By Robert Bradley Jr. — February 18, 2022
“Let’s be clear: the frequent comparison of the fossil fuel and tobacco industries is nonsense. Fossil fuels are a valuable energy source that has done yeomen service for humankind.” – James Hansen, June 1, 2021
Part of the retreat of the climate alarmists/forced energy transformationists is conceding that carbon-based mineral energies have been a key, wondrous factor in human progress. BUT, it is contended, the party cannot go on….
James Hansen knows energy well enough to know what many climate alarmists/forced energy transformationists do not: it is dense mineral energy or bust. And thus he is all-in with uranium/nuclear power. Wind and solar, being dilute and intermittent, are not up for the job, he has concluded.
“Let’s be clear,” James Hansen writes in “Fighting the Battles, Winning the War.”
… the frequent comparison of the fossil fuel and tobacco industries is nonsense. Fossil fuels are a valuable energy source that has done yeomen service for humankind…. Fossil fuels raised living standards in much of the world.
He understands energy density in this regard:
One gallon (3.7 liters) of gasoline (petrol) contains the equivalent of 400 hours of labor by a healthy adult.
Hansen explained elsewhere:
Fossil fuels are very convenient, that’s why we use them, that’s how the world moved out of the Middle Ages. I mean, we discovered this amazingly condensed energy that we could burn and every person now has the equivalent of a couple of dozens slaves, that’s how they can drive their vehicles, and can have this energy in their homes, and it raised the standard of living. But it’s come at a cost and we’d like to have an energy without the cost. And that requires making that dirty energies more expensive.
But he is not to be deterred from his current doom view:
But we now understand that fossil fuel use comes with an unacceptable cost for young people and future generations.
But with global lukewarming and a nod toward the manifold benefits of CO2 enrichment, this scare can be moderated. Stay tuned on this one, as the father of the climate alarm, has been retreating a bit even on the science.
James is good at flaming the cost of fossil fuels, but delinquent at voicing the benefits of more CO2 … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y6BBYI9XI0
Happer does a great job in his explanations but unfortunately Kernen kept talking over him. The other young hosts were pretty much useless with their stupid questions like “then why does this (climate change message) keep getting repeated and repeated?”
Our educational systems have failed us when people cannot recognize propaganda.
That’s a feature, not a glitch. Educated into imbecility.
But we have the most well educated imbeciles on the planet!
Massachusetts prides itself on having the first public schools in America and now it has a huge array of universities- the elite of the elite- yet it’s now at least as fanatic as CA and Germany with its own net zero by ’50 law on the books. But it has no idea on how to arrive at net zero nirvana.
As for Germany- I read once that during the 1930s, it had the best educated people on the planet- yet look how it f****d up. I just saw a YouTube video that said the Greens have control of foreign and energy policy in Germany and so far, Germany is doing little to help Ukraine and so far it’s not willing to say it’ll stop the new gas pipe from Russia- when they should be saying Germany will stop all importing of energy from Russia and reopen its nuclear reactors or if that’s not possible, at least it’ll stop closing its remaining reactors- and/or in some way show some balls. I think Russia will pay more attention to what Germany says than any other nation. It’s time for the Greens to lose their power over German foreign policy and energy policy.
Why Germany won’t help Ukraine
Finland was attacked by Stalin before WW2 ….the Finns made the Russians pay too high a price…Ukraine and allies must make it too expensive for Putin.
Gee, those darn Rooskies sure seem touchy about people threatening to embargo their gas exports and expand an adversarial military alliance up to their border. /sarc
Seriously, unless you’re dying to pay at least twice as much for energy in the very near future, you might want to give some thought to what Brandon and his neocon allies are actually up to.
It is more like a Global insurance advertisement of their brand new luxurious Ruski
“Hotel California Paradise”.
(just throwing a penny in)
And the have the student loan debt to prove it!😁
By what imaginary metric?
