Clean Energy Lags Put World on Pace f...

Clean Energy Lags Put World on Pace for 6 Degrees Celsius of Global Warming

There are 167 comments on the Scientific American story from Apr 26, 2012, titled Clean Energy Lags Put World on Pace for 6 Degrees Celsius of Global Warming. In it, Scientific American reports that:

New estimates from the International Energy Agency depict a world failing to reduce its reliance on burning fossil fuels, which emits the CO2 causing climate change CLEAN ENERGY: Globally, clean energy technologies are not being deployed fast enough to significantly restrain greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning.

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LessHypeMoreFact

Toronto, Canada

#1 Apr 26, 2012
I would suggest that the two 'low hanging fruit' that would do the most good for the least effort are:

Reducing energy waste, improving efficiency. For example, just using the latest designs for coal power can provide cleaner energy and reduce emission to a half or a third (depending on technology). Similar gains can be had from improved insulation and moisture barriers in buildings.

Target the most polluting forms of energy to reduce overall emissions. Improving rail transport would do more than improving gas mileage even of trucks. Rail and water transport are the LEAST energy for the most ton/miles.

But also, push the most mature energy generation and look for 'synergies' between them, such as hydro and wind (hydro supplying the 'storage' of excess wind for periods of high demand).

Or solar and the peak demand from air conditoning.
BDV

Brighton, MA

#2 Apr 27, 2012
More hydro power, what killed hundreds of thousands already? More coal, which kill hundreds of thousands each year?

No thank you. I'd rather have something that, even in the worst case scenario, I can avoid dying from - how many non-responders died at Chernobyl? How many people (nonresponders AND responders) diesd at Fukushima?
Northie

Spokane, WA

#3 Apr 27, 2012
"The world is far behind on delivering the low-carbon energy it needs, and unless urgent action is taken, calamitous climate change is certain..."

Yikes. Chalk this up as the feel-bad news of the day.
litesong

Marysville, WA

#4 Apr 27, 2012
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
I would suggest that the two 'low hanging fruit' that would do the most good for the least effort are:
Reducing energy waste, improving efficiency.
I've always advocated that position. topix AGW deniers don't. I have received a continuum of racist remarks & even threats for advocating efficiency. topix AGW deniers will NOT accept anything that doesn't increase fossil-fuel use, even if it fundamentally increases the world's ability to accomplish its goals.

topix AGW deniers advocate increased fossil-fuel burning..... even if it DECREASES the world's ability.
koz

Akron, OH

#5 Apr 27, 2012
LessHypeMoreFact wrote:
I would suggest that the two 'low hanging fruit' that would do the most good for the least effort are:
Reducing energy waste, improving efficiency. For example, just using the latest designs for coal power can provide cleaner energy and reduce emission to a half or a third (depending on technology).
But building more nuclear power plants is even better; like Finland, France, China and India.
Northie

Spokane, WA

#6 Apr 27, 2012
koz wrote:
<quoted text>But building more nuclear power plants is even better; like Finland, France, China and India.
Nothing wrong with nukes, as long as they are built right, which is neither fast nor cheap. Just try to insure any new nuclear plant right now. Yes, we need nukes, but we cannot wait for them. And LessHype is right: energy efficiency offers faster, cheaper and more abundant returns.

I'm also nearly sure that solar module efficiencies will continue on their long-trending 7% annual cost decline, making them as cheap as coal or gas in just five years or so, and far cheaper beyond that.

By the way, unlike most plants in North America, France, India and China all built nuclear power plants primarily to make bomb plutonium, which those plants are still making in abundance, and which has to be closely guarded for oh, about 10,000 years lest it fall into the hands of well-funded terrorists. It doesn't take up much room, which why the French famously boast of storing all their nuclear waste in one basement, but plutonium is not something the world needs more of, in my humble view.
NobodyYouKnow

Toronto, Canada

#7 Apr 27, 2012
koz wrote:
<quoted text>But building more nuclear power plants is even better; like Finland, France, China and India.
I don't have any problem with nukes as a short term solution (maybe 20 to 100 years), but I do want the solution to be 'passive safe' and so far, the industry in most countries has NOT done that. Only the CANDU 6 so far is 'passive safe' to an event such a Fukashima. But there are designs that COULD be built such as the wave reactor, thorium reactor, pebble bed (maybe), etc. I don't agree with the current 'gambling with lives' for light water reactor design.

