn’t be including everyone else as being in “the-same-boat-that-you-are-in” by claiming inclusively, “we don’t know”.

        So, the next time, please post the factual statement, to wit …..“I don’t know”.

        Anyway, jim h, ….. of course there are learned individuals who would know what natural changes occurred if there had been “no increase in atmospheric CO2 levels over the last 40 years or so”.

        “DUH”, the only natural change that could possibly be responsible for the aforesaid is that the temperature of the ocean waters in the Southern Hemisphere had begun a drastic and un-expected “cooling down” (decrease in Summertime temperatures from September thru May).

        The “end” of the current Holocene Interglacial Period would also terminate the current rise in atmospheric CO2 ppm, …… followed by a slow decrease in ppm.

    • “The entire article is a waste of space…”

      Well… As is usual, it is extremely well written, but it could use a bit of (shall we say) “red teaming”. Bart recently summed up red teaming and how it works over at Dr Roy’s blog:

      Bart 6/16/2017
      “By bringing out adversarial positions that have been suppressed by groupthink, and forcing the herd consensus to acknowledge and confront them.”

      The 2C warming over pre-industrial levels is about as groupthink as you can get. (and right up there with the 97% consensus!) As well, the various RCP scenerios… The atmospheric carbon dioxide growth rate has been lock step with the SSTs of the southern ocean since the conception of the MLO data set in 1958. If the future is anything like the past half plus century , then the CO2 growth rate will continue to track with temperature regardless of which RCP is used…

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/plot/esrl-co2/from:1958/mean:24/derivative/plot/hadsst3sh/from:1958/scale:0.25/offset:0.1

      A science as soft as climate science should never be couched in such definitive language. While it is important to discuss subjects such as RCPs, it’s equally as important to remember that such subjects remain in the realm of theory and conjecture. (AND they should be treated as such)…

    • You just hit the nail on the head. Climate (Temperature) drives CO2, not the other way around.

    • I love co 2 , the more the merrier, as a matter of fact I try to breathe at twice the normal rate.

    • The ideal scenario would be to modify (genetically engineer/) mankind to be more environmentally friendly.
      1. Add chlorophyll to the skin cells so we can produce a good percentage of our energy by standing in the sun.
      2. Since we are standing in the sun all day, we should become nocturnal and will require further modification for larger eyes to help us see and reduce electricity use for lighting.
      3. Reduce our size as a smaller body mass requires less energy.

      Here is what we would look like:

      http://tainted-archive.blogspot.ca/2011/08/little-green-men-report-1110998877665.html

  2. Mr Kummer, buying into the IPCC models is a rather regrettable exercise. CCS is impractical, so if one really believes in the Satanic Gasses, nuclear is the only proven technology that works.

    • Tom,

      Please read what I wrote. I explicitly said that the way the RCP2.6 got there was by tech stagnation — and there are better ways. There are a thousand words in this post about how to do it.

      This is the same “motion is impossible” thinking seen in most comments on these threads. But it does illustrate the great unmentionable fact I’ve so often pointed to — both skeptics and almarists tend to think in the same manner. The RCP’s assume tech stagnation. So do the skeptics on this thread. (Both also tend to use the same rhetorical tricks.)

      But though the dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

      “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
      — Attributed to Roy Charles Amara as paraphrased by Robert X. Cringely. Probably it shall ever be so, because people don’t learn from history.

      • Frankly, I don’t care how “RCP2.6 got there”. If RCP2.6 produced the one curve among 100 “Model Runs” that reasonably approximates the actual Satellite/Balloon observations while CO2 continues to rise, then I’ll go with the RCP2.6 “projections” and ignore all the phony assumptions in it.

      • Larry, seeing RPC 2.6 as “good news” is just like accepting that “the end is nigh” but that the good news is that there is still time repent and save your soul before you die, if you do what we tell you to do.

        In this case that means accepting that the UNFCCCP can dictate the energy policy of all countries and states in the world on the basis of rigged science and scam astronomic sums of money from all developed countries to finance they unelected world government.

        Sorry, I don’t see the “good news” there.

        CCS is a massive and stupid waste of resources that only makes sense if you buy into the most exaggerated projections of failed computer models and manipulated science controlled by activist-scientists pretending to do real science.

  3. I wrote this comment here five years ago:

    The Man-Made Global Warming scam becomes evident when one looks at the narrative that spews from the alarmists: Only evil and suffering can come from a warmer Earth. Fossil fueled, Western style prosperity must stop. This is the real agenda. Saving the Earth has little to do with it. Even if the CO2-causes-warming “theory” were true, It still does not absolutely dictate doom.
    I say, why can’t it be?

    “Congratulations children, The Energy sources that fuel our economies and our prosperity, give us long life and comfort, these fossil fuels will also cause our planet to warm gently, about 2C degrees over the next century. What luck!
    With the warmth and extra CO2 for plant life, millions of acres of tundra will become forests. Millions of acres of frozen steppe will become arable. Starvation will end. Prosperity will reach even the poorest people. We must keep searching for and burning oil and coal so we can improve our climate and prosper. Humanity will become wealthy. With this wealth we can preserve habitat for animals, protect the rain forest. We will clean the oceans and the land. Our future is bright. We are entering the age of abundance “

    The Earth is not warming of late though. Too bad.

