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Forced responses: Aug 2019

Filed under: — group @ 31 July 2019

Bi-monthly thread on climate solutions and responses.

363 Responses to “Forced responses: Aug 2019”

  1. 1
    P S BAKER says:

    Rapid phase out of fossil fuel subsidies must be the most urgent focus for campaigners?

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/01/fossil-fuel-subsidy-cash-pay-green-energy-transition

  2. 2
    David B. Benson says:

    Here
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/312/wade-allisons-radiation-critique?page=1#post-5769
    we find a link to an article about Professor Calabrese at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Again he points to a way in which LNT is wrong.

    So whatever the virtues and liabilities of nuclear power plants, serious radiation effects cannot be attributed to modern designs.

    To be clear, the reactors at Chernobyl were certainly not modern designs, being graphite moderated.

  3. 3
    Al Bundy says:

    P S Baker: Rapid phase out of fossil fuel subsidies must be the most urgent focus for campaigners?

    AB: I’m thinking inversion – those subsidies need to be replaced by a rapidly rising carbon tax today, not tomorrow.

    A second imperative is to officially change the mission of the US military. It should get rid of its useless death-dealing toys and gear up to fight climate change. The culture of honor wedded with a positive mission will prevent “terrorism” and the hatred so many people have for the US. Note that containing the current Ebola outbreak is running into trouble because folks think the doctors are part of a capitalist scam to profit off their misery. If ya spend all your time killing (the “right”) brown people waddaya expect?

  4. 4
    Al Bundy says:

    Ep, correct me if I’m wrong, but your recent posts distill down to, “renewables can’t work and we will bomb you if you attempt to do what will work and you’re too poor to buy much of what won’t work because your inferior genes made you stupid. This is the optimal solution because that’s what ” subhumans? morons? inferiors?” deserve.

  5. 5
    Al Bundy says:

    “and we will bomb you”

    Error! I forgot to note that the bombing was implied. Perhaps it would be “economically strangle” instead, kind of like the Go USA! team is doing to Iran as punishment for keeping their word (anathema to Trump’s GOPpers)

  6. 6
    Al Bundy says:

    A third imperative is to do whatever research, right-of-ways, and build out for superconducting backbones across the globe. Would it be best to do it twice? Whatever bones are most needed with current (non-superconducting?) tech and then overlay with the full network?

  7. 7
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy@4, the description that occured to me was a form of “intellectual racism” but I decided not to say anything. One thing people like EP who knock renewable energy might not realise is Denmark gets 40% of it’s electricity from wind turbines, although they started building this right back in the 1970’s, but it shows whats possible. And this supply is stable. The history is interesting:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Denmark

  8. 8
    zebra says:

    #4 Al Bundy,

    Al, I think I scared EP away because I asked a question for which he didn’t have a memorized answer. This is often how it works; in particular with the “nuclear option” false-flag trolls.

    Their spiel is just a way to get in lots of anti-renewable talking points; if you show them a way to reduce CO2 which might actually include nuclear, they go away.

  9. 9
    Scott E Strough says:

    Don’t be so sure that the rapid phase out of fossil fuels is doable, or even necessary. If I had my magic wand to fix Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), I would start with Agriculture.

    This is of course counter-intuitive because agriculture is only the second biggest cause of AGW, energy use is first. But even though the second leading cause, it could in fact be the single leading solution.

    “Yes, agriculture done improperly can definitely be a problem, but agriculture done in a proper way is an important solution to environmental issues including climate change, water issues, and biodiversity.”-Rattan Lal

    More importantly, agriculture is an absolute necessity and can also be done at a profit. This really is the key to my mitigation plan. If it is better than free, because being highly profitable and regenerative at the same time, this strategy actually generates more resources rather than using up resources!

    ‘In the early 1970s, it dawned on me that no one had ever applied design to agriculture. When I realised it, the hairs went up on the back of my neck. It was so strange. We’d had agriculture for 7,000 years, and we’d been losing for 7,000 years — everything was turning into desert. So I wondered, can we build systems that obey ecological principles? We know what they are, we just never apply them. Ecologists never apply good ecology to their gardens. Architects never understand the transmission of heat in buildings. And physicists live in houses with demented energy systems. It’s curious that we never apply what we know to how we actually live.’-Bill Mollison

    Instead of a downward spiral, we take advantage of an upward spiral as we heal the land devastated by 7000 years of agriculture. All that healing of the land and bringing up the natural fertility of the soil involves carbon in the form of humus. As it turns out:

    “There is more carbon missing from our soils worldwide due to agriculture than extra in the atmosphere causing global warming!”

