Are we alarmed yet?

Climate science deniers like to call we who are correct and rational (we the good guys) “alarmists.” So be it.

This is a post that closely reflects my own feelings, by my friend and colleague, Lawrence Torcello. It begins:

Most of us have wondered about the human context of past crimes against humanity: why didn’t more people intervene? How could so many pretend not to know? To be sure, crimes against humanity are not always easy to identify while they unfold.

We need some time to reflect and to analyze, even when our reasoning suggests that large scale human suffering and death are likely imminent. The principled condemnation of large scale atrocity is, too often

GO HERE AND READ IT

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82 thoughts on “Are we alarmed yet?

  1. Greg:

    “You” are the bad guys.

    You forecast doom and use it as an excuse to lurch from one disaster to another.

    You promote ethanol at the expense of groundwater and food and then discover that it actually makes the problem worse.

    You promote solar and wind, with giant unsustainable subsidies when more CO2 is emitted with them than without, and when nuclear is the better solution.

    You have no plan but demand immediate thoughtless action after action.

    Climate alarmists are actually the bad guys – and have deluded themselves into thinking they are the good guys.

    Your uneconomic, unworkable fear mongering is doing nothing but wasting money and therefore killing people on the margins.

    Science will look back on this period with shame at how a few corrupted science and used it to launch a propaganda war which prevented common sense solutions to the actual problem (which is 1/2 of what climate alarmists shout about).

  2. “You” are the bad guys.

    […]

    Science will look back on this period with shame at how a few corrupted science and used it to launch a propaganda war which prevented common sense solutions to the actual problem (which is 1/2 of what climate alarmists shout about).

    My oh my.

  3. ““You” are the bad guys.

    You forecast doom and use it as an excuse to lurch from one disaster to another. ”

    Ah, so how is this not the case when you claim that doing something about AGW will ruin the third world’s chance to progress? Or how it will ruin the capitalist system and make paupers of us all for no reason?

    And care to show us an example of Greg, since that is the one you pointed to, making a forecast and the lurch from what doom to what new doom happened therefrom?

    “Science will look back on this period with shame at how a few corrupted science and used it to launch a propaganda war which prevented common sense solutions to the actual problem (which is 1/2 of what climate alarmists shout about).”

    Except they will also shake their heads at those corrupt scientists who say that and were absolutely 100% wrong. The propaganda war is one you’ve been waging for 20 years against the fact of AGW.

  4. All we have to do is wait and see who is right.

    Climate alarmists are like the Paul Ehrlich’s of today and I think they will turn out to be just as wrong.

    They are like seven day Adventists, constantly predicting the end of the world. And like seven day Adventists, when the end fails to come – they simply push out the date a decade or two and continue their cry that the sky is falling.

    The problem with predictions is you have to wait and see if they come true. So we will all have to wait and see – won’t we!

  5. Yeah, but you wanted to not bother to wait and start berating and calling “”You” are the bad guys” and “you are alarmists” and “your doom and gloom make us lurch from crisis to crisis” BEFORE waiting to find out of any of that excrescence of stupidity was right.

    Only when you’re losing do you whine “Oh, lets wait”.

    Bit fucking late to wait AFTER you’ve shitstormed your moronic projective vomit of a screed onto the internet.

    But you have to defend your testes from being shriveled SOMEHOW, when you’re being so soundly beaten on the internet, so you attack others then when they return the “favour”, then whine that it’s too early to say anything about YOUR idiocy yet.

    TRY HOLDING THAT FUCKING TONGUE FIRST.

    Dipshit.

  6. “Climate alarmists”

    It’s too early to find out who are the alarmist, dogbreath. If those you want to demonise were right, you’re absolutely wrong about them being alarmist.

    “are like the Paul Ehrlich’s of today”

    YOU DO NOT KNOW YET, MORON. You COULD wait to see if they are right, but you don’t WANT to, do you. Because reality is against you, therefore your only “bet” is to demand NOBODY DO ANYTHING because we don’t know what will happen.

    Even when we do. You just pretend that your idiotic redefinition of reality means you aren’t wrong “yet”. Like, for example, TCR you’re ALREADY WRONG about. Or what the meaning of “climate sensitvity” which, due to your selective denier blogmarching “education” you don’t know the meaning of, but proclaim that it can only ever mean what you’ve read one place said it was. Even when you’re pointed to where it defines it otherwise.