    • Progress has been fastest in the developed nations.

      The environment in America and Europe approaches Paradise because prosperous people can afford to care about it.

      The greenies are actually watermelons, green on the outside but red inside. If they were sincere about wanting to improve the environment they would be demonstrating in front of the Chinese and Indian embassies because those countries are aiming to increase their CO2 emissions hugely.

      Environmentalism is just a tool to crash western civilization. link Their stupid Marxism has been thoroughly discredited. There’s no way they can make a convincing argument to switch to it, so they take the sneaky back door.

      Have you got the impression that the academies of higher learning have been really stupid lately? That’s because they have been taken over by postmodernists. It’s the same story. The Marxists can’t win arguments so they disguise arrant BS as intellectualism. They refuse to accept any kind of authority but they, themselves, are completely authoritarian. Stephen Hicks makes this compelling argument in two (hour long each) videos. part 1

  4. Far too optimistic IMO . Renewables are intermittent, provide no grid inertia, and are unviable without subsidies. Toyota does not yet have a single solid state ‘glass electrolyte’ LiB at vehicular scale. Coal is being built out in Asia and Africa, not ‘disappearing’. Solar PV follows an experience curve with a slope of 15-20% depending on type. That means the next 20% cost reduction comes with a doubling of CUMULATIVE production. As for fusion, French Physics Nobel laureate de Gennes said (I paraphrase here for brevity), “People say we can put the Sun in a box. Pretty idea. But we do not know how to build the box.” Until it is done, speculation about how it might be done in the future is just that, especially when the needed ‘box’ improvement is > 2 orders of magnitude.

    But it all doesn’t matter. If AGW sensitivity is as observed, rather than modeled, then there is no problem to mitigate with the present real pathway something between 4.5 and 6, closer to 4.5. The ‘if’ is pretty certain given multiple CMIP5 model failures. For example, temperature this century has not meaningfully increased (except by Karlization) now that the 2015-16 El Nino blip has cooled. Yet this century comprises ~35% of the rise in atmospheric CO2 since 1958 (Keeling curve).

    • Exactly. Just as Hansen’s emissions estimate are WAY off yet the projected trophspheric warming from actual emissions never happened, the best case emissions scenario is VERY unlikely, but the warming will not happen as projected, and the benefits of increased CO2 will happen, yet the harms will not.

    • That’s what I thought.
      The whole RCP concept is blown away because the forcings have been shown to be somewhere in
      LaLa Land and not on this planet.

  5. I think the public has had enough of all the scare stories and know it is all crying wolf.

    • Except governments are marching to the Climate Change tune and negatively affecting our lives.

      • Ignorance is what the word politician should describe,
        America is a prime example, obaama and friends with a lifetime of ignorance and now Trump trying to change the empty heads of his “parties” (as in beer-fiesta ) ignorance. Someone who knows how to drive a car in Washington DC is not a ignoramus.
        PS
        Trump uses a helicopter.

  6. “The IPCC gives us good news”
    I think you give the wrong significance to scenarios. It isn’t news at all. They aren’t predicting Scen 2.6, any more than 8.5. They are just covering the range of possibilities, in order to do calculations that may be meaningful when the future unfolds. Whether that is 2.6 or 8.5 is a matter for human decision. Work would be required to achieve 2.6.

    • Actually the long into the future published IPCC claims are bad news,since it is not testable. Credible science research works ONLY when a form of the Scientific Method is in use.

      So far the current evidence indicate very low response to the postulated CO2 forcing effect. Better to go with real data in real time. The IPCC has no credibility anyway as their repeated per decade projections are WAAAAAY too high.

      I have long been bored of this silly tabloid level,IPCC,AGW based CO2 science.

    • “Work would be required to achieve 2.6.” But potentially much less than 8.5 would require.

      • Why bother HAS?

        It is not based on credible science,those numbers are wild modeling guesses,therefore worthless.

    • proof by assertion?
      No work will make any scenario more likely than any other because climate is almost completely unaffected by human activity.

      Gave yourself away there didn’t you? its not the climate that is the issue: its the work! Human control of society by the very few for the ‘best possible reasons’ eh?

    • I

      t isn’t news at all. They aren’t predicting Scen 2.6, any more than 8.5. They are just covering the range of possibilities

      Exactly, this is “good news” only in the sense that : there is still time to repent and save your sole.

      The Repentance Concentration Pathways just give options on how hard you choose to repent and the extent to which you are prepare to give up your evil ways in order to save your sole.

