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Forced responses: Dec 2020

Filed under: — group @ 10 December 2020

The bimonthly open thread on climate solution discussions. Topics might focus on the incoming Biden administration, the five year anniversary of the Paris Accords, and the challenge of making post-covid plans sustainable. Climate science issues should be raised here.

187 Responses to “Forced responses: Dec 2020”

  1. 51
    nigelj says:

    KIA says “On the discussion above by zebra to kill everyone in flyover country, that’s stupid……….am I wrong?:)”. Oh look, trolling, inflammatory attention seeking, lies, ignorance, trying to piss off democrats, grouchy mood because trump lost, all in one paragraph. This guy is like an annoying buzzing fly.

  2. 52

    Proposal for a Peace Treaty between BPL and Al Bundy

    When you originally responded to my comments about spirituality, you related an experience of your own in that regard. It struck me as calling sinful what were only personality traits, like introversion or shyness, and I didn’t want to deal with it. So I took the easy way out and swore at you. It was glib, it was superficial, and it was hostile. I could have analyzed what you said and put my objections to it into words, but I didn’t. I am at fault for starting this. I’m sorry. I apologize.

    I hope we can go back to neutrality, at least.

  3. 53

    https://newsroom.nuscalepower.com/press-releases/news-details/2020/NuScale-Power-Releases-Updated-Evaluation-for-77-MWe-Module-Clean-Hydrogen-Production/default.aspx

    NuScale Power Releases Updated Evaluation for 77 MWe Module Clean Hydrogen Production
    12/09/2020

    25 percent increase in NuScale Power Module™ power output leads to boost in cost-competitive clean hydrogen production

    PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– NuScale Power today announced updated evaluations for the technical feasibility and economics of producing hydrogen using heat and electricity from a NuScale Power Module™ (NPM) as a result of the recent announcement that an NPM can generate an additional 25 percent more power per module for a total of 250 MWt (or 77 MWe) per module. The hydrogen study was originally conducted in 2014 with the Idaho National Laboratory and has been updated with new production and economic parameters.

    The updated analysis found that with the 25 percent increase in power output of an NPM, one 250 MWt NuScale module is capable of producing 2,053 kg/hour of hydrogen, or nearly 50 metric tons per day, an increase from 1,667 kg/hour of hydrogen or 40 metric tons per day for a 200 MWt NuScale module. Moreover, as a result of the lower levelized cost of electricity from the increased power output, hydrogen produced by a NuScale high-temperature steam electrolysis (HTSE) system is forecasted to be cost competitive with high capacity factor renewable hydrogen cost estimates while also providing continuous, controlled hydrogen production.

    “The ability of our NPM to now produce even more clean hydrogen, in a smaller footprint, is yet another example of how NuScale’s technology can help decarbonize various sectors of the economy while providing additional revenue streams for customers,” said Dr. José Reyes, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of NuScale Power. “Coupled with our proven design, unparalleled safety, and load following capabilities, this analysis further demonstrates that NuScale’s design is the gold standard in helping meet the demand for innovative solutions to challenging global energy needs.”

    In the analysis, energy from a single NPM in the form of superheated steam and electricity are directly routed to a HTSE system operating at 850°C. Only 2 percent of the electrical output (~1.8 MWe) of the NPM is used to increase the process steam temperature from 300°C at the NPM outlet to 850°C for the electrolyzer. NuScale’s innovative multi-module power plant design means that a NuScale plant could produce reliable clean electricity for the grid while allocating one or more modules to economically produce hydrogen when electricity demand is low.

    (article continues at the link)

  4. 54
    nigelj says:

    Engineer poet @26

    “It’s not just that. It’s the overbuilding required even to have sufficient energy in high-latitude winters. It’s the massive amount of land going to rights-of-way for all the trans-continental transmission lines……A 500 kV HVDC line requires a ROW up to about 180 feet wide. That’s 5.5 ha per km of run…..”

    Yep, interesting and real concerns. The study might have included seasonal storage but I confess I didnt read it , didn’t want to buy this one, Ive read other similar calcs out of curiosity. But lets assume it didn’t include for seasonal storage. So it’s basic contention was “For example, we find that the base case solar electric footprint is equal to less than 2% of the land dedicated to cropland and grazing in the United States, and less than the current amount of land used for corn ethanol production.” Now lets assume we need triple that number to deal with seasonal storage so the solar panels would require 6% of agricultural land all other things being equal.

    As previously mentioned output typically drops 50% in winter, you argued more so lets assume we would need to triple the number of panels. This is generous. But other studies show that you can easily get 30% of solar power from rooftop solar and lets assume you can get 20% from solar panels floating on rafts around the coast, and lets assume you can get 20% from waste land and forestry land and lets assume prices drop further but towards the more conservative estimates. So that means you are back to easily less than 2% of total agricultural land which is a workable number.

