Vox: “Many technologies needed to solve the climate crisis are nowhere near ready”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Vox author David Roberts starts well by pointing out renewable energy is not ready to power the world, and makes a passionate argument for increased funding of renewable energy innovation. But like a lot of greens, he completely ignores the nuclear option.

Many technologies needed to solve the climate crisis are nowhere near ready

Getting to net-zero carbon emissions will require rapid, radical innovation, a new report says.

By David Roberts @drvox david@vox.com  Jul 14, 2020, 9:30am EDT

Reaching global net-zero is necessary to stabilize the atmosphere at any temperature. Otherwise, it continues warming. “The difference between one and a half degrees, two degrees, and two and a half degrees [of warming] is functionally just the amount of time you have to achieve net zero,” says Julio Friedmann, an energy researcher at the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Failing to reach net zero means failing to stabilize the atmosphere.

From an engineering perspective, the central question is whether the tools available are up to the task required of them.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has recently set out to answer that question, under the rubric of its Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) program, which this month issued its latest Clean Energy Innovation report.

Many technologies that will be needed for deep decarbonization are nowhere near ready

The IEA begins by determining how ready current clean energy technologies are to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), which would reach global net-zero emissions by 2070 and stabilize global temperature rise at 1.8°C (along with meeting several other sustainable development goals). 

In the energy sector, IEA identifies four key approaches to decarbonization that are lagging technologically:

  1. Electrification of end uses, particularly heating and transportation
  2. Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS)
  3. Low-carbon hydrogen and hydrogen fuels
  4. Bioenergy

Within those four approaches, IEA assesses more than 400 separate technologies. What is remarkable, and disheartening, is how few of them are on track to meet the SDS goals.

Read more: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2020/7/14/21319678/climate-change-renewable-energy-technology-innovation-net-zero-emissions

Disappointingly, the IEA executive summary does not mention nuclear power either, though nuclear energy receives several positive mentions in the main body of the report (available via the executive summary).

If climate change is such a desperate emergency, we haven’t got time to mess about with moonshots and high risk innovation gambles. We need to focus on a 1970s solution we know will work, not a 2070s solution which has not been developed yet, and which might never realise the hopes of proponents.

Going nuclear unequivocally works, because it has already been done. France proved in the 1970s you can convert from coal to nuclear. France has a good safety record, and they still get most of their energy from nuclear power plants.

Just copying the 1970s French nuclear programme worldwide, putting surviving 1970s French engineers in charge of a global nuclear mass production programme, going nuclear would knock at least 30% off global CO2 emissions in as little as one to two decades – far more than has been achieved by almost half a century of renewable energy efforts.

Even if you don’t understand climate science, or if you believe global warming is a major threat to the future of mankind, the widespread lack of climate activist enthusiasm for nuclear energy is the point where green arguments blatantly stop making sense.

A switch to nuclear energy would not have to be permanent. Even if the end goal is still renewable energy, going nuclear would buy the world the lifetime of the new nuclear plants, 50 – 90 years of ultra low CO2 emissions, loads of extra time to develop all those experimental renewable energy technologies.

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Ron Long
July 14, 2020 6:09 pm

Looks like the Greenies can’t get Jane Fonda and the “China Syndrome” out of their minds. Three Mile Island was close to a non-event but coincided with the movie, both in 1979, and they fed off each other. Going nuclear is such an obvious answer to both sides of the energy issue, what a shame it won’t happen. Burn cow stuff! That’s the answer.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Ron Long
July 14, 2020 8:50 pm

Interesting that no-one died from the TMI event and there was little if no radiation leaks. The sister plant on the same site ran until the mid-late 80’s without a single issue.

IIRC, the TMI incident boiled down to a warning light in the control room not accurately reflecting the actual physical state of a valve where the warning light was off, ie, valve closed when it was actually physically open.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 15, 2020 5:06 am

Mid-late 80’s?! Three Mile Island Unit 1 shut down last year.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Brian
July 15, 2020 10:19 pm

Really? I thought it was earlier than that…late 80’s was a bit early I guess…but goes to show how safe the plant actually was.

Reply to  Ron Long
July 15, 2020 11:39 am

Even in the movie, the worst case scenario happened, and the plant shut itself down automatically. Nothing bad happened.

Reply to  Ron Long
July 15, 2020 4:24 pm

According to many people who believe the AGW-story, we need to eat less meat. This means fewer cows, so not enough cow stuff to burn. Sorry. 🙂

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Ron Long
July 16, 2020 8:35 pm

What6 it really shows is their loyalty to Soviet Disinformation Campaigns even 30 years after the Soviet Union collapsed.

J Mac
July 14, 2020 6:11 pm

What ‘Climate Crisis’?
Please don’t encourage these baseless delusions anymore. It isn’t healthy…. for anyone.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 14, 2020 8:02 pm

I KNOW climate crisis is nonsense.

I also know that no weather dependent electricity generator is “renewable”.

Why do so many people misuse the English language with such gay abandon! In what sense are weather dependent generators able to be renewed? Describing such things as “renewable”, without qualification, continues the deception.

