We are still screwed: the coming climate disaster


Probably true, I have the Poor King James Version. I’ve not updated to the Modern Cash Flow Version.


Have you heard the Good News?


Alt-Jesus is better than Republican Jesus as a meme, I like it.


There are no problems, just unfinished solutions as far as the eye can see…


I can’t see the video in my own post, so here is the link in another form, but it could just be all the NoScript rules I have in my own browser


Copy/paste fail on the prior post - here’s just the link instead.


Maybe we have more carbon budget before apocalypse than we thought:


What scares me is if the models aren’t factoring in any problems that are tipping points. Linear models are great, until you notice the function you’re fitting isn’t linear.


Yeah, that’s something to keep in mind for people to keep when they hear “look how much uncertainty is in those models. Nothing to worry about!”: we can’t be certain that it won’t be a whole lot worse. A one-time irreversible global experiment to find the warming tipping point doesn’t sound like a conservative approach.


What keeps me awake at night is that there may be a tipping point event where say…russian permafrost starts to melt and release huge amounts of methane. Then your model is boned because you work off of some model of CO2 levels and an entirely different factor bones you.




Not sure where else to post this, but I found these stats sort of interesting.

This is from a book on Chernobyl by Andrew Leatherbarrow which I stumbled on via Kindle Unlimited. I can’t swear to the accuracy of the claimed sources.

So uh, yay nuclear? I remember there was a lot of talk some years back about nuclear being the best way to get us off fossil fuels in a hurry, but Fukushima seems to have damped some of that.

it’s important to remember that nuclear power remains by far the least harmful method of energy production overall. Using historical production data, NASA scientists calculated in 2013 that nuclear power has actually prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning between 1971 and 2009.68 That data was based on European and US plants, which tend to be cleaner than elsewhere, meaning those numbers are likely to be far higher in reality. A study by Tsinghua University associate professor Teng Fei estimates that Chinese coal pollution caused a distressing 670,000 deaths in 2012, while the global average coal deaths is 170 per Terawatt-hour (TWh) of generated electricity. For comparison, data from 2012 shows that oil-generated electricity causes 36 deaths/TWh; biofuel, 24 deaths/TWh; wind power, 0.15 deaths/TWh; hydro-electricity, if you factor in the Banqiao disaster, causes 1.4 deaths/TWh, and still causes widespread devastation to the surrounding landscape if you don’t. Nuclear power, including Chernobyl and Fukushima, is responsible for 0.09 deaths per Terawatt-hour.


It’s economics that is stopping Nuclear in the US. Unless there’s a very high carbon tax then natural gas just destroys it in terms of price. Plants build quickly, you can build them small or large, and they can turn and off on minute-to-minute intervals to adjust to demand and they can be run with fewer workers. Nuclear plants costs multi-billions to build, take years and years to get online, can’t ramp up or down like natural gas, can’t even really adjust power output overall if the power market is different than they expected, etc.


Federal subsidies could prime the pump, yes? I assume that’s how old ones got built in the first place?


Even with 100% loan guarantees it’s been difficult to convince companies to make the investment. It’s a huge investment that may or may not pay off at a very long timescale due to common cost overruns. Look how much we are already throwing at these companies.

Scana Corp. this year canceled its plans to build two new reactors in South Carolina after expenses spiraled above $20 billion. Loan guarantees alone, though, won’t save the Vogtle expansion: Regulators also want to see a promised payment from Westinghouse parent Toshiba Corp. and federal tax credits for new nuclear generation.

Southern’s Georgia Power Co. and its partners constructing the Vogtle plant were already recipients of $8.3 billion in federally-backed loan guarantees, but asked the Trump administration to come to their aid amid ballooning costs and setbacks.

Earlier Friday morning, Perry formally asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to implement a regulation that would allow nuclear and coal plants to charge more money for their electricity, an attempt to stop plants from closing.

Of course the right way to do things is to price carbon into the market. That makes nuclear competitive, possibly.


Trump and Pruitt will get right on that.


But it’s not really inherent to the technology right? Because other nations had no trouble building tons of nuclear plants.

Hell, we used to build tons of them.


There’s also a political cost to nuclear, sadly.

The destruction of the public opinion on nuclear power is perhaps the biggest mistake math-impaired ecologists have made, and it’s really on them that the fastest way to curb emissions is impossible to implement today. If we could just had push nuclear reactor construction say 10 years ago and then phase it out with a slow, careful buildup of renewable we would be in a much better position.

Every time I argue with people about how nuclear is so much safer and cleaner than any other readily available massive power generation technology (renewable are becoming viable fast, but they are not there yet, obviously) I get these looks as if I’m crazy, and nobody cares to look at the facts, because the facts about the ecological danger of nuclear are too ingrained I people’s minds.

Between this and anti-GMO screeds, most ecologists really are missing the point entirely.


Ecologists are against the wholesale destruction of rainforests for palm oil plantations and that continues unabated. Ecologists are against the fragmentation of habitat in the world’s few remaining wilderness areas from oil drilling and mining which not coincidentally will contribute to the extinction of large vertebrate within the next few decades and that continues unabated. Ecologists are against wildlife trafficking which is more a danger than climate change for many species and that isn’t slowing (sense a trend? When money is involved ecologists can do fuck all to stop it usually.)

Yet somehow ecologists have enough power to single-handedly destroy nuclear power instead of you know the economics of nuclear power - i.e. fossil fuels do not have to pay for their externalities but nuclear power does which leads to their enormous construction costs. (Not just the U.S. either - Finland’s nuclear reactor - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olkiluoto_Nuclear_Power_Plant#Unit_3 has costs overruns. Hinkley in GB has a $23b (that’s billion) price tag.)

As for GMOs - an environmentalist apologizes for his original stance (hopefully before long environmentalists will realize growing more food on less land using fewer chemicals is actually beneficial):

Lecture to Oxford Farming Conference, 3 January 2013
An impotent screed.

Edit: Not directed at you Juan but just I’m just really, really tired of the “but liberals” or “but environmentalists” or “but hippies” or “but identity politics” or “but colleges” that try to shift blame or deflect blame from the actual real and present danger. The earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity are not in peril because of ecologists or environmentalists. Democracy is not fraying because college students don’t want to give right wing trolls a platform. Anti-GMO isn’t stopping GMOs from being used and distributed. Nuclear power plants aren’t getting built because building them is fucking expensive and fossil fuels continue to be supported by all governments everywhere. The entrenched and vested interests are the problem and these forays into finger pointing and the LOOK HERE WHO IS REALLY TO BLAME is missing the point entirely.