    Yes transmission lines do require a corridor of land but cattle are typically grazed under them so its not really as big an issue as you think. Studies find no adverse effects. It could be done, 2% of agricultural land is obviously not a huge problem. I think its more about quantity of materials used which is pretty significant. Some of the materials are scarce like gallium and indium which might make solar collector technology and wind power attractive options as well,and they require less land. Cattle also graze around wind towers.

  5. 55
    Astringent says:

    @32, with reference to Sydney sea level…golly gosh – much better to get our science from Internet memes than actual data. (https://climatefeedback.org/claimreview/photo-meme-of-sydney-harbour-incorrectly-claims-no-sea-level-rise-has-occurred/) In fact levels have risen by about 15 cms over the last 150 years. I’m guessing that Blackbeard’s dock is probably related to Washington’s axe…there might have been just a little repair and refurbishment….

  6. 56
    Dan says:

    re: 32 Clueless, this is a science site. You still have no clue about the scientific method. Yet you post a link to breitbart? Seriously, how much more ignorant of science can you get? You might want to talk to the military in Hampton Roads, Virginia who are actively working to prevent the effects of sea level rise at the naval base. And the fact that coastal flooding is increasing in southeastern Virginia. You know, facts. Look up that word too. As in, “It is a fact you deflected accusations that one of your brethren killed innocent people at the synagogue in Pittsburgh”. (No, we will not forget the vile things you said.)

  7. 57
    Al Bundy says:

    mrkia: Irrefutable evidence of zero or minimal SLR.

    AB: Yep. So far SLR hasn’t been catastrophic. Clear sky flooding is kinda entertaining, eh? And who without a climate science background would consider “the millimeter of SLR that broke the levy’s back”? Or that SLR isn’t identical in all locations around the planet so cherrypickers like you will be able to “prove” that SLR isn’t a problem even when Miami’s streets are flooded twice a day every day.

    Of course, it is also irrefutable evidence that you don’t know about (or perhaps care about?) exponential growth. Read some James Hansen and get back to us.

  8. 58
    Susan Anderson says:

    Usually wrong Mr. Know-It-All (honorable mention AB):

    Though in general I avoid the endless and lengthy arguments which I regard as largely a waste of time,* whether or not I agree with the premise or the various “sides”, KIA and Al Bundy misrepresented Zebra in a way that requires correction. None of us should go there.

    “depopulation” is not “killing”. Full stop.

    If I am wrong about the intent, shame on people for thinking it’s OK not to recognize the value of a life, wrongheaded or not.

    *Nobody persuadable is reading these comment sections where we endlessly vent our frustrations …

  9. 59
    mike says:

    Is sea level rising?
    Yes, sea level is rising at an increasing rate.

    https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

    Global mean sea level has risen about 8–9 inches (21–24 centimeters) since 1880, with about a third of that coming in just the last two and a half decades. The rising water level is mostly due to a combination of meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets and thermal expansion of seawater as it warms. In 2019, global mean sea level was 3.4 inches (87.61 mm centimeters) above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). From 2018 to 2019, global sea level rose 0.24 inches (6.1 millimeters).

    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-sea-level

    a little reality check for some folks.

    Cheers

    Mike

  10. 60
    nigelj says:

    Forgot to mention another reason solar panels could take up less land area is their efficiency has been steadily increasing, and is virtually certain to increase further as below. And the numbers are significant:

    https://sites.lafayette.edu/egrs352-sp14-pv/technology/history-of-pv-technology/

  11. 61

    @44:

    I wasn’t clear. I was speaking about “radioactive” hydrocarbon fuel.

    Oh, that.

    Duane Arnold would have been a slightly difficult case to convert because it is a BWR, and the steam from the turbines has a certain amount of nitrogen-16 generated by (n,p) reactions in the core.  N-16 is a strong gamma emitter, but its half-life is only 7 seconds.  You’d want a set of heat exchangers to transfer heat to uncontaminated water before it leaves the turbine hall, mostly to avoid having any radiological protection issues at the EtOH plant.  If the heating of the mashing tuns and stills is indirect, that’s two barriers between anything that’s normally “hot” and the product.

    Does the use of “free” low grade steam slightly reduce or greatly reduce the carbon emissions of ethanol production?

    https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/55/7/593/306765 has an analysis of the energy inputs to corn EtOH production.  Going with the figures in Table 1, 41.60 GJ of the 66.05 GJ/ha of inputs are in the industrial sector, or 64%.  If most of that is process heat rather than e.g. running pumps, replacing it with low-grade nuclear heat counts as “greatly”, I believe.

    I’m going to forget following up on any more tangents.