    This is kind of key because farmer after farmer by the thousands worldwide has learned how to restore their local soils in a matter of a couple decades. This regenerative organic revolution is not new. It actually started in the 1940’s and has grown as it was adopted and adapted to each farmer’s local conditions. But what is new is the scientific advancements in soil microbiology and ecosystem function. This understanding of natural biological systems has indeed filtered down all the way to the farmers with the explosion of information age accessibility to everyone now.

    “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labor; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” Bill Mollison

    As technologies only dreamed of in the 1940’s become standard today, we now have the capacity for any farmer anywhere in the world to heal his own small patch of soil. Multiply that by the many millions of farmers worldwide and there is a good chance that AGW is completely eliminated right there.

    “If all farmland was a net sink rather than a net source for CO2, atmospheric CO2 levels would fall at the same time as farm productivity and watershed function improved. This would solve the vast majority of our food production, environmental and human health ‘problems’.” Dr. Christine Jones

    But lets assume it isn’t quite enough. What then? We will have already reduced 20% of emissions and turned that into a sink instead. We can measure what else is needed in addition to our changes in agriculture, and whatever else we do, we will have less reductions in fossil fuel energy needed and more resources and stronger economies to accomplish it.

    It’s like first giving yourself a pay raise, and then shopping at a discount shop for renewable energy. The net cost would be dramatically reduced, if needed at all.

    Now of course ultimately we will need to transition to 100% renewable energy anyway. But almost all approaches that focus on energy first cost 10’s or even 100’s of trillions of dollars! More importantly they have 0% chances of working by themselves anyway. We still need to fix legacy carbon released for the last 100 years or so and remove it. The only current technology we humans have that is scale-able to accomplish this is regenerative agriculture. So better to start there first and have even stronger economies left to tackle the energy needs.

    In my opinion the way most politicians approach AGW mitigation is exactly backwards. But either way if we fix agriculture first, which is beneficial in its own right, then we will know better how many renewables we need like nuclear, solar and wind right away, and how many we can wait for better technology advancements like maybe fusion? Who knows what wondrous new energy sources we might come up with in the future? But we won’t have that future if we delay healing the land, which is the foundation of not only all human civilization, but indeed all terrestrial life on the planet!

    This also lets us solve AGW without bankrupting the whole worlds economies trying to do it!

    It’s a true win/win.

    More details on this novel approach can be found below. I have posted it before, but it probably needs repeated.

    Scott Strough’s answer to Can we reverse global warming?
    https://qr.ae/TUhCyq

  10. 10
    mike says:

    I nominate Scott S to head the Department of Ag.

    Mike

  11. 11
    nigelj says:

    “Their spiel (nuclear power fanatics) is just a way to get in lots of anti-renewable talking points; if you show them a way to reduce CO2 which might actually include nuclear, they go away.”

    So in other words the nuclear power fanatics real motives are to discredit solar and wind power and the nuclear vehicle is a way to do this. This could well be true with some of them, but to me they(including EP) come across like children awed with nuclear energy, that have never fully grown up to appreciate and accept the downsides of nuclear power. They probably just see wind power as competition for their dream of cheap power from a little bit of uranium. As a child I was enthused about nuclear powers potential, but I also thought it looked too good to be true.

  12. 12
    nigelj says:

    Scott E Strough @9,

    “Don’t be so sure that the rapid phase out of fossil fuels is doable, or even necessary.”

    Really? I would say if we don’t phase out fossil fuels over the next few decades we are truly in the crap. Even if every farm in the world converted to regenerative agriculture the best science based estimates are it would draw down about 20% of our carbon emissions per year at most. Have a read of the related articles on scepticalscience.com. This is very useful, but in no way a replacement for reducing fossil fuels pretty rapidly. So yes replacing electricity generation is expensive but necessary.

    You are clearly passionate about regenerative agriculture, but making such bold claims is not convincing for me and I daresay others. Personally I would be a bit more considered.

    “Architects never understand the transmission of heat in buildings.”

    This got up my nose. Having been involved in building design at one stage of my life, including passive solar homes, this is just a false and arrogant claim to make.

    Having said that, I would rather you were in charge of agriculture than Donald Trump’s ship full of fools.

  13. 13

    I found a time series for aerosol optical depth which covered 1850 to 2012. I added temperature anomalies from CRUTEM4 and CO2 from Mauna Loa and the Law Dome ice core. Then I did a multiple regression (using the Gretl package, which is R-based):

    Model 1: OLS, using observations 1850-2012 (T = 163)
    Dependent variable: dTCRU

    Coefficient Std. Error t-ratio p-value
    const −4.00106 0.142537 -28.0704 <0.00001 ***
    CO2 0.0124131 0.000450024 27.5832 <0.00001 ***
    AOD −3.11578 0.624953 -4.9856 <0.00001 ***

