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PostPosted: May 16, 2015 1:08 pm 
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Alex Epstein talks to Glenn Beck about his book on the morality of global warming.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/05 ... discussed/

An interesting portion of the article:
Quote:
Epstein said that because of fossil fuels, over the last 80 years we’ve progressively “climate-proofed civilization” in the developed world, and climate-related deaths — deaths due to extreme heat, cold or wildfires, for instance — are a scant fraction of what they used to be.


We hear people that will point out how many will die from inhaling particulates from fossil fuels but ignore how many were saved because of how many received clean water, properly cooked and refrigerated foods, transportation to education and medical care, heated and air conditioned buildings, warm and clean clothing, and so on.

In other words fossil fuels are the worst energy sources available to us except all the others.

I have read studies where wind farms produced no real energy for the grid. For every windmill in use there must be a means to produce the required power for when the wind does not blow, current technology and economics dictate this to be natural gas turbines. Natural gas turbines are only half as efficient as a natural gas boiler, but a boiler cannot be started on a moments notice like a turbine. These studies have found no real reduction in the carbon output because of increased use in wind power, in some cases there was actually an increase.

Mr. Epstein's book takes this further. The environmentalists oppose even the construction of windmills because it has an impact on the environment. Constructing any artificial structure affects the environment, putting up power lines inevitably involves disturbing the soil, cutting down trees, etc.

It seems to me that Mr. Epstein is making a straw man argument, I have not read his book and don't really intend to, I just have the article and video I linked to above to go on. He describes a movement to save the environment that has gone to absurd levels. The people he describes seem to believe that we should all be living in sod houses and eating bugs. I don't doubt such people exists, I just doubt many give them the attention they demand.

What I see are people that believe that we should make a move toward "green" technologies even though the existence of any real carbon output savings are suspect. I gave the example of wind power above and I could make similar arguments for solar and ethanol.

I find it pleasing that more people are pointing out the continued failures of "green" energy to do real and actual improvements to society.

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Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: May 25, 2015 2:25 pm 
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Dear Kurt,

if you have a look on the potential US presidential candidates it is quite likely that the climate hoax will find its end in a few years as the "Limits of Growth" did in the 70ies or the ozone hole did in the 90ies. In Europa the governments of the western european countries promote the climate hoax the eastern european countries not. If the climate hoax will end in the US it might end in Europe as well.

Hence I would not recommend to use the climate hoax as key argument in favor of nuclear power.


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PostPosted: May 25, 2015 11:55 pm 
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HolgerNarrog wrote:
Hence I would not recommend to use the climate hoax as key argument in favor of nuclear power.


Given the emotion behind global warming I'd avoid speaking of it at all, if possible. Nuclear power makes sense regardless if global warming is real or a hoax. Point is that carbon based fuels are not the bogeyman people claim. It's because we burn coal that we can deal with whatever changes in climate that come, regardless of source.

Another way I've seen this dilemma explained is with a four square box. Across the top we have two options, global warming is man made, and global warming is a hoax. Down the side we have two options, burn coal, stop burning coal. What do we have then?

- Global warming is real, and we stop burning coal. This means we stop global warming but people die from starvation, disease, and exposure because the "green" energy sources we have now are expensive and unreliable. Trillions of dollars spent on wind farms and solar panels leads us to shortages of food, clean water, etc. because the cost of every commodity has tripled because the cost of energy has tripled.
- Global warming is a hoax, and we stop burning coal. People still die from starvation, disease, and exposure. Added insult to injury because we have spent trillions of dollars for nothing.
- Global warming is real, and we keep burning coal. Life sucks from rising sea levels, environmental refugees, etc. but we have cheap energy, plenty of food, clean water, and people live on.
- Global warming is a hoax, and we keep burning coal. We win! Everybody gets cheap energy and no one has to flee from environmental disasters.

The only escape from those four possible scenarios is a source of energy that is both cheap as coal, and as reliable as coal. We have that in nuclear power.

I've seen "green" power advocates say that we have another "out". All we need to do is make wind, solar, bio-fuel, as cheap as coal. That is true but until that happens we must choose, "green" energy and people die, coal and life MIGHT suck from global warming, or nuclear power and we don't have to worry about whether global warming is real or not.

If the "green" people cannot get behind nuclear power then the moral choice we have is to keep burning coal.

_________________
Disclaimer: I am an engineer but not a nuclear engineer, mechanical engineer, chemical engineer, or industrial engineer. My education included electrical, computer, and software engineering.


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PostPosted: May 26, 2015 12:07 pm 
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Wind and solar energy are generated depending on wether, daytime, season and hence are not really suitable for a time dependent industrial Society. It would require very, very large storage capacities to make them suitable for an industrial country.