  12. 62
    nigelj says:

    J Doug Swallow @38 &39, thank’s for the information, but I’m never convinced when people pick Germany as an example of renewable energy problems, because their situation is fairly non typical in that as far as I recall they were going well with wind power, then took nuclear power offline after the Fukushima problem ( an over reaction I feel) and so bought more idle coal capacity online to quickly fill the void, and I think conservative politics was also behind burning coal. So emissions went up for a while. Now they are back building wind power. So this history very roughly outlined doesn’t discredit the technical feasability or economics of renewables.

    But yeah I do think there are question marks around pumped hydro. Usefulness is going to depend a lot about specific location geography and other factors.

  13. 63
    Al Bundy says:

    AB: Maybe if mass murder is the tool used …snip… your hypothetical would result in a tidal wave of ignorance slamming into the sane states.

    Susan A: “depopulation” is not “killing”. Full stop.

    AB: Yep, which makes me wonder how you misinterpreted what I wrote. The first clause simply noted the possibility of a perversion of zebra’s musings, as I thought my conclusion made clear. “Would result” doesn’t leave room for alternatives. Zebra isn’t into genocide.

    _____

    BPL,
    I am not a Christian, but I strive to follow Jesus’ teachings. I should have turned the other cheek instead of escalating. It only takes one spark to get a fire going, but it takes a team to build a proper bonfire.

    I agree. We’ve gone through too many rounds of mutual stupidity.

  14. 64
    nigelj says:

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1337737606688333826.html

    This twitter rant is written by Richard Murphy and was posted by Killian. It looks like Murphy is really proposing a form of MMT (Modern Monetary Theory). This system basically means governments no longer raise money by taxes and / or borrowing on the open market, and instead they use money created by reserve banks at the whim of politicians, although they might still use taxation for redistributive and anti inflation purposes etcetera. These are some studies of the positives and negatives of the MMT idea which I googled out of interest:

    https://www.bleyerbullion.co.uk/advantages-disadvantages-modern-monetary-theory-mmt

    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/04/pros-cons-mmt/

    I wonder if it makes sense, because regardless of how governments fund themselves, they can only spend so much money before they crowd out the private sector or cause inflation. Its VERY dependent on having very responsible politicians in charge. It might come down to who you trust to create money, politicians or private banks (who currently create most money). That is not a great choice, although banks are typically made to follow rules. But one enticing positive is MMT might lead to more money going into social services and climate change mitigation than asset bubbles.

  15. 65

    JDS 38: yet the amount of pollutants and greenhouse gases emitted by smokestacks increased last year.

    BPL: Not true. German CO2 emissions were down last year. Where are you getting your misinformation?

  16. 66

    JDS 40: Pumped storage hydroelectricity generation is negative because most pumped storage electricity generation facilities use more electricity than they produce on an annual basis.

    BPL: No kidding. It’s energy STORAGE, not NEW ENERGY GENERATION.

  17. 67

    K 48: I get a kick out of Christians, and others, who claim their shiny modern gods are real but all those OLD gods, well, they’re just make-believe.

    BPL: Surprise! Christianity doesn’t require Christians to believe their religion is 100% true and all other religions are 100% false. There is some truth in all religions, but the amount varies, as one would expect from reality.

  18. 68
    Al Bundy says:

    nigelj: Yes transmission lines do require a corridor of land but

    AB: fortunately most(?) of the required corridors already exist. However, some ROWs might need to be widened.

    ” in Germany, the Ultranet HVDC conversion project is currently converting an existing AC corridor to a hybrid AC/DC corridor to bring wind power from the north of the country to loads in the south ”
    https://www.pnas.org/content/116/28/13879

    And wind turbines can be built in a highway’s median. They can be tall enough so one or more lines can be supported by the turbines’ towers. This would eliminate concerns about a wayward branch starting a forest fire (though protection from a wayward vehicle would be needed).

    Thoughts?

  19. 69
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Barton Paul Levenson

    Blessed are the peace makers. May they have more success in coming months.

  20. 70

    IMHO, debating whether 2% of US land area is too much to devote to an all-solar electric grid is relatively pointless in that there is no plausible future which the generation mix is going to be all-ANYTHING.

    The paper attempting to determine the land needed may have some value as a bounding exercise. But we’ve never yet had a mono-sourced grid–hydro and coal generation both started in the US ~1882–and we’re not going to have one any time soon, either. (Where “any time soon” is defined as no sooner than 20 years, and continues indefinitely.)

  21. 71
    Killian says:

    59 mike: Is sea level rising?
    Yes, sea level is rising at an increasing rate.

    …From 2018 to 2019, global sea level rose 0.24 inches (6.1 millimeters).

    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-sea-level

    a little reality check for some folks.

    So, that doubling has already arrived. As I predicted.

    Hang on, folks. We’re juuust getting started.

  22. 72
    Russell Seitz says:

    71

    Please read your souce before swallowing your cherry pits:

    “The global mean water level in the ocean rose by 0.14 inches (3.6 millimeters) per year from 2006–2015, which was 2.5 times the average rate of 0.06 inches (1.4 millimeters) per year throughout most of the twentieth century. By the end of the century, global mean sea level is likely to rise at least one foot (0.3 meters) above 2000 levels, even if greenhouse gas emissions follow a relatively low pathway in coming decades.”