    It’s too early. YOU could be the Paul Erlich (whoever the fuck that is) of today. YOU DO NOT YET KNOW.

    At least that is what you keep puling about when you’re being kerbstomped in a mudpuddle.

    ” they simply push out the date a decade or two ”

    Says the fuckwit who insists we have to wait a decade or two to see what ECS is…. Fucking moron.

    “The problem with predictions is you have to wait and see if they come true.”

    The problem is you have to too. But you don’t. Because you’re a moron. You may have been told this before. You are too dumb to accept it, though.

  7. Wow:

    You would think you would have learned by now that name calling and trying to control what I say don’t work.

    Go ahead – keep trying.

    You just make your side look worse than they already do.

    The scent of desperation is beginning to reek.

    I will continue to advocate smart economics, good planning and nuclear and attempt to oppose bad ideas, thoughtless plans and 100% renewable (not doable with current technology and therefore a waste of money).

    You can continue your name calling, shouting in all CAPS and trying to control the words other people can say (for example by getting them fired or just telling them what to say).

    Pointless and desperate – oh and the action of a “bad guy”.

  8. “name calling”

    Nope, I’m describing.

    “trying to control what I say”

    I’m not, shithead. I’m describing how asinine what you’re saying is.

    “You just make your side look worse than they already do.”

    From the fuckwit who posted #4, this carries ZERO weight. Someone as divorced from reality and cognition as to write that cannot be relied upon for any such assertion.

    “The scent of desperation is beginning to reek. ”

    Nope, that’s post #4 clogging up your nostrils. The fact that this is a record breaking April is why you’re so wildly flinging shit around. And so butthurt when it’s flung back in the same spirit with which you hurl your abuse about.

    “I will continue to advocate smart economics”

    Denial.

    Both of AGW and reality there.

    “bad ideas,”

    which you define as “ones you don’t like”. Because you’re basically a five year old.

    “shouting in all CAPS”

    Nope, that’s typing, dickhead.

    “for example by getting them fired”

    FFS, where the hell did THIS asinine whinge come from the cucklords of righwingnutjobery?

    “Pointless and desperate – oh and the action of a “bad guy”.”

    Yup, post #4 and again in #7.

    And all the intelligence of a roadkill hedgehog. But none of the appeal.

  9. I also note that you’re still refusing to acknowledge the FACT that you’re pissing and moaning presuming facts you then later whinge on about having to wait to find out who is right.

    Fucking child.

  10. Nobody is trying to control what you say rickA. They are simply pointing out that you have no idea what you are talking about, choose to lie and misrepresent what the scientists say, and show no willingness at all to read anything to advance your knowledge.

    Pointing out that you are nothing more than an ignorant dick with no integrity and a big mouth isn’t trying to control you, it’s simply pointing out facts.

  11. I recall RickA regularly posting his strong opinions on several climate blogs.

    However I don’t recall RickA ever once giving any indication that these were backed up by anything more than his uninformed prejudices.

  12. We already know that at least some people were wrong.
    Those who made predictions like ‘We have ten years to save the planet.’ It’s been ten years. So either this was wrong, or nothing can be done at this point and the planet is doomed.

  13. Also anyone who said Global warming will produce bad thing X.

    If it didn’t happen, then no global warming, based on basic logic.
    Either that or the speaker was being wrongly alarmist.

  14. “We already know that at least some people were wrong.”

    Except Dick refuses to let maths facts intrude on his hopes and dreams.

    “Those who made predictions like ‘We have ten years to save the planet.’ ”

    Really? Where? Because this is going to be a hell of a lot like denier BS about Hansen and the flooding, or AIT and Florida flooded, where the quote is not made and is made up by the denier moron to pretend it was wrong when it wasn’t.

    Meanwhile, fuckwit, try looking at some “prominent scientists” in the denial camp and their accuracy for prediction:

    http://skepticalscience.com/comparing-global-temperature-predictions.html

    Funny how you only turn up with an “event” of the reality crowd being wrong but despite this being, what, the 8th time I’ve put this link in this blog over the year, not once have you even acknowledged the error deniers are making.

    Partisan much?

    “Also anyone who said Global warming will produce bad thing X.”

    Which is nobody.

    It didn’t happen which means you’re wrong, “mike”. But for you this didn’t happen, did it. EVER. Because you being in error or your pet besties the denier crowd being wrong is never to be mentioned or thought of or even commented on.

    It’s ruinous to your self deception.