Reply to  RickWill
July 14, 2020 9:15 pm

We’re in a transverse state from normal. The drivers are renewable, the technology is disposable, Green is a blight on the ecology, and, as you noted, cannot be readily isolated from the environment, let alone made reliable, without significant investment in low-density, often toxic technologies, or hydrocarbon alternatives, motivated by renewable greenbacks, and its normalization through an oh so green consensus and political myths.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  RickWill
July 15, 2020 4:17 am

Actually, woody biomass is renewable- where the wood comes from well managed forests- and that wood is only the low value would with no markets- and that by removing that wood and using in a power plant helps improve the forests. The potential is not large of course- but it’s a contribution to reducing fossil fuel use- if in fact that’s a problem- which I don’t think it is- but even if it isn’t- improving the forests this way is a good thing. Unfortunately, there are people out there determined to stop the use of woody biomass as an energy source. The most fanatic woody biomass haters are in Massachusetts where they’ve succeeded in stopping the construction of biomass power plants and even pellet factories (for home and industrial use). But pellet stoves are popular in this state- and all the pellets have to be imported from great distances.

Reply to  RickWill
July 15, 2020 11:28 am

It is the same with “Organic”. I have never seen an “Inorganic” tomato/cabbage/banana etc but I keep being told to buy “Organic”. Bastardisation of the language. Hate it!

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  Greytide
July 16, 2020 12:06 am

Even more so is “organic water”. Now that takes some beating!

M Seward
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 1:51 am

“the widespread lack of climate activist enthusiasm for nuclear energy is the point where green arguments blatantly stop making sense”

More to the point is it is proof that so many of the loudest and most strident climate activists are just fundamentalist zealots who pay no attention in any quantitative way to the applicable science or economics. How you get through to such people I just do not know. It seems to be that to them ‘carbon’ is some sort of toxic, satannic material and is all but pure evil.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 5:10 am

I’m reading “How to Have Impossible Conversations” which appears to be a pretty good blueprint for talking to people whose world view isn’t like one’s own, with many useful techniques for helping seed doubt in non-factual positions.

Useful for conversations with alarmists, and other non-factually motivated people.

Reply to  Martin
July 15, 2020 11:04 am

Martin, thanks for sharing the reference! I’ve needed a book like that for a long time!

Reply to  J Mac
July 15, 2020 1:37 pm

J Mac
There is so a climate crisis.

It is coming in 100 years.

It was coming in 100 years when you were born.

It will still be coming in 100 years when you die.

In 100 years it will still be coming in 100 years.

This is based on my 23 years of climate science study, although I came to that conclusion in 14 minutes.

Reply to  J Mac
July 15, 2020 4:20 pm

If it is such a crisis why is Cjina building coal plants?

Jim Gorman
July 14, 2020 6:16 pm

Nuclear power ->> Possible Radiation ->>Precautionary Principle ->> Fail

You’ll never convince a green that Nuclear Armageddon won’t occur.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 14, 2020 6:56 pm

Michael Moore might spark some ideas about renewable technology that was used in the past, mainly for lighting…whale oil.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 14, 2020 8:07 pm

Yes, there are limited natural resources. Apple would go through a lot of ivory making their iphones.

Via liposuction, though, overweight people of Detroit could probably fuel all of Michigan for a couple of years.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 5:30 am

My friend Peter Bocking once said that if Al Gore’s hair caught on fire it would supply a small English village with enough heat and light to suffice.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 8:31 am

A Modest Proposal?

Old Ranga from Oz
Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 14, 2020 11:26 pm

But you can point them to the international deaths per KWH over the last 50 years for the various forms of energy. Coal has the most, but nuclear energy has next to none.

Reply to  Old Ranga from Oz
July 15, 2020 11:42 am

Over the last 50 years, coal may have more, but wind is catching up rapidly.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Jim Gorman
July 14, 2020 11:57 pm


What is the difference between radioactive waste and ex-windfarm blades?


Radioactive waste has a half life.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
July 15, 2020 11:43 am

Radioactive waste can be reprocessed and made useful.
Used windmill blades … not so much.

July 14, 2020 6:16 pm

“David Roberts starts well by pointing out renewable energy is not ready to power the world”

But the Earth Institute at Columbia University wrote a book saying that the Renewable versus Fossil Fuel game is over. Renewable won.


Phil Salmon
Reply to  Chaamjamal
July 14, 2020 10:39 pm

Why recycle that delirious cocaine-fuelled garbage from Columbia? You know it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.

Another Ian
Reply to  Chaamjamal
July 15, 2020 1:45 am

This bloke had a word or three on that too

“Stanford prof ordered to pay legal fees after dropping $10 million defamation case against another scientist”


Lance Flake
July 14, 2020 6:17 pm

I agree nuclear is the answer but certainly not 1970’s fission reactors. Today we have modern fission reactors with much better safety features and better cost/benefit ratios. Very soon we could have failsafe molten salt reactors. If the government spent all their BS climate scare funds on “made in America” production-ready molten salt reactor development we wouldn’t have to put up with so-called renewables being forced upon us by clueless politicians.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 9:47 am

Liquid sodium reactors that are already in service in Russia:

Crispin in Waterloo
July 14, 2020 6:21 pm

Supporting nuclear, here is a new record for North America in power plant operation.


Makes a lot of sense.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
July 15, 2020 12:53 am

Crispin , I looked at your link and also saw a note about EDF increasing its nuclear energy output as Covid lockdown eases. The sentence that struck me almost , but obviously not quite , speechless was this:

-“EDF operates 56 reactors at 18 sites in France, with a combined generating capacity of 61,370 MWe. Nuclear currently accounts for almost 75% of the country’s electricity production.”-

I knew of the French dream combination , on both EROI and environmental grounds of almost 100% nuclear + hydro , but 56 reactors? Was it DeGaulle’s initiative basically?
And Macron wants to close them down and replace them with windmills!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  mikewaite
July 15, 2020 5:43 am

“And Macron wants to close them down and replace them with windmills!”

