How can we save the world from climate change?

Summary: Today we continue our year-end speculations. Here we look at the steps necessary to save the world from the effects of CO2-caused climate change.

Preparing for shockwaves!
Preparing for shockwaves!

The often-hysterical tone of much commentary about shockwaves — low probability, high impact scenarios — makes me wonder about these people’s sincerity. How much of their comments reflect genuine fear, how much is entertainment? How many of the people warning of shockwaves do so for personal business interests, or perhaps because these build support for pubic policy measures they seek for other reasons?

Consider climate change. If the IPCC high-end forecasts are correct, only drastic cuts in humanity’s carbon emissions can prevent severe climate change. Many laypeople (ie, non-scientists) loudly proclaim their concern, often exaggerating the state of current research — focusing on that which feeds their fears, ignoring or denigrating that which does not.

The solutions commonly advocated fuel skepticism about their motives. High taxes (eg, carbon taxes) and a massive increase in government regulation of the economy — both long-standing goals of the Left.

Instead, let’s run the problem the other way. What measures would people advocate who are sincerely concerned about CO2-caused warming — and the resulting climate change? Let’s list the most obvious ones.

GRACE satellites at work
GRACE satellites at work
  1. Expansion of climate science research
  2. Nuclear Power
  3. Mitigation measures

(1) Expansion of climate science research

Right or wrong, a large fraction of the world’s people do not believe that global warming poses an imminent threat to them. As has been amply documented in the IPCC reports and elsewhere, there remains a large number of uncertainties about Earth’s past climate, climate dynamics, and forecasts of future climate. The obvious response is greater funding. Here are two areas of great need.

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(a) The global climate surface measuring system is grossly inadequate. Even in the US, and the US has one of the best national networks. At the other extreme, coverage in Antarctica is sparse — and coverage of the Arctic Ocean is almost non-existent. The constellation of satellite-based sensors is inadequate and aging.

(b) To understand the present and predict the future we need reliable data from paleoclimatology studies. The proxy data for reconstruction of historical climate data is absurdly poorly funded, considering the importance of the data. Again multi-disciplinary teams are needed — with third party reviews of sampling techniques (to avoid cherry-picking of samples or proxies), interpretation (e.g., interpreting the underlying signal in terms of precipitation or temperature), and analysis (e.g., to avoid over-emphasis on certain geographical regions or samples). Note: these are only indirect measures of temperature.

Climate sciences suffer from lack of support by both warming alarmists and skeptics. That’s a sad response on both sides.

20130102-nuclear

(2) Nuclear power

Conservation and renewables can replace some fossil fuels, but their ability to substantially do so remains speculative. There is only one ready-to-use alternative energy source: atomic power. While often implemented poorly (sometimes insanely), its practicality has been demonstrated. Large-scale replacement of fossil fuels with nukes would require broad programs.

  1. Development of unexploited uranium deposits.
  2. Development of new reactors: safer, more efficient.
  3. Research and development of alternative nuclear fuels, such as reprocessed spent uranium, or thorium.
  4. Expansion of nuclear industry: training of engineers and technicians, fuel refining-transporation-disposal, etc.
  5. Construction of reactors
  6. Electrification of transportation systems

Needless to say, warnings about climate change seldom lead to advocacy of the one known path to replace fossil fuel use. As advocates for atomic power they would find allies among those now foes, especially in the emerging nations (where climate change advocacy is often seen as “pulling up the ladder behind them”).

Why are nukes so seldom seen as part of the solution?

(3) Mitigation measures

Many of the likely results of increased warming can be mitigated, to some degree. The best-known of these is using well-proven methods to protect cities from storm surges (as NYC was so often warned about, but failed to do).

At the very least, the cost of reducing CO2 emissions should be compared with that of mitigating its effects. Large-scale research to answer this, not the back-of the-envelope individual efforts absurdly considered authoritative today.

Why do climate change advocates give these kind of mitigation methods so little attention,at least as methods to buy time?

For More Information

See all posts about these important topics at the FM Reference Pages:

Posts about shockwaves:

  1. There is no “peak water” crisis, 19 June 2008
  2. We are so vulnerable to so many things. What is the best response?, 30 December 2008
  3. About our certain doom from the Yellowstone supervolcano, 11 January 2008
  4. My nomination for a top priority shockwave, 19 January 2009
  5. A serious threat to us – a top priority shockwave – a hidden danger …, 20 January 2009
  6. What about all the hype, the extreme warnings, about swine flu?, 3 September 2009
  7. More about shockwaves of the volcanic kind, 21 April 2010
  8. How good are our global senses, watching our changing world?, 15 October 2010

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33 thoughts on “How can we save the world from climate change?