  15. “or nothing can be done at this point and the planet is doomed.”

    You are doomed, “mike”, as is your entire family. Not one will survive life alive. Every single one will die.

    Moreover, there are no pockets in a shroud, so you will end up with no money, so the acquisition of cash is pointless and doomed to penury.

    So give away all your cash and kill yourself and your entire extended family.

    Might as well get it over with quickly rather than delay the inevitable, right?

    That’s YOUR “philosophy”, isn’t it, “mike”.

    But only when it comes to doing nothing about AGW, I bet. And I won’t be wrong, will I.

  16. Also, if someone says 10 years to save the planet but they were wrong,it was 20 years, should we give up after 10 years because the original claim was wrong?

    Or are you insisting that it is either already doomed or AGW is never going to happen? If the latter, how does the year change the physics of CO2?

  17. Also anyone who said Global warming will produce bad thing X.

    You really are clueless but fortunately for you there are many laces that can be viewed to relieve you of that ignorance.

    You could start here

    and move on to this site of plenty.

    Those are just two out of quite a number of places that I could send you but I doubt you will bother learning and simple come back quickly with more nonsense. What an unenviable record you have for producing that.

  18. RickA

    Climate alarmists are like the Paul Ehrlich’s of today and I think they will turn out to be just as wrong.

    Unless you exist in an epistemic bubble the signs that climate change is real and a threat mount by the day. As for Ehrlich he was wrong in a similar way to those Y2K alarmists.

    Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environmental Rhetoric Threatens Our Future is still worth a read. The writer of that review could have had you in mind.

    Funnily enough in the early 90s I was developing some software that, not uncommonly, required a current date input, I was anticipating that Y2K issue but the client for the software didn’t want that catered for, but I could not let that go so worked it anyway.

  19. Climate alarmists are like the Paul Ehrlich’s of today and I think they will turn out to be just as wrong.

    Safe bet rickA never read any of Ehrlich’s work just like he doesn’t read any of the science of climate change. Yes, ehrlich was a loon with his predictions, but that was obvious then, since there wasn’t any science to back them up. Just as there is no science to back up rickA’s position.

  20. I will continue to advocate smart economics…

    By finally accepting that endless growth, the only way that usurious interest rates can be sustained — in the short term, would be to ensure the total destruction of a habitable globe for any organisms more complex than prokaryotes.

  21. Lionel, looking at your second link, the first article on the site about European food security, is a good example.

    The article says If global warming, then soybean production will drop, prices will rise, and this will hurt European farmers that rely on the soybeans.
    So if there is in the future an increase in soybean production and no price rise, that would mean no global warming or the if statement and thus the entire article is wrong.

  22. MikeN

    So my hunch was correct, you came back quickly with more nonsense rather than learn things.

    Some things for you to check out:

    Where Soy bean farming has been most expanded and the likely cost to the climate there.

    Some reading of E.O. Wilson may help too in assessing the concomitant risks we face from BAU.

  23. MikeN

    The rapid increase in temperature and associated increase in extreme weather events (heatwaves, drought, flooding) *will* hit global ag productivity. It’s beyond stupid to deny this. People – lots of them, mainly the poorest – will starve and die as a result.

  24. Can we shitcan the tedious false equivalence between physical climatology and ‘environmentalism’ (whatever the hell that is).

    Arguments like ‘Ehrlich was wrong therefore climate alarmism’ are painfully stupid.

    Better contrarianism or silence, please.

  25. BBD + 1

    Argument by false analogy… at the end of the day, it’s the best they can do.

  26. >People – lots of them, mainly the poorest – will starve and die as a result.

    Paul Ehrlich said the same thing. Now you are saying he was just loony. Were people saying this at the time?

  27. Paul Ehrlich said the same thing.

    Sigh.

    Read. Harder.

    Can we shitcan the tedious false equivalence between physical climatology and ‘environmentalism’ (whatever the hell that is).

    Arguments like ‘Ehrlich was wrong therefore climate alarmism’ are painfully stupid.

    Better contrarianism or silence, please.