And they have to deal with the high financial risk and effect of high capital requirements. Smaller 'modular' reactors or government loan guarantees would be appropriate.
BDV

Brighton, MA

#8 Apr 27, 2012
NYK
.
What is there passively safe about hydroelectric dams?
.
What is there safe "anything" about coal/hydrocarbon soot? The first carcinogen discovered, and still the carcinogen of choice in experimental oncology?
NobodyYouKnow

Toronto, Canada

#9 Apr 27, 2012
BDV wrote:
NYK
What is there passively safe about hydroelectric dams?
Are you confused or just irrational? There is a major difference between hydro dams and nuclear power plants. Hydro dams don't fail so easily with a short period of blackout. And hydro dams don't contaminate the earth and kill for centuries after a major failure.
BDV wrote:
What is there safe "anything" about coal/hydrocarbon soot? The first carcinogen discovered, and still the carcinogen of choice in experimental oncology?
Even coal and hydrocarbons have to have safety standards in place to prevent *major* disasters. That should be applied equally to nuclear. Risk vs reward HAS to matter.
BDV

Brighton, MA

#10 Apr 29, 2012
NobodyYouKnow wrote:
There is a major difference between hydro dams and nuclear power plants.
.
Indeed once the hydro containment is breached ... or jumped over ... there is literally seconds till thousands, or tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands are killed.
.
.
Even coal and hydrocarbons have to have safety standards in place to prevent *major* disasters. That should be applied equally to nuclear. Risk vs reward HAS to matter.
.
Exactly. The potently carcinogenic soot emitted continuously into the armosphere by hydrocarbon + coal and the enormous footprint pre-accident and the enormous lifetoll post-accident of hydro means that "nucular" is the rational winner.
.
However reason alone would not keep the oil at and above 100US$ per barrel. Some strong fearmongering and infotainment-based demonization of alternatives is a necessary.
.
How many even know the name Sayano-Shushenskaya?
koz

Brecksville, OH

#11 Apr 30, 2012
NobodyYouKnow wrote:
Are you confused or just irrational? There is a major difference between hydro dams and nuclear power plants.
Ggod point, the thousands of people who have been killed by failures of dams are actually still alive. Conversely, the thousands of people who have not been killed by nuclear power plants are actually dead.
NobodyYouKnow

Toronto, Canada

#12 May 1, 2012
koz wrote:
<quoted text> Ggod point, the thousands of people who have been killed by failures of dams are actually still alive. Conversely, the thousands of people who have not been killed by nuclear power plants are actually dead.
You are confused. The RISK of death is the subject, not the history. Dams have a long history and thus many deaths behind them, but much fewer now that we have better understanding of the problems.

But nuclear is risky yet only a few major disasters have occurred YET. But a CME big enough to damage the grid over the US could lead to 104 simultaneous Chernobyls. And no, the pressure vessel will not contain the problem if there is a major meltdown. Check with Fukishima. They didn't stop it there.

The ONLY passive safe nuclear so far is CANDU 6, though there are a lot of DESIGNS for passive safe reactors. I advocate nuclear power but only if it is properly respected.
BDV

Brighton, MA

#13 May 1, 2012
NYK

Sayano-Shushenskaya?

P.S. There were 6 reactors at Fukushima. Three of pre-TMI design, three of post-TMI designs. Care to guess which three reactors weathered without problem a 40 foot tsunami and the 7th largest earthquake in recorded history?
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#14 May 1, 2012
No white wash, please. "One result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster could be renewed public support for the commercialization of renewable energy technologies."