The answer my friend is written on the wind…..there are people who want the narative of man made CO2 causes global warming to be true…Al Gore has made a fortune off it. How virtuous can you be?…saving the entire planet from Evil Man is max virtue.
for some it’s the money- for others it’s become their fanatic religion- I see it some people’s eyes when the talk about climate change- they look fearful and a bit crazed
It’s a shame that Hansen didn’t acknowledge the part played by petroleum in reducing and then ending hunting whales for their blubber.
Technically, mineral usually refers to inorganic compositions. Bradley’s use of “carbon based mineral energies” seems a little archaic or off though I suppose for coal especially it might be a common usage.
Anyway, where does this figure of a gallon of gasoline being equivalent to 400 hours of labor come from? It seems a little subjective and the conversion of a gallon (U.S.) to liters is closer to 3.8 than 3.7.
The chemical heat energy content of 1 gallon of gasoline is 33.4 KW-H. 1 HP = 0.745 KW, so one HP in one hour is 0.745 KW-H. An adult human in good health is supposed to be able to sustain a power output of approx. 0.1 HP on an extended basis, to that equates to, on a per hour basis, the expenditure of 0.0745 KW-H of work. 33.4 divided by 0.0745 = 448.
So one gallon of gas burned equals the work output of about 448 humans for one hour, or say, 56 humans for 8 hours in a workday.
Either way, one hour or 8 hours or any other figure of time during which work is performed, one gallon of gasoline does a helluva lot of work in terms of chemical heat energy released during combustion.
However, since virtually all fossil fuels are burned in either thermal power plants or in internal combustion engines, where the efficiency of work delivered (i.e., at the wheels, or in KW-H of electrical energy generated) is only around 25% of the heat energy content of the fuel, that further reduces the effective work to the equivalent of 14 humans working a 8 hour day.
14:1 – That’s still a huge “work multiplier” for humans who have access to hydrocarbon fuels and machinery to convert the chemical energy to actual work.
Thanks. It would seem that Bradley is being a little naive in making this comparison.
Anyway, perhaps my definition of mineral is a little archaic. This site below defines “energy minerals” as “Energy minerals are used to produce electricity, fuel for transportation, heating for homes and offices and in the manufacture of plastics. Energy minerals include coal, oil, natural gas and uranium.”
Strictly speaking, uranium is not a mineral because it does not occur naturally in the elemental form. And, oil and natural gas are not crystalline.
And what about the efficiency of human power? I’m guessing that could vary considerably, depending on a whole host of factors, motivation being one. And in the case of government workers, chances are you are getting negative work actually performed.
Most of what passes for work today would not have been considered work a century or more ago.
40 years ago, my labor consisted of climbing stairs to the lab. I did carry a clipboard and bend to read gauges and meters.
Haha, as a classmate in my Thermodynamics course kept inquiring: “why is it minus the work?”. Eventually someone pointed out that he could simply rearrange the equation if it bothered him so much 🙂
Been there, done that, got the Club Fed T-shirt. Left in disgust.
Visitor: “How many people work here?” Manager: “Oh, about half of them.”
Visitor: “What do your people do here?” Manager: “Half of them sit there with their feet up on the desk. The other half stand there and talk with them.”
I wonder how many solar panels in northern Europe or the northern USA are needed for how many hours to equal “14 humans working a 8 hour day”?
The guaranteed output of 14 humans is 500W. Peak demand could be higher if the demand was variable.
The guaranteed output of solar panels is zero. So the humans win by a long margin – infinitely better.
Adding batteries could result in a guaranteed output for the solar panels. However it takes more energy to produce the solar panels and batteries then could ever produce reliably over their life – at least with current technology. So it is a losing endeavour.
You got it, coppertop.
Your efficiency numbers are at least 20 years out of date.
Modern cars get closer to 40% efficiency and modern power plants easily break 50% efficiency.
The human efficiency is lower than most internal combustion engines. Typically around 20% for someone in good shape.
If humans actually had to work to replace fossil fuels the demand for high energy foods would soar. Producing the food would be an enormous proportion of the human power output.