  28. He predicted the population would double from the then 3.5 billion to 7 billion by 2005 — it really happened in 2011, which is basically a wash when you discuss long term trends.
    But he was wrong in a number of ways:
    ? He underestimated carrying capacity by botching the increase in food production: per-acre grain yields went up much faster than he bet on
    ? He did say, in 1968, that rice, wheat, and corn “… have the potential for at least doubling yields under proper growing conditions.” He went down the path of arguing it wouldn’t happen, because “reasons”
    ? He was incredibly gloomy about the environment — writing before the laws that were passed to deal with those issues
    ? His biggest bit of crap was saying “population control, of course, is the only solution to population growth”. He viewed slowing growth that was already observed in several countries as “short term fluctuations”, and his thinly veiled support for forced sterilization of fathers of three or more in India and luxury taxes on diapers and cribs in the U.S. was, as noted then, way off the deep end

    He didn’t think populations would decrease absent any government intervention — yet in some countries it has. Those declines have been made up for in other areas.

    In some ways his current about population growth was justified: latest projections say, if current fertility rates hold, we’ll pass 10 billion in about 30 years, and 15 billion in 73.

    Ehrlich, in many ways, simply took data available to him, assumed things would not change, and drew an extrapolating trend line. Given such a simple approach it is no surprise that what happened quickly diverged from his predictions.

    Making the leap of connection and saying “Ehrlich did X and he was wrong, so climate change is bogus” is an example of an even simpler mistake: willful ignorance.

  29. Because the education system is so piss poor, people have never heard of the great civilization that existed among the blue-green algae around 3billion years back! They flourished thru out the world but their flourishing cause huge amounts of pollution in the air turning it into a sea of oxygen. Now the earth did not care nor was it destroyed their mastery over the earth, and thru the ages others tried to gain the same, and now there is another group spreading thru the world, and the pollution they are doing will kill off the new masters and the earth still will not care nor be destroyed, but the new masters may see they are soon all dead!

  30. ? He underestimated carrying capacity by botching the increase in food production: per-acre grain yields went up much faster than he bet on…

    Maybe, but the systems that produced this increase in yield are unsustainable in the long run, particularly when adding nitrates and phosphates are considered with their environmental costs (those darned externalities again). Not to mention the increased use of petroleum driven mechanisation. Then there are the pesticides and herbicides. Dare I mention GM crops as a not altogether a good idea.

  31. “Dare I mention GM crops as a not altogether a good idea.”

    I’d disagree on that.

    “Maybe, but the systems that produced this increase in yield are unsustainable in the long run, particularly when adding nitrates and phosphates are considered with their environmental costs (those darned externalities again).”

    Quite possibly, but I wasn’t intending to look at that notion into the future. The objection raised by mikeN was

    Ehrlich’s ideas haven’t panned out yet, so checkmate climate change

    and so I was aiming in a simple way (considering who I was responding to, it had to be simple) to lay out his short term errors.

  32. dean #28 said “Ehrlich, in many ways, simply took data available to him, assumed things would not change, and drew an extrapolating trend line. Given such a simple approach it is no surprise that what happened quickly diverged from his predictions.”

    This is what climate alarmists are doing also.

    They are taking the data they have available to them and projecting it linearly into the future.

    Of course, Hansen offered three paths, one of which was BAU. The more current projections offer four emissions pathways. But they all assume all the warming from pre-industrial is caused by CO2 (this is an assumption and may not be correct) and they also assume a high climate sensitivity (average around 3C).

    Of course, the beautiful thing about science is that in 25 or 50 years, we will be able to look back and judge the accuracy of these assumptions and see if they were correct (or not).

  33. RickA

    People are trying to control what I say.

    See Wow #5.

    See BBD #24.

    Actually, I was talking to MikeN, but since you have decided to whine: for the third time: there is no connection whatsoever between Ehrlich and physical climatology. So this ‘argument’ isn’t an argument, it’s a false equivalence. A bag of rhetorical shit.

    So far from trying to control what is said, I am simply pointing out that it’s rubbish that barely merits a response.

  34. They are taking the data they have available to them and projecting it linearly into the future.

    Actually, that’s what lukewarmers do in order to pretend that climate sensitivity is lower than the central estimates. They ignore the nonlinear nature of feedbacks to warming.

    But in essence, what dean said.

  35. BBD #36:

    “or silence, please.”

    Are you sure you are not trying to control what people are saying (or requesting people not speak at all?).

  36. >thinly veiled support for forced sterilization of fathers of three or more in India

    That’s not way out there. It happened, with Sanjay Gandhi leading the charge.

  37. Ah, selective quotation from Ricky:

    BBD #36:

    “or silence, please.”

    Are you sure you are not trying to control what people are saying (or requesting people not speak at all?).