Talk about stupid! France has its CO2 “problem” already solved and Macron wants to shut down the nuclear reactors.

French voters need to find themselves a French Trump, and throw Macron out on his ear.

Reply to  mikewaite
July 15, 2020 9:58 am

Shut down nuclear in France? The first modern French nuclear power station at Fessenheim was just forced to close this week for purely political reasons.

The reasons had nothing to with plant safety and everything to do with 1. its proximity to the German border, and 2. this was the price extracted from the French Green Party for supporting Macron’s government.

July 14, 2020 6:22 pm

If you start debating he didn’t include nuclear power or this or that you already totally handed the argument to him , as if it was given there is the crisis needed solving. better argue there is no crisis to start with and point out how it’s all made up

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 5:45 am

Lost opportunity costs compound. Oh how wasteful these renewable advocates have become; their shame will persist.

Michael S. Kelly
July 14, 2020 6:29 pm

“Even if the end goal is still renewable energy…”

Yes, it is, and has been since the “energy crisis” of the 1970s, when the alleged “fear” was running out of fossil fuels. At that time, solar was the only “renewable” (not a common term back then), and the only future energy source endorsed by “greens.” They were virulently anti-nuclear back then, and used the supposed safety advantages and “free fuel” of solar to trash nuclear.

But what was the motivation? Was it to have a source of abundant, safe, low-cost energy? When cold fusion made its initial splash, the supporters of solar energy came out of the woodwork in force.

“For one thing, they say, even if desktop fusion really works–a matter still very much up in the air–it is unclear that the power produced will be as cheap or clean as many have suggested it might be. And even if it were, given society’s dismal record in managing technology, the prospect of cheap, inexhaustible power from fusion is “like giving a machine gun to an idiot child,” Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich says.

“Laments Washington-based author-activist Jeremy Rifkin, “It’s the worst thing that could happen to our planet.

“Inexhaustible power, he argues, only gives man an infinite ability to exhaust the planet’s resources, to destroy its fragile balance and create unimaginable human and industrial waste.” (https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1989-04-19-vw-2042-story.html)

These people are opposed to human beings having access to cheap, clean energy. They knew that solar could never supply an industrial civilization, and showed their colors when the possibility of clean, cheap fusion suddenly appeared. They were opposed because they didn’t want humans to have such energy sources.

They are fundamentally opposed to human life. There’s no guesswork, here. They have been stating their position for decades, and it is only the refusal to acknowledge the existence of such evil that keeps us having a “debate” with them on the specifics of energy sources. We should be having a debate on their premise that furthering human welfare is evil. If we can’t win that one, we deserve the demise of humanity they so fervently desire.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
July 14, 2020 6:44 pm

It’s just another death cult.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
July 14, 2020 9:04 pm


July 14, 2020 6:40 pm

What ‘climate crisis’ is that? I can only see a Covid-19 crisis going on out there at present.

July 14, 2020 6:42 pm

I’m not quite sure why nuclear holds climate “skeptics” in such thrall. It is the most heavily subsidised power of all. As for molten salt being “inherently safe”- that laughable claim has been made about a variety of fission reactors since the 1950’s- none of them were.

I know this information is unpopular- but for most of the world, the cheapest form of energy is wind/solar. Even firmed with a combination of batteries for short term fluctuations, and hydro for longer, it is still cheaper than all but the filthiest coal plants. Nuclear is now only built with heavy govt subsidies and always manages to be at least 100% over budget, and years late. And this is the energy plants you would like to build to replace, presumably, coal and gas. And you wonder why “skeptics” aren’t taken seriously, by anyone but the Murdoch/fringe media.

Phil Salmon
Reply to  Tony
July 14, 2020 10:27 pm

I’m not quite sure why wind/solar holds anyone in such thrall. These low density “power” sources occupy 1000 x more land surface than fossil or nuclear alternatives. We like fossil and nuclear because we want to live on a planet possessing at least some remaining forest and wilderness.

By paving over all remaining forest and wilderness for wind and solar, decimating the earth’s green area and leaf surface, you will cause your prophecy of ecosphere collapse to be self-fulfilling.

For every thousand square miles of wild space lost to wind and solar, an equal area is destroyed and dug up to mine all the minerals and rare earth metals needed to fuel these destructive fantasies.

And what do you get in exchange for destroyed earth and extincted birds and bats? Intermittent and unreliable “energy” taking a hundred times more energy to build than it will ever deliver, and requiring battery technologies that are even more environmentally destructive than wind/solar. Battery technology which is another green fairy tale and won’t deliver a fraction of the needed power reserves, but will only succeed further in making prophecies of environmental destruction self-fulfilling.

Is destroying the earth the only way to save it Tony? Enjoy the smell of napalm in the morning?

Another Ian
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 1:48 am

Presumably that is %?

Reply to  Phil Salmon
July 15, 2020 2:17 am

All very true and the people pushing this scam know it too but they don’t care. When the penny finally drops they’ll walk away with their millions in the bank and move on to the next scam.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Phil Salmon
July 15, 2020 4:26 am

“These low density “power” sources occupy 1000 x more land surface than fossil or nuclear alternatives. We like fossil and nuclear because we want to live on a planet possessing at least some remaining forest and wilderness.”