  7. The so-called Representative Concentration Pathway RCP 8.5 and RCP 6 by IPCC seem to be exaggerated. Here is an interesting analysis by Willis Eschenbach that is based on the paper: The implications of fossil fuel supply constraints on climate change projections: A supply-driven analysis Here are the conclusions of Willis:
    «Here’s the takeaway message. Using the most extreme of the 16 estimates of future CO2 levels along with the higher of the two TCR estimates, in other words looking at the worst case scenario, we are STILL not projected to reach one measly degree C of warming by the year 2100.

    More to the point, the best bet given all the data we have is that there will only be a mere half a degree C of warming over the 21st century.

    Can we call off the apocalypse now?»
    Apocalypse Cancelled, Sorry, No Ticket Refunds – Willis Eschenbach

    By figure 4 in the referred paper, it seems that even RCP 6 will not be reached even if no policies are implemented to curb CO2 emissions.

  8. The IPCC ‘worst case scenario’ is unlikely because observations show that their climate sensitivity assumptions are wrong; and what about all those coal-fired power plants being built in China, India, Sub-Sahara African etc. are they all going to shut down after 2020?
    The ‘Fabian strategy’ is posting the same essay over and over and over again to wear down any opposition to IPCC prescriptions through ‘attrition and indirection’ (Wiki).

    • Thanks Chris, I had never bothered to check out what Fabius Maximus was a reference to. Makes a lot of sense.

  9. The RCP2.6 increase of about 2C still PRESUMES the absurdly high sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2 of forcing (2.6*0.8 = 2C). If we use the actual forcing range of 0.25 +/- 0.05C per W/m^2, the RPC2.6 temperature is somewhere between .5C and 0.78C and even the impossible RPC8.5 case results in a temperature increase of between 1.7C and 2.55C and no where near the 7.5-10C range claimed by the alarmists.

    The whole point of the climate science disagreement is not whether it’s RCP2.6 or RPC8.5, but whether the sensitivity is 0.8C +/- 0.4C per W/m^2 as the warmists presume or is it 0.25C +/- .05C per W/m^2 as the laws of physics dictate and that most skeptics arrive at.

    We know what would happen if the Sun’s output increased by 1 W/m^2. Each of the 240 W/m^2 of power arriving from the Sun contributes equally to the surface emissions and each W/m^2, including the last one, contributed 1.6 W/m^2. The next one will contribute the same and when 1.6 W/m^2 is added to the 390 W/m^2 of emissions corresponding to an average temperature of 288K, the temperature corresponding to the increased emissions increases by about 0.3C.

    The consensus likes to claim that 0.3C per W/m^2 is the absolute sensitivity and often conflates it with the pre-feedback sensitivity and claims that the incremental sensitivity can be much larger owing to positive feedback. The absolute ignorance about feedback exhibited by consensus climate science is astounding. For one thing, the feedback analysis they use assumes that the incremental and absolute gain are exactly the same. If not, then its not a linear system and Bode’s linear feedback amplifier analysis methods that they use do not apply.

    The 0.6 W/m^2 above and beyond the forcing power is all than can be referred to as the ‘feedback’ and as expected for a stable system, is well below the forcing of 1 W/m^2. If according to the IPCC, the surface temperature increased by 0.8C from that same W/m^2 of forcing, the increase in surface emissions would be 4.3 W/m^2 requiring 3.3 W/m^2 of ‘feedback’ in excess of the forcing. Any system whose feedback is 330% larger than the forcing that caused it would be unconditionally unstable while the climate system certainly is quite stable, having been running for billions of years.

    The evidence is overwhelmingly clear. It doesn’t matter whether its RCP2.6 or RCP8.5. Neither has a catastrophic effect on the surface temperature.

    • “The RCP2.6 increase of about 2C still PRESUMES the absurdly high sensitivity of 0.8C”
      It doesn’t presume any sensitivity. It i a scenario about forcing. The GCM works out the response. Then you can calculate he sensitivity (which is anyway largely independent of scenario).

      • oh dear. yet another person who doesnt understand the underlying equations behind the climate models….

      • Nick,
        The GCM is definitely making unwarranted assumptions that for all intents and purposes are presuming a high sensitivity since they claim that 2.6 W/m^2 of forcing results in about 2C of temperature rise (0.8C per W/m^2) and this is a clear violation of COE.

        At 288K, the planet emits 390 W/m^2 and at 290K (2C warmer), it will emit 401 W/m^2 for an increase of 11 W/m^2. For the surface to emit 11 W/m^2 more, it must be receiving 11 W/m^2 more, or else it will loose energy and cool. It’s only receiving 2.6 W/m^2 from the forcing, yet requires an additional 8.4 W/m^2 in order to sustain the higher temperature. You will no doubt cite feedback, so how does 2.6 W/m^2 result in 8.4 W/m^2 of feedback and why don’t all 240 W/m^2 from the Sun also produce this much feedback? Where does all this energy come from so that the climate system is not violating COE? Do you even agree that Joules can be neither created or destroyed and that Watts are Joules per second?