    Let’s put that back into its full context:

    Arguments like ‘Ehrlich was wrong therefore climate alarmism’ are painfully stupid.

    Better contrarianism or silence, please.

    Which is *exactly* what I said at #36:

    So far from trying to control what is said, I am simply pointing out that it’s rubbish that barely merits a response.

    But still you whine, dishonestly, that people are ‘trying to control’ what you say.

  38. So, crap things that need to go from this discussion:

    1/ False equivalence between ‘environmentalism’ and physical climatology

    2/ Playing the victim

  39. Holy crap on a cracker! Obviously nobody can control what you are saying on this blog (except Greg Laden– to some extent). Nobody thinks they can. There are, however, a number of people who wish you’d stop trolling. Yeah, yeah, I know, right? How dare they let your attempts at being obnoxious succeed and then have the temerity to express that annoyance out loud in public… even though it gives you even more opportunity to dribble in all directions.

    How delicious for you!

  40. That’s not way out there. It happened, with Sanjay Gandhi leading the charge.

    — (Furtively looks through the thread trying to find where SG had been mentioned — doesn’t find one.)

    That is relevant how?

  41. As a Professor in Conservation and Scientific Advocacy at the VU University in Amsterdam and a Senior Scientist in ecology at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in Wageningen and a long time blog reader and contributor, I want to say that in 20 years of blogging RickA’s astonishingly ignorant comments at the beginning of this thread may very be the most outrageoudly stupid ones I have ever read. Well done! He defeats a long line of clmate change denying morons I have encountered with his, “So we will all have to wait and see, won’t we!” remark.

    Is it just me or is RickA a spoiled child in grade school sitting in one corner of his own little sandbox? Where do I begin deconstructing this appalling comment? How about the fact that climate change threatens to seriously disrupt the functioning of complex adaptive ecological systems that permit humans to exist and persist? That a good analogy for ‘waiting and seeing’ is watching the Titanic begin listing as it took on water after striking the iceberg, then watching the great liner’s hull rise out of the water while those still believing it to be unsinkable refuse to lower the lifeboats? ‘Waiting and seeing’ is a firm if suicide in slow motion; we already have accumulating empirical evidence that climate change is affecting species, species interactions, trophic chains, communities and ecosystems, and we are also fully aware that biodiversity at various levels of organization represent the ‘working parts’ of our ecological life support systems. RickA is one of those simpletons who apparently thinks that humans are exempt from the laws of nature, and that even if he us wrong, which he is anyway, that the costs to humanity will be negligible. Calling his views profoundly ignorant is an understatement.

  42. There really isn’t much interesting going on here– same old same old from the usual suspects, and you guys are getting sucked in.

    So, I wanted to point out that “population” is actually one of the things Denialists often bring up, not saying that Ehrlich was wrong, but as a poison pill against The Liberals.

    It’s like “if you are serious about climate change why don’t you talk about population control”. (Similar to “talk about nuclear”, “stop flying”, “AlGoreIsFat”, and other genius arguments.)

    The best I can tell, they believe that “population control” means forced sterilizations, as mentioned, but only for brown folks, so they are scoring big points with this argument, because, you know, brown folks….

    Of course they also object to things that actually work (and are supported by The Liberals) like education and emancipation of women, access to birth control and abortion, and social safety nets, so it is obvious that they are not sincere.

    Anyway, I just thought I would mention it. There is certainly merit in pointing out that sustained population growth is a problem with respect to climate change, although it is not as direct an influence as is often suggested.

  43. Anyway, I just thought I would mention it. There is certainly merit in pointing out that sustained population growth is a problem with respect to climate change, although it is not as direct an influence as is often suggested.

    Sure. Which is why I didn’t get sucked in to that or any other specifics about Ehrlich. I pointed out only that all arguments derived from ‘Ehrlich said x therefore climate alarmism’ are invalidated by false equivalence.

  44. The best I can tell, they believe that “population control” means forced sterilizations, as mentioned, but only for brown folks, so they are scoring big points with this argument, because, you know, brown folks….

    There is a flip side to their use of this (demonstrated by one of the more extreme climate deniers who posts on Starts With a Bang – and who calls himself denier): he routinely brings up “dangerously low” birthrates for people in the West and the danger posed by high birthrates of “undesirables” — by whom he has made it clear he means anyone who isn’t white.

    Not that he’s racist, mind you – he just worries about the continuation of Western civilization.