  1. Starve the power of tropical storms that threaten the future of our grandchildren by moving heat towards the poles and in the process foster the energy they will need in that future.

  2. We make Milankovitch cycles illegal.

    See Wikipedia.

    More realisically, we modify the atmosphere through climate engineering. i.e. Adding methane will rapidly increase greenhouse warming. -or- Causing the Arctic ice cover to melt will increase the “lake effect” snowfall over the Northern Hemisphere, increasing the progress of an already likely ice age.

    The climate will change no matter what we do — its just we might help the direction of change.

  3. Get up to date:
    *Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets ruled by corporations and trustworthy politicians
    *Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
    *Obama has not mentioned the crisis in the last two State of the Unions addresses.
    *In all of the debates Obama hadn’t planned to mention climate change once.
    26 years of the all the scientists only saying it “could” be a crisis, never saying it “will” be a crisis means it won’t be a crisis, because “maybe” isn’t a lie. Help my house could be at the point of no return possibly from being on fire maybe? This Reefer Madness of climate blame is our legacy and real planet lovers are glad a crisis was an exaggeration. The remaining doomers wanted this misery to be real.

  4. “Why are nukes so seldom seen as part of the solution?”

    Because they are sensitive to climate change.

    Nuclear power plants require enormous amounts of fresh water to operate — they are on rank 3 on the largest water footprint of energy sources after hydro-electric power (obviously) and shortly behind coal — leaving all other energy sources way behind, including gas, wind, solar, etc. Cooling water must be below a certain temperature, otherwise plants must be shut down. It is exactly what has been happening with surprising frequency since that famous 2003 drought, where the French electricity company had to stop a whole series of nuclear plants because there was not enough water in French rivers, and its temperature was too high.

    Placing nukes on the sea-side? Only for those countries that have sea access. And sea water is salty (i.e. corrosive). And there are some large-scale natural sea-bound events whose frequency and violence is, according to climate research, statistically going to increase if climate warning is effectively taking place. The Japanese are living with the consequence of not planning for a such a maximally disruptive event.

    There is no silver bullet. It is important to figure out the hidden resource requirements that each approach assumes to work properly (water, transport network, rare earths — it seems that wind turbines need them a lot, etc). Some of these requirements may well doom technologies that may seem attractive at first sight, including so-called “green” ones.

    1. “Nuclear power plants require enormous amounts of fresh water to operate”

      Perhaps we’re stuck with these problems because people focus on the problems more than the possible solutions. Which is my point: the eager reach for regulation & taxation over alternative solutions makes people wonder what’s really at work here.

      (1) Nukes are little different in this respect to other themoelectric power sources, which in the US used 3.3 billion gallons per day in 1995 (Solley et al, 1998). That was 3.3% of total US water consumption, almost 20% of nonagricultural consumption. Current nukes has slightly larger water consumption than coal-burning plants. While there have been problems with water availability, that doesn’t appear to be a large problem today. Rather it’s a limitation on the expansion of current nuke designs.

      (2) They don’t “require” this water; that’s how they’re designed today. But “saving the planet” should be worth a little work, such as using cooling ponds or “dry” power systems to reduce water use where that’s a constraint. It’s a matter of economics more than technology.

      For more about nukes water use see:

      An intro to dry cooling:
      Is the Cooling of Power Plants a Constraint on the Future of Nuclear Power?“, World Nuclear Assn
      Sustainability, Water, Dry Cooling, and the Advanced High-Temperature Reactor“, presented at the American Nuclear Society 2004 Winter Meeting

  5. What do you mean by “6.Electrification of transportation systems”?
    Would that be converting diesel rail to electric rail, converting gasoline cars to electric cars, or both?
    It would require a very large amount of time and investment either way. On the rail side, it would be government upgrading or replacing their tracks. On the car side, it would be millions of individuals buying new cars, and the installation of lots of new charging equipment.

    1. Todd,

      (1) Yes to both.

      (2) It need not be done in a year. Or even a decade. For example, consider a gradual process so that a large fraction (eg, the 1/3 of vehicles that travel the most miles) be converted in a decade — and 80% in two decades. Also, it need not be a total conversion.