    In some ocean basins, sea level rise has been as much as 6-8 inches (15-20 centimeters) since the start of the satellite record. Regional differences exist because of natural variability in the strength of winds and ocean currents, which influence how much and where the deeper layers of the ocean store heat

  23. 73

    n 64,

    MMT is yet another attempt to prove that you can print as much money as you want without inflation. It is belied by what happened in Weimar Germany, Hungary in 1946, and Zimbabwe in the 2000s. Wishful thinking triumphing over evidence.

  24. 74
    zebra says:

    The Even Greater Game

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/12/16/magazine/russia-climate-migration-crisis.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    I’m sure Putin and company regularly check the comments here to get advice on how to reduce fossil fuel use so they can stop selling oil and gas, and prevent what’s described in the article.

    Pumped storage?? Wind farms?? Nuclear?? Tis a puzzlement, indeed. But I’m sure their best minds (the ones not working on subverting US democracy, and how best to deliver nerve agent to political opponents) are really focused on the question.

  25. 75
    Mal Adapted says:

    Ray Ladbury:

    Blessed are the peace makers.

    “Blessed are the cheesemakers?”

    Sorry, but somebody had to 8^D! Obligatory ’70s pop-culture reference made: AFAIC, religion is only a topic here when it’s a cognitive motivator of science denial. I’m gratified by Al’s and Barton’s public rapprochement. They are an example to us all.

  26. 76
    Al Bundy says:

    BPL: Surprise! Christianity doesn’t require Christians to believe their religion is 100% true and all other religions are 100% false.

    AB: I’m not sure that is relevant. If Killian says that I eat fish and I do then it is irrelevant that nobody is forcing me to eat fish. Killian was speaking about individuals, not rules. My guess is that Killian correctly described 90% of fundamentalist Christians’ beliefs, or at least that’s what they present to the world as their beliefs. What’s your estimate?

  27. 77
    Al Bundy says:

    BPL: It struck me as calling sinful what were only personality traits,

    AB: Those were parts of the ‘why’. The sin I’m fighting is treating you and others in cyberspace poorly. Makes me feel horrible for days.

  28. 78
    Ken Fabian says:

    “Regional differences exist because of natural variability in the strength of winds and ocean currents, which influence how much and where the deeper layers of the ocean store heat” – also because of variations in surface gravity around the globe. More sea level rise is happening further away from melting land based ice than nearest the source. This animated display of satellite sea level data shows the effect –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VY_SeZiBcM4

  29. 79

    Absolutely fascinating piece opining that we’ve hit peak oil and our capability to maintain the energy infrastructure of the world is falling apart, with the inevitable end of industrial civilization at the end of it:

    https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2020/11/06/the-narrative-problem-after-peak-oil/

  30. 80
  31. 81
    nigelj says:

    Killian @71 says “From 2018 to 2019, global sea level rose 0.24 inches (6.1 millimeters. a little reality check for some folks.So, that doubling has already arrived. As I predicted. Hang on, folks. We’re juuust getting started.”

    It did the same around 1970, 1980, 1995, and 2009 as well according to the study he posted.

    https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2680/new-study-finds-sea-level-rise-accelerating/

  32. 82
    Al Bundy says:

    I think Biden should take the cash folks are donating for his inauguration and split it evenly among the poor and lower middle class. Might only be a few dollars, but it would have huge political consequences.

  33. 83
    J Doug Swallow says:

    62
    nigelj says:
    14 Dec 2020 at 9:39 PM

    Germany has the highest electricity costs in Europe, with a rate of around 35 US cents a kilowatt-hour. Due to these high costs, the country has developed a program for increasing the contribution of electricity sourced from renewable sources to upwards of 80% by the calendar year 2050. During the first quarter of 2014, the country produced a record-setting 27% of its electricity via renewable sources, a result of both favorable weather and an increased capacity to utilize renewable energy within the country.
    There are ramifications involved in Germany’s contemporary renewable energy program, including an instable electric grid, the burden being placed upon German households by increased costs for electricity, and the need for secure back-up power that is affordable and reliable. Currently, utility companies within the country are receiving payments from the grid as a measure of stabilizing a network that has been disrupted due to surges and falls in contributions from solar and wind power sources. Coal is being utilized in a heftier manner in order to back-up the renewable technologies (and their intermittent nature) while delivering a reliable base load of power, although at the risk of increasing emissions of carbon dioxide. The result has been German residents having to pay feed-in-tariffs in addition to high utility costs as a measure of subsidizing the renewable energy technologies.

  34. 84
    J Doug Swallow says:

    #65 Barton Paul Levenson says: “BPL: Not true. German CO2 emissions were down last year. Where are you getting your misinformation?” This below is where I got the information that you never read. Where is your information regarding; “Not true. German CO2 emissions were down last year”?