The BBC did a documentary in 2009 on 80 cyclists powering a small home. The scene when the male gets into the instantaneous heated shower had all 80 cyclists going as hard as they could to maintain the voltage. The relief when the shower was turned off is something I remember. It appears the video is no longer available but it was a great indicator of how we take power/energy for granted.
I believe an individual muscle contraction is highly efficient (it’s a kind of fuel cell), but as soon as it becomes anoxic the efficiency drops. Then when you include all the supporting infrastructure of the human body, the efficiency is poor compared to internal combustion engine.
Modern coal-fired power stations achieve efficiencies of 45% and more. Natural gas combined-cycle plants are well over 60% efficient
I have often observed that we, in the developed world, live better than the kings and emperors of yore.
Given that a human can sustain an energy output of about 0.1 horsepower, Mark J. Perry calculates that:
And, of course, because of technology, we can do many many things that those kings and emperors couldn’t.
By being born when and where we were, most of us have won first prize in the lottery of life. (Apologies to Cecil Rhodes)
For whatever reason, that reminds me that in the late 1800’s aluminum was used for making jewelry and the 100 ounce aluminum pyramid to be placed on top of the Washington monument was displayed as something very rare and valuable, and it was at the time.
Aluminum alloyed with gold produces a pink to purple alloy that has been used in jewelry.
I often thank all the various gods for being born in the mid-20th Century.
The conversion between oil and human energy is always going to be messy – 1Wh put into a computer will create a lot more value than the same energy put into a weed whacker.
But the basic idea is that a gallon of gas contains about 40kWh of energy. In most applications, 30% can be converted into useful output, so 12kWh of weed whacking services.
Humans in good health can output about 100W of labor continuously for about 12 hours a day. 1.2kWh.
One gallon of fuel in this comparison is worth about ten people-units of labor for one day. Of course, I’m ignoring the need to feed, clothe, and shelter them. Add those people inefficiencies in and maybe that reduces your effective people output to 300Wh per day and you’re at the claimed 40 people per gallon number.
Fun bicycle powered toaster to illustrate the point https://youtu.be/S4O5voOCqAQ
I’d be willing to bet that that athlete has used steroids at some point.
Germany is the reunited West and EAST Germany, so, probably a good bet.
When I go to the market I ask the clerk in the produce department where the inorganic vegetables are?
They don’t get it.
That is why they are working in a grocery store.
I gotta try that one. It should be fun to watch the wheels turn trying to figure that one out.
There are many minerals that contain carbon and are produced by organic processes, such as carbonates and oxalates. Bat and bird guano was formerly mined extensively for the nitrates that were essential for making energy producing explosives. While the strict classic definition of a mineral typically excludes chemicals that contain both carbon and hydrogen, it probably makes sense to include things that occur naturally and are found in the ground, even if they contain carbon and hydrogen.
How can we trust ANYTHING in dikiwiki? Have you read ANY of their definitions re ANY website aimed at Conservative thought?
James Hansen is all in for nuclear? That will get him outcast status from both sides. The fact he is right will be irrelevant to the CAGW crowd, and the fossil fuel crowd will not forget or forgive. Go Nuclear! for the big energy needs, and fossil fuel for the transportation.
It seems like a no-brainer.
The left adopts solutions that don’t work and when it becomes obvious that they will never work, they double down anyway. Take covid vaccines for instance.
The vaccine’s effectiveness fades with time. Each successive shot you get fades faster than the previous one, such that a second booster is almost pointless and, as far as I can tell, nobody is giving three boosters.
So, there’s no way we were going to vaccinate our way out of the pandemic. Omicron is the vaccine we failed to make. Bill Gates
Omicron is rescuing us from the pandemic in spite of the counterproductive policies of the left. The only thing that will rescue us from renewable energy is when people come to their senses. Good luck with that.
The left is incapable of even comprehending that they might be wrong. I blame their ‘superior’ education. Defund the universities.
See eugyppius <email@example.com> Why People Believe Wrong Things
Here’s a link that takes you directly to the essay.