Exactly. Here in Massachusetts- about 8,000 acres of forests have been leveled for solar “farms” in just the past 5 years. When a few of us complain that this ecological damage should be counted as an externality- we are ignored. The environmental groups don’t seem to mind the total destruction of these forests- yet, as a professional forester, if I managed a timber sale- these groups have to watch evre so carefully- along with the government agencies they’ve sponsored- to make sure no damage will result. But when my timber sales are complete, the forests are actually improved- they not only make money for the owner and me and some loggers and sawmills- but the forests look great. But we are considered destructive while the solar farm builders are idolized for saving the planet.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 15, 2020 11:52 am

The same people who have fits over strip mining, even though the land will be reclaimed once the coal is removed, have no problem with much more land being permanently scared by wind and solar power.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 15, 2020 4:44 pm


You have my thanks and admiration for the work that you do.
Properly managed forests are the most ecologically diverse
Mulholland, P 1980. A study of the cycle of regeneration in the beech dominated woodlands of Epping Forest, Essex using a Markovian matrix analysis. Thesis (M.Sc.)–University of London.

Reply to  Tony
July 15, 2020 2:19 am

I was amused by ‘firmed’ with a few batteries.

La la la how cheerfully we skip into the future.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Tony
July 15, 2020 2:35 am

Tony, this is wonderful news that the cheapest form of energy is wind and solar. This means that all subsidies for wind and solar can be cancelled with immediate effect.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Tony
July 15, 2020 3:33 am

Tony, I have attached an article demonstrating that the more wind and solar capacity that a country installs, the higher the price of electricity.


Serge Wright
Reply to  Tony
July 15, 2020 5:21 am

” the cheapest form of energy is wind/solar”

The developing countries disagree and they are the ones that have driven up all of the CO2 emissions increase since 1980. They have a little clause in their climate agreement with the UN that allows them to prioritise economic development ahead of emissions reduction and it’s no surprise that emissions rose faster after the 1992 climate agreement was signed and then at the fastest rate in human history for the 10 years after Kyoto was enforced for the developed countries, in 2005. The point here is that the UN climate convention agreements were set up to increase emissions by giving a free pass to developing countries, that now make up 2/3 of all human emissions and rising, because it forced stable energy efficient industry to be offshored to developing countries that have both inefficient generation and industry. Essentially, if the UN thought that CO2 was a problem then it would have included the developing countries in the climate agreements from the start, so as to force them to grow their economies on what you describe as the “cheapest form of energy”, rather than a rush for coal. And when you further consider that RE needs to sit beside 100% fossil/nuclear/hydro sources for backup, perhaps it’s worth admitting that those developing countries are not so stupid and that just perhaps the entire CO2 thing is a big scam to transfer wealth. Certainly, that’s what the UN seems to think because they have no plans to restrict emissions from developing counties whatsoever, but lots of plans to try and force more industry and fines from the developed countries that have had stable emissions for over 40 years and they know this will drive up global emissions even faster.

Reply to  Tony
July 15, 2020 8:34 am

Tony sez:
I’m not quite sure why nuclear holds climate “skeptics” in such thrall.

Should be obvious. Nuclear power uses “fuel” that will be available for many centuries (longer if breeding is employed). Its “footprint” is far smaller than primitive & low-energy-density solar & wind. Biggest reason, of course, is that it isn’t WEATHER DEPENDENT.

Easily understandable.

Reply to  Tony
July 15, 2020 11:48 am

Most heavily subsidized of all?
Why is it when a warmista speaks, he can never get even the most basic of facts right.

On a per KW basis, the subsidies for wind and solar are thousands of times higher than any other form of electricity.

July 14, 2020 6:52 pm

That “increased funding” wouldn’t involve looting law-abiding people to support your fantasies, would it?

“What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue.” – Thomas Paine

July 14, 2020 6:55 pm

I doubt the oil industry is funding the green movement to bring in nuclear power.

July 14, 2020 7:02 pm


Once again we have this asinine belief that the CO2 is the climate control knob, and nothing else matters. Surely if these luvvies really do believe that, then a rapid uptake of nuclear would be their first response, rather than a reliance on untested or disproven technology, or indeed, yet to be invented technologies.
If we explore the potential motivations in this consistent anti-nuclear stance, it would be fair to point out the real concerns around safety. Of course, the luvvies rhetoric around the dangers of climate change (millions dead etc etc) would imply that they should welcome the lesser of two “evils”. So, if we strike “safety” off the list, what remains?. Two options appear possible, one where they are literally useful idiots for a range of financial institutions and other rent seekers that have a vested interest in funding renewables and infrastructure. This seems to lose some plausibility when you consider that any such investments are captive to the stroke of a legislative pen for their profitability, and most financial institutions are loathe to invest in sectors with a high sovereign risk. The other possibility is that they are again useful idiots, but in this case for a hard left faction that is fundamentally opposed to any kind of accommodation with existing industry. Their motivation is to tear down, so whatever is rebuilt on the ashes of the existing (fossil / nuclear fuel) economy is under their control. On a more discursive note, in essence, this is simply a continuation of the old communist dialectical materialism (courtesy of Marx and Engels) where they seek to control real world conditions to effect societal change. Unfortunately, in every case where the left have gained control of the means of production the body count has been enormous – perhaps 60m in Russia, and possibly 100m in China. Do we expect anything different if the Long March of the Watermelons is successful?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 6:00 am

“If the nuclear industry at the dawn of the nuclear age had focussed on small cheap self regulating modular reactors which could say provide Smallville with an inexhaustible supply of cheap electricity, we wouldn’t be having this debate today.”

