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Forced Responses: Oct 2020

Filed under: — group @ 10 October 2020

Bimonthly open thread for discussing climate policy and solutions. Climate science discussion should go here.

470 Responses to “Forced Responses: Oct 2020”

  1. 401
    nigelj says:

    James Charles @383, Shellenberger means well, but he has very limited qualifications and it looks like hes fallen for the hype that developing renewables will allegedly hurt poor people who will allegedly have to bear the costs. He hasnt considered that a rapid programme to build nuclear will also have costs. He means well but hes gullable and his writing has come in for heavy criticism from people who are actually properly qualified.

    The planet has huge environmental problems and is on a bad trajectory. The fact that we have made some environmental progress in some areas of things doesn’t change this. I suggest you read Scientific American and New Scientist that have a much smarter understanding of these issues.

  2. 402
    Killian says:

    394: We can slash our environmental footprint without losing a single thing we enjoy today

    Delusional, and obviously so. The only way that can or ever will be true is if we can effectively and efficiently mine the solar system – which I have long said should be a long-term goal, but is one that is clearly generations away.

  3. 403

    Gavin and other moderators,

    Engineer-Poet has now expressed anti-black racist, anti-semitic, and pro-Nazi sentiments on this board, not once, but repeatedly. Does Realclimate have any policy on posts like that?

    [Response: They will be deleted (as will replies). If I missed any, please flag. – gavin]

  4. 404
    Mal Adapted says:

    Gavin, inline:

    [Response: They will be deleted (as will replies). If I missed any, please flag. – gavin]

    Thank you for taking the leadership role, Gavin! My admiration grows 8^).

  5. 405
    mike says:

    “A consultancy has calculated that the UK will need to go further and faster to achieve its commitment of net zero emissions by mid-century.

    UN scientists say massive emissions cuts are needed immediately to stop CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere.

    So, the year 2030 is a key date for avoiding dangerous climate change.

    The analysis by Cambridge Econometrics suggests Mr Johnson’s plan will reduce emissions 59% per cent by 2030, based on 1990 levels. It says they should really fall by 70% by that date.”

    I have been thinking and talking about a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030, but this article says we need to reduce by 70% by 2030. Interesting that this criticism is coming from economists (if I read the article correctly).

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55138338

    be that as it may, as a US voter, it is amazing to watch a conservative government actually acknowledge that global warming is real and dangerous to us. The Brit conservatives look like climate radicals when compared to the US GOP party.

    What a world!

    Cheers,

    Mike

  6. 406
    mike says:

    from the Beeb:

    “BBC News reports new analysis from Climate Action Tracker (CAT), which finds that new climate promises from China and the carbon plans of US president-elect Joe Biden make it possible that “the rise in world temperatures could be held to 2.1C by the end of this century.” The outlet says that for more than a decade, CAT has been monitoring global pledges and that “previous estimates indicated up to 3C of heating, with disastrous impacts”. Notable developments in recent months include pledges of net-zero emissions by China, Japan and South Korea, as well as the election of Joe Biden in the US. However, BBC News notes that “the experts are worried the long-term optimism is not matched by short-term plans to cut CO2.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55073169

    I don’t know? Is 2.1C increase by 2030 our target now? That seems nuts to me. And, the Beeb ends that quote with focus on my concern: the long term optimism is not matched by short term commitment to emission reductions.

    November 22 – 28, 2020 413.84 ppm
    November 22 – 28, 2019 410.64 ppm
    November 22 – 28, 2010 389.49 ppm

    noisy numbers, but still… 3.2 ppm over a year ago and 24.35 (or something like that) on the decade

    Wrong direction and no clear indication that the increase rate is slowing down yet to my eye.

    Cheers

    Mike

  7. 407
    Mal Adapted says:

    nigelj:

    Its also important for people to understand the issue was methane calthrates which is a different issue to methane and CO2 emissions coming from the arctic permafrost. I think the later are more concerning and indeed very concerning. I suspect Gavin has different views on the two different situations. There is no ocean to dissolve these permafrost emissions away.

    And this gives me an excuse to ask the chemistry guys a question. If the arctic oceans dissolve the methane what does this do to ocean chemistry, and would it be enough to cause a problem?

    Thanks Nigel, I should have made the distinction. TBH, I wasn’t paying close attention to that conversation. FWIW, I think your ocean chemistry question is interesting. Maybe ask it again on UV?

    Nigel:

    I dont know perhaps I’m verging on hype, but it almost seems like you Americans have been sleep walking into a civil war resulting from tribal politics .

    I don’t think it’s hype, and I’ve voted in every US election for 50 years. I love my country, but I’ve come to envy you yours. Trump’s victory over HRC was a shock, and our polarization manifestly worsened in the ensuing interval. As the global climate change juggernaut gathers momentum, the “United” part of our name seems increasingly inaccurate. I’m clinging to every straw of optimism, but am resolved to keep my eyes open. Whatever happens next: as the quasi-great 20th-century philosopher J. Morrison said:

    Well, I woke up this morning
    And I got myself a beer
    Well, I woke up this morning
    And I got myself a beer
    The future’s uncertain and the end is always near

  8. 408
    mike says:

    I just skimmed this quickly and I think it is about achieving universal public health access through sub-saharan Africa.

    https://www.pnas.org/node/963101.abstract?collection=

    It’s kinda like my idea that clean water accessibility is important. I think the plan with health care is to bring health care to the villages and countryside, so it appears this group may have overlooked the possibility of saving on infrastructure by simply acquiring and distributing lot of bicycles throughout the region.