  45. “and that even if he us wrong, which he is anyway”

    He will insist we wait until it’s all fucked up and THEN he’ll say “Welp, I guess I was wrong. Too late to do owt about it, now”.

    So he does nothing, demands everyone else does nothing until there’s nothing that can be done, so we do nothing some more (other than dying, and he’s betting on being buried under the planet before then).

    Do Nothing Brigade.

  46. “But still you whine, dishonestly, that people are ‘trying to control’ what you say.”

    And thereby force them to obey his wishes in what they say..

  47. “People are trying to control what I say.”

    So you’re trying to control what we say by complaining if we rip the shit out of the moronic sludge you spew.

    See every single fucking whinger post you’ve ever made, moron.

  48. And lets say I want to hurt you, to make you cry. Complaining only lets me know I scored in that case.

    But you’re too busy tring to make yourself the victim to shift yourself out of the villain role (having given up trying for the hero one) to think.

    Not that you’re much of a shaker at this thinking stuff.

  49. I am tired of the scurrilous and ad hominem attacks continually levied by veritable nobodies like RickA against Paul Ehrlich. Paul is one of the most courageous and outstanding scientists I know. His recent books such as ‘One with Nineveh’ as well as his immense efforts to alert the world to threats posed by humanity to nature and biodiversity make him one of the heroes of the environmental movement. Moreover, he is one of the leading scientists to popularize the term ‘ecosystem services’ and to highlight their vital importance in sustaining mankind. I met him and his wife Anne in 2001 when I gave a lecture at Stanford and he has long been a scientist I truly admire. Paul has also won the Crafoord Prize, given in lieu of the Nobel to scientists in ecology and related disciplines. The fact is that RickA doesn’t intellectually reach up to Paul’s shoelaces.

  50. Good grief, MikeN is as deluded as RickA. Where do these vacuous thinkers originate?

    I read this gem, “Those who made predictions like ‘We have ten years to save the planet.’”

    Whoever said that? Citation please. Indeed, this statement has never been said seriously; its a deliberate distortion from people with broadly anti-environmental views. First of all, anyone speaking in terms of one or a few decades is referring to tipping points, beyond which there will be consequences. There is no doubt that we are already well into a period of consequences in terms of human actions across the biosphere. How serious these will be on the material economy is highly dependent on the scale of damage to ecosystems and the services that emerge from them. And most importantly, we are NOT talking about saving the planet, because we do not have the capacity to destroy it. We can do considerable harm, as we already are in terms of the mass extinction event underway, but even after the impact to the meteorite at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary nature recovered within about 5-10 million years. We are actually talking about saving ourselves. Sadly, right now we seem intent on doing everything we can to hasten our own demise. What I see in global economic policy stemming from neoliberalism – a form of nakedly predatory capitalism – is that there appear to be no constraints being imposed on our collective assault across the biosphere. If we do not change course, then the consequences will be dire.

  51. Jeff,

    So what’s your plan?

    At some point, we have to stop congratulating ourselves that we are not these silly trolls, and deal with the real problems. I haven’t seen any suggestions that are practical, beyond the steady, slogging work that was already being done.

    Electing HRC rather than DT would have certainly made a difference on the empowering of women globally, for example, which is a proven method for bending the population curve.

    Not dramatic enough?

    I have no problem with the Ehrlichs with respect to articulating the issues, but there’s no pretty way to make sausage.

  52. Good question Zebra #56.

    I have been asking that on Greg’s site for several years.

    Even though I am skeptical of the predictions of climate science, I have articulated a plan.

    My plan is to generate as much of our energy as possible using nuclear power. I would like to see regional recycling nuclear power plants built (say eight or so regions), which would process the spent fuel currently sitting in casks at the 100 nuclear power plants scattered around the USA. That actually solves two problems – it reduces the amount of spent nuclear fuel (by 90%) and dramatically lowers the 1/2 life of the reprocessed fuel from millions of years to a couple hundred thousand years (so it is less radioactive) – AND we generate electricity while doing it. Then I would like each state to build at least two more nuclear power plants, so we double our plants from 100 to 200. My thought was the state could site the plant, get the approvals and permissions and deal with the litigation, while a private utility (like Xcel Energy in Minnesota) could build the plant and run it, charging the customers for the plant via their regulated rates – so a private/public partnership. We should be able to get 100 plants built in 5 years if we put our minds to it.