    Mean dependent var −0.128589 S.D. dependent var 0.393249
    Sum squared resid 4.252024 S.E. of regression 0.163019
    R-squared 0.830275 Adjusted R-squared 0.828153
    F(2, 160) 391.3507 P-value(F) 2.40e-62
    Log-likelihood 65.89095 Akaike criterion −125.7819
    Schwarz criterion −116.5007 Hannan-Quinn −122.0138
    rho 0.207344 Durbin-Watson 1.576636

    I then subtracted 3.11578 (opposite sign) times AOD from dT to find dT adjusted, and ran a regression of dT adjusted on CO2 alone from 1940 to 1980:

    Model 1: OLS, using observations 1940-1980 (T = 41)
    Dependent variable: dTadj

    Coefficient Std. Error t-ratio p-value
    const −0.098589 0.788983 -0.1250 0.90120
    CO2 4.92401e-05 0.00247184 0.0199 0.98421

    Mean dependent var −0.082878 S.D. dependent var 0.136926
    Sum squared resid 0.749939 S.E. of regression 0.138669
    R-squared 0.000010 Adjusted R-squared -0.025631
    F(1, 39) 0.000397 P-value(F) 0.984208
    Log-likelihood 23.85090 Akaike criterion −43.70181
    Schwarz criterion −40.27466 Hannan-Quinn −42.45383
    rho 0.071858 Durbin-Watson 1.801413

    Which shows no underlying trend due to CO2 from 1940 to 1980. First round to Victor.

  14. 14
    Cougar says:

    Scott S: Nothing you wrote above made the least amount of sense to this biologist. Hand-waving and appeals to magic are not going to work against the laws of physics, that’s how it is and how it will remain.

  15. 15
    David B. Benson says:

    It appears that the IPCC will consider an agricultural plan on the premise that eliminating fossil fuels is insufficient:
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/167/sustainable-agriculture?page=2#post-5785

    Or else the just prior post.

  16. 16
    David B. Benson says:

    Decrease of Markers Related to Bone Erosion in Serum of Patients with Musculoskeletal Disorders after Serial Low-Dose Radon Spa Therapy
    Cucu, et al.
    2017 Jul 25
    Front. Immunol.
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00882/full

    “… low-dose radiation therapy using … radon spa treatments has shown to decrease the pain and improve the mobility of the patients.”

  17. 17
    Killian says:

    Re #14 Cougar said Scott S: Nothing you wrote above made the least amount of sense to this biologist.

    1. Appeal to Authority Fallacy.

    2. What kind of biology? Certainly not “Applied Regenerative Practices,” so your biology background is almost certainly irrelevant. Given you think “nothing” Scott “said made the least amount of sense when it is all backed by real-world acts and scientific studies shows you are the one making “the least amount of sense.”

    3. “Hand-waving and appeals to magic are,” hypocritically, what you have done. “Can’t be done! I’m a biologist… or something!”

    4. “not going to work against the laws of physics, that’s how it is and how it will remain.” Then you, sir, know absolutely nothing of biology, physics, soils, etc. From the 30-year trial by the Rodale Inst (40% of yearly carbon emissions can be sequestered with relatively simple regenerative – not even anything like a comprehensive system – farming) to the current time when we are seeing confirmation of farmers adding 1% or more of organic C PER YEAR to their soils, this is beyond doable.

    Whatever your bias or ignorance, do humanity a favor and stop pulling the “Can’t be done!” card because you have no idea what you are talking about and we are heading to massive death and destruction if we do not get our heads out of our asses – and denialists of natural and simple systems like you are among the biggest problems we face.

  18. 18
    Scott E Strough says:

    @Cougar,
    What part are you missing? The symbiosis with AMF? Or is it the details of the LCP (liquid carbon pathway) into the soil of which the AMF is just one link?? Or what exactly is the part you are confused about? I am pretty sure as a biologist you already understand why C4 plants are so much more efficient at photosynthesis than C3 plants. You should also have some understanding of the amount of carbon contained in a mollic epipedon. Are you aware of the recent research into how it forms?So I am not sure where you got left behind at the link I provided?

  19. 19
    Nemesis says:

    Plain and simple:

    “Climate Scientist Jason Box: “Our Economic System Is Crashing With Reality”
    https://youtu.be/MXpJTFX8gTg

    Reality will win 100% I bet. So be it !

  20. 20
    nigelj says:

    Killian @17 says:

    “From the 30-year trial by the Rodale Inst (40% of yearly carbon emissions can be sequestered with relatively simple regenerative – not even anything like a comprehensive system – farming) to the current time when we are seeing confirmation of farmers adding 1% or more of organic C PER YEAR to their soils, this is beyond doable.”