Iain McGilchrist has a great deal to say about why our modern world is so prone to stupidity. Here’s a wonderful animation from ten years ago.
We have two brain hemispheres, left and right. The main difference between them is the way they attend to the world. The left pays sharply focused attention to details. The right pays broader attention to the surrounding environment. The left doesn’t do context. The left will believe anything as long as it isn’t obviously self-contradictory. The right hemisphere is the brain’s bs detector.
Our universities train us to use facts and logic to create convincing sounding bs from whole cloth. The left hemisphere is valorized and the right atrophies. For that reason, I advocate defunding the universities.
Here’s an interview where he points out, among many other things, that the prevailing mental modus operandi of the West closely mimics schizophrenia in that it has become disconnected from reality.
What a wonderful coincidence that the political left seems to think mostly with their left brains. They literally, not figuratively, are not in their right minds.
In the first part of his second book, The Matter With Things, McGilchrist spends a lot time describing what happens if people are deprived of the use of their right hemispheres. (through split brain operations or right hemisphere strokes) Among their problems is that they latch onto ideas, cling to them, can’t be made to see that they might be wrong, and suffer from unjustifiable optimism.
What’s germane here is that the above is a close description of the left advocating for renewable energy. Again, it’s literally, not just figuratively, pathological.
? ‘Actually’ vs ‘literally?.
They’re synonyms. link
When I call them insane, I mean it literally. I’m not doing it figuratively, as a figure of speech.
Literally gets misused a lot, but people still know the difference. The following is from the link:
as long as it isn’t obviously self-contradictory
I’m not convinced of that.
“The left is incapable of even comprehending that they might be wrong. I blame their ‘superior’ education. Defund the universities.”
Words don’t mean what they used to, so “being wrong” is a subjective tribal thing these days. Something that’s “right” is the way you would like something to be. That’s why the neo-left is totally convinced, for example, that John Cook’s and Oreskes’s 97% consensus is correct.
Yeah, defund the universities.
In my memory, Hansen has always supported nuclear as the solution. It’s just that he had to downpedal that to remain the darling of the Greens.
Yes, you are correct that he’s always been pro-nuclear. He was still a darling though, having “won” around $2 million in various climate “prizes” if my memory serves me correctly.
Well you have to read what he said in Berlin to get a full flavor.
Supporting nuclear is fine, but going against gas is just daft. He might know about physics but clearly has no idea how you can run an electricity network. A mixture of nuclear and unreliables is just not possible, you need mid-merit stations that can load follow quickly and for extended periods ( ie not batteries). If not coal then it has to be gas.
He’s been working on a new book- for years- it’s late. I was on his email list for awhile. He’d send out draft of each chapter for comments. Maybe it’s late because he’s rethinking much of it?
I’ll give Hansen his due. He may believe in more anthropogenic warming than me but at least he knows the Great Transition to solar and wind with batteries taking up the rear is bunkum. Which certainly makes him a heretic with his peers.
Yes he said this back in 2011
“Can renewable energies provide all of society,s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy”
‘Baby Lauren and the Kool Aid’ 2011
If they insist on talking about a trace gas essential to life on Earth as we know it in terms of a drug habit then inevitably there is the issue of slavery involved.
Scholars of recent history will know tobacco planters favoured a technique called “ganging”, where groups of eight to twelve slaves worked fields simultaneously under the supervision of a white superior or a tenured slave.
We can compare that to say, the Democratic Republic of Congo. About 40,000 children work in inhuman conditions in the artisanal mining of cobalt alone in the DRC, according to a 2016 report from Amnesty International.
“The 2011 Free the Slaves study on North Kivu finds that debt bondage is one of the most common forms of slavery in the mines.
Another form of slavery found in the DRC involves a corrupt, fake legal system that feeds workers into mines. Specifically, a traditional chief, policeman, local official, or member of a militia will arrest someone under false charges, with the aim of gaining control over him/her to exploit his or her labour.