      (3) Yes, the investment required would be large. It need not involve government expenditure, although government aid would make sense (eg, R&D, tax credits, loan guarantees, loans). But it’s “saving the planet”, and that will not be fast or cheap. Why are the climate alarmists not leading the charge on these issues?

    2. Fabius
      If we’re talking R&D, I think the best bang for our collective buck would go toward battery and fuel cell research. Currently, electric car batteries are very expensive to manufacture, don’t store as much energy as people would like, and often involve dirty or toxic materials in their manufacture and disposal. R&D could go toward improving all of that.
      Further, it would be necessary to upgrade and expand the capacity of the electric grid to allow for charging all those batteries.
      On the rail side, I’m speaking from personal experience of the electrification of a commuter rail line in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is not being done so much for environmental reasons, but instead to improve noise, speed, and efficiency, and also to allow for underground operation. The project is an extremely expensive endeavor, with cost borne mostly by local governments, although the agencies are using the project as an impetus for other improvements, such as grade separation. I would imagine similar projects elsewhere in the country, given proper incentives.

    3. (1) How to spend R&D?

      As you imply, that would become a food fight. I’d leave it to a large group of scientists and engineers. Focusing as narrowly as you suggest seems to me a large mistake.

      There are many technologies which might have large breakthroughs during the next generation or so, if funded. Such as advanced nukes, fusion, low-temperature superconductors.

      (2) Cost of public infrastructure in the US

      This is something I’d like to write about. One reason the US does less public infrastructure than our peers is that it costs so much here. Six billion for a short tunnel in Boston (from memory). $600 million to renovate a subway station in the US. Fantastically large costs for light rail, everywhere.

      Why do these projects cost so much more in the US than elsewhere? It’s a vital question for us to answer, if we’re to remain prosperous in the 21st century.

    4. Fabius
      I would very much like to see your take on the topic of cost overruns for public infrastructure projects.
      I won’t try to give a definitive answer to the problem, but here is my take, for what it’s worth, on the major contributors to the high cost of these projects:
      1.Poor planning and management:
      Often, the risks and complication inherent in very large projects are not well understood or not properly planned for by a project’s designers and managers. If contingencies for unexpected or unlikely events are not properly planned for during design, then changes need to be made during construction, which can add considerable time and expense. This lack of adequate foresight by governing agencies is often exploited by contractors, whose initial bid is well below their own cost, but who make up more than the difference through change orders. This is a fixable problem, but requires concerted effort and accountability.
      2.Entitlements and consensus building:
      Large projects, by their very nature, involve many interested parties. These can be local governments, businesses, and residents, some of whom are rich and powerful, capable of exerting considerable influence on the planning process. In many areas, the duration and complication of the planning process, created by the necessity to build consensus among these interested parties, adds huge costs in delays and added complication.
      In countries like China, the entitlement process is largely circumvented. While this might be justified by a ‘greater good’ philosophy, it can cause extremely negative results for a few adversely affected people.
      3.Labor costs:
      In the previous century, when many of our great public works were constructed, labor was cheap and relatively unskilled. Now, it is neither. In New York City, an iron and steel worker can ear 1.5 times the median household income for the area. The best way to reduce this cost on a large national scale would be to import skilled construction workers from overseas, where wages are cheaper. This worked well for Dubai, where construction projects largely used cheap Indian labor to build what is now a very impressive metropolitan area. I might suggest work visas or even conditional citizenship as a facilitator and motivator for these foreign tradespeople.
      4.Material costs:
      Everything from steel and concrete to drywall and dirt is more expensive now than it used to be. This is largely a problem of simple supply and demand, and can only be addressed accordingly.
      Still, I’m not convinced it is significantly more expensive to build things like tunnels, trains, and nuclear power plants in the USA than it is in Europe and Asia, where there are many of the same problems. It seems to me the main difference between us and them is public acceptance of the necessity of such projects. Pardon the political commentary, but I’ve noticed that many Americans have not yet escaped the illusion of the rugged individualist. They presume independence by discounting any infrastructure that’s already present when they arrive at the scene, assuming that roads are paid for exclusively by their own gas taxes, and that power plants are paid for exclusively by their own monthly utility payments, instead of through collective public investment over the last hundred years.

    5. Todd,

      An important note, which I’ll try to make clearer in posts this year — For almost all the topic discussed here, most of the posts are journalism. Reporting data from reliable sources, reporting what various experts say. I attempt to arrange that in a useful and coherent form, usually showing a perspective contrary or orthogonal to that shown in the mainstream news media.