    The following is an account in detail of this 30 years Rodale Island trial.

    https://rodaleinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/fst-30-year-report.pdf

    There doesn’t appear to be anything in these documents to substantiate claims soils could sequester 40% of yearly emissions. There is one reference to soil carbon “Carbon increase was highest in the organic manure system”. There is virtually nothing in it about soil carbon. There is a ‘claim’ that organic farming releases 40% fewer carbon emissions than other farming methods.

    Perhaps there is another document if someone can 1) post a link and 2) copy and paste specific information that says or directly implies 40% of emissions could be sequestered.

    The study has been carried out by The Rodale Institute which, is some sort of private sector self appointed non for profit organisation that carries out support for organic farmers and studies on organic farming. It is not an organisation that stands independent of organic farming. It is not clear on their website what academic qualifications the employees hold. They do commission research by other bodies.

    Wikipedia also has an article on the Rodale Institute which also makes no mention of huge 40% reductions in atmospheric carbon or anything similar.

    I’m impressed by organic and regenerative farming in a general sense so these comments are limited to specific claims about soil carbon and related matters. I like to get to the facts.Needless to say one field trial alone is never terribly compelling, no matter who conducts it

  21. 21
    nigelj says:

    This is an eye opener:

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/chinas-emissions-could-peak-10-years-earlier-than-paris-climate-pledge

    “China’s emissions ‘could peak 10 years earlier than Paris climate pledge’.”

  22. 22

    Save the date:

    https://globalclimatestrike.net/

    Oh, yeah–the actual date is Friday, September 20, with actions continuing through the 27th.

  23. 23
    Nemesis says:

    A sick and ignorant forced response, green-white eco-fascism on the rise:

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2860.0.html

    Thanks mr trump et al. I just can’t eat as fast as I need to vomit. Mother Nature will eat them all. White christian fascist capitalism is the real road to Hell.

  24. 24
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #21

    ” China’s emissions ‘could peak 10 years earlier than Paris climate pledge’.”

    Sure, dream on:

    “Socialist China’s Billionaire Playboys”
    https://youtu.be/xuTnHSRQZYY

  25. 25
    Steven Emmerson says:

    BPL@13, Be sure to let us know when your research is published in a peer-reviewed periodical. ;-)

  26. 26
    alan2102 says:

    nigel: “This is an eye opener”

    Not to those of us paying attention to other than Western propaganda.

  27. 27
    Killian says:

    Rodale: * Built soil carbon.
    * Was not “regenerative” farming, so minimal compared to full regen ag/system, yet, see above.
    * Used machines, burned FFs; this is separate from farming itself, but they included it. This is the source of the emissions, not the ag. I do not include the FFs because a regenerative system should not burn FFs.
    * Ergo, negative emissions.

    More importantly, context was *starting* w Rodale ag-based sequestration has been proven, and at levels far beyond Rodale, SO nitpicking at the oldest, weakest evidence is a bit silly.

    If you want to be seen as objective, next time try something like, “It is true large amounts of soil sequestration are being reported and measured, so piint taken, but I think you overstated the levels in the Rodale trials.”

  28. 28
    alan2102 says:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-019-0339-6

    Nature Sustainability

    Published: 29 July 2019

    China’s CO2 peak before 2030 implied from characteristics and growth of cities

    Haikun Wang, Xi Lu, Yu Deng, Yaoguang Sun, Chris P. Nielsen, Yifan Liu, Ge Zhu, Maoliang Bu, Jun Bi & Michael B. McElroy

    Abstract

    China pledges to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 or sooner under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2°C or less by the end of the century. By examining CO2 emissions from 50 Chinese cities over the period 2000–2016, we found a close relationship between per capita emissions and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) for individual cities, following the environmental Kuznets curve, despite diverse trajectories for CO2 emissions across the cities. Results show that carbon emissions peak for most cities at a per capita GDP (in 2011 purchasing power parity) of around US$21,000 (80% confidence interval: US$19,000 to 22,000). Applying a Monte Carlo approach to simulate the peak of per capita emissions using a Kuznets function based on China’s historical emissions, we project that emissions for China should peak at 13–16 GtCO2 yr−1 between 2021 and 2025, approximately 5–10 yr ahead of the current Paris target of 2030. We show that the challenges faced by individual types of Chinese cities in realizing low-carbon development differ significantly depending on economic structure, urban form and geographical location.

    …………………………………

    and, tangentially related:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30778399

    Nat Sustain. 2019;2:122-129. doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0220-7. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

    China and India lead in greening of the world through land-use management.

    Chen C1, Park T1, Wang X2, Piao S2, Xu B1,3, Chaturvedi RK4, Fuchs R5, Brovkin V6, Ciais P7, Fensholt R8, Tmmervik H9, Bala G10, Zhu Z11, Nemani RR12, Myneni RB1.