        The GCM is presuming that the next W/m^2 of forcing increases surface emissions by 4.3 W/m^2 (0.8C), yet the last W/m^2 from the Sun only increased surface emissions by no more than 1.6 W/m^2 (0.3C). How can 1 W/m^2 of forcing from CO2 be at least 2.7 times more powerful at warming the surface than 1 W/m^2 of solar power?

        There’s so much wrong with your position I can go on and on, but I strongly suspect you will have serious trouble coming up with coherent answers to the questions I’ve asked so far. Like most who take your position, you will most likely fail to engage for fear of being shown how horribly wrong you are about a high sensitivity and that the skeptics have been right all along.

      • “Like most who take your position”
        Like many posting here, you just can’t stick to the point. This is an article about scenarios. Scenarios are about emissions. They have nothing to do with sensitivity. That comes later.

      • NIck,
        You’re talking about emission scenarios which are based on a meaningless and demonstrably false attribution that those emissions cause massive climate change, when they absolutely do not for the reasons I outlined plus many more. And as I expected, you did not answer one of my questions, whose answers will reveal to you how incredibly wrong the presumed attribution is. Why don’t you take a shot. Are you afraid? You have nothing to loose, most of the readers of this site know how wrong you are already.

      • “This is an article about scenarios. Scenarios are about emissions. They have nothing to do with sensitivity. That comes later …”.
        ====================================
        Nonsense you have it a-about, why on earth select a ‘scenario’ to follow if there were no assumed climate sensitivity and assumed global av. temperature implications?
        Of course the IPCC have settled on a narrow range of model TCR to get this in AR5:
        IPCC-AR5-Fig-12.5.png (1741×1152) http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/wp-content/IPCC-AR5-Fig-12.5.png

      • Nick Stokes
        Awaiting you reply or “Scenario ” to ” co2isnoteveil ”
        SCENARIO (Merriam-Webster) ” a plot outline used by actors of “the commedia derl’arteb”

      • George,
        Do you really expect him to reply? Like everyone else on the wrong side of the science, including main stream climate scientists, they refuse to engage in any kind of meaningful debate. This can only mean that they suspect that they are wrong but don’t want to be convinced given the harsh political consequences to the left that will follow (for some reason, they all seem to lean left). It would be like a devout religious adherent having to acknowledge that the deities they’ve been worshipping don’t exist.

        On the rare occasion when an alarmist scientist does engage, they do nothing but spout rhetoric and talking points bereft of any scientific content, much like the alarmists who frequent this site. They are so incredibly wrong, what other tactics can they employ to perpetuate their false beliefs?

    • The whole point of the climate science disagreement is not whether it’s RCP2.6 or RPC8.5, but whether the sensitivity…

      +100

      An entire article devoted to how we could achieve RCP2.6 has as much merit as the oft repeated 2.0 degrees of warming over pre-industrial being “safe”. Both are artificial targets chosen for political rather than science and economic reasons. Blustering about how to get to something that is a fictitious target in the first place just derails a discussion of the actual issues. Doing so simply cedes the high ground to the alarmist camp.

      If sensitivity was high, the +40% increase in CO2 over pre-industrial would be easily observable in the temperature record (it isn’t) and if it is low (the logical conclusion) then there’s not much to worry about. Further, the measurement over “pre-industrial” is itself another fiction. What the temperature of the world was pre-industrial is immaterial. The questions needed to be asked are what is the temperature of the earth NOW, what are the economic and health conditions we have NOW (answer; best in history) and how will these be affected by increased CO2? This changes the discussion entirely.

      Calculating numbers from pre-industrial levels requires starting at 280 ppm. But starting from NOW, we’re at 400 ppm, and doubling from 400 ppm is a HUGE amount of fossil fuel, there may not be enough on earth to do it. RCP2.6 is as immaterial without knowing sensitivity to our current condition as 280 ppm pre-industrial is. Musing about how to get there diverts attention from actual issues into a discussion that seems of value, but when put into context, is meaningless.

  10. The IPCC is part of the United Nations, which is synonymous with the global warming politics/media freak show. Anything the IPCC says is rejected on that basis.
    Atmospheric CO2 is not pollution, it is the basic substrate for all life on Earth.
    The basic premise that “emissions” should be reduced is ludicrous.

  11. The elephant in the room is what we cant see yet. New Discoveries!
    Its worth noting that the centrally planned world has tipped literally trillions into solar and wind developments, the CO2 emissions impact is very small and some would argue even negative at the same time fraccing has reduced the CO2 emissions of the US hugely by substituting coal generation while paying wages, payroll tax, corp tax royalties, dividend taxes etc. all to have these capitalist generated revenues flushed down the toilet to scams like Tesla etc.

  12. Lordy. A warming world takes care of itself as it is a highly productive planet. The cold spells are what we have to plan for. And the only way to do that is to figure out a way to survive ice advance along with lack of fuel and food. Simply storing them in place makes no sense because the ice will simply crawl over the top. We have to be mobile along with the fuel and food (and I have the means to hmmm…get the food).

    • Addendum: Before the warmers respond by telling me that the fall to a stadial period takes 10’s of thousands of years and that I will be dead by the time I need to pick up and move…well duh.