That did happen. The military has a lot of small nuclear reactors that have operated for many decades with no problems.

The Russians are currently building small reactors constructed on ships, for rent or sale. They tie up at your city dock and power your city.

If Amazon is getting completely off fossil fuels by 2040, as they claimed in a recent ad, then they ought to buy themselves enough small nuclear reactors to actually accomplish that goal of theirs. As it stands, they will be using electricity produced by fossil fuels, while claiming they are not.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon should go talk to someone producing small, conventional nuclear reactors and use them to power his business if he wants to be honest with his virtue signalling about CO2 and the Earth’s climate.

Matthew Schilling
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 15, 2020 10:50 am

Paranoia over nuclear is irrational. The US has safely operated dozens of nuclear power plants on and under the oceans for decades. Those nukes are operated by Twenty Somethings with basically two years of training.

Reply to  Matthew Schilling
July 15, 2020 11:13 am

It seems to go back to the new attitude that “EVERYTHING MUST BE SAFE” – absolutely zero risk is tolerated.

Michael Jankowski
July 14, 2020 7:22 pm

Well there is no solution without China, India, etc., in the first place.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
July 15, 2020 4:05 am

Sure there is. We do nothing.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
July 15, 2020 6:02 am

“Well there is no solution”

The CO2 problem doesn’t exist so there doesn’t need to be a solution.

Rick C PE
July 14, 2020 7:25 pm

“The difference between one and a half degrees, two degrees, and two and a half degrees [of warming] is functionally just the amount of time you have to achieve net zeroinsignificant and within the uncertainty of measurements.” – FIFY

But seriously anyone who talks about zero emissions energy production without mentioning nuclear is either disingenuous or ignorant.

Reply to  Rick C PE
July 15, 2020 11:55 am

2 and a half degrees barely gets us back to the levels of the Medieval Warm period, much less the Roman and Minoan warm periods, and still several degrees below the levels enjoyed during the Holocene Optimum.

July 14, 2020 7:36 pm

What do 100% of all UN members and the whole world’s academia have in common when it comes to global warming causing climate change? They are all blind to temperature, we calculate for it. In order for there to be man made global warming, we have to isolate the source of heat.

Anthony Watts demonstrated the cause when he wrote about weather station placement in urban areas. Urban heat islands are urban heat generators first. There are real reason for white washing buildings, using shade or low e exterior finishes. I was asked to co-present with Al Gore at GM Place in Vancouver on global warming but Al’s science on heat trapping emissions isn’t the problem. I have an electrical credential recognized across Canada for ALL electricity used and I have a separate Building Engineering background specific to construction from contracts to completion. Separate of that I have a 41 yr non invasive radiology background.

We imaged buildings in 7 provinces and 26 states specific to solar impact right after sunrise, Here are 2 time-lapsed infrared videos, 1 from outside the building, 1 from inside the building. These are not graphic, it is temperature and we have been within 1/10th of a degree measuring groundwater from a moving helicopter.

For those in this forum that want to argue or dismiss what I will represent, I want you to sit on a shingled roof on a sunny day. The second time-lapse video is 15 hours from inside the building, it is alarming to see the heat transfer inside the building through the framing.

The problem can and has to be fixed or the building will not comply with Building Code which means no lender, insurance or occupancy.


Larry in Texas
Reply to  Professor Curtis Bennett
July 14, 2020 10:19 pm

Very interesting. I would like to see or hear your ideas on how to reduce the effects shown in the video in a better way. Living in Texas, I know from my own experience as a construction law attorney, from exposure to/education by building engineers and architects, and from my knowledge about the “green building” movement (another pipe dream of sorts, sort of like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound), the larger the threshold differential between inside and outside temperatures is, the air conditioning has to work far too hard and is consequently (considerably) less efficient, creating problems like shortened life-cycles of equipment and other similar effects. So I understand that of which you speak.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Larry in Texas
July 15, 2020 6:12 am

Retrofitting buildings is part of the platform for Biden’s Green New Deal, so this subject will probably be under scrutiny in the near future.

I see where Joe Biden has just declared that the Earth has only nine more years to control CO2 before the Earth’s climate becomes uncontrollable.

Joe China just keeps getting more crazy and radical every day.

July 14, 2020 7:39 pm

Doh, no explanation necessary.

Joe Prins
July 14, 2020 7:43 pm

Two decades? We don’t have 2. According to different folks, we have 6 months or 5 years or till the year 2030. By that time the world will be past the tipping point. All these studies are just “weird” science.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joe Prins
July 15, 2020 6:14 am

Joe Biden said yesterday that we only have nine more years to avert CO2 catastrophy. So I guess nine years is now the official timeframe.

July 14, 2020 8:15 pm

Many technologies that will be needed for deep decarbonization are nowhere near ready.

There probably is a tipping point where the above realization will become the accepted norm. The truly clueless, who still insist we can get by with windmills and solar panels, will be ignored.

Michael Shellenburger’s Apocalypse Never is slowly disappearing beneath the waves.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243 in Books

Down from 93 a few days ago. link In a sense it doesn’t matter. It matters more that people are aware that it exists. Same for Moore’s Planet of the Humans. Most people can’t handle the gristly details anyway. Dim awareness will suffice such that when they are told we must go nuclear, they will pay attention.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
July 15, 2020 6:17 am

Michael Shellenburger made an appearance on the Fox News Channel last night.