    Abstract

    Satellite data show increasing leaf area of vegetation due to direct (human land-use management) and indirect factors (climate change, CO2 fertilization, nitrogen deposition, recovery from natural disturbances, etc.). Among these, climate change and CO2 fertilization effect seem to be the dominant drivers. However, recent satellite data (2000-2017) reveal a greening pattern that is strikingly prominent in China and India, and overlapping with croplands world-wide. China alone accounts for 25% of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6% of global vegetated area. The greening in China is from forests (42%) and croplands (32%), but in India is mostly from croplands (82%) with minor contribution from forests (4.4%). China is engineering ambitious programs to conserve and expand forests with the goal of mitigating land degradation, air pollution and climate change. Food production in China and India has increased by over 35% since 2000 mostly due to increasing harvested area through multiple cropping facilitated by fertilizer use and surface/ground-water irrigation. Our results indicate that the direct factor is a key driver of the “Greening Earth”, accounting for over a third, and likely more, of the observed net increase in green leaf area. They highlight the need for realistic representation of human land-use practices in Earth system models.

    PMID: 30778399 PMCID: PMC6376198 [Available on 2019-08-11] DOI: 10.1038/s41893-019-0220-7

    full text:
    https://sci-hub.tw/10.1038/s41893-019-0220-7

    pop item:
    https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/144540/china-and-india-lead-the-way-in-greening
    China and India Lead the Way in Greening
    Ambitious tree-planting programs and intensified agriculture have led to more land area covered in vegetation.

    ……………………

    So strange. All my overshoot/collapse books told me that by now the teeming masses in overpopulated China and India would surely have reduced them to denuded, scorched lands incapable of supporting life.

    Well, maybe the “satellite data” is a lie concocted by Pollyannas. Maybe the NASA people, and the editors of the journal Nature Sustainability, teamed up to foist this lie on us.

  29. 29
    nigelj says:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/114777432/nuclear-ship-could-be-a-floating-chernobyl

    A little off topic, but a curious sort of thing:

    “Nuclear ship could be a ‘floating Chernobyl'”

    “The wind and rain whipped by as crew members stepped outside for a quick smoke – but the world’s only floating nuclear power plant barely shifted in the choppy waves of Kola Bay.”

    “This month, the Akademic Lomonosov will be towed 5000 kilometres to the Chukotka region of Russia, next to Alaska, to provide steam heat and eventually electricity to the small coastal goldmining town of Pevek.”

    “It is the flagship of Russia’s drive to bring nuclear power to the Arctic.”

    “And the state corporation Rosatom is trumpeting it as the next big step in nuclear energy and a solution to electricity needs in Africa and Asia.”

  30. 30

    se 25: BPL@13, Be sure to let us know when your research is published in a peer-reviewed periodical. ;-)

    bpl: It’s too trivial to be published in a journal. All I did was demonstrate, from the data, that once you remove the aerosol effects from 1940-1980, the relation to CO2 in that period disappears. I didn’t say CO2 wasn’t a greenhouse gas, or that the relation doesn’t exist (it’s much stronger when you use the whole period for which we have measurements). Anyone who knows me knows I hold no brief for Victor’s position, and usually argue with him. I’m just pointing out that he successfully found an anomaly, and we need to account for it.

  31. 31
    nigelj says:

    BPL @30, you do some useful stuff. I don’t have enough statistics to really follow it but I assume you are saying that mid last century theres no correlation between warming and CO2, when you pull out aerosols. The PDO ocean cycle was in a negative (cooling phase) mid last century, so was pushing temperature down, so wouldn’t this potentially mask any correlation?

  32. 32
    zebra says:

    #209 on the planting trees thread, engineer-poet

    You are doing exactly what I said, which is spewing out memorized factoids incoherently instead of addressing my suggestion.

    The whole point of a free market, as I’ve had to remind people way too many times, is that there are no externalities, and competition among buyers and sellers will optimize the outcome. So, you babbling about externalities makes no sense.

    As has been pointed out to you, all over the world, there are versions of the grid-as-common-carrier, with users choosing their independent generators. They are free markets to varying degrees; I am simply suggesting that the concept can be brought closer to the ideal; we have the technology.

    To say that “the grid will go dark” is absurd. The market will match supply to demand… if there’s no demand for the characteristic output of some generating modality, it will not get built. If there is demand, it will. Prices will adjust accordingly; some buyers will pay more and some less. If nuclear is the most useful modality, then, again, you win!

    So, what’s the problem? (And if you want to answer, try writing instead of reciting… provide a narrative to make your case.)

  33. 33

    Nigel,

    You may well be right. I didn’t account for the PDO in that analysis and that could be the explanation.

  34. 34
    O. says:

    I wonder if there is a double-effect of burning fussil fuels.
    One is the often discussed CO2 as a heat-trap.
    What I never have seen mentioned is the direct emission of heat by burning these fuels.