As the earth does not change its position in the space I think the challenges will remain the same in the foreseeable future.

For a further development of mankind nuclear needs to become superior in costs vs. coal and gas. Its the economic stupid (Bill Clinton).


Last edited by HolgerNarrog on May 27, 2015 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 26, 2015 5:16 pm 
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Well the solar diurnal cycling thing is (very slowly) solving itself, not just by the decrease in costs of battery storage - which are minor and almost irrelevant in the scheme of things, but by the deployment of increasingly absurd voltages for electricity transmission.

We now have a ready to go 1100kV DC system - can transport tens of gigawatts over 3000km.
1500kV is within reach with developments in new innovative semiconductors (SiC IGBTs and Thyristors with enormous breakdown voltages), maybe even 2000kV in the long term.
Simultaneously XPLE insulation technologies have advanced to potentially allow 1100kV+ undersea connections to become plausible.
At 1500kV 10% losses gets you somewhere out to nearly ten thousand kilometres.

At which point you could, barring political problems which I agree are currently insurmountable, wrap a girdle of solar arrays around the equator (or in the lower latitudes that tend to be occupied by deserts) and simply moving power across the entire face of the planet.
At that point the only limitation becomes the annoying problems caused by the Pacific Ocean.

(Incidentally this is the same technology that makes me wonder if we should not position power plants with the only concern being the temperature of cooling water available, positioning nuclear power stations on Hudson's Bay and moving the power south might come out cheaper per delivered kilowatts thanks to steam cycle advantages overcoming the steadily decreasing resistive losses en-route).

All that is a long way off - but still closer than many hail mary things like fusion.


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PostPosted: May 26, 2015 5:36 pm 
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The technical development in power transmission will help all electricity generating sources. It will help modern coal fired plants as they can run steadier and on higher load factors. It will help nuclear plants with ist high capital costs and low fuel costs as it allows to balance the daily differences from east to west and the differences north to south and hence allows a higher share of base load.

It will help rational mind driven coal and nuclear power more then religious solar power.


Last edited by HolgerNarrog on May 27, 2015 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 27, 2015 2:56 am 
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' - Global warming is real, and we keep burning coal. Life sucks from rising sea levels, environmental refugees, etc. but we have cheap energy, plenty of food, clean water, and people live on.'
That's assuming climate consequences are at the low end of the range. CO2 levels have been tracking above the IPCC 's high-level forecast, and will continue to do so if the major economies keep relying on coal. Current atmospheric levels are about 400 ppm, which last happened during the last interglacial, the Eemian, peaking about 125,000 years ago, with temperatures a little higher, on average, than now, and sea levels about 6 metres up on ours.
If CO2 levels carry on up to 650 ppm and above, which they are currently heading for, much higher sea levels will follow ( Greenland stayed mostly glaciated in the Eemian ), but shorter term effects would be extreme heat waves - there's one in India right now, 1000+ dead this week. This is likely to slash staple crop yields, especially if linked to drought or floods. Having plenty of power, from coal or nuclear, wouldn't really be much use here.
' ..It will help rational mind driven coal and nuclear power more then religious solar power.' There wasn't much rational about the second Energiewende, which has been a great boost to coal in Germany, as well as solar. ( What's Japanese for Energiewende? Bakadenki ? )


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PostPosted: May 27, 2015 1:02 pm 
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Dear Jon,

"Global Warming" is quite popular in some of the old, fat industrial countries.

I`m really not against a global warming as I am living in a cold country. 1 - 2°C more would be fine for me and most probably as well for the civilisation. I`m as well not against higher CO2 levels as it would give a boost to agriculture. A level of some 600ppm would be great.

As I am technical minded Person and prefer a technical approach on subjects there are some points to question about the climate hoax...

The influence of mankind on the carbon cycle of the world is till now obviously negligible. Burning of fossile fuel provides 35 bn tons CO2/yr. vs 770 bn tons/yr. from natural sources. Accumulated from 1900 till 2013 1 trillion tons of CO2 was generated from burning fossile fuel vs. 150trillion tons in the carbon cycle without carbonates. (numbers from IPCC (climate hoax inventors)).

The quantitative effect of the greenhouse gasses is till now not really defined. The influence of CO2 on the greenhouse effect 400ppm vs. some 10000ppm H2O with a larger cross section in near infared is not really determined. To give a serious answer it would require that some of these guys would seriously work. On my Point of view a Monte Carlo Simulation could help to get significant quantitative data on the greenhouse effect and to find out if CO2 has a significant influence on the greenhouse effect. I hope that when the climate hoax once died there will be some serious scientists that make the work to calculate the greenhouse effect.