More details:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiich...
koz

Akron, OH

#15 May 1, 2012
NobodyYouKnow wrote:
You are confused. The RISK of death is the subject, not the history. Dams have a long history and thus many deaths behind them, but much fewer now that we have better understanding of the problems.
But nuclear is risky yet only a few major disasters have occurred YET. But a CME big enough to damage the grid over the US could lead to 104 simultaneous Chernobyls.
Wrong, it could lead to no Chernobyls, because there are no Chernobyl-design reactors in the US and there never will be.
SpaceBlues

Houston, TX

#16 May 1, 2012
koz wrote:
<quoted text> Wrong, it could lead to no Chernobyls, because there are no Chernobyl-design reactors in the US and there never will be.
Well, but please summarize why Fukushima is not as bad as Chernobyl.
Warmies are deniers

UK

#17 May 1, 2012
litesong wrote:
<quoted text>
I've always advocated that position. topix AGW deniers don't. I have received a continuum of racist remarks & even threats for advocating efficiency. topix AGW deniers will NOT accept anything that doesn't increase fossil-fuel use, even if it fundamentally increases the world's ability to accomplish its goals.
topix AGW deniers advocate increased fossil-fuel burning..... even if it DECREASES the world's ability.
the only DENIERS here are people like YOU, who deny that the Roman warm Period esisted , and still deny it isn't getting hotter, and deny the sea isn't rising. According to liars like you, all Florida is now under water and S England is as hot as S Spain.
Warmies are deniers

UK

#18 May 1, 2012
existed
BDV

Brighton, MA

#19 May 1, 2012
SpaceBlues wrote:
<quoted text>Well, but please summarize why Fukushima is not as bad as Chernobyl.
Of course, for starters, 37 heroic firefighters and nuclear workers did not die controlling the Fukushima reactor (unlike Chernobyl).

Second, the Japanese health authorities effectively prevented the radioactive contamination from entering the food chain. Although a paltry 8 extra thyroid cancer deaths could be tortured out of the post-Chernobyl data, even 8 is 8 deaths too many of they are preventable.

Third, Fukushima accident was not inititated by operator manipulation, but by the 7th largest earthquake (in recorded human history) and an ensuing 40 foot tsunami. Top 10 recorded human history earthquakes are rare, with only ten Top 10 recorded human history earthquakes.

Fourth, while the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plants of pre-TMI design did not cope with the earthquake-tsunami combination, the three reactors of the Fukushima Dai Ni plant, which were of post-TMI design, successfully weathered the 7th largest earthquake in human history and the ensuing 40 foot tsunami.

Indeed, the story of the two Fukushimas is that nuclear power CAN, and therefore MUST be done right.
NobodyYouKnow

Toronto, Canada

#20 May 1, 2012
BDV wrote:
NYK
Sayano-Shushenskaya?
P.S. There were 6 reactors at Fukushima. Three of pre-TMI design, three of post-TMI designs. Care to guess which three reactors weathered without problem a 40 foot tsunami and the 7th largest earthquake in recorded history?
At the time of the quake, Reactor 4 had been de-fuelled while 5 and 6 were in cold shutdown for planned maintenance.

Which ones melted? ALL of the ones that were 'hot' and producing power. This is why the other reactors could not provide the power to run the cooling for the hot ones.

You should be ashamed of such a blatantly nonsensical spin on such an important issue. ANY light water reactor of even the latest design can melt down even if all the damping rods are in if it is 'hot' from producing power during the previous weeks.

And a major CME of the 'ones in a century' type or maybe even once in a decade could, if it hit earth while the N.A. continent was facing it, cause a simultaneous failure of ALL the US reactors with breach of containment. You do not NEED a tsunami for this. Risk assessment has to be on the possibilities, not the absurdities. It is too stupid for words.

http://tinyurl.com/7fjbqp5

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