July 14, 2020 8:27 pm

If we could de-couple the main contentious elements of the agw debate – anthropogenic CO2 and power generation solutions – we could let the former just keep running as an interesting academic debate that doesn’t cost standards of living, then we could rationally concentrate on installing the most effective low-cost technologies we can rely on.

Which just goes to highlight that the whole agw schtick is a purely political game.

William Astley
July 14, 2020 8:41 pm

The reason why we are not using nuclear power to power our countries… is the Pressure Water Reactor design is for fundamental engineering reasons which will never change…..

… too expensive and too dangerous. Which is odd as fission reactor do not need to be expensive, complicate, and inherently dangerous.

Roughly sixty years ago the US built and tested a super-efficient and safe by design (none of the dangerous PWR faults such as core meltdowns and hydrogen explosions), fission reactor design. The Oak Ridge liquid fuel fission reactor test has 100% successful and the test results were hidden.

A NASA engineer looking for an energy source for a moon colony heard of the Oak Ridge test and was able by tracking done some of the original test engineers and scientists to find the test data. He distributed the Oak Ridge Lab Liquid Fuel test to all government departments and nuclear agencies.

A US/Canadian Company, Terrestrial Energy, has copied and improved on the Oakridge Lab, fission reactor design.

The Liquid Fuel, no water, no fuel rod reactor design is from an engineering standpoint and from an equipment standpoint, astonishing simple and safe and cheap as compared to the Current Pressure Water Reactor design.

It does not need a containment building, as it operates at atmospheric pressure and has no catastrophic vectors.

It is safe because it does not have possible meltdown problems or a loss of coolant problem. It is walk away safe.

This is a video of a presentation of chief engineer, on the Terrestrial Integral Liquid Fuel reactor design and its progress in regulatory and approval for permits to construct.

It is six times more fuel efficient, it produces heat at 600C rather than 315C (Limitation of Water at 130 Atmospheres) which increases efficiency and enables this reactor design to be used in regions with low water flow for coolant.

The liquid fuel reactor vessel is unbelievable small and light, as it operates at atmospheric pressure. A Pressure water reactor, in comparison, is constructed of 10-inch-thick steel plate which requires very special equipment to bend and to weld as a PWR operates at 130 atmosphere.

Terrestrial Energy YouTube

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 15, 2020 3:13 am

Eric , worth looking at Terrestrial Energy’s website , not just for details of their technology and updates on progress but because they have a section called “ideas” which is a sort of blogsite with different contributers , not at all dogmatic for or against nuclear or other energy sources . For example there was one on the carbon footprint of hydrogen and the different methods of producing it. But the one that particularly caught my eye was called “sins of the fathers” , about the new coal plant in Germany Datteln4. Written by ( iI would guess from the name ) a Finnish contributer , its calm dscussion of where the new plant lies in the tangle of EU regulations and German Energiewende would make an interesting post for discussion here:

Reply to  William Astley
July 15, 2020 8:49 am

Great sales pitch.

I like the engineering approach. In this case, it’s way cheaper to build a component that has to be replaced every seven years than to try to build one that will last seventy years. Someone not paying attention would plod the more conventional path and their project wouldn’t get built because of cost.

William Astley
Reply to  commieBob
July 15, 2020 11:31 am

Yes. And logically as the liquid fuel reactor has none of the PWR risks and is six times more fuel efficient, 1/9 the amount of waste, and so on..

And the fact the liquid reactor vessel is just a pot with six 30 horsepower, screw type pumps, makes it ‘cheap’ and simple. That enables the liquid fuel reactor to be economically replaced every seven years when the graphite core wears out and starts to crack.

Replacing the graphite core is another option however it is complicated and the vessel is radioactive.

The liquid fuel fission reactor design is safe in that there is absolutely no opportunity for future maintenance and operational errors that could cause catastrophic risk to the public.

Replacing the liquid reactor vessel every 7 years ensures the reactor will always have the most updated technology and there is no future, hidden reactor dismantling costs.

The old liquid fuel reactor is drained and the drained used liquid fuel reactor vessel is a low radioactive risk. The liquid fuel reactors are small and can be trucked to site as one piece or in two pieces (if road weight access is limited) and assembled on site.

The old liquid fuel reactor is drained, after it sits for a couple of years to allow the most reactive byproducts to decay.

The liquid fuel reactor produces 1/9 the amount of long lived transuranium wastes, as compared to a PWR, because much more of fissionable material is consumed. It is six times more fuel efficient than a PWR.

The liquid fuel reactor is unbelievable better from every aspect than a pressure water reactor. There is no possible way a fuel rod, PWR reactor design can compete with a liquid fuel reactor.

Safety, costs, long term radioactive waste storage, and so on. The liquid fuel, integral reactor is a pot that is filled with fissionable material that has a melting point of 400C, a high temperature operating of 650C, and the boiling point of the liquid is 1400C.

The general public does not know there is almost no reactor construction business. The current nuclear ‘industry’ is the construction and engineering of the Pressure Water Reactor Fuel rods.

A complete replacement of all fuel rods in a typical pressure water reactor is believed to be in the order of $200 million. Uranium is cheap, fuel rods are not. There is no competition to control costs.

And the general public do not know that Pressure Water Reactors have typically around 50,000 fuel rods….

A third of which must be taken out and replaced every 2 1/2 years. Just before the fuel rod cracks and releases the dangerous radioactive noble gases in the fuel rod that has built up over the 2 1/2 years of operation.