Poverty and lack of access to schools make children particularly vulnerable to enslavement (Free the Slaves, 2011). They are often forced to work in mines…”
I have an efficient Fiat, yes it runs on petrol, but then no child was enslaved to make its production possible.
what’s a “tenured slave”? I thought they all had tenure as slaves for life.
Most, but some slaves were freed by their owners.
Remember indentured servants? In theory they could pay off their debt but were very often prevented from ever being able by incurring significant charges for food, clothing, housing, etc, (I owe my soul to the company store). A great many of these spent their lives in forced labor in the northern American colonies, after being rounded up and transported in order to get them out of English cities — not on their choice to seek a different life. Orphaned children were a prime target of such operations.
Black slaves generally had a similar legal route to liberty. They could legally earn money through use of their skills (if they had any) and put the earnings toward paying off their “debt” of transport but most never had any chance of actually doing so.
You’re serious- that black slaves could in theory purchase their freedom?
You really should learn actual history, not the Hollywood version of it.
Yes, some blacks were allowed to earn money, usually by working on Sundays, and they could use this money to purchase their freedom.
And then IIRC some of them became slave owners too
I think that’s bullshit. Prove it.
Is this sufficient, Joseph?
a few might have done it but I bet it was very, very, very few- and it wasn’t really their right- I bet if a slave told his “owner” that he had the money and wanted his freedom- he’d get a good whipping if not worse
I suggest this is just a theory by those who want to say “slavery wasn’t so bad- they could buy their freedom”. There are people out there who believe this- and who say, “many plantation owners were GOOD to their slaves”. Believing that is like believing there is a climate crisis.
You: You’re serious- that black slaves could in theory purchase their freedom?
MarkW: Yes, some blacks were allowed to earn money, usually by working on Sundays, and they could use this money to purchase their freedom.
You: I think that’s bullshit. Prove it.
Me: (provides evidence)
You: (dismissing the evidence) “I suggest this is just a theory by those who want to say “slavery wasn’t so bad- they could buy their freedom””
This is not good faith discussion, Joseph. Where did anybody claim that “slavery wasn’t so bad”? You disputed a statement of fact and were provided evidence, yet you continue to dispute it?
Describe the value of treating one’s draft animals inhumanely, Joseph.
In the USA, “tenured” means (in regard to our Universities) that one does No Work for the rest of their term in place.
Fret, be careful you don’t et trapped by another neo left putsch. Yes, during the Rawandan Tutsi massacre, Hutus enslaved Tutsis who knew how to mine (probably saving them from being murdered). Prior to that, they mined freely with their families.
In all of Africa and Latin America, wherever there is an area rich in minerals, you will find family mining and these people are significantly better off than those in agricultural or other areas. NGO socialsts hate mining of any kind and go out of there way to harass mining companies and accuse them of poisoning and ill treatment of locals.
A case in point is the mining of cobalt in DRC. You never hear about the fact that most of the cobalt is mined by large international companies like Glencore with state of the art safety and technology who employ, train and outfit in typical safety gear local labor.
This area has a lot of veins too small to interest the large companies, but they were buying mineral from local small operators. Today’s refined cobalt price is USD 70/kg! In DRC, the minimum wage is reported at 1,680 Congolese francs per day, which is US$0.86/day. This is a bonanza for local people.
The tertible propaganda from so-called watchdogs has resulted in the larger companies now refusing to buy from locals. They have been hearing from their shareholders. So, you can be sure that the artisanal miner is now being royally ripped off by local jackals who likely sell to the Chinese companies that have no shareholders, at least ones who will complain. The entire world of social justice warriors are totally corrupt, not just the ugly greenpeace and Wildlife devils. Be from Missouri whenever you read reports from these sources.
Make no mistake though, Hansen is still a dangerous climate ideologue, and always will be. Plus, he has a special hatred of coal. His “praise” of fossil fuels is laced with daggers. Beware.
As military expert Scott Ritter in “The Ultimate End of NATO” recently showed, the turning point in the US Civil War was Pickett’s Charge : The CSA could regroup but the war was lost some time later.COP26 sure looks like Pickett’s Charge… Hansen got the memo….