    My guess on that oversight is that, like the plan to expand clean water access by global bicycle redistribution, some life basics simply have to be delivered where people live or people will suffer and/or be forced to relocate to where basic life services are available.

    My African family members experienced that reality during years spent in the Kakuma refugee camp and elsewhere over the past few decades. They walked a lot, were hungry often and sometimes parched. One of my “sons” contracted liver schistosomiasis from drinking badly polluted water in the region. Some family members were killed by alligators in dangerous river crossings as the refugees were chased into the river by rival tribal populations armed with rifles and pistols. So, maybe bicycles and kevlar vests would help in some circumstances. I don’t think anybody has a good plan for alligators except swim faster than they do.

    Cheers

    Mike

  9. 409

    nigel, #401–

    James Charles @383, Shellenberger means well…

    Hmm…

    OBERON (to PUCK): This is thy negligence. Still thou mistakest/Or else committ’st thy knaveries willfully.

    Personally, and FWIW, I’m leaning toward “willful knaveries”, based on the inconsistencies in his position and his record of doubling down on error. I don’t doubt that he began with sincere ideals, but they seem to have curdled into a deeply mistaken ideology that’s now well past the point of good faith.

  10. 410
    Mal Adapted says:

    Al Bundy:

    I know at least four people here who would make better leaders than at least 90% of the world’s top politicians. Leadership qualities ain’t rare.

    There’s a vocabulary mismatch again. To be a leader, you have to step up! Are you going to? Am I? Nope, not happening. I’m using “personality” for the unique combination of standard behavioral traits that makes each of us individuals. AFAICT, “leadership” resides in individuals, and while most of us possess some of those qualities to some degree, few combine them in sufficient strength to step up. I’ve met a few in my life, who demonstrated leadership within a limited scope. I’ve met many more who wound up in positions out of their depth; plainly, they’re not always selected out of higher office. Natural leaders or not, none of mine were ‘pure’ in their motives. I, for one, was at least self-aware enough to step back, when higher-ups came looking to populate their org charts. I did lead a jury once, though 8^).

    AB:

    But when the system is designed to choose for greed and corruption you shouldn’t be surprised when that’s what you get. But USAians will defend their 200+ year-old prototype as the ultimate in perfection (while also spitting on it as total garbage). It’s the American Way.

    Well, the founders of the USA set it up that way because they were multi-dimensional but powerfully ambitious men themselves, who didn’t trust each other. They were embedded in the so-called Enlightenment, informed by the works of Hobbes, Locke and of course Adam Smith. They believed the government is best that governs least, so they required importunate leaders to jump through flaming hoops (gotta love metaphor) to get anything meaningful done. At a minimum, to lead you need followers! Even megalomaniacs are forced to obtain the consent of a plurality of the governed, however benighted we may be 8^(. IOW, laissez faire is built in to our foundation! I defend our Constitution not as perfection, but because backed by a professional military, it’s better than just about anything else we could have had, while offering some scope for gradual improvement. Viewed from the intersection of my privileges, at least! Our founding document begins thus:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    IOW, the framers didn’t seek a perfect union, only an optimum one from their PoV. The tradeoffs are enumerated right up front!

    Yet as Nigel reminds us, the frequency of victory by a bare plurality of votes means ‘radical’ turns can seem sudden. That’s because every voter has agency. For better or worse, there’s no higher authority: Vox Populi, Vox Dei. I, for one, sure wouldn’t trust any other. YMMV!

  11. 411
    nigelj says:

    Mal Adapted @407

    “I don’t think it’s hype, and I’ve voted in every US election for 50 years. I love my country, but I’ve come to envy you yours.”

    We have the same sort of political tribalism in NZ, but it isnt as extreme as in America, and right now we have a genuinely unifying leader. But where America goes we tend to follow, for good and bad, for example we have gradually armed our police force, have a similar pop culture, capitalist economy and there’s a significant faction sympathetic to Trumps views, sadly to say..

    That said, countries and cultures are also shaped by geography. We are a small island nation, so will always be very dependent on trade and getting skills from other countries, so we tend to favour open markets, zero tariffs, and immigration. So we will never become exactly like America.

  12. 412
    nigelj says:

    Just on this climate mitigation costs issue that I mentioned here’s something new: “Fighting climate change: Cheaper than ‘business as usual’ and better for the economy. Here’s why moving now to combat climate change is cheaper and better for the economy than postponing action. By Dana Nuccitelli | Monday, November 30, 2020”

    https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/11/fighting-climate-change-cheaper-than-business-as-usual-and-better-for-the-economy/

  13. 413
    Piotr says:

    E-Poet: You have to Do. The. Math. […]sulfur-based flow battery can pack up to 145 Wh per liter of solution. That’s equivalent to pumping water up a mountain that’s 53 kilometers high. No such mountains exist.

    Let’s assume that your number (145Wh/l) is correct [although I wonder if there may be a reason why you “are having a hell of a time finding [that number] again” ;-).

    Your comparison PER LITRE would be fair if the per litre costs of building and operating water and sulfur-based batteries were the same. I don’t think they are
    – getting 1 litre of water is easier and cheaper to get than 1 litre of functioning sulfur flow battery, and the technology to pump the water up is well known and tested. Hence water is much easier to scale up than the sulfur batteries technology.