    That would boost our nuclear from 20% of USA power to 40%, and then I would double it again over the next 5 to 10 years to 80%.

    We could generate the remaining 20% with renewables.

    I would continue to invest in research for grid level power storage, fusion and improvements in nuclear (say thorium reactors or even safer designs that the passive cooling 4th generation reactors already designed).

    The technology to implement my plan is all currently available and compatible with the existing grid (because nuclear is baseload and not intermittent). It spreads the pain of nuclear to all 50 states, solves the storage problem (by reprocessing spent fuel at the regional recycling plants) and is doable.

    Yes – the cost of electricity will go up, because nuclear costs more than coal. But all forms of power that we can readily add cost more than coal – so people have to be willing to pay a little more or my plan won’t work.

    Jeff – what is your plan?

  53. “Where do these vacuous thinkers originate?”

    They spawn in crotch-sweat, I think.

    “So what’s your plan?”

    For what? Without knowing what the plan is supposed to do, how can he determine what plan you want? If he put out his travel plan for his next lecture, would that be fine? Because you haven’t said it wasn’t that plan you wanted.

    And remember, neither you nor BBD have a good track record of recognising what a plan is and what is in one.

  54. ” But all forms of power that we can readily add cost more than coal”

    Wrong damn near 100%.

    Without adding the cleanup costs of coal, offshore wind is cheaper than any type of coal. Onshore is cheaper than some designs, but about the same generally. If you add in the cost of externalities, solar is cheaper than coal RIGHT NOW.

    Moreover, so what if it costs more? Use less. It costs less then. Try it. Cut back on how much you spend on alcohol and you can move to more expensive drinks and still spend less overall.

  55. “We could generate the remaining 20% with renewables.”

    We could generate 100% with renewables. Lots of plans, even Australia has one for it.

  56. I forgot one other benefit to my plan.

    It doesn’t matter whether the climate scientists are right or wrong. My plan is a no regrets plan which will lower CO2 emissions compared to doing nothing.

    If the small modular reactors get approved and are feasible (I think we will know by 2020), I would also like to study the feasability of locating one at each substation and generate the electricity at each substation for all the homes and business which are connected electrically to the substation. Maybe that could be done in the form of a coop?

  57. “I forgot one other benefit to my plan.”

    You don’t have to pay for it.

    Yeah, we know. You’re a shitstain.

  58. ” (I think we will know by 2020)”

    What if it isn’t? Will you execute yourself so reduce the CO2 load on the planet? How many others want to take that bet?

    Because if you’re wrong and we wait, you’re executing billions of others in avoidable climate catastrophes.

  59. Wow #60:

    100% renewable cannot work without grid level power storage – which we haven’t invented yet. If you get above about 30% renewable the grid cannot handle it. What is your plan to handle that problem?

    Take a look at what is happening in Germany. Take a look at what is happening in Australia. 100% renewable is a fantasy. Nuclear is not – it is real and already here.

  60. Wow #58 says ” If you add in the cost of externalities, solar is cheaper than coal RIGHT NOW.”

    First, I am skeptical of that assertion. Massive solar requires massive rare earth metals, which requires mining and lets not forget massive amounts of batteries. Solar has externalities also – and I am not convinced that solar’s externalities are smaller than the future externalities of coal (the ones before today are already incurred).

    But say you are correct. People don’t make economic decisions on anything other than what they pay for (either with a check, credit card or a debit to their checking account).

    Solar costs more than coal, based on what people actually pay (with money).

    So unless you get externalities built into the price that people pay – it doesn’t matter (in my opinion).

  61. Wow #63:

    My plan doesn’t require waiting for small modular nuclear reactors. They would just be a bonus if they pan out. Maybe you should read my plan again (#57). It starts right away with regional recycling reactors and 100 new nuclear reactors (two per state).

  62. So, I ask about how to reduce population and RickA says “build nuclear plants”. Funny, that.

    Wow, on the other hand, says I didn’t ask about anything.

    I think both these guys should follow Wow at #59 and cut back on the alcohol.

  63. zebra #67:

    That is because I wasn’t answering your question, but amplifying your request for a plan from Jeff, and pointing out that I have suggested a plan to deal with CO2 emissions.

    I don’t know how to control population, other than as you suggest – by raising the standard of living and making sure birth control is available.

  64. Plan to decrease population?
    Do nothing. According to UN projections population will peak and decline later this century. Might not even hit 10 billion.