COP26 sure looks like Pickett’s Charge…
Jefferson Davis and Robert E Lee didn’t have the backing of a cabal of the world’s richest men and their control of all the means of communication.
In other words, I don’t share your optimism.
The CSA had the full backing of the British Empire, the largest the world had ever seen.
Russia parked its Navy at NY and SF with a clear message – suck it up!
Now look at Blinken, Sullivan in another light?
Actually, the British stayed neutral during the Civil War. The South begged Britain to engage on their behalf, but they refused.
Gettysburg was already won by the time of Pickett’s charge. The whole 3 day battle showed that Lee could make mistakes, even if the first ones were by the generals under him. Vicksburg falling on July 4th was just as crucial. It was so bad that they didn’t celebrate independence day for something like the next 100 years.
It’s too late James; the climate agenda genie is out of the bottle. Kinda like the COVID virus leaving the lab on a host in Wuhan, unseen and deadly. The squall of unintended consequences can’t be stopped now.
From the article: “But we now understand that fossil fuel use comes with an unacceptable cost for young people and future generations.”
We don’t know any such thing. This claim by Hansen is an unsubstantiated assertion.
Is this the same James Hnsen who made a presentation to a Congressional Committee after first opening windows in the Hearing Room on the July night before the Hearing so it would be hot and muggy while he predicted a hot and muggy future climate?
Yes, it is the same James Hansen that tesfified before Congress in 1988, about climate change.
Bureaucrats want to treat fossil fuel like tobacco because tobacco is a vice that does harm the user. They feel justified in taxing that vice at 200% of that value. Since tobacco users tend to be poor and not terribly numerous or influential they get away with this but the revenue is limited and declining. Energy is used by everyone. Oil and gas alone are more than 10x the size of tobacco. If bureaucrats can tax energy like a vice, your talking real money.
Hansen unleashed the climate doom genie. It’s entertaining to watch him try to stuff part of it back into the bottle. When you give crazy people even a little legitimacy they wreak havoc.
“James Hansen knows energy well enough … to know energy …is dense mineral energy or bust (for eradicating poverty globally).”
Of course his choice is nuclear. He also has broken the warming warrior pact to not say the miraculous greening of the planet is squarely the result of fossil fuel burning CO2 fertilization. Many here still point out that there is modest warming from this. If they mean the ‘Greening’, they are wrong. Photosynthesis is endothermic – the activity causes cooling ~ absorbing more than 35 millon Btu/tonne of carbon sequestered!
Hansen also knows that the temperature record is grossly
manipulated because he, the “Father of Global Warming”, was the first to develop this chicanery in 2007 on the eve of his retirement. He had been disappointed that the 1998 super el Niño did not set a new global T record. The final years of the 1930s still held that record – in the US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Europe, but also Southern Africa, Australia, Paraguay, Ecuador, etc.
He also knows that when predictions for the first decade of the new millennium were compared to observations (millions of weather balloon sondes and satellite based Ts that corroborated them), that model predictions were 300% too hot.
What did the Team do? They moved the threshold year from which human-caused warming began to be a factor from 1950 back to 1850 to bankroll the 0.6°C formerly regarded as natural recovery from the LIA. Of course they neglected to mention that there were only 1.2B people at the time with less a quarter of them engaged in the new Industrial Rev and the average individuals carbon foot print was about 1/50th of todays average, for almost 8B people! Even purloining this fraction of a degree wasn’t enough. They had to make 1.5C the danger threshold 2100.
Clearly Hansen at least has a conscience. Recall that James Lovelock (inventor of “Gaia”) came to understand that global warming was greatly exaggerated as a problem and he walked it all the way back at 100years old. JH is 80 and probably thinking about his legacy, too.
Maybe he is just regretting all the charlatans he’s had to associate with over the decades. Just think about being forced to support Michael Mann’s tirades or having to applaud St. Greta’s racing boat adventure. There has been massive fraud and egregious profiteering he’s been tacit in supporting to further the “cause.”