    Wouldn’t it make sense to split up the heating effect into a) CO2 heat-trapping and b) emitted thermal energy by burning these fuels?
    Was this in consideration in science already? How much portion would the direct thermal energy be?

  35. 35
    Killianl says:

    Information. Do with it what you will.

    https://phys.org/news/2019-08-crops-compost-carbon.amp

  36. 36

    I finally got to the end of the other thread with the notice that this discussion was most appropriate in this thread, so here I am.

    Quoth nigelj:

    the description that occured to me was a form of “intellectual racism” but I decided not to say anything.

    Since you keep bringing the subject up again, I’m going to rub your nose in something you hate:  contrary facts.

    I searched Startpage for “Zimbabwe electric grid”.  The first result goes to an official page of some kind.  Here are quotes from the second and third results, with [my commentary]:

    “Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst power cuts in three years, lasting up to 10 hours daily in some areas…”

    “For the past 20 years, Zimbabwe has struggled to generate enough electricity to meet demand….” [which was not a problem when it was Rhodesia.]

    “Hwange, the biggest coal-fired plant was built in the 1980s and work only started last year to add another 600 MW begin after years of false starts during Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.” [Kleptocracy is like that.  Steal the money for improvements and nothing gets improved; steal the money for maintenance, and everything falls apart.]

    “The new generators will only come on stream in three years and even then, this does not guarantee power because the major coal supplier, Hwange Colliery, is struggling to stay afloat.” [Apparently the same problems hit the coal supplier.  What could they possibly have in common?]

    “Three other smaller coal-fired plants with capacity to add 270 MW to the national grid are down after negotiations to secure funding from India’s Export and Import Bank to repair and upgrade the generators floundered.” [Read between the lines here.  Those were operating generators built by Rhodesians, but now they are not.  Where did the maintenance money go?  Zimbabwe mines almost a million ounces of gold a year, plus large amounts of platinum; it should have adequate export earnings to fix a few generators.  Meet the new kleptocrats, same as the old kleptocrats.]

    “HARARE (Reuters) – Around 9 p.m., a siren pierces the pitch-black night at the Willowvale industrial park in Zimbabwe, signaling that power has been restored after a day-long outage.

    Moments later, eight men in blue overalls walk into a factory and begin shoveling a mound of gypsum into a drying machine to make wall plaster.

    Zimbabwe’s worsening power shortages have effectively turned day into night for many businesses, with most work happening well after dark”

    “The southern African country is producing just half of its 1,700 MW peak demand”

    You have to read between the lines, but the information is there.  And that is the last I will write about Africa until someone brings it up again.

    One thing people like EP who knock renewable energy might not realise is Denmark gets 40% of it’s electricity from wind turbines, although they started building this right back in the 1970’s, but it shows whats possible.

    Denmark’s saving grace is that it abuts hydro-heavy Norway, which shares generation with it.  Norway buys cheap and sells dear; Denmark pays Norway quite a bit for this help.

    And this supply is stable.

    The real-time electric power map at energinet.dk shows a system in constant flux.  As I write this, Denmark is importing about 1250 MW from Germany and exporting 693 MW to Sweden.

    Unlike neighboring Sweden and Norway, Denmark has extremely expensive electric power.  It is not economic to use electric vehicles there.  Also, “Forty per cent of the energy mix in the Danish district heating system is fossil fuels, mainly coal and gas.”  Denmark proposes to “Replace thermal generation with large capacity heat pumps of 20-150 MW powered by electricity from renewable sources of energy” to fix this.

    Precisely how intermittent, unreliable “renewable” electricity is supposed to replace the stockpiles of energy represented by coal and gas (and wood chips from clearcut forests in the Baltics) is unstated.  I like to call this element “handwavium”, where waving of the hands dismisses such questions without even pretending to answer them.  But there is this admission against interest:

    “In Denmark, we are really proud that around 45% of our electricity consumption comes from wind turbines. But if you look at total energy consumption, electricity, heat and transport, then it is just 8%,” says Brandelev. “This is not good enough.”

    Indeed it is not.

  37. 37
  38. 38

    Scott E. Strough:  If you can provide the carbon sequestration part while the engineers provide the carbon-free energy part, we might have it all covered.  Yes, definitely put you in as ag secretary.

  39. 39

    Quoth nigelj:

    “Their spiel (nuclear power fanatics) is just a way to get in lots of anti-renewable talking points; if you show them a way to reduce CO2 which might actually include nuclear, they go away.”

    I have no idea who he is quoting here.  I searched this thread and all 5 pages of the “trees” thread for “fanatics” and came up blank.  It looks like he just made it all up.

    So in other words the nuclear power fanatics real motives are to discredit solar and wind power and the nuclear vehicle is a way to do this.