    Which means that if instead of pumping 1 litre up to the poetically-high 53km mountain, I could, perhaps, pump 1000 litres up the 53m mountain. I believe such mountain do exist. And not only exist, but some may have already damns built on them! Which should cut down the costs – as you would only need the pumps and pipes.

    Heck, if we actually ADMINISTERED the existing hydro – with a goal to maximize the backup for the times when the demand exceeds supply, instead of selling mainly baseload power into the grid – we could have stretched the backup ability even without paying a cent for pumps and pipes – a “virtual storage”: when supply meets demand – you hold the water behind the damn, and release it only when demand is larger than supply and/or when we run out of space to store water. But this would be managerial/economic/political, and not technological, solution, so probably nothing will come out if it … ;-)

    Don’t get me wrong – we would still need your sulfur flow batteries, hydrogen and other storage, and perhaps even the easy ramp-up (and easy to ramp down) gas turbines, particularly for isolated grids. All I am saying is that I am not ready to abandon all other storage technologies in favour of the proposed and not tested yet on massive scale, technological silver bullet. The devil is in the details.

    And you see the irony? If sulfur flow batteries ARE as good as you think they are – by providing efficient storage, they would destroy your main?/only? argument against renewables ;-) Talk about engineering oneself into obsolescence… Poetic justice, eh?

  14. 414

    @413:

    Your comparison PER LITRE would be fair if the per litre costs of building and operating water and sulfur-based batteries were the same. I don’t think they are

    Rather than repeat myself, I’ll just refer people back to my original June comment.  (Thank goodness I had the foresight to keep an archive of my comments.)

    water is much easier to scale up than the sulfur batteries technology…. Which means that if instead of pumping 1 litre up to the poetically-high 53km mountain, I could, perhaps, pump 1000 litres up the 53m mountain.

    And there’s where you’re flat wrong.  PHS does NOT scale up because of the vast volumes required.  Lake Erie, shared between the USA and Canada, has a total water volume of 480 km³; call it 480 billion tonnes.  1 km³ of water up 53 meters stores just 144 GWh.  Pumping the entire volume of Lake Erie to a height 53 meters higher would store about 69 TWh, just 150 hours of average US electric consumption and a much smaller fraction of total energy use.  Where can you even PUT that much water?  About the only place you can GET that much fresh water is the Great Lakes themselves (certainly not the dying Lake Baikal), and somebody would be bound to object to their lake levels going up and down like a yo-yo as well as those objecting to their land being commandeered for a brand-new reservoir that is useless for any sort of recreation.

    if we actually ADMINISTERED the existing hydro – with a goal to maximize the backup for the times when the demand exceeds supply, instead of selling mainly baseload power into the grid – we could have stretched the backup ability even without paying a cent for pumps and pipes – a “virtual storage”: when supply meets demand – you hold the water behind the damn

    A gram is better than a damn!  (Sorry, Aldous Huxley moment.)

    and release it only when demand is larger than supply and/or when we run out of space to store water.

    IIUC the reservoirs on the Columbia river would be quickly overflowed by the spring melt if the turbines didn’t run at 100% capacity for the season.  You just can’t store that much water.

    You CAN build berms to surround 1/10 km² with a 22-meter wall, and fill it with bladder tanks to store 60 GWh or so.  You can do this almost anywhere; geography is no real constraint, and neither is water.  You can suck water out of the air if you have to; it’s not a consumable item.

    And you see the irony? If sulfur flow batteries ARE as good as you think they are – by providing efficient storage, they would destroy your main?/only? argument against renewables ;-)

    So-called “renewables” have SEASONAL-scale surges and deficits; we’re not talking days of storage, we’re talking months.  Both wind and solar can take weeks-long hiatuses over much of the industrialized world.  $1/kWh flow batteries are more than sufficient to deal with the daily and weekly mis-matches between the way current nuclear plants like to operate (100% all the time) and the regular demand curve, but they’re much less able to cope with holding a month or two of energy in reserve.

    Talk about engineering oneself into obsolescence…

    Wishful thinking on your part.

  15. 415
    Mal Adapted says:

    nigelj, @James Charles:

    The planet has huge environmental problems and is on a bad trajectory. The fact that we have made some environmental progress in some areas of things doesn’t change this. I suggest you read Scientific American and New Scientist that have a much smarter understanding of these issues.

    Another recommendation for JC is to review this guest RC post by Michael Tobis and subsequent comments: Shellenberger’s op-ad. He should at least know we’ve talked a lot about Shellenberger’s claims.

  16. 416
    Susan Anderson says:

    Mike @~351: you’re very kind, but I can tell you from experience that Trumpians despise me. Since their leaders don’t create, only destroy, all they have to do is exactly reverse the meaning of those who do the work and the cult lines up, with death threats and all. This is a died in the wool Republican who finally speaks up loudly enough to say what needs to be said, but that’s only about up front violence (Perdue and Loeffler are publicly and utterly corrupt, and he supports them anyway), not the violence that is being done to our future and reality (their true believers blame Democrats and hospitals and don’t believe they have COVID, even at death’s door). They just love that being a jerk is now all the rage, and they’ll believe anything if it comes form their dear leader.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLi-Yo6IucQ

    This is way OT, but I hope it will pass as that staggering clip is worth seeing. mike, I’ll keep your kind words in mind, but this is perhaps more useful (lines up with John Cook’s work). See under “Countermeasures” “Traditional counterpropaganda efforts are ineffective against this technique. As researchers at RAND put it, “Don’t expect to counter the firehose of falsehood with the squirt gun of truth.””
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firehose_of_falsehood

    Trouble with places like RealClimate is that scientists believe that more facts and answers to arguments will eventually prevail. Apparently sickness and death at a level unknown since wars and the 1918 epidemic aren’t enough, reality is “fake”.