      Looking at your comment, the large question remains unanswered: why are public infrastructure projects in the US said to be more expensive than in other developed nations? If this is correct, why?

      We know why such are less expensive in China, but that’s not the issue.

      Regarding importing more workers: we’re not going to have a prosperous nation for long if the solution to problem is importing workers to crush the wages of America workers. Every year there are fewer middle-class blue collar workers. Let’s not dedicate public policy to destroying those that remain.

      That is, of course, the preferred solution of our large corporations — such as tech companies exploiting H1-B visas to suppress wages of tech workers. And, of course, the government-sanctioned union busting which has been rampant since Reagan broke the air traffic controllers’ strike in 1981.

    6. “why are public infrastructure projects in the US said to be more expensive than in other developed nations? ”

      Let me hazard a hypothesis: lack — or better said, loss — of institutional know-how on how to get stakeholders to agree on a project, how to plan and manage such projects, how to select reliable contractors and negotiate the price and quality of supplies.

      One does not trim down the departments in the public service which used to deal with such projects, systematically subcontract an increasing number of tasks to the private sector (often less on the basis of technical skills than favors for politically well-connected campaign supporters), or engage in a policy of “let the private sector figure it out for the best” without arriving at a stage where even dedicated teams cannot do things, because they simply no longer have the experience required to do things. The UK, with its frantic application of Private-Public-Partnerships in the last 20 years or so, is facing a similar problem — the cost of building and operating schools, hospitals, jails is exploding — and the reliability and performance is decreasing.

  6. I agree with your approach. Sketch the picture without exaggeration. There is enough reason for (sensible) action. And it will be a matter of many, many decades anyway. The shift from coal to oil & gas took 50 years, the shift towards “CO2 lean” energy will take at least a similar amount of time.

    I made a few guest lectures for 15-20 year olds on a secondary school in The Netherlands (as one can see from the examples used in them). For those interested, I list them at the end of this post.

    With respect to nuclear: If one decides to go for it I would prefer the Thorium option. Then the (severe) drawback of the accumulation/production of Plutonium isn’t there (or only to a very minimal extent). However, this would call for an extensive R&D program to make it operational on a scale that can make a difference as soon as possible.

    In my view dealing with the energy provision for man kind (for both availability issues and climate mitigation issues) requires a portfolio approach anyway. “One solution will solve it” won’t do.

    Mazzel & broge, Evert Wesker

    http://home.kpn.nl/wesker/blogs/pic/Energie_presentatie-engels.pdf (Energy lecture)
    http://home.kpn.nl/wesker/blogs/pic/Klimaatlezing-engels.pdf (Climate lecture)

    1. Yes, mountaineering is one of my passions (and photography combines well with it :-) ). From a professional perspective: I am a physical/chemical engineer (with a big interest in sustainable development).

      Evert

    2. Then let me double my thanks for posting those links. You bring a valuable perspective to this discussion.

      As global population AND income grows, sustainability will become an increasingly vital issue for all aspects of public and private infrastructure.

  7. You fail to grasp the distinction between adaptation and mitigation. Building sea walls and flood protection systems are adaptation strategies. Mitigation strategies focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to lower atmospheric carbon levels. There is no longer any either/or option. We must pursue both in parallel.

    I do tend to agree with your take on the nuclear option, particularly the new “fast” sodium reactors. Not only do these seem to be far safer than Gen 1 and Gen 2 reactor technology, they’re also capable of burning those “spent” reactor rods that we can’t find any safe way to store and weapons grade material also.

    Leaving aside Chernobyl, how many people have been killed by nuclear power in the west and how many have lost their lives, directly or indirectly, to coal energy?

    As for salt water cooling, sea water is only used in a sealed, heat exchange system. It’s the same principle we use in the cooling systems on our fishing boats out here.

    Where water issues become really problematic is at coal fired energy plants, such as the recent experience in Texas. Coal-fired plants use immense amounts of water to create steam to run their turbine generators. A number of the Texas plants are dependent on rivers, lakes and aquifers which are beginning to fail. With the drought and heat waves that have beset Texas, the increasing demand for electricity for cooling and fresh water for irrigation and livestock has created serious challenges for these power plants.