    You have this totally backwards.  As of the late 1960’s, nuclear power was literally cheaper than coal and was projected to replace coal for electric generation.  Note that this occurred as the hippie “back to the land” movement was waning and there was a market for another.  A romantic movement pushing “renewable energy” was just the thing… and happened to serve the interests of some very wealthy people who were threatened by nuclear power.

    Who felt that threat?  Oil producers, coal miners, railroads, barge companies, pipeline companies, and the manufacturers of equipment which used coal, oil and gas.  Electricity produced from a tiny amount of material which can be shipped as a truckload per GW-year is a HUGE threat to all of them.  So they all went on a campaign to discredit nuclear energy.

    The government of Japan killed a couple thousand of its own citizens with a panicked evactuation to “save” them from small amounts of radiation that certainly would have done them less harm, or even none.  This death toll is proof of the success of the effort to discredit nuclear energy.

    This could well be true with some of them, but to me they(including EP) come across like children awed with nuclear energy, that have never fully grown up to appreciate and accept the downsides of nuclear power.

    Spoken like only someone who didn’t live through it with open eyes could.

    Had the growth of nuclear energy continued on its 1960’s trajectory, had it replaced coal-fired electricity (and oil, when oil became far more expensive than coal), we would not be having this argument about climate change today.  Climate change would still be a problem for the future, and one which we were in the process of solving anyway.  THAT is the future which the anti-nukes cheated us out of.

    And you’re applauding them.

  40. 40

    Quoth zebra referring to me:

    You are doing exactly what I said, which is spewing out memorized factoids incoherently instead of addressing my suggestion.

    It is late at night here, but not too late to laugh at you.

    The whole point of a free market, as I’ve had to remind people way too many times, is that there are no externalities, and competition among buyers and sellers will optimize the outcome. So, you babbling about externalities makes no sense.

    And as I have told you repeatedly already, there is NO free market in electric generation because there are many unpriced externalities.  Let’s take “net metering” as an example.  This prices as-where-and-when-is generation from “renewables” equal to the DELIVERED cost of on-demand electric power.  To list just one market defect, this PAYS the “renewable” generator for the cost of delivering power to/from him, instead of CHARGING it to him.  This is of a kind with the “must-take” provisions applied to generation from e.g. wind farms; there is no market if you MUST take it.

    There’s no free market in CO2 or other GHG emissions.  We have arguments over how much it should cost but overall most emitters are not charged and most sequesterers are not paid.

    To put it bluntly, you are neither intelligent nor informed enough to be a worthwhile participant in this discussion.

    To say that “the grid will go dark” is absurd.

    Look, stupid.  I’ve lived through multiple incidents of the grid LITERALLY going dark over large fractions of the USA.  There are lawsuits on-going about the 2016 blackout in South Australia allegedly caused by the programmed actions of wind farms.  The SA grid DID go dark, and if you deny it you are a liar.  That is a fact.  Deal with it, or STFU.

    The market will match supply to demand… if there’s no demand for the characteristic output of some generating modality, it will not get built.

    Markets can only do that if the legislature allows them to.  “Net metering”, “must-take” and other violations of market response to supply and demand (including legislative demands that the “market” NOT allow long-term contracts between specific producers and consumers outside daily and hourly “markets”) make a total hash of your insistence that it WILL.  It CANNOT if YOU WILL NOT LET IT.  So GTFO already.

  41. 41
    David B. Benson says:

    America’s agricultural is 48 times more toxic than 25 years ago. Blaim neonics
    Kendra Klein & Anna Lapped
    2019 Aug 07
    The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/americas-dependence-on-pesticides-especially-neonics-is-a-war-on-nature

    This is vastly worse than radiation releases, mining, …

  42. 42
    nigelj says:

    Engineer-Poet @36

    “The description that occured to me was a form of “intellectual racism” but I decided not to say anything.”

    “Since you keep bringing the subject up again, I’m going to rub your nose in something you hate: contrary facts.I searched Startpage for “Zimbabwe electric grid”. The first result goes to an official page of some kind. Here are quotes from the second and third results, with [my commentary“Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst power cuts in three years, lasting up to 10 hours daily in some areas…”

    Im aware of these sorts of problems and you are right in your comments about a new kleptocracy. I said as much myself on the other thread. The issue is more that your comments created the impression you think Africans have low IQ’s, and this is the main source of their problems. There is no compelling evidence Africans are inherently less intelligent, and I think you create the impression of a certain racism when you use that rhetoric, whether you intend to or not. I will accept no racism was intended. People are on edge given Donald Trumps appalling rhetoric.

    “Unlike neighboring Sweden and Norway, Denmark has extremely expensive electric power.”

    Only because the government adds on a whole series of taxes; not because it’s inherently expensive.