    What is astonishing is how many people believe they can overcome reality if they wish to. Having spent some time as a “seeker” I have a generous tolerance for religion, but am beginning to feel that believing in the unfalsifiable before one can speak, inculcated by families, friends, and community, is a bad training for life. Spirituality yes, religion no. And yet religion does a great deal of good and I’m fond of Jesus and Pope Francis.

  17. 417
    nigelj says:

    New open access research paper that is apparently very significant: “Direct mineralization of atmospheric CO2 using natural rocks in Japan”

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abc217

  18. 418
    mike says:

    On emission reduction targets:

    “As part of the European Green Deal, the Commission proposed in September 2020 to raise the 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target, including emissions and removals, to at least 55% compared to 1990.”

    https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/strategies/2030_en

    “… UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report warns that unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6 per cent each year between 2020 and 2030, the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.”

    https://unfccc.int/news/cut-global-emissions-by-76-percent-every-year-for-next-decade-to-meet-15degc-paris-target-un-report

    “If the UK were still an EU member state, it would be part of the bloc’s sharing arrangement on carbon cuts. The EU is likely to formalise a target of 55% emissions cuts overall for 2030, and that would imply emissions cuts for the UK of more than 65%, which is what some within government are basing their calculations on. The committee on climate change also found the UK could achieve a target of 65% in a report last year, though it is expected to revise its figures.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/20/pressure-grows-on-boris-johnson-over-uk-carbon-emissions-plan

    “New Zealand has declared a climate change emergency and committed to a carbon-neutral government by 2025, in what the prime minister Jacinda Ardern called “one of the greatest challenges of our time”.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/02/new-zealand-declares-a-climate-change-emergency

    I like the fact that folks are talking about targets for 2025 and 2030 because it is too easy for politically elected leaders to make bold commitments to changes and results that will have to happen long after those elected leaders are out of office.

    I think it only makes sense to talk about 2035, 2040 or 2050 in the context of what has to be done by 2025 or 2030.

    Climate change mitigation is going to be expensive and some folks may have to take a hair cut or tigthen their belts so that we can do what must be done. One thing that seems likely is that the cost of not doing climate change mitigation will be higher than the cost of doing it.

    Cheers

    Mike

  19. 419
    nigelj says:

    Mike @418, you do make a good case for a 2030 emissions target. Im ’50’% convinced. However goal setting is the easy part. The NZ government has already had goals several years ago for the government adopting electric cars and has missed those by a huge margin.There is a risk that goal setting and endless associated reports becomes a substitute for actual action.

  20. 420
    nigelj says:

    Susan Anderson @416, it is true that the facts do not always persuade people, particularly Trumps supporters most of whom probably had trouble grasping basic facts at school. These guys rely more on instincts and Trump is a good saleman and knows how to appeal to their instincts. Hes an awful politician and I have to say its a relief that Biden has essentially prevailed.

    However facts have their place. We currently have Jacinda Adern, a sensible, unifying, science admiring, liberal leaning leader with strict covid 19 policies, who just won an election in a landslide stealing many centre right votes in the process. And she won it the clean way using facts, science, and a bit of emotional appeal to kindness and a langauge about unity and the team of 5 million. Perhaps the combination of facts, science and sincerely genuine and righteous emotional appeal proved lethal in a political sense. It also saved lives.

    It has not always been so. I do not wish to sound smug. We have had a couple of leaders much like Trump. But it does suggest we should not be too quick to completely abandon arguing the facts, even with the stubborn as a rock Trump supporters. Things do eventually penetrate with most people. But it also suggests you have to combine facts with forming more emotive and values based connections with people. But this is where care is needed to find values that have reasonably wide appeal to people like Trumps supporters.

    Anyway I do totally get where you are coming from and see it mostly the same way.

  21. 421
    nigelj says:

    Engineer Poet @414

    Yes one problem is solar power produces less electricity in winter compared to summer. Its typically 50% less. However you could deal with this problem simply by doubling the size of the solar power instillation without needing seasonal storage as such. Given solar power is already lower cost than coal power ( as below), and is projected to fall much further it will soon become economic to over build the solar power instillation in the sense that costs would be no greater than coal power thus minimising the need for storage.

    https://www.evwind.es/2020/06/25/solar-and-wind-power-now-cheaper-than-coal/75326

  22. 422
    byzInjurse says:

    LorisInjurse

  23. 423

    Nazi boy 414: Pumping the entire volume of Lake Erie to a height 53 meters higher would store about 69 TWh, just 150 hours of average US electric consumption and a much smaller fraction of total energy use. Where can you even PUT that much water?

    BPL: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-finds-530000-potential-pumped-hydro-sites-worldwide

  24. 424

    SA 416: Spirituality yes, religion no.

    BPL: Spirituality is religion without discipline. No one ever had to confront their own sinfulness and do something about it because of “spirituality.”

  25. 425
    mike says:

    The emission targets are in motion. The proposed cuts are going up and the time frame is clamping down to 2030.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55179008

    “The PM has vowed to cut emissions by 68% by 2030 based on 1990 levels.

    Making the new pledge, Boris Johnson urged other world leaders to follow with ambitious targets at the virtual climate summit he is hosting on 12 December.”