  13. About an hour ago I had a mechanical engineer argue with me that plants live on carbon monoxide.

    “No,” I said. “CO2.”

    “Right. Carbon monoxide.”

    We’re doomed, I tells ya.

    • The simple science is lost to the specialists. Many people believe that UV rays power photosynthesis. I had to show an entomologist that caterpillars were deforming the leaves on his larkspur and another entomologist claimed that we did not have horn worm caterpillars in Alberta (Sphinx moth larvae anyone?). Can’t see the forest for the trees.

  14. With all due respect, most of the above article is puffery.
    “RCP8.5 might be close to Armageddon.”
    No its not. It has been enshrined in law. Here, and in many other places I’m sure, it is already Armageddon. It has been ranging for 5 years, with a very short interlude when wiser heads prevailed. The loss to clients in my very limited portfolio is now running in millions.

  15. Fabius Editor
    There is no question that technologies to replace the dominant use of fossil fuels is welcomed if guided and developed in a cost efficient manner.

    To use the best case IPCC outcome based on reduced CO2 usage is pure nonsense. Almost an apology for their wrongs. Exactly what have they got right. It is still based on CO2 as the primary driver. The top 75% of prediction forcasts is off the planetary scale, but ok you can still be in the game.

    May I suggest you try writing an article about “your time is up IPCC you are just wrong” or are you just going to give them another ten years of muddling along.

    The entire basis for their theory is wrong, over 97% wrong. Call it for what it is.

  16. “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”

    I can say that in one word – Thalidomide. Wasn’t that a breakthrough on so many levels? As was asbestos and now you beaut, cheap as chips, building insulation panels. And just wait until the penny drops on just how far down towards a brain dead end the msm pied pipers with their ‘science communicatuons’ (aka ‘fake science’, aka propaganda) can take us.

  17. After more than two decades of study the IPCC has been unabel to narrow the range of their guesses as to the climate sensivity of CO2 one iota. They really do not know what it is so all their estimates as to futhre climate is just a WAG. The IPCC refuses to rcognize estimates of the climate sensivity of CO2 that are below the IPCC’s published range for political reasons.

    One researcher has pointed out that the fundamental estimates of the climate sensivity of CO2 are too great by a factor of more than 20 because what has been ignored is that doubling the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere will slightly lower the dry lapse rate in the troposphere which is a cooling effect counteracting most of the warming effect that the added CO2 might have.

    Then there is the issue of H2O feedback. What has been ignored is that CO2 is a major coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere as evidenced by the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly less than the dry lapse rate. Increasing H2O due to any CO2 warming that may occour hence provides a negative feedback and retards any warming effect that CO2 might have. Considering all this, the climate sensivity is most likely less than .02 degrees C for a doubling of CO2 which is a trivial amount.

    Then there is the fact that the radiant greenhouse effect upon which the AGW conjecture is based. has not been obsreved on Earth nor anywhere in the solar system. The radiant greenhouse effect is hence science fiction as then must be the AGW conjecture. So the IPCC’s conclusions are all based on science fiction and have nothing to do with the real world in which we live.

    • Willhaas,

      the reason why they can’t narrow the range, is because it is all pseudoscience. They created a bunch of climate models that runs to year 2100, all completely untestable,therefore worthless.

      davidmhoffer wisely states,

      “If sensitivity was high, the +40% increase in CO2 over pre-industrial would be easily observable in the temperature record (it isn’t) and if it is low (the logical conclusion) then there’s not much to worry about. Further, the measurement over “pre-industrial” is itself another fiction. What the temperature of the world was pre-industrial is immaterial.”

      Warming since 1976 seems to be all ocean based as shown by Bob Tisdale:

      Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Global Warming Since 1976? – Part 1

      “Absolutely. And They Do It In Three Easy Steps.”

      https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of-the-global-warming-since-1976-%E2%80%93-part-1/

      95% of postulated CO2 warming effect was already set in place over 700 Million years ago.

      Remaining postulated CO2 warming effect of today is NEGLIGIBLE!

  18. “RCP2.6: exploring the possibility to keep global mean temperature increase below 2°C”

    This has the assumption that the world can actually control global warming successfully by all the means suggested by the IPCC and the huge number of “academic” papers which tell us so, but neglect any projected hardship caused by the consequential economic disasters.

    I believe the world may warm and it may cool, all things that it has done before – even within recorded history – and will keep on doing as it pleases.
    Therefore there is no need to ruin economies and cause starvation over hypotheses that cannot even stand Karl Popper’s standard of validation.

    CO2 is our friend and the environment should be respected – governments should retreat to governing, not promoting propaganda that is really designed to increase their power and that of unbridled bureaucracies.

    Cheers

    Roger
    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch

  19. “If pushed with government policies,”

    This is the scariest scenario of them all.

  20. As clearly stated in the AR5 WG1 report none of the RCP scenarios have any probabilities associated with them and they are considered to be only “plausible” and “illustrative”.

