We are still screwed: the coming climate disaster


#5030

Here is some math I came up with using the the US EPA.

28% of GHG is electricity
67% of electricity GHG is coal
Therefore 19% of GHG in US is coal
Therefore switching coal to natural gas could reduce roughly 10% of total US GHG.

28% of GHG is transportation
55% of transportation GHG is private cars and small trucks used for passenger transport
Therefore 15% of GHG is private cars and trucks.

So in total, to put it in magnitude, switching US coal to natural gas is the same as removing two-thirds of the cars and car-based travel of the entire United States.

In terms of feasibility, GE could probably crunch out the turbines by the end of next year. Certainly within five years. Five years is about when the request for proposals, for a new nuclear power plant, gets first reading.


#5031

I think coal is down to 27.4% actually. From 39% in 2014. At least according to wikipedia.

The nice thing about switching to natural gas is that natural plants make great peaking power sources. They can pretty much turn on for a brief period of time and only pay the fuel costs, whereas even other fossil sources like coal can’t ramp up and down on such quick timetables so they can’t meet that need.

So even if carbon capture never works out you can just make good use of the plants.


#5032

Clearly one thing that needs to be done ASAP is phasing out coal immediately.


#5033

Great ide… oh.

In Australia we have a number of old coal plants that are being phased out by the private power companies with no plans to build new ones. The Liberal party, who are in power (and are the conservative party, it’s not ‘liberal’ in the US sense of the word), tried pressuring the private companies to keep the old plants open. When they refused, they have been trying to underwrite / subsidise / lend to anyone to build new plants or buy the old ones to keep them open.

When this happened, I finally learnt that opposition to climate change policy is not borne out of an ideological obsession with laissez faire capitalism. It’s a direct assault on science and reason, partially caused by a generation of religious parents telling their children not to believe in Evolution and that scientists are all liars.


#5034

This was a scary sobering article to read this morning:


#5035

Some more info about nuclear stuff.


#5036

Shellenberger lol. https://www.wiseinternational.org/nuclear-monitor/853/exposing-misinformation-michael-shellenberger-and-environmental-progress


#5037

FAKE SCIENCE FAKE SCIENCE


#5038

#5039

Maybe molten-salt reactors have a lot of the features we would want? (smaller, increased safety, reduced waste, removal of existing waste and harder weapons proliferation). I can’t speak to the accuracy of the article, but it definitely seems like the tech was put on the shelf prematurely in the 70’s.

Unfortunately, the late 1970s was not a good time for reviving any kind of nuclear program, molten salt or otherwise. Public mistrust of nuclear energy was escalating rapidly, thanks to rising concerns over safety, waste and weapons proliferation. The power companies’ patience was wearing thin, thanks to the skyrocketing, multibillion-dollar cost of standard water-cooled reactors. And then in March 1979 came a partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, a conventional nuclear plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In April 1986, another catastrophe hit with the fire and meltdown at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine.

The resulting backlash against nuclear power was so strong that new plant construction effectively ceased — which is why most of the nuclear reactors operating today are at least three to four decades old. And nuclear power research stagnated, as well, with most of the money and effort going into ensuring the safety of those aging plants.


#5040

#5041

This is no good.


#5042

I hate ticks.


#5043

Jesus fucking christ that’s horrifying. No quiero questing “strands” of 1000 ticks hanging around waiting for someone to walk by, please. And those poor moose :(


#5044

Jesus Christ. Bled to death from ticks.

I’ve had the early symptoms of Lyme (the red bulls eye along with a pretty high fever) twice in the past five years. Ticks are such a problem now that if you find one on you and go to a Redicare (urgent walk-in medical places) they don’t even bother giving you a test, they just prescribe the antibiotic for Lyme.


#5045


#5046

This sounds like a good positive step.

Al Jazeera English: US to build six nuclear power plants in India.


#5047

“In my day, I used to go to school uphill, both ways in SNOW”

“Snow? Haha grandpa believes in snow.”


#5048

Totally expecting that day to come, lol


#5049

An opportunity to test new (presumably safer but still taboo) reactor designs I guess.