  65. MikeN—I think you may have gotten your population projection attributions mixed up. The UN projections, as far as i know, still point to an increase turn of the century and a population of 10.9 billion. It is the Deutsche Bank that projects a peak at 8.7 billion in 2055 and then a decline to 8 billion by 2100.

  66. “So, I ask about how to reduce population and RickA says “build nuclear plants”. Funny, that.”

    Not really. A few go boom because those making the money aren’t taking the risk. And roll it out and several go boom, population sorted.

    Especially if it goes all irradiated zombie horde.

    Hey, Dick, given you want such a massive spend and change to society, how about we wait until after we’ve done some other things that we currently know will work? You wouldn’t want to go all political on us, would you…

  67. “My plan doesn’t require waiting for small modular nuclear reactors. ”

    Yes it does, you said it right there:

    If the small modular reactors get approved and are feasible (I think we will know by 2020),

    Seems you can’t even get your own words remembered right.

  68. “Wow, on the other hand, says I didn’t ask about anything.”

    Now that IS 100% absolutely wrong.

    What I said was this:

    For what? Without knowing what the plan is supposed to do, how can he determine what plan you want? If he put out his travel plan for his next lecture, would that be fine? Because you haven’t said it wasn’t that plan you wanted.

    If I had interpreted you as having asked nothing, I would not have been able to ask what should the plan you want him to say should accomplish, since there would be no comment of you to ask for the definition for.

    What I said was you didn’t ask what plan you wanted.

    You still asked for “the plan”, but if he has a shopping list and posts that, it’s the plan for his shopping, so you would be 100% fine with that?

    Here’s my plan: turn the water heater on tomorrow and have a good and proper shower.

    That’s my plan.

    What’s yours?

  69. “I think both these guys should follow Wow at #59 and cut back on the alcohol.”

    Ah, so you’re a recovering alcoholic, zebra.

    Hard road to travel, I hear. Keep it up.

  70. Dan, thanks. Looks like I was considering an older UN projection which had lower levels. The 2012 median projection was still growing slightly though.

  71. Wow, sorry if I struck a nerve there. Although you sound more like you are on speed most of the time.

    RickA, as I pointed out all the other times you presented your “plan”, you have not suggested a mechanism (Federal legislation) that would achieve your goal of (say 100) nuclear plants. So, it isn’t a “plan” but a childish wish that some Daddy would magically “make it happen”.

    Dan Andrews, thanks. Still, neither represents a reduction in population. Reduction would be an important element in an all-of-the above strategy for stabilizing the environment.

  72. zebra, I’m sorry you had nothing better than to pretend I was upset. I know that finding reality doesn’t always suit your purposes is hard, but when you grow up and live as an adult you too will have to learn how to deal with it yourself.

    I realise that you have to make up a reason why you were not wrong for being 100% wrong, but you need to try something that at least appears to have been produced by a hominid. Apes are facepalming. Even some of the smarter dogs.

    But I AM glad that you now have realised that you were wrong, even if you’re hiding from it so transparently.

    Maybe in the future you can progress to the next stage of adulthood and own up to them straight out.

  73. zebra #76:

    Yes – my plan requires Federal legislation.

    But so does your plan to nationalise the grid so anybody can use it to sell electricity to end users.

    To me, the important thing about our plans is they are technically feasible and only require change of law.

    100% renewable (which Wow proposes) isn’t even technically feasible (talk about wishing).

  74. zebra still – purely for (imagined) rhetorical advantage – pretending that there is a meaningful distinction between the plan and the goal when the former is determined by the latter.

    * * *

    Given the likely consequences of failing to get off FFs fast enough because of localism fantasies and free market make-believe, I’m pretty confident that the second half of this century will see a decline in global population.

  75. RickA,

    Except that I have actually described what that legislation would be, and you have not.

    Nothing I have suggested is without precedent and is within established principles for Federal jurisdiction– common carrier regulations and interstate commerce.

    So far, you have given zero indication of how to achieve your goal. So it is simply magical thinking, as I said.

  76. Until legislation is passed and signed into law, I would say that both of our plans are magic thinking. And Wow’s plan of 100% renewable is magic thinking raised to the power of 2.

  77. Since magic is imaginary, and an imaginary number squared is a real number, you’re saying my idea (and it’s not mine, there are many such plans out and I’ve not written one of them) is real while yours is imaginary.

    Sounds about right, “dick”.

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