    We need annual and a 5 year review at 2025 or this will likely turn out to be bold talk with no substance behind it.

    I think this is what we need to do. We also need to convert these emission target numbers into atmospheric CO2 ppm numbers so that we know we are actually creating results and not just creating happy stories about emission reductions.

    Cheers

    Mike

  26. 426
    Piotr says:

    Poet (414): Pumping the entire volume of Lake Erie to a height 53 meters higher would store about 69 TWh, just 150 hours of average US electric consumption

    Huh? How many times do you need it explained? BASELOAD is not the same as BACKUP energy, genius. Your: “ just 150 hours of average US electric consumption ” is BASELOAD, and not BACKUP i.e. energy needed only for the “deficit” periods, when the demand exceeds supply.

    Your numbers illustrate the situation when there is NO OTHER GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY in the entire US for 150 hrs in THE ROW, because only then your Lake Erie would be called upon to replace the BASELOAD. But no sane person builds STORAGE to provide BASELOAD: storage is only for evening out demand and supply.

    To illustrate the difference – let’s use your numbers – let’s say your demand exceeds supply not by 100% (as your “150 hrs” assumes), but, say, 10%. Then your Lake Erie is good not for your 150 hrs, but for … 2 MONTHS of CONTINUOUS drawdown.

    And word continuous is critical here – because if in these 2 MONTHS,
    as in the real world, there are periods when demand is less than the supply (say, the wind blows well, the sun shines, people go to bed and switch of electricity) – then we can use this UNUSED surplus power to recharge your storage, so you set your “2 month”-clock, preferably back to 0.

    And if over many months or years turns the tiem-integrated withdrawals are larger than the recharging – then it means that you you systemic imbalance between (demand and supply. But that’s another story – you don’t address it by building storage, but by building more baseload generation.

    If after all these, our Poet still doesn’t get the difference between baseload and backup, then I don’t know what else I could do. Write in dactylic hexameter ???

  27. 427

    nigelj @417:

    New open access research paper that is apparently very significant: “Direct mineralization of atmospheric CO2 using natural rocks in Japan”

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abc217

    Now that is a find on the order of the analysis of the prospects of mineralizing CO2 using dunite.  From the abstract:

    Under practicable operating conditions, negative emissions using crystalline surface rocks in Japan can reach ~7.6 Gt-CO2/y achieved across 726 sites. The average energy requirement was calculated to be 1.5 GJ t−1-CO2 with an average land requirement of 1.1 km2 per Mt-CO2 annual removal capacity. Carbon debt is paid off after 60 d of operation.

    1.5 GJ is about 420 kWh, roughly 1/3 of the output of 1 kW of solar panels operating at 15% capacity factor.  Most of the energy is probably spent in grinding the rock; the actual calculations are in section 2.2.1.  So, it appears that a kilowatt of PV might be able to pull 3 tons of CO2 out of the air per year.  And the application is perfect for renewables; it doesn’t matter what hour, day or even month you crush your rock, so it is close to the ultimate interruptible load.

    While the proposed use is for building material or fill for remediating mine sites, the known use of rock dust as a soil supplement and the high ambient CO2 levels in soil suggests that CO2 mineralization could be done rapidly over far greater areas without affecting land use.

    This could be a huge part of a real solution, folks.

  28. 428
  29. 429
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin M: To be a leader, you have to step up! Are you going to? Am I? Nope, not happening.

    AB: All my life people have expressed a willingness to follow me. In periods where I had a job I often heard some variation of “I’d vote for you” even though I don’t talk about running for office.

    And yes, I’ve always wanted to take the plunge. I build systems, and that’s precisely what politics ought to be.

    But I’ve always known that it is impossible. I’m different enough that I’d be shredded. Heck, it takes me two or more years to get up the courage to apply for a job, a decade or so to ask for a date. It’s a horrible life when pretty women show interest and you know you can’t respond because they’d reject you if they knew the real you.

    Until now, perhaps. I mean, I’ll still get trashed, but things have changed. So I decided to run an experiment, to start living openly as myself. And now attractive women approach me to compliment me and engage in conversation every couple of weeks. The data doesn’t match my beliefs about myself but the scientific mind changes its opinion when experimental data falsifies an axiom. I’ve analyzed the eyes and foot placement and all those other clues that help to dig out motivations and intent and it all screams that I am acceptable. So the next time I’m shopping or whatever and an attractive woman displays an interest I’m going to go for her digits.

    Internalizing unacceptability is no way to live. It makes you mean (I apologize for that symptom, and I’m working on it – it’s kind of like climate and CO2 – you start out in a glacial and little niceness leads to human interaction leads to a little more niceness leads to….).

    If the data holds to this new pattern I’ll try to scale things, which entails moving to one of the USA’s coasts (likely Stanford, CA), slurping up an instant doctorate by submitting a thesis on advanced combustion, and running for office.

    So perhaps you wouldn’t lead, but it’s what I was born to do.

  30. 430
    Al Bundy says:

    SA 416: Spirituality yes, religion no.

    BPL: Spirituality is religion without discipline. No one ever had to confront their own sinfulness and do something about it because of “spirituality.”

    AB: BPL, you are being a bigot. Read my last post, where I confronted my own “sinfulness” and expressed how I AM doing something about it precisely because of spirituality.

    Sometimes the best way to teach a bigot is to show the converse bigotry:

    Religion is a way to substitute rules for morality. Weak broth, that.