After 3 mile island core melt down (half of the reactor core melted down and there was a small hydrogen explosion), the Democrats force. a PWR safety investigation. In some PWR reactors. they found 10% of the, thin wall, zirconium cladded, fuel rods had cracked. Now, with added regulations, every fuel rod is numbered and tracked for ever.

Radioactive noble gas leaking from fuel rods is not a problem for the Liquid fuel reactor, as the radioactive noble gases, float up to the vapour space at the top of the reactor, where they are removed: and placed in a thick wall vessel; which is then used to transport the radioactive gas for deep well disposal.

Changing fuel rods requires the reactor top to be taken off. There are 1000s of bolts and studs to remove and there is the possibility human of out of the box mistakes which the PWR reactor safety systems do not protect against.

One PWR reactor, months after fuel rod replacement started to have dangerous high pressure steam leak from the reactor top which required a emergency shutdown.

What had happened is the maintenance crew had used the incorrect tensile strength for the new studs which are replaced every time the reactor top is removed. Over time under great force the studs had stretched.

Another PWR reactor had a lid replacement. There was a material problem with the ‘new’ lid (they bought an old lid from an out of service reactor) and which created corrosion, on the lid, that was unnoticed until there as significant loss of structural strength of the lid.

A structure failure of a pressure water reactor results in loss of steam pressure which results in core melt down.

Another PWR reactor after replacement of the speciality low steam temperature pumps, almost had a melt down as equipment was left in some piping that blocked water flow in the PWR reactor.

The liquid fuel reactor has none of the above problems. The liquid fuel reactor is filled with fissionable material and then after 5 years is given a small injection of new melted fuel to finish its seven year cycle.

July 14, 2020 8:58 pm

Practical molten salt nuclear reactors are just around the corner and are everything that current nuclear power is not – inherently safe and inherenly cheap – and easilly produced in mass quantities . I orefer the Moltex Energy design but there are several that produce similkar cost structures – levelized power costs of 4 cents per kWhr. They can even load follow , eliminating most needs for peak auxilllery power generators.

Reply to  ColMosby
July 15, 2020 11:57 am

At least you are no longer claiming that it’s already here.

July 14, 2020 9:01 pm

Biden needs 2 trillion to save the earth, the greens need total domination over all of the non believers, and anybody with a degree needs £28474738283 in grant money to study something or anything regarding this planet, for example a rock on a beach 😐

July 14, 2020 9:25 pm

There is one more point about the Solar Issue which has not been mentioned! Of all the critical “Rare Earth” metals in production used today, with no increase in production of the solar and other sources needing them being taken into consideration of their availability should we (the USA) embark on a Solar Revolution in manufacturing; here is a 2019 article on who does have the production percentages currently! And it is not the USA at just 10% of the 2019 production in China! How much will we need to trulygo Solar?


Coeur de Lion
July 14, 2020 9:37 pm

But there’s no point in decarbonisation. So all the above discussion is pointless.

Phil Salmon
July 14, 2020 9:51 pm

Good argument.
Going nuclear is the only way the greens could show that their climate alarmism is not a total lie from start to finish.

Patrick MJD
July 14, 2020 9:55 pm

Fairy and Unicorn farts haven’t been discovered, seen or captured yet.

Larry in Texas
July 14, 2020 10:00 pm

“Failing to reach net zero means failing to stabilize the atmosphere.”

The stupidity of that statement is just mind=boggling. As if there has been ANY period in which the planet’s atmosphere is “stable.” And you had better hope that the atmosphere doesn’t become “stable,” Mr. Roberts. Because our weather, the rain (to assist the crop growth), the snow (to sometimes make water for drinking and other uses), the wind (which helps power those wind turbines you so hope to have provide all of our electricity, though such dreams are nothing but pipe-dreams), all depend upon some sort of instability and air mass movement in the atmosphere. Without our weather, we all WOULD die, there would be nothing to talk about otherwise.

Al Miller
July 14, 2020 10:11 pm

It’s not about climate (the useful idiots may continue to believe). If it was the nuclear option would be full on as the only viable option.Think! Time to fight this stupidity face to face.

July 14, 2020 10:36 pm

Small point: France did not really convert from coal to nuclear – it never had much coal to start with – de Gaulle’s nuclear revolution was more about insulating France from Arab oil price hikes. De Gaulle hated the Arabs.

Rod Evans
July 14, 2020 11:50 pm

I sense there is a growing realisation among us realists, that anything which helps man to be kind i.e more mankind, is rejected as anathema by the anti mankind Greens.
The issue ahead of us, is not a technical challenge, it is an ideological one.
We listen on a daily basis to the shrills mostly state funded, think national broadcasters, telling us CO2 is the number one threat to humanity. The evidence from biology and historic markers, such as ice cores etc, tell us the exact opposite. CO2 is not only essential for life but that we are at the bottom of the volume in the atmosphere needed, to ensure mankind and all life forms survive the next ice age.
We need to educate the upcoming generations about reality and stop the doom mongers pushing their false Co2 is bad meme.
When we stop people fighting invented imaginary enemies, then and only then will we have time and capacity to address the real enemies in society.
Poverty, hunger, injustice, unfairness and all the other scourges of society will not be resolved by removing Co2 producing energy systems. it is exactly the opposite.
Security of future generations (the ice age will come) will not be improved by dialling CO2 down to near extinction levels of sub 200 PPM. Sadly, that is the destination of the siren voices demanding not just net zero CO2, but atmospheric capture and sequestration of current CO2.
They have no care, about runaway CO2 sequestration projects being released into the environment? Anything, other than nuclear of course, that reduces CO2 production, or better still reduces CO2 in the atmosphere, is considered a good thing to these mankind eco system destroyers.
The evidence is coming in all around us .
More CO2 is good.
it is feeding the worlds eco system,s nourishing the planet and giving hope to poor farmers all across the world.
The next time you meet one of the Constantly Offended Green Socialists one of the COGS, simply ask them, what level of CO2 in the atmosphere is better, 200 PPM or 500 PPM. Then ask them to explain their answer.
Expect to receive an uneducated less than sensible response..