    We must always bear in mind that global warming/climate change is a big part but still only part of a host of interconnected problems we must solve. Most of these are tangible, palpable, measurable and a number are visible to the naked eye from space. They include desertification and deforestation; floods, droughts and severe storm events (both sustained and cyclical) of increasing frequency and intensity; the freshwater crisis (of itself perhaps a similar magnitude to global warming); the depletion and exhaustion of resources non-renewable and renewable; species extinction (particularly global fish stocks) and migration; disease and pest migration; overpopulation and population migration; sea level rise and coastal inundation; air, soil and water contamination of all sorts; and a host of global security challenges including food insecurity; nuclear proliferation and regional arms races (especially Asian) and the related problems of failed states and terrorism.

    The really interesting thing is that there are but a few common threads that run through all these challenges. It’s a worthwhile exercise to toss them around and look for the threads for yourself. You’ll find them although you may not be pleased with the results. The simple fact is that we have to solve them all if we’re to solve any of them. So, yes, let’s keep our focus on climate change but let’s do that in the context of the greater challenge that we face.

    1. Rob,

      “You fail to grasp the distinction between adaptation and mitigation. Building sea walls and flood protection systems are adaptation strategies. Mitigation strategies focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to lower atmospheric carbon levels.”

      That’s quite an aggressive opening to your comment. And wrong. I do grasp that distinction. But it’s not relevant to any of the major points made in this post.

      There are always additional levels of complexity to any description Every analysis must draw the line, including only the most essential to the purpose and audience of the article. That’s Composition 101.

      “We must pursue both in parallel.”

      Agreed. That’s why the distinction is not essential to this article.

    2. “We must always bear in mind that global warming/climate change is a big part but still only part of a host of interconnected problems we must solve.”

      Agreed. This is one of the major themes on the FM website.

      We face a wide range of threats. Many are both serious and imminent. Such as from pollution (in many forms), collapse of the world’s fisheries, and damage to the world’s agricultural systems.

      Then there are a wide range of shockwaves, which vary in probability of occurrence and magnitude of impact.

      We don’t have the resources to address them all. We need more understanding of the various scenarios, and a resource allocation strategy to cope with them as best we can.

  8. I’m afraid you’re right, we aren’t prepared to address all of these challenges. We’ve had two decades to reach some effective agreement on climate change and we’re really not far from where we started save for the increasing GHG emissions over this time.

    You see, Fab, that the problems I have listed (and the list isn’t exhaustive) can’t be solved by throwing resources at them. You haven’t found the threads.

    I know a number of scientists involved directly or peripherally with the climate change problem and they all keep up an air of concerned optimism in public which evaporates pretty quickly when you sit down for a couple of beers.

    The circumpolar tundra has now thawed and dried out to the point where it’s burning and we have no means of extinguishing the fires. It’s a feedback loop mechanism of calamitous proportions. As it burns it releases once safely trapped carbon into the atmosphere. It also generates clouds of airborne soot that coat ice sheets and speed their melting. One tundra fire in Labrador last year illustrates the problem. The Greenland ice sheet was recorded by satellite as around 40% in summer melt. Four days later the ice sheet was 97% in melt due to the soot fallout from the Labrador fire. And, finally, as the tundra burns off it exposes the real carbon sink, the permafrost, immediately beneath.

    Is something visible from space alarmist? I think I’m beyond caring about sleights.

    It will be interesting to watch as North Americans retreat from our coastline. I never thought I would see it in my remaining lifetime but that was wishful thinking. Oh well, I live atop a 50-foot granite escarpment so I’ll probably be fine although most of my neighbourhood is low-lying so I could find myself living on an isthmus or perhaps even an island. Maybe, from here on in, we’ll find we’re all Latter Day Easter Islanders.

    Bonne Chance.

    1. Rob,

      While I agree with your sentiment — and your overall view — I think you are grossly overstating the actual state of climate research.

      I am sure you are accurately reflecting the views of those you talk to, but the reality is that this is a large complex field — with many divergent threads of research.

      To speak more generally — not of you specifically — I find that people often cite as definitive the views of experts that support their personal views — and consider as defective or illegitimate the views of other experts who disagree. So far as I can see, that has become the norm in the lay debates about climate. Even to the extent that climate alarmists have started denouncing the IPCC as “too conservative”. Eating their own, a common event among revolutionaries.

      One of the great themes of the FM website is to show a broader range of views.

  9. Um, why would we want to save the world from climate change? The climate is supposed to change, we are supposed to adapt to those changes.

    1. We’re discussing catastrophic anthropogenic climate change (CACC) — forecasts by some scientists that the climate will change in ways unfavorable to humanity, in magnitudes that will cause large-scale adverse effects, at rates such that sufficient adaptation and mitigation will be difficult or impractical.