  31. 431

    nigelj @421:

    Yes one problem is solar power produces less electricity in winter compared to summer. Its typically 50% less. However you could deal with this problem simply by doubling the size of the solar power instillation without needing seasonal storage as such.

    “Just double the size.”  Yeah, right; land use kills you.  My fellow Oil Drummer Euan Mearns finds about a 2:1 variation in capacity factor over the year and an average of 25.2%.  Figuring 25% panel efficiency and 50% areal coverage (probably high for higher latitudes).  So, at a 25.2% CF, generating an AP-1000 equivalent of 1115 MW @ 92% CF requires 4285 MW peak output, probably 4657 MW of PV ahead of the inverter.  Double that to 8570 MW for your proposal.

    At 40 degrees north (well south of me), the sun is VERY low in the sky in winter; it barely gets 26.5° above the horizon at the solstice and spends much of its time considerably lower.  If you want any output, you need to have the panel tilt close to perpendicular, and you need considerable spacing so that rows of panels don’t shade each other.  To get decent output near the solstice you probably need unobstructed sun down to about 10° above the horizon.  1/sin 10° is 5.76, so to get 8570 MW peak on the solstice (with 25% efficient panels and no clouds to interfere) requires 197452000 m² of land.  That’s 197.4 km² just to replace the ELECTRIC output of a single AP1000 (replacing the ~2300 MW of low-grade heat would require quite a bit more).  I have nothing against the repurposing of roofs, walls and windows, etc. as solar collectors of whatever type, but when it takes 200 times as much land area to do “renewable” things versus nuclear, you really need to reconsider your approach.  200x or more (nuclear plants typically pack several units on a single sub-km² site) the land-use impact is a staggering difference and indicates a flawed approach.  As in, “you’d better revisit your assumptions.”

    The raw numbers ignore the burden of maintenance.  An AP1000 is likely to run for 80 years, maybe more.  A PV panel might be good for 20 years, so 8570 MW of raw capacity would require replacement at 428.5 MW of panels per year, EVERY year, for eternity.  This includes deterioration of foundations, stands, wiring, everything.  The hurricane which shredded the PV farm in Puerto Rico is nothing compared to the annual burden of the regular upkeep of a “Green New Deal” level “renewable” system for the USA.  (Which isn’t “renewable” because we have no way to recycle the stuff that’s being retired, including toxic elements like cadmium and arsenic.)  You really need to look at the details IN DETAIL.

  32. 432

    Whiny blank-ish bitch @423:

    Nazi boy 414

    Ye gods, put some effort into it.  At LEAST call me a few varieties of -ish and -phobic.  Are you REALLY just phoning it in?  Try to do better.

    I’ll own it anyway, you know.  The more you attack Nazis (which my own family fought 1941-45), the more you validate them.  YOU are scum.

    BPL: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-finds-530000-potential-pumped-hydro-sites-worldwide

    We’ve been over this.  Not a single one of those sites has a FRESH water lower reservoir.  That means they are environmentally deadly to everything around the upper reservoir.  In other words, non-starters.

    Try to do better THERE too.  Polysulfide flow batteries are vast improvements over your environmentally disastrous PHS schemes.  Thousand-to-one energy densities are not something you can ignore.  http://dothemath.ucsd.edu/ FFS.

  33. 433

    mike @425:

    The emission targets are in motion. The proposed cuts are going up and the time frame is clamping down to 2030.

    Good luck on that.  All the evidence suggests that the engineering cannot meet the empty promises.

    We need annual and a 5 year review at 2025 or this will likely turn out to be bold talk with no substance behind it.

    Honestly, you won’t get it.  Nobody has even proposed a plan that will meet it, let alone legislated one.

    We also need to convert these emission target numbers into atmospheric CO2 ppm numbers so that we know we are actually creating results and not just creating happy stories about emission reductions.

    That needs to be a prerequisite.

  34. 434
    zebra says:

    Barton Paul Levenson #424

    “Spirituality is religion without discipline. No one ever had to confront their own sinfulness and do something about it because of “spirituality.” ”

    Absolutely! Without religion, for example, lots of young gay people would never have the benefit of experiencing shame and self-loathing when they had those funny feelings. They might even act on them!

    That spirituality crap would just lead them to accepting themselves and their worth as part of a complex and fascinating universe, whatever absurd rules some authoritarian preacher might dictate. Wouldn’t want that!

  35. 435

    @426:

    Huh? How many times do you need it explained? BASELOAD is not the same as BACKUP energy, genius. Your: “ just 150 hours of average US electric consumption ” is BASELOAD, and not BACKUP i.e. energy needed only for the “deficit” periods, when the demand exceeds supply

    How many times do YOU need it explained?  Wind goes on multi-week vacations in the exact season when solar is effectively out of commission.  The Germans have an expression for this:  “dunkelflaute”, “dark calm”.  If you don’t cover for these things, PEOPLE WILL DIE.

    let’s say your demand exceeds supply not by 100% (as your “150 hrs” assumes), but, say, 10%.

    We already have examples of supply going to near-zero for closer to 300 hours, so stop the “let’s say” crap and deal with reality for a change.

    Also, nice evasion of the land-use issues.  Screaming at me over my refusal to cleave to PC won’t make them OR me go away, so stop trying.

    Reliable energy supply needs STOCKPILES.  Heaps of coal, tanks of oil, reservoirs of natural gas… all of them are vastly more dense than water behind dams or caves of compressed air or even batteries.  Yet actinides are denser than the best of the aforementioned, by many orders of magnitude.  They are PRECISELY what we need, and everyone needs to stop denying it and get with the program.