    “More and more wind turbines are turning in Germany, and solar panels are basking in the sun, yet the amount of pollutants and greenhouse gases emitted by smokestacks increased last year. This dramatic turn of events is especially evident in small town of Grosskotzenburg, just east of Frankfurt”.
    https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/high-costs-and-errors-of-german-transition-to-renewable-energy-a-920288.html

  35. 85
    J Doug Swallow says:

    #66 Barton Paul Levenson “BPL: No kidding. It’s energy STORAGE, not NEW ENERGY GENERATION”. I certainly hope that you feel better now that you have let all know an obvious fact; that pumped storage is energy storage and ‘NOT NEW ENERGY GENERATION’. Being able to read and understand the obvious is sometimes a blessing.
    Abstract
    Concern for climate change is one of the drivers of new, transitional energy policies oriented towards economic growth and energy security, along with reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and preservation of biodiversity. Since 2010, the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) has been publishing annual Global Landscape of Climate Finance reports. According to these reports, US$3660 billion has been spent on global climate change projects over the period 2011–2018. Fifty-five percent of this expenditure has gone to wind and solar energy. According to world energy reports, the contribution of wind and solar to world energy consumption has increased from 0.5% to 3% over this period. Meanwhile, coal, oil, and gas continue to supply 85% of the world’s energy consumption, with hydroelectricity and nuclear providing most of the remainder. With this in mind, we consider the potential engineering challenges and environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the main energy sources (old and new). We find that the literature raises many concerns about the engineering feasibility as well as environmental impacts of wind and solar. However, none of the current or proposed energy sources is a “panacea”. Rather, each technology has pros and cons, and policy-makers should be aware of the cons as well as the pros when making energy policy decisions. We urge policy-makers to identify which priorities are most important to them, and which priorities they are prepared to compromise on.
     
    https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/13/18/4839/htm?fbclid=IwAR3c7nKttnT2ikbjwQ0UfbeboJ1i-e2akW0GOqj2tlwPznEJD-O7FNH5OmI

  36. 86
    nigelj says:

    J Doug Swallow @83,

    “Germany has the highest electricity costs in Europe, with a rate of around 35 US cents a kilowatt-hour. …….During the first quarter of 2014,….”

    You don’t say where you got this information critical of Germanys renewables programme, but it quotes a date of 2014 so looks like its very out of date. Please provide a link to that article.

    Yes electricity is expensive in Germany, and more expensive than the rest of Europe, but once again Germany is not typical. Electricity is cheaper in other European countries with good levels of renewables penetration and also New Zealand for example. So if you go on a cherry picking one country, its not going to work, and makes you look stupid and deceptive and you will be rightly regarded with disdain by the very people you are trying to convince.

    ———————————-

    J Doug Swallow @84

    “#65 Barton Paul Levenson says: “BPL: Not true. German CO2 emissions were down last year. Where are you getting your misinformation?” This below is where I got the information that you never read. Where is your information regarding; “Not true. German CO2 emissions were down last year”?”

    John, the article you quoted is is for 2013 so its out of date and so completely irrelevant to last years emissions and also irrelevant to the current state of Germanys electricity grid. Epic fail on you part :) The fact is Germanys emissions fell last year, 2019 as below. Took me three seconds to find this:

    https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-climate-targets#:~:text=In%202019%2C%20Germany%20emitted%20805,since%20the%20recession%20in%202009.

    “In 2019, Germany emitted 805 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents – a decrease of 35.7 percent compared to 1990 levels, preliminary numbers from the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) show. Emissions fell by 6.3 percent year on year – the steepest drop since the recession in 2009.”

    —————————–

    J Doug Swallow @85

    Yes its true that no form of generation is perfect. The research paper you posted states the obvious. As Ive said before the choice might depend a lot on local conditions. But what we want and must have are zero or low emissions energy, for example wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, geothermal, tidal. Nuclear power is proven system providing affordable electricity but its not popular and is slow to build which are both real problems in a climate crisis, so most countries are building wind and solar power.

    Right now the economics of renewables are good for renewables that provide about 80% of electricity with fossil fuels as backup. That helps reduce a fairly large chunk of the climate problems enough IMHO to make the exercise useful. For some reason its gone a bit wrong in Germany, and I don’t have all day to investigate why, but other countries are making renewables work and have affordable electricity as I mentioned.

    Yes storage is currently expensive, so right now a stand alone 100% wind / solar grid with storage is expensive power, however prices for storage have been falling and will fall further as per references I have posted previously. We are getting close to making such a grid work and with affordable electricity, but as I said a grid that isn’t 100% renewables is still useful.

    We are all aware of the problems with electricity generation, so you don’t need to keep posting cut and paste. Nothing useful in life is easy.