Reply to  Rod Evans
July 15, 2020 2:02 am

The echinococcae have voted en masse to reward those who have increased the CO2 content of the atmosphere. The plant kingdom supports this ‘carbon enriching’ initiative, the animal kingdom is coming along into agreement, the only exceptions being a few cats, who walk by themselves.

July 15, 2020 1:44 am

Renewables will never be able to supply power in the manner required for a modern society .
For some that is not a problem but a ‘advantage ‘ of this approach because they oppose that very society.

Bruce Cobb
July 15, 2020 2:59 am

We have seen this type of argument before, and it is just as wrong-headed now as it always was. And please, just stop with the “France did it” retardedness. It isn’t a rational argument. We aren’t France, and this isn’t the 70’s and 80’s.
The only reason we should consider nuclear is if it can provide us with reasonably affordable energy, not to placate the Greenies, or even to piss them off, because apparently it can do both. Meanwhile, the elephant in the room is coal, which I guess to the nuclear fanatics is a naughty word. They don’t even want to say it, let alone think about building modern-day, reliable, and affordable coal plants, along with gas of course.

July 15, 2020 3:01 am

CO2 levels were so low that the land plants were starving and heading for extinction, so they created humankind to save them.
(Where do you think fruit comes from and why?)
This is just as good as any other creation myth. /joke.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
July 15, 2020 3:50 am

Dontcha know Ma Gaia invented humans to save the whole biome by burning hydrocarbons ‘cuz her own way of producing CO2 from carbonates was not keeping up with her voracious constituents, the whole plant kingdom, which has conspired behind her back with the sun to sequester carbon?

There may be another explanation for humans
but you won’t get Ma Gaia to buy it; she’s been worrying about dropping atmospheric CO2 for a long time.

Reply to  kim
July 15, 2020 4:10 am

This conspiracy of the plants and the sun to almost irreversibly sequester carbon as carbonates will ultimately succeed unless the human race succeeds in keeping its eye on the ball, that is our most fundamental duty, to enrich the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.

How are we doing at this duty? Surprisingly well and the plant kingdom is flourishing.

But there are those who would have us shirk our duty; they lie and are deplored by every living plant. I mean it gets quite vicious; you should read a little on their chatboards.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
July 15, 2020 9:16 am

Actually, we’re here to increase the entropy of the universe.

July 15, 2020 3:38 am

Government funding is not efficient.

Any solution must be from free market with no tax breaks or subsidies.

If renewable energy then succeeds I’m all for it, but presently it cannot compete. If it could compete it would already be everywhere and no new ng plants or coal plants would be built.

Gordon Hughes
July 15, 2020 4:33 am

Please look beyond the US and (perhaps) Europe. There will be large amounts of nuclear power in future – primarily in China and perhaps India – supplementing or replacing coal generation. If you look both around the world and in the US/Europe, nuclear with current technology requires very large utilities with the capacity to build and manage many (20-30 or more) units. Apart from EDF there were none operating on that scale in most of the world. Utilities operating small numbers of nuclear units – US, Japan, Germany, UK, Canada, etc – were usually inefficient at either building or incompetent in operating them.
The nemesis of nuclear power in most of the world was not renewables but gas. CCGTs are cheap to build with short lead times and flexible in operation. It is only countries with very limited gas resources that will contemplate nuclear on a large scale. If nuclear power is to have any future it has be small modular units that can be run in a relatively flexible regime and can be built with shortish lead times. That is the gap that gas plants have filled and the only option for nuclear is to adjust to meet the same requirements.
Advocates of nuclear power seem to spend more time arguing with each other about the “best” technology, rather than responding to the economic incentives and power system requirements for middle and income countries around the world.

Tom Abbott
July 15, 2020 5:31 am

From the article: “Reaching global net-zero is necessary to stabilize the atmosphere at any temperature. Otherwise, it continues warming.”

That is an unsubstantiated assertion presented as fact.

Alarmists have a very bad habit of doing this. I think just about 100 percent of Alarmists are guilty of believing in this kind of distortion of reality. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be Alarmists.

July 15, 2020 7:46 am

Another thing about nukes … once you own one your fuel costs become insignificant. Its all about the cost of capital. So you can waste energy all you want. Without emitting CO2, I might add.

July 15, 2020 8:16 am

I am sure there is a power source that does not require work and an opponent can be defeated by shadow boxing. It’s all in the footwork. So dazzle the way into a pure world where nothing changes and the biological world dies from homeostasis.

July 15, 2020 4:33 pm

“Carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS)”

Why do green agree to store carbon (I guess they actually mean CO2), but they do not like nuclear energy because of nuclear waste. No matter how long you store CO2, it will not change into another substance. It stays the same forever. Its ability to heat the planet does not change. You have to make sure that it storage place will store it tightly forever. Nuclear waste does change over time. Okay, it is a long time, but in the end the waste is not as dangerous as when it came out of the reactor.

July 15, 2020 11:14 pm

You say “renewable energy is not ready”.
What is “renewable” about it?

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