  36. 436

    @423:

    Nazi boy 414

    Oh, FFS.  Nothing with “-ist” or “-phobe”?  At least put SOME effort into it.  You know I’m going to laugh at you anyway, Mr. Gulag A. Holodomor, but everyone else deserves a show.

    BPL: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-finds-530000-potential-pumped-hydro-sites-worldwide

    The vast majority of those can’t be used, because the lower reservoir is saltwater.  We’ve been over this.

  37. 437

    #426–Piotr suggests “Write in dactylic hexameter ???”

    Hmm, seems unlikely, but I’ll give it a try:

    Thank you, my Nigel*, for saying again that renewable power, built
    Once and curtailed well (with wisdom profound) can supply our deep need
    With less than one thinks of the storage we’d want, did we not o’er-build so. And this it can do with less cost than incurred by the alternate plans.**

    * nigel, @ #421
    **Yeah, the last line doesn’t look like a dactylic one, but the software won’t let me put “and” at the end of the previous line, where the meter would want it to stay. Doesn’t really matter to the ear, though.

    And turning to the substantive point, yes, an “overbuilding and curtailment” strategy really can work:

    https://www.utilitydive.com/news/minnesota-study-finds-it-cheaper-to-curtail-solar-than-to-add-storage/546467/

    https://energypost.eu/overbuild-solar-its-getting-so-cheap-curtailment-wont-matter/

    https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2020/05/14/overbuilding-solar-at-up-to-4-times-peak-load-yields-a-least-cost-all-renewables-grid/

  38. 438

    …And submission screwed up the line divisions differently than preview, making nonsense of my comment about that.

    Probably no-one actually cares, but anyway:

    Thank you, my Nigel*, for saying again that renewable power, built
    Once and curtailed well (with wisdom profound) can supply our deep need
    With less than one thinks of the storage we’d want, did we not o’er-build so. And
    This it can do with less cost than incurred by the alternate plans.

  39. 439
    Killian says:

    Zero emissions jets, eh? Really? It requires no FF’s to make them? #Greenwashing bullshit. Until people get real, we will be headed for the cliff.

    “The PM has vowed to cut emissions by 68% by 2030 based on 1990 levels.

    Making the new pledge, Boris Johnson urged other world leaders to follow with ambitious targets at the virtual climate summit he is hosting on 12 December.”

    Given we could be at negative emissions over the same time period, and the evidence is piling up that we have, or will soon pass, passed irreversible tipping points, how is this abitious?

    BPL: Spirituality is religion without discipline. No one ever had to confront their own sinfulness and do something about it because of “spirituality.”

    Utter bullshit. How can you not understand you speak only for yourself? I, for example, moved away from religion to spirituality exactly because I deeply considered my sins and the nature of the god or gods that I would want addressing them and found those offered wanting. I determined any god that is not the best example of a father/mother one could think of was not worth my time and moved on.

    Rocks: So, destroy Earth to save Earth? How about we just save Earth? Soil carbon, reforestation (not “tree planting), aforestation, bio-char.

    When your solution creates new problems, it’s not a solution.

  40. 440
    David B. Benson says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @423 — That was beneath you.

  41. 441
    David B. Benson says:

    Killian @439 — It doesn’t actually take that much rock. Terra has plenty; the rock which has chemically bound the carbon dioxide can be used as dirt to build soil. There are other uses.

  42. 442
    David B. Benson says:

    Engineer-Poet @432 — Both reservoirs of pumped hydro schemes are unfriendly environments due to pumping and generation; the water level changes if that matters.

    But for the few pumped hydro schemes with the ocean as the lower reservoir of course only the upper one is single purpose.

    I know of no pumped hydro schemes under construction nor serious planning for such. The economics favors other solutions for electrical energy storage.

  43. 443
    Al Bundy says:

    Piotr: Talk about engineering oneself into obsolescence…

    EP: Wishful thinking on your part.

    AB: geez, Piotr. Brilliance can’t go obsolete. Should allll of EP’s claims about nukes, renewables, and storage be debunked EP would still be one of the most valuable members of any team.

    And frankly, I think he’s more right than wrong. He cuts through the humanity and focuses solely on the equations, which is frustrating since it causes him to reject “the good that could convince” because that ain’t “the best” in his opinion. To which I say, “A ‘best’ that can’t convince is precisely as effective as pounding sand”.
    __________

    Nigelj: Yes one problem is solar power produces less electricity in winter compared to summer. Its typically 50% less. However you could deal with this problem simply by doubling the size of the solar power instillation without needing seasonal storage as such.

    AB: I’d add that CO2 drawdown is important, as is the generation of liquid fuels. Double capacity is NEEDED whether there’s storage or not.

  44. 444
    Al Bundy says:

    EP,

    Why are you talking about truly moronic placement of solar cells? North/south transmission lines are actually possible. Nukes are best placed in the Arctic, too.

    When discussing stuff it is wise to try your hardest to incorporate others’ beliefs and ideas in you next proposal, such as when I racked my brain to find the best and least scary way to incorporate nukes in a system.

    Your posts show an appalling lack of incorporation. That’s something I’d expect of a subgenius, but you? Disappointing.

    Hopefully this friendly nudge will inspire you to broaden your definition of acceptable.