    Anyway something to delight you. Some company has just released Atomic Vodka produced from grains grown in the Chernobyl exclusions zone. Guaranteed no more radiation than normal safe background levels apparently.

  43. 43
    nigelj says:

    Engineer Poet @40

    Just in relation to this electricty market issue, this may be of interest. I live in New Zealand and prior to the 1980s our entire electricity system was government owned, and controlled by central government and run by engineers, music to your ears I suspect. We are a small country hence the state ownership was the most practical way.

    The electricity system was effectively a state owned monopoly, and worked quite well and provided cheap power, but it was a cost on the tax payer, and was broken up in the mid 1980s into an electricity market system. This was implemented such that government continued to own the lines grid, and the generators were mostly privatised and competed on the grid, and consumers could choose among the generating companies. This was all partly generated by free market ideology, excuse the pun.

    I was a bit horrified, because it seemed contrived to break what is an integrated system up into component parts. I gather this is the essence of your criticism of electricity markets?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_electricity_market

    However I’ve got used to the market system, and it hasn’t had power cuts and instability. Its not a true market because it requires a hell of a lot of management and regulation; its a semi market. I’ve wondered if all it does is introduce a lot of duplicated administration and its interesting seeing some of your comments on the issues.

    However it seems more likely that nuclear power would have a future in a competing market and privatised system, than in the old government owned system; they would not have built nuclear power in NZ because it’s too much of a political hot potato, but a private company would only have to go through normal environmental assessments like any other player would. That was what I was getting at.

  44. 44
    Nemesis says:

    @David B Benson, #41

    ” America’s agriculture is 48 times more toxic than 25 years ago. Blame neonics

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/americas-dependence-on-pesticides-especially-neonics-is-a-war-on-nature

    Thanks very much for the information. Truely a war on Nature. And they will lose that war I bet.

  45. 45
    David B. Benson says:

    Engineer-Poet @36 — You write of Zimbabwe, with a Corruption Perception ranking of 160. You might also consider the events related to and following the power generator scandal in Kyrgyzstan, Corruption Perception ranking of 132.

    Bad government is pervasive.

  46. 46
    David B. Benson says:

    Many comment here about electrical power generation and related matters with, I fear, an insufficient understanding of the electricity grid and hence the market. So I encourage study of

    EDF 483 Introduction to Electricity Markets
    https://www.e-education.psu.edu/ebf483/

    which is, most fortunately, open access.

  47. 47
    zebra says:

    #40 engineer-poet,

    “there is no free market in electricity”

    ???… yes, I said the systems that exist (e.g. New Zealand) are approximations to one degree or another. But the issues that you keep bringing up are the result of non-market policies, in systems that are more monopolistic than those approximations, so…what’s your point?

    You’ve had several opportunities to explain why my approach isn’t the best way to demonstrate the supposed superiority of nuclear generation, and you seem to want to talk about everything else but my approach. That’s an indication of either a lack of sincerity or a lack of confidence in the competitiveness of your technology. One more time:

    If the grid operator is mandated to treat all consumers and generators equally, and is compensated for implementing the transaction physically and financially, there will be no “internal externalities”, which is what we might call the things you are complaining about.

    Actual externalities, like pollution and subsidies, or non-competitive practices like dumping and so on, would be dealt with specifically by government.

    So, yes, one more time… why wouldn’t that setup allow your nuclear to crush those silly hippie wind farms and solar panels??? Who would invest in those when they could invest in an AP1000 or SMR’s or whatever gets developed?

    Still waiting for an answer that doesn’t involve your lists of irrelevancies.

  48. 48
    Nemesis says:

    And another truely Forced Response from the alt-right cave:

    After infinitely denying ecodesaster, climate heating ect, the alt-right is finally jumping scared and hastily on the bandwagon (uhm, we’ve told you, the shit will hit the fan, dear rightwingerz, hehe)^^:

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2865.0.html

    Very funny, very enlightening, a real brainfuck. You can observe the very same shit in Europe. But relax:

    Mother Nature will set things truely right quickly once and for all, hehe. I say that as an anarchist, as a free man who votes for ONE party exclusively:

    The harsh and undefeatable laws of Nature :))

    Now go for it, funny alt-right, you will get what you have seeded undoubtedly.

  49. 49
    Nemesis says:

    Addendum to my recent comment:

    I forgot the more than telling headline of the funny topic:

    ” Leftism is a greater threat than climate change”

    I’m very courios about any telling responses here, especially responses from the usual suspects, hehe^^… 3, 2, 1, GO…..

  50. 50

    z 32: The whole point of a free market, as I’ve had to remind people way too many times, is that there are no externalities

    BPL: Of course there are externalities. What are you trying to say here? That the ideal free market has no failings of an ideal free market? We knew that, but in reality, there are, and we have to take them into account.