    Thus any construction of future outcomes from these RCP scenarios is nothing but conjecture and speculation.

    Therefore any of these constructions derived from the RCP’s are inappropriate for use in formulating policy actions.

    These constructions are purely of academic interest only.

    • “… none of the RCP scenarios have any probabilities associated with them…” WG1 were careful to characterise the various GCM runs as simply scenarios without probabilities attached, but the RCP scenario authors clearly set out where these scenarios are positioned. For example RCP 8.5 is positioned as do nothing about emissions (the misinterpreted “business as usual”) with emissions drivers at the 90% level (the “conservative” bit) in its description. From that one can have a conversation about how likely that scenario is, and from that a sense of the likelihood of outputs from GCMs based on it.

  21. ALL of the numbers in IPCC’s assessments are pulled straight out of some PhD’s intern’s butt and then stamped “consensus.”

  22. Hogwash. Even if solar cells were free, photovoltaic energy, would be too expensive. (Hint, you always have to build two systems, one solar, and one for night).

    More Hogwash: “Toyota plans to sell a car in 2022 powered by a solid state battery that … reduces charging time”. The gating factor in charging time is that watts = amps * volts. The Amps and volts of ordinary household panels (120, 15 & 230, 30) cannot charge a battery very quickly. Mo0ving electricity a lot faster than that require either dangerously high voltage or dangerously high amperage. In either case, they will necessitate safety equipment. and far beyond ordinary grid capacity.

    [115 and 230 ? .mod]

      • No, you run into real world problems. As you increase the charge rate the losses increase and the charging process becomes less efficient. You also run into problems where the inconsistencies in materials cause heating effect to have less time to dissipate across the materials. In short you get hot spots that cause localised damage to the materials in the battery. In Li Ion batteries this cause nice explosions.

  23. “What happens to global atmosphere and ocean temperatures in the world of RCP2.6? Estimates vary. The rise is probably close to 2 degrees Centigrade over pre-industrial levels”

    It’s not much different from today. According to AR5, total anthropogenic RF since pre-industrial era is already 2.3 W/m^2. And according to Berkeley Earth, global temperature has risen 1.5 C since 1750. RCP2.6 is more of the same. Temperature rise will be less than 2 C. This is assuming positive feedback. Without feedback sensitivity, which I think is more realistic, RCP4.5 will give less than 2 C warming. Don’t worry, be happy.

    • Dr Strangelove
      Your watts per square meter I will not contest

      But at what density, ie temperature and ppm.
      Is it at the equator, the Arctic in winter or is at a global average temperature.

      And how does this density relate to the glacial to interglacial temperature change.

      Are you comparing apples to apples?

      • It’s global average. The RF is the effect of GHG ppm. I use no feedback 1.1 C per 2x CO2 ppm. I don’t believe in positive feedback. Lindzen and Spencer studies show strong negative feedback. It means observed warming since 1750 is mostly natural.

      • Dr Strangelove
        Thank you, I agree that the warming is natural. I also believe that all of the warming is natural and that there is no evidence at all for CO2 to be considered as a contributing factor.

        I also have found that there is very good reason to question exactly what the current temperature trends are recording. There is not enough discussion in this area.

        The temperature increases since the 1980s have increased the volume of atmosphere transport, resulting in erroneous temperature values due to relocation of source heat.
        Regards

      • According to the late Bob Carter, if you use weather balloon records, there is no global warming from 1958 to 2002. If his claim is true, the warming in land and ocean data are all urban heat island effect and data manipulation. See his lecture from 15:45 minutes

  24. The lowest level ‘projection’ of the IPCC is still above the actual temperature data and this data is waterboarded and bent upwards by the real climate refugees fearing the end of the gravy. Larry Kummer can’t escape his belief that the “97%” have a scientific point, even though the whole thing has been given the breath of life by high school drop out communist Maurice Strong, because he glommed onto something that he thought he could hype and get scientists paid to push. The IPCC should have cut all those scenarios at least in half over the past decade as it became clear that natural variation (which they had fully discounted as a factor) loomed larger and larger in the dreaded “Pause” that even caused a fair number of prominent climate worriers (the more honest, scientific of them) to develop chronic depression, trying to avoid concluding that their entire education and most of their life’s career appeared to have been phlogiston worthless.

    Another thing, the rapid greening (14% more forested area in a decade and greening of arid regions and plankton expansion along with fattening existing trees, moving the taiga northwards….) which took the consensus completely by surprise – they have been fighting a rear guard action insisting it’s bad for the planet! This is exponential in character and is also endothermic (cooling). They haven’t altered their scenarios a whit in the face of these obvious confounding factors – We will never reach 2C even if we had the rest of the world drop out of the Paris Agreement. Trump is a true planetary champion. We will at least now be able to follow climate events with business as usual and finally put a stake through its heart and in the process inherit a Garden of Eden with plenty and growing habitat for the rest of the earths creatures.