  45. 445
    Mr. Know It All says:

    416 – Susan Anderson
    “…you’re very kind, but I can tell you from experience that Trumpians despise me. Since their leaders don’t create, only destroy, all they have to do is exactly reverse the meaning of those who do the work and the cult lines up, with death threats and all. This is a died in the wool Republican who finally speaks up loudly enough to say what needs to be said, but that’s only about up front violence (Perdue and Loeffler are publicly and utterly corrupt, and he supports them anyway), not the violence that is being done to our future and reality (their true believers blame Democrats and hospitals and don’t believe they have COVID, even at death’s door). They just love that being a jerk is now all the rage, and they’ll believe anything if it comes form their dear leader.”

    I’m a Trumpian and I don’t despise you, I don’t even know you. So you’re concerned about Trump inciting violence, eh? Were you also upset about leftist leaders inciting violence against Trumpians for the past 5 years since he came down the golden escalator? A little reminder for you – this was a comment below a YouTube video – the author was “U.S. Paratroops”, but there are over 15,000 comments for this video so I can’t find it, but I did make a copy when I read it a long time ago:

    Democrats didn’t care when Madonna said she had thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. Democrats didn’t care when Kathy Griffin posed with a mock severed head of President Trump. Democrats didn’t care when a Broadway Play depicted the assassination of President Trump. Democrats didn’t care when Johnny Depp said, “how long has been since an actor assassinated a President”. Democrats didn’t care when Snoop Dog and Eminem made music videos about assassinating President Trump. Democrats didn’t care when dozens of people were shot to death at a Jason Aldean concert. Democrats didn’t care when Congressman Steve Scalise was shot at a baseball game. Democrats didn’t care when Robert De Niro said “somebody needs to take out Trump”. Democrats didn’t care when Carole Cook said “Where’s John Wilkes Booth when you need him?” Democrats didn’t care when Republican candidate Rudy Peters was attacked by a man with a switchblade. Democrats didn’t care when a Republican Party Office was set on fire. Democrats didn’t care when Eric Holder said “When they go low, we kick ‘em”. Democrats didn’t care when Trump family members received suspicious packages in the mail. Democrats didn’t care when Secretary of Defense James Mattis received death threats. Democrats didn’t care when Maxine Waters said “you get up in their face at the mall, in restaurants, at gas stations and you tell them Republicans they’re not welcomed anywhere”. Democrats didn’t care when Sarah Sanders and her family were harassed at a restaurant, instructed to leave and chased down the street. Democrats didn’t care when Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was harassed and chased out of a Mexican restaurant. Democrats didn’t care when Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s life was threatened and he was chased out of a restaurant. Democrats didn’t care when Attorney General Pam Bondi was harassed and chased out of a theatre. Democrats didn’t care when Rand Paul was attacked and beaten up in his own yard. Democrats didn’t care when two Republican senators: Rob Portman of Ohio and John Boozman of Arkansas were harassed in their own yards and on their own doorsteps. Democrats didn’t care when a 71-year-old female staffer for California Rep. Dana Rohrbacher was knocked unconscious by an angry group of liberal protesters. Democrats didn’t care when a North Carolina GOP office was firebombed by an angry mob of liberals. Democrats didn’t care when Hillary Clinton said “we can’t be civil to Republicans until Democrats return to power”. Maxine Waters- “Push back…Push back”, “In peach foti fi…In peach foti fi”
    For over two years Democrats have encouraged hate, harassment, vandalism, acts of violence and even threats of assassination

    Source of above comment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7EaCVnw5n4

    FYI: Here’s some science info on the virus:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/first-time-us-state-will-require-disclosure-pcr-test-cycle-data

    On violence, our side is concerned about leftist violence because we’ve learned from history. We’re ready for it. 6 part article, be sure to read every word:

    https://metallicman.com/laoban4site/what-the-progressive-liberals-have-in-store-for-conservatives/

    On the threats of violence you referred to, it sounds like it was in reference to the Dominion voting machines. Concern about those is warranted. Read very carefully a letter by four Democrat members of Congress stating their concerns in December 2019:

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/democratic-senators-warned-of-potential-vote-switching-by-dominion-voting-machines-prior-to-2020-election

    We Trumpians will accept your apology for your baseless insults any time you’re ready to give it.
    ;)

  46. 446

    AB 430: AB: BPL, you are being a bigot. Read my last post, where I confronted my own “sinfulness” and expressed how I AM doing something about it precisely because of spirituality.

    BPL: Bugger off.

  47. 447
  48. 448

    Nazi boy 432: The more you attack Nazis (which my own family fought 1941-45), the more you validate them.

    BPL: So when your family allegedly fought Nazis, they were validating them? Do you read what you write before you post it?

  49. 449

    z 434: Absolutely! Without religion, for example, lots of young gay people would never have the benefit of experiencing shame and self-loathing when they had those funny feelings. They might even act on them! . . . That spirituality crap would just lead them to accepting themselves and their worth as part of a complex and fascinating universe, whatever absurd rules some authoritarian preacher might dictate. Wouldn’t want that!

    BPL: That’s right, zebra, all Christians are anti-gay bigots. But YOU’RE not a bigot. Oh, no. You have “spirituality.”

  50. 450

    BPL: https://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/anu-finds-530000-potential-pumped-hydro-sites-worldwide

    Nazi boy 436: The vast majority of those can’t be used, because the lower reservoir is saltwater. We’ve been over this.

    BPL: Yeah, nobody ever engineered walls or pylons or oil rigs or wave turbine emplacements or the hulls of ships to deal with saltwater. It’s just too corrosive! Engineering can’t handle it!