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PostPosted: May 27, 2015 4:45 pm 
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Holger - all fine as long you're not at sea level and don't mind hosting all the refugees who are not from cold climates.

You will of course have to pay your part for the flooding of major cities and loss of farmland. We live in an interconnected world.


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PostPosted: May 28, 2015 4:09 am 
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The mankind has been dealing with natural changes including disasters. This comparatively gradual climate change problem has to be managed rationally with least disturbance possible.
All available energy systems have to be used, preferably in a co ordinated manner. The transportation works best with liquid fuels, particularly the road and air transport. Electrified rail transport should take up as much surface transport as possible.
Renewable energy is making a niche in distributed generation and use. It has to concentrate where grid connections are difficult or costly. We should, however not go for bulk generation with wind or solar as in wind or solar farms. It is best used at rooftops or naborhood windmills.
The distributed generation and use is present in vehicles, trains and ships as a part of engine loads. We have to learn from that and standardise on 12 volt DC. Grid connection where available or emergency generators should only charge the batteries in an urgency.
Nuclear power should take up bigger generations to avoid bulk air pollution which has health complications.
There is a beginning of electric and hybrid vehicles. More efficient fuel cells, when available should come in as prime movers with electric drives.


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PostPosted: May 28, 2015 10:43 am 
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Dear Alex,

I do not understand your Point...

"You will of course have to pay your part for the flooding of major cities and loss of farmland. We live in an interconnected world."
Neither me nor the human society have the means to influence the global climate till today beside of religions.

If the global climate will become 1 -3° warmer on whatever reason it is a great opportunity for mankind. An increase of the sealevel by a few m in centuries is overcompensated by the land in Canada and Russia then usable for agriculture and settling.


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PostPosted: May 28, 2015 10:59 am 
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Most of the Canadian Arctic would be useless for settlement and agriculture even if it was warmer.
The Canadian shield means most of it either has no soil to speak of or has soil that is entirely worthless and would take decades or centuries to improve sufficiently.

Also as to the relative size of natural and anthropogenic forcings - it doesn't take much to force a system away from equilibrium when it lacks strong negative feedbacks - which unfortunately the climate system appears to.
That is why climate is constantly changing - there isn't a strong 'restoring force' to hold it in the equilibrium position - it is rather unstable.


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PostPosted: May 29, 2015 12:16 pm 
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Dear E. Ireland...

According to the scientist that are a bit sceptical on the climate hoax there are at least 2 reasons that the climate on earth ist very stable.

1. According to the Stefan Boltzmann law P = K * A * T * T * T * T, K = 5,67 * 10-8 W/m2/K4 it requires a strong increase in solar activity to increase the temperature on earth slightly. The changes in solar activities are acc. to sceptical scientists a main source of climate changes. Acc. to the IPCC (Inventors of the climate Change) it is negligible.

2. The earth is a planet mainly covered by water. If the temperatures increase the evaporation of water increase very strong. The water vapor rise to the atmosphere forms clouds and emits the condensating heat by the Emission of near infared when condensing. I read an article from US Professor of control Engineering who came to the conclusion that it is a main control parameter that keeps the climate stable.

I would appreciate it very much that when the global warming/climate Change/climate hoax is finished scientists will make serious scientific work on such topics as the control parameters of the climate, the carbon cycle or the greenhouse effect. There are plenty of interesting topics


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PostPosted: May 29, 2015 12:23 pm 
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HolgerNarrog wrote:
Dear Alex,

I do not understand your Point...

"You will of course have to pay your part for the flooding of major cities and loss of farmland. We live in an interconnected world."
Neither me nor the human society have the means to influence the global climate till today beside of religions.


I'm just an engineer and management consultant, so don't really understand climate science. I defer to the experts who seem to be close to unanimous that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase global temperatures.

I'm not sure what religions have to do with it. Of course, if you understand the climate better than the climate sciences.....

Quote:
If the global climate will become 1 -3° warmer on whatever reason it is a great opportunity for mankind. An increase of the sealevel by a few m in centuries is overcompensated by the land in Canada and Russia then usable for agriculture and settling.


As I put it: A warmer world may well be a better place. A warming world won't be.

+2C might be managable, but +4C tends to have been associated with mass extinctions in the past.


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PostPosted: May 29, 2015 8:33 pm 
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Holger wrote:

Quote:
The technical development in power transmission will help all electricity generating sources.


I don't think it is the technology that will stop power lines. It's rights of way issues. You cross a lot of land owned by lots of different people with different issues AND it's their land.


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