  25. That Tri Alpha fusion reactor is just hype. Its average power loss is 0.6 to 1 MW. Even high school kids can make nuclear fusion with a Farnsworth fusor at power loss of less than 0.6 MW. The Holy Grail of nuclear fusion is a large and sustained net power gain.

  26. The problem with this article is that in the end its a bait and switch.

    The IPCC doesn’t care if people argue about how hot the earth is getting as long as the basic agenda is accepted. That human originated climate change is happening and we ought to be stopping it by using seriously big government.

    I.e the outcome they want is seriously big government where rich countries give trillions to poor countries.

  27. As long as we did not have good reliable met data in both space and time, with adjustments it is rarity to get a sensitivity factor to anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Thousands of papers — peer reviewed — has no relevance. This is like a blind man using a lamp pole to guide him.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  28. Fossil fuels will still be available, and they will be cost-competitive for many years. The world can always find creative uses for more energy, and some countries will always be looking for ways to get an advantage over others, so fossil fuel use will surely continue to grow anyway. The countries that refuse to use fossil fuels will be disadvantaged.

    Some maniacs actually want their countries to be disadvantaged.

  29. “The first is already happening. Renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal) are slowly becoming able to provide substantial grid power”

    OECD Total Electricity Production

    2015 – 10,743 TWh (☀️1.6%, 💨5.3%)
    2016 – 10,873 TWh (☀️2.0%, 💨5.5%)

    OECD Total Electricity production growth 15-16

    130 TWh – All sources
    78.1 TWh – ☀️💨 combined

    Expensive, intermittent, unreliable, and not even keeping up with growth, never mind replacing the things they are “supposed” to replace.

    If this isn’t happening even in OCED countries how is it supposed to happen in Africa, Asia etc?

    Data source: IEA, July 2017 Renewables Overview Report

  30. “Here, drink this”.
    What is it?
    “Arsenic”.
    Are you crazy? I’m not drinking that.
    “Good news! I have this instead”.
    What is it?
    “Watered down arsenic.”

  31. The future of fusion energy lies with privately funded devices, not the tokamak design, which is the preferred choice of government funding. However, TriAlpha is near the bottom of the heap among the the alt-designs of private programs.

    The leader is a micro firm in New Jersey call LPPFusion, which uses the principles of dense Plasma Focus. (The LPPFusion device is labeled on this graph as FF-1)

    For a full explanation of the progress, challenges and physics of Dense Plasma Focus fusion, see https://vimeo.com/album/4523162

    • John Goodenough of U.T. Austin developed the LiFePo4 LiB cathode material, and is now working (like Toyota) on solid state ‘glass’ electrolytes that are said to enhance LiB energy and poswer density by a factor of ~2x while possibly also substituting cheap and abundant sodium for some or all of the lithium.

  32. This article touches on a point I consistently make as strongly as I can : technological advances
    in energy are moving in the direction of lower carbon, and this movement is motivated by economics, not from any fear of too much carbon in the atmosphere. Electric cars have only gotten a reputation as expensive because , at least in the recent past, their batteries cost so damn much. They also couldn’t be recharged quickly, which eliminated electrics from long distance trips. But batteries will continue their cost reductions and right now are close to being as practical as a gas powered vehicle, especially when one takes lower fuel and operating costs into account, not just the car’s sticker price. An electric vehicle is so much simpler mechanically that it has an inherent cost advantage, excepting its battery pack. And batery recharges in a travel situation, using supercharger stations, take less than half an hour to obtain 3 or 4 hours of travel on the highway.
    So, I like this article, but it may possibly be the most future energy technology ignorant article ever written. Looking to fusion as the future nuclear power is quite ridiculous when we have molten salt nuclear reactors in a dozen variations by a dozen companies and two countries (India and China) already passed the design stage and into the testing and in some case, about to begin the prototype stage, which would lead directly into commercialization. Make no mistake – this is NOT simply a theoretical, untested new way to extract energy from Uranium (or, alternately, from Thorium). Molten salt reactors have operated as experimental reactors since way back – half a century ago. The problem was always the inability to fit enough fuel in a space (the core) restricted by the use of carbon moderators ,and the corrosive effects of molten salt. The reactors simply couldn’t unlock enough nuclear enegy to drive the turbines, unless unacceptable high levels of enrichment were used. The advent of a variety of new designs using new materials and in some cases, new approaches, have all eliminated the obstacles and resulted in more than half a dozen molten salt reactor designs, all of which are well along in development, some practically ready for prototype construction (Moltex Energy) . These reactors share few of the characteristics of current light water nuclear reactors : meltdowns are quite impossible, since the uranium/Thorium is in a melted condition during normal operation and in any environment cooler than 450 degrees, will freeze and all fission will halt, without the need for any cooling system or human intervention. Operating in temperatures above normal will simply lead to lower fission activity and lower temps. In no cases in the system where radioactivity exists do high pressures exist. Only the turbine side of the system involves high pressures and that part of the system has no radiactive material. There is thus no means to blast any radioactive material into the environment . Of course any core material would immediately freeze upon leaving the reactor and any fission activity would halt. These reactors, obviously, do not have to contain high presures and are thus not the massive reactors we see in current reactors. They also have an ability to extract a larger percentage of energy from uranium fuel than current reactors, so can be powered by spent fuel (nuclear wastes ) , extracting roughly the same amount of energy that the reactor that contained the spent fuel extracted. These reactors are cheap to build, Moltex Energy hired expert cost estimators and they estimated that their design can be built for less than $2 per watt, and built in factories and with minimal site preparation costs, thus eliminating the causes of cost overruns prevalent in some current nuclear projects. Current nuclear projects have a wide variety of costs, the highest being typically in Western countries – a range of from $5 to $8 per watt would cover the majority, which is 2 1/2 to more than 4 times the cost of a molten salt reactor. They also cost less to operate, being walkaway safe and practically immune to terrorist attacks. Their lifespan would be on the order of 80 years, or 4 times that of solar panels and wind turbines. Levelized cost estimates indicate less than
    $40 per MWhr or less than 4 cents per kilowatthour. That’s the cheapest power available from any technology. They also, unlike currrent reactors, have the ability to ramp their power output up and down rapidly, eliminating the need for mid peak generators, typically always provided by fossil fueled generators. They are thus not limited to baseload operation, as are current nuclear reactors.
    Most designs do not need to be shut down for refueling, increasing their overall capacity. The biggest and most important and viable energy technology has been practically ignored by the self-appointed “experts” who only see current energy technology existing, essentially unchanged until the next century. Global warmists are motivated to be blind, since they practice what amounts to a
    religion, worshiping environmentally obnoxious (19th Century) windmill technology