  37. 87
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @77

    “Those were parts of the ‘why’. The sin I’m fighting is treating you and others in cyberspace poorly. Makes me feel horrible for days.”

    Yep me too on both counts. I do rather identify. Although I’m fairly laid back and diplomatic by nature as I’ve got older and a bit cranky I do sometimes get snarky, or feel like calling an awful lot of people morons or generally lashing out, but its not a great thing to do, and I usually regret it. The last guy I called a moron turned out to have a Phd in chemistry, which was a bit embarrassing. Calling people names and other nasty attacks is a cheap adrenalin / dopamine thrill of some sort, but it gives us a hangover.

    The thing is just don’t be horribly rude. Just don’t do it. That said, I think that sometimes anger needs to be expressed. Name calling presumably has some purpose. We do need to tell each other we are acting like idiots, in exceptional circumstances, especially if lives are at stake. I think its just a case of telling people they are acting like an idiot, not that they are an idiot and not to over use this sort of rhetoric.

    I see it like this: You have to be able to live with the rhetoric you use. So consciously design a rhetoric you can live with. You are Mr designer, right? :)

  38. 88
    nigelj says:

    BPL @73, yeah I think you are probably right about MMT. I can see it going horribly wrong. Voodoo economics. I was actually just about to ask you what you thought of it, so thanks.

  39. 89
    Al Bundy says:

    nigelj: But what we want and must have are zero or low emissions energy, for example wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, geothermal, tidal.

    AB: What about lots and lots of hand-waving? Add in pontifications’ hot air and we’ll be in a glacial period for sure…

    … that’s ‘glacial’ as in not getting ‘er done anytime soon.
    _____

    nigelj: Name calling presumably has some purpose.

    AB: No it doesn’t, you moron. :-)

  40. 90
    J Doug Swallow says:

    # 86 17 Dec 2020 at 2:51 PM nigelj says: “But what we want and must have are zero or low emissions energy, for example wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, geothermal, tidal”.
    nigelj must strive to understand that, with most things in life, what you may want and what you get are often two different things. In this case it boils down to that if a country wants to provide its citizens with reliable, affordable electricity, they build coal fired power plants to do that job. It has little to nothing to do with how Germany handles their electricity supply to their over charged citizens.

    As of July 2019, the Global Coal Plant Tracker shows:
    • Within the 28 European Union countries, there are 268 coal-fired power plants in operation, with 7 in construction and 8 in pre-construction. 
    • Turkey has 29 plants in operation, with 2 in construction and 31 in preconstruction.
    • South Africa has 19 plants in operation, with 2 in construction and 5 in preconstruction.
    • India has 291 plants in operation, with 33 in construction and 41 in preconstruction.
    • Philippines has 21 plants in operation, with 8 in construction and 19 in preconstruction.
    • South Korea has 24 plants in operation, with 3 in construction and 1 in preconstruction.
    • Japan has 83 plants in operation, with 15 in construction and 5 in preconstruction.
    • China has 1032 plants in operation, with 126 in construction and 76 in preconstruction.
    • Australia has 20 plants in operation, with 0 in construction and 2 in preconstruction.
    Excluding Australia, the countries listed have 1767 operational coal-fired power plants and a further 196 under construction, for a total of 1963.

    https://factcheck.afp.com/these-figures-number-active-coal-fired-power-plants-select-countries-are-inaccurate

  41. 91
    J Doug Swallow says:

    # 86 17 Dec 2020 at 2:51 PM nigelj says:
    J Doug Swallow @83,
    “Germany has the highest electricity costs in Europe, with a rate of around 35 US cents a kilowatt-hour. …….During the first quarter of 2014,….”
    “You don’t say where you got this information critical of Germanys renewables programme…”
    It is good of you to ask and this is where the information comes from and why it was not in the original post is obviously something that I overlooked: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/electricity-rates-around-the-world.html

    #86 nigelj says: “So if you go on a cherry picking one country, its not going to work, and makes you look stupid and deceptive and you will be rightly regarded with disdain by the very people you are trying to convince”. Talk about stupid and looking stupid. The conversation I was having WAS about Germany and their high electricity prices brought about due to their stupidly switching to renewables and away from nuclear. I have been to New Zealand 3 different times and have seen the very wise move that they made to use geothermal to produce a steady supply of electricity at Taupo on the North Island.