      The question of the post is that why believers in CACC do not advocate some obvious and probably effective responses to these forecasts.

      History abounds with examples of climate change that had unpleasant or even catastrophic effects on people living in affected regions. Looking back far enough, we see global events (eg, global cooling following the eruption of Toba). These kind of events are worth avoiding!

    2. “The question of the post is that why believers in CACC do not advocate some obvious and probably effective responses to these forecasts.

      Oh yes CACC, that non-existant threat, stuck in the minds of the bored western middle class. I’ve heard of that.

      I think you know fully why believers do not advocate effective responses to these forecasts. Because its not a real threat and they know it. Climate alarmism is a faith, a quasi-religion, they don’t actually want the threat resolved, they wnt it kept alive forever. Like any other faith.

    3. “Oh yes CACC, that non-existant threat, stuck in the minds of the bored western middle class. I’ve heard of that.”

      There is a legitimate basis in science — both data and theory — for Catastrophic Anthropogenic-caused Climate Change. The debate among scientists concerns its magnitude and probability.

      My concern is different. Massive public policy actions should, IMO (and I think most people) require a higher standard of proof (evidence and verification) than for purely academic work. Which has, IMO, not been provided.

  10. To repeat my comment when I was 11 years of age, after being shown around Hunterston nuclear power station .. anyone who burns coal, or gas or oil to generate mass electricity is a moron.

    That’s it, if you even try to defend it you just show your stupidity even more. Or that you are a paid hack for coal/oil/gas companies. We have so many alternatives now depending on your local environment. Solar, wind, tidal, nuclear ( of all types including micropiles).

    Coal is the worst. The damage digging out of the ground, the waste in shipping it. The pollution, fly ash, mercury, cadmium, etc … and yes radioactive release into the environment. Madness. And the waste, the totally forgotten future generations will need this for chemicals, plastics, drugs and all the rest.

    Anyone, and I mean anyone who advocates keeping on wasting valuable, irreplaceable fossil fuels to generate base electricity is a moron. No ifs or buts. Take one example: 30% at best efficiency, when you turn irreplaceable gas into electricity. Pipe the gas to a point of use then you are 80% to 90%.

    God people are stupid…..

    1. Oldskeptic,

      Most of this is too silly to bother with. But we respond to all comments in the hope that someone will learn something.

      (1) “To repeat my comment when I was 11 years of age … anyone who burns coal, or gas or oil to generate mass electricity is a moron.”

      Fossil fuels are burned today to keep our civilization going. It’s a path-dependent result. Past decisions (not made by “morons”) got us here, and the current structure of the world cannot be changed overnight without unacceptable suffering. Most people older than 11 understand this.

      (2) “We have so many alternatives now depending on your local environment. Solar, wind, tidal”

      This is just ignorant-level wrong. While these can provide meaningful contributions, none of these can replace fossil fuels for baseload power generation at close to current costs. And none of these can replace liquid fuels to power our transportation systems at close to current costs. See the Energy Studies Reference Page.

      (3) “nuclear (of all types including micropiles)”

      Reading FAIL. The need for shift to nukes is the primary message of this post. I’ve long suspected that Oldskeptic reads only the title, then writes his rants — which seldom provide any references to the post.

      (4) “Anyone, and I mean anyone who advocates keeping on wasting valuable, irreplaceable fossil fuels to generate base electricity is a moron. No ifs or buts.”

      This — and the other 60 posts about energy — on the FM website discuss how to convet the world’s industrial base to better energy sources. Unfortunately we have at present only expensive “interruptables” (eg, solar, wind — not suitable for core base generation) and nuclear (controversial for obvious reasons). That’s why we “keep on” burning fossil fuels. This is obvious to most people over 11 years old.

      Fixing this will require massive research to develop new sources (including advanced nukes). That this has not yet began is sad, but not surprising. Research has few advocates. For example, Oldkeptic doesn’t mention it.
      Fixing this also will require world-shaking investments to replace our existing energy generation and distribution infrastructure. Most people over 11 years old understand that’s not going to happen quickly.

      (5) “God people are stupid”

      One of our major problems, IMO, is that loud ignorant yelling for action drowns out expert voices. As people like Oldskeptic drown out the words of people like Robert Hirsh and other energy experts.

  11. i though climate is one of those things that human have no control of, but as i see there are many methods to control it. and it’s not the biggest that would save the world but even small steps. here is another article which describes about saving the world.

    Save the World“, by Australian biologist Jeremy Griffith, 2011

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