  33. There is minimal proof that CO2 controls the climate — that’s why we don’t listen to the IPCC — if you listen, you are a fool.

  34. The IPCC was created and lead to create a problem for a solution . Handsomely paid for services rendered
    all for the cost of a ruined reputation . Who cares what they say .

  35. Since it has been a while since I posted, and since this post is dead on the money (except for being too pessimistic), I thought I’d post.

    We are already at the turning point at least as far as the US is concerned. We have hit the point where I can fully solarize one of my houses — 30 to 45 KW-hours worth of batteries, 10 KW of rooftop solar capacity — for a price that I can amortize in less than a decade and dropping like a rock. Most of that “price” I can pay off with what I don’t pay for electrical power from the grid — this is very close to zero actual out of pocket expense with self-funding borrowed money, and with at least half of the useful service life of the installation after the loan is fully paid off.

    This isn’t going to stop here — Swanson’s Law (somebody actually named this — we were talking about it on WUWT years ago as a variant of Moore’s Law) doesn’t just “stop”, cell prices per watt continue to drop and Perovskites may cause them to drop “through the floor”. If not perovskites, perhaps some other novel technology. There is a lot of research, rich payoffs, and technology here was NEVER going to sit still. Battery technology has finally turned the corner to where a ton or so of lead-acid batteries is no longer the only way to go for full off-grid installations, and IT isn’t finished yet. Not by a long shot.

    In three years, installing rooftop off-grid solar (not necessarily from Musk’s overpriced plant) is going to be an increasingly standard feature of new housing. Cost will be wrapped into mortgage, with the house advertised as zero energy cost forever (not really, but certainly very low if one simply gradually maintains the initial system). By 2025, electrical utilities will start feeling the “burn” as the demand for their product actively decreases. Well before 2030, this will reach crisis proportions UNLESS fusion happens first and rolls in cheaper than solar plus storage.

    Note well that this won’t be driven by saving the world from Evil CO2 (whether or not CO2 is evil or the best thing every to happen to the planet, not an argument I care to get into today as it is likely a bit of both of one isn’t engaging in politics or trying to make money). It will happen because people will make free-market choices without any extrinsic incentive required to SAVE MONEY by going with the cheapest energy resource. Yay capitalism. Technology plus freedom wins again.

    In the end, even RCP 2.5 may end up being pessimistic. If it isn’t, it isn’t going to be because of the US, or Europe, or China, or India — even poor countries will want to install the cheapest available power resources, and that is going to be solar almost without exception everywhere within maybe 50 degrees of the equator. My crystal ball doesn’t predict what we’ll do north/south of that, nor precisely how or even if we provide bridge power for when the sun doesn’t shine (enough) for an extended period of time, but I’m pretty confident that we’ll simply rebuild the distribution grid if we HAVEN’T got fusion by then so that the tropics can provide energy to the polar regions and simultaneously provide continent spanning bridge grids that almost never rely on fuel.

    This whole debacle was, it is quite true, never about the science as much as it was about the money, but at the same time, the monetary cost of burning coal for fuel was always going to end up being the highest in the long run, both extrinsic AND intrinsic. It has been “dumb” to burn a scarce feedstock resource for heat for decades at this point, and it has been “smart” to be working on alternatives for decades as well. And we have. And it is about to pay off.

    rgb

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