    Electricity prices for household consumers
    Highest electricity prices in Germany and Denmark
    For household consumers, (defined for the purpose of this article as medium-sized consumers with an annual consumption between 2 500 kWh and 5 000 kWh), electricity prices in the first half of 2020 were highest among the EU Member States in Germany (EUR 0.3043 per kWh), Denmark (EUR 0.2833 per kWh) and Belgium (EUR 0.2792 per kWh); see Figure 1. The lowest electricity prices were in Bulgaria (EUR 0.0997 per kWh), Hungary (EUR 0.1031 per kWh) and Estonia (EUR 0.1236 per kWh). The price of electricity for household consumers in Germany was more than three times as high as the price in Bulgaria.
    The EU-27 average price in the first semester of 2020 — a weighted average using the most recent (2020) data for electricity by household consumers — was EUR 0.2126 per kWh.

    https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Electricity_price_statistics

  42. 92

    JDS 84:

    https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-climate-targets#:~:text=In%202019%2C%20Germany%20emitted%20805,since%20the%20recession%20in%202009.

    “In 2019, Germany emitted 805 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents – a decrease of 35.7 percent compared to 1990 levels, preliminary numbers from the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) show.

    Emissions fell by 6.3 percent year on year – the steepest drop since the recession in 2009.”

  43. 93

    E-P said:

    “we’ve hit peak oil and our capability to maintain the energy infrastructure of the world is falling apart”

    Noticed in the linked article that the Shell Oil geologist who warned about “peak oil” to congress in the 1970’s isn’t named explicitly, but it was M. King Hubbert. The phrase “peak oil” was only coined in the 1980’s, so Hubbert was essentially talking about resource depletion since his initial warnings in the 1950’s, when he predicted the non-shale USA peak spot-on. The current shale peak is a boom & bust cycle.

  44. 94
    Piotr says:

    J Doug Swallow (84) I certainly hope that you feel better now that you have let all know an obvious fact; that pumped storage is energy storage and ‘NOT NEW ENERGY GENERATION’. Being able to read and understand the obvious is sometimes a blessing.
    Brave words, coming from _you_,Mr. Swallow, for your post suggests that you were denied this blessing. Let’s see:
    J Doug Swallow (40) Pumped storage hydroelectricity generation is negative because most pumped storage electricity generation facilities use more electricity than they produce on an annual basis.

    See? First, you treat the readers of RC as morons, who have to have explained to them the tautology the “STORAGE”, by its definition, HAS to use more energy than it puts back into the system.

    Second, you yourself cannot grasp the implications of this definition:
    JDS: “Pumped storage hydroelectricity generation is negative /i>”
    which would be a valid argument AGAINST pumped storage ONLY if it was… NOT STORAGE, but expected to be the new energy GENERATION.

    Hence BPL pointed to your confusion of these terms:
    BPL (66): “It’s energy STORAGE, not NEW ENERGY GENERATION”
    Face with that, you had two options
    A. own up to your own words and acknowledge your logical error,
    B. go into denial and try to ridicule your opponent.
    Hmm, what to chose… I think we have the answer:

    JDS(84): I certainly hope that you feel better now that you have let all know an obvious fact; that pumped storage is energy storage and ‘NOT NEW ENERGY GENERATION’. Being able to read and understand the obvious is sometimes a blessing.
    And if there were any doubts – you prop yourself with scientificky looking abstract in which word … “storage” does not appear, because the abstract is about … “energy SOURCES (old and new)”.

    But don’t let the facts and logic get in the way of your high opinion of yourself. Life unexamined IS worth living, eh? ;-)

  45. 95
    J Doug Swallow says:

    # 86 17 Dec 2020 at 2:51 PM nigelj says:
    J Doug Swallow @83,
    “Germany has the highest electricity costs in Europe, with a rate of around 35 US cents a kilowatt-hour. …….During the first quarter of 2014,….”
    “You don’t say where you got this information critical of Germanys renewables programme…”
    It is good of you to ask and this is where the information comes from and why it was not in the original post is obviously something that I overlooked: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/electricity-rates-around-the-world.html

    # 86 nigelj says: “So if you go on a cherry picking one country, its not going to work, and makes you look stupid and deceptive and you will be rightly regarded with disdain by the very people you are trying to convince”. Talk about stupid and looking stupid. The conversation I was having WAS about Germany and their high electricity prices brought about due to their stupid switching to renewables and away from nuclear. I have been to New Zealand 3 different times and have seen the very wise move that they made to use geothermal to produce a steady supply of electricity at Taupo on the North Island.

    Electricity prices for household consumers
    Highest electricity prices in Germany and Denmark
    For household consumers, (defined for the purpose of this article as medium-sized consumers with an annual consumption between 2 500 kWh and 5 000 kWh), electricity prices in the first half of 2020 were highest among the EU Member States in Germany (EUR 0.3043 per kWh), Denmark (EUR 0.2833 per kWh) and Belgium (EUR 0.2792 per kWh); see Figure 1. The lowest electricity prices were in Bulgaria (EUR 0.0997 per kWh), Hungary (EUR 0.1031 per kWh) and Estonia (EUR 0.1236 per kWh). The price of electricity for household consumers in Germany was more than three times as high as the price in Bulgaria.
    The EU-27 average price in the first semester of 2020 — a weighted average using the most recent (2020) data for electricity by household consumers — was EUR 0.2126 per kWh.

    https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Electricity_price_statistics

  46. 96
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @68

    “And wind turbines can be built in a highway’s median. They can be tall enough so one or more lines can be supported by the turbines’ towers. This would eliminate concerns about a wayward branch starting a forest fire (though protection from a wayward vehicle would be needed)….Thoughts?”

    Only the obvious problems of protecting the towers from vehicle impacts, and indeed protecting the vehicles, but easily enough solved, although it could add some costs. And it would all depend on whether the highway is in a suitable wind zone. One main problem would be the logistics of constructing them on existing highways would create some significant inconveniences to traffic flows, but I suppose the tricky bits could be done at night. Don’t know if the median strips would be wide enough, so you might end up with non standard towers with a small footprint so therefore needing deeper foundations, so more costs, but I would say nothing too significant. None of these things look like huge problems or costs.

    I did an internet search, but I couldn’t find anything except the following proposal that makes use of wind created by traffic. Clever:

    https://www.ontheroadtrends.com/roads-generate-clean-energy/?lang=en

    “For some time now Devici Tech, a Turkish company, has been developing a turbine that it has dubbed Enlil, which generates energy from the traffic of passing vehicles. Each one of these turbines, its creators explain, is capable of generating a kilowatt of electricity every hour, which is enough energy to supply two homes for a day. These engineers placed their devices in the dividers of roads and highways in Istanbul where there is intense traffic, especially on the ones with buses, lorries and large cars. The air stirred by these passing vehicles, along with natural wind, moves the blades of the turbines and transforms it into electric energy. In this way, they say, highways become “sources to generate renewable energy.”

    And this proposal also uses wind forces from traffic, but makes use of the side strips to the road as support points for the overhead wind assembly straddling the whole road. Stunning looking thing.

    https://inhabitat.com/student-designs-highway-power/

    “The great thing about collaborative design sites like Archinect is that they allow brilliant student ideas to escape the confines of studio and get the attention they deserve. Case in point is Arizona student Joe who posted this amazing idea on his Archinect school blog for a highway wind turbine would harvest the wind created by fast-moving automobiles to send power back into the grid. If feasible, this wind turbine project could be easily retrofitted to transform most of the world’s highways into endless power sources. Imagine highways being known for their power generation instead of their traffic!”

  47. 97
    nigelj says:

    Engineer Poet, the Consciousness of Sheep peak oil article was certainly an interesting read, although it did seem a complicated way of saying we are going to run out of oil and it will be painful if we do nothing about it. The problem is very real, but we are doing something about it by transitioning to zero emissions energy and electric cars, phev’s, etcetera, and this should gel nicely with increasing prices of oil. If we get serious about that transition.

    I always tell people sceptical about climate change mitigation that one of the reasons to adopt new energy systems is we will run out of oil so we are just starting a bit early. Mind you some are probably also sceptical about peak oil.

  48. 98
    J Doug Swallow says:

    #80 17 Dec 2020 at 3:33 AM nigelj says: “How to talk to conservatives about climate change”, that I read in its entirety and found that it was full of mostly conjectures and based on very few facts. This is a quote from the article;
    “Decades of climate communications have shown some basic realities, one of which is that all the scientific facts in the world don’t on their own amount to a winning communications strategy. And while a broad “solutions-based” communication emphasis is helping make progress, sweeping climate and energy policy clearly is by no means a certainty”.
    A great scientific fact that the alarmist could present to cause me to believe them would be to present the empirical experiment, that is repeatable, that demonstrates that the essential for all terrestrial life on Earth trace gas, that makes up only between .03-.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere and is 1.6 times more dense than that rest of the atmosphere, CO₂, has the ability to change the Earth’s climate. Please submit the links that show that this experiment has occurred.

  49. 99
    Chris Korda says:

    The Overshoot slide show relates unchecked climate change to worsening economic inequality. As wealth becomes concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the beneficiaries increasingly behave as though biological limits, future generations, and even their own descendants are inconsequential. If history is any guide, this situation cannot and will not persist indefinitely.

    Humanity can hope to survive in the long term only by collectively and rationally planning for its future, and such plans must preserve the health of the biosphere which sustains all terrestrial life, at least until an alternative survival strategy becomes practical.
    This slide show is affiliated with the Overshoot video, and with the Apologize to the Future album. It’s ideally viewed on a desktop monitor. To step through the slides at your own pace, click on the slide or use the arrow keys. To auto-play the presentation, click the “play” button that appears if you hover in the lower-left corner. There’s a full-screen button too.

  50. 100
    nigelj says:

    New commentary by The World Economic Forum that is optimistic about our efforts to tackle the climate crisis:

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/12/paris-agreement-climate-change

    “Are we really ready to tackle the climate crisis? Yes, here’s 6 reasons why.”

    Is it hype and greenwashing, or is it genuine green shoots of progress?