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Earth Science

UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate 433

Posted by samzenpus
from the its-getting-hot-in-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On the heels of a study that concluded there was less than a 1% chance that current global warming could be simple fluctuations, U.N. scientists say energy from renewables, nuclear reactors and power plants that use emissions-capture technology needs to triple in order keep climate change within safe limits. From The Washington Post: 'During a news conference Sunday, another co-chair, Rajendra K. Pachauri of India, said the goal of limiting a rise in global temperatures "cannot be achieved without cooperation." He added, "What comes out very clearly from this report is that the high-speed mitigation train needs to leave the station soon, and all of global society needs to get on board."'"
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

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  • by buybuydandavis (644487) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @05:40PM (#46742471)

    Any other old geezers remember just *who* it was that put the kibosh on the general use of nuclear power in the US?

    Are we ever going to get an "oopsie, so sorry" from all the environmentalists who squashed the US nuclear power industry? Who have fought fracking tooth and nail, while it has been the prime enabler of decreasing US carbon emissions?

  • by marcgvky (949079) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @06:03PM (#46742601) Journal
    I am really proud of Bill Gates putting his money where his mouth is, with his investment in Thorium burners.

    Overall, nuclear is a huge opportunity to safely service base and peak loads. This should always be combined with renewables and sustainables. The NRC-lefties need to be given direct guidance from the Executive, or they will never issue any new permits. Also, the DoE needs to quit wasting my money on fail-solar companies and build huge-super-safe-gen-4+ nuclear reactors EVERYWHERE!

    Start in my back yard, please. Seriously.

  • Re:NIMBY rules (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stoploss (2842505) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @06:24PM (#46742709)

    Most people will agree that Nuclear is a very cost effective and efficient means of power generations but mention building it anywhere near their zip code and they go ballistic.

    I live 15 miles from a nuclear plant. I am pleased about this, but I wish they would tear it down and build a replacement plant with at least twice the generating capacity and a Gen 3.5 (or Gen 4, since I'm wishing) design.

    But, barring that, yay... I have locally-produced nuclear power at home!

  • by Tailhook (98486) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @06:24PM (#46742711)

    Sometimes I even have the strange thought that energy conservation ideas hurt society's growth. It would be almost better if we used more power in the short term so energy could invest in itself and provide more power at lower costs down the road. I mean it is better to conserve electricity, but I don't hear people championing the idea of creating a global energy surplus.

    The nations with the highest power consumption have ceased excessive breeding. They're all near or below replacement population growth among their indigenous population.

    That right there is an outstanding argument for surplus energy.

    A degree of conservation is a fine thing, but it's also a cop-out and a means of comfortable people to pull up the ladder behind themselves. Our millions of elite Al Gores will always live comfortably regardless of how hungry and cold they make you. Thousands of elderly Briton pensioners are learning all about that as the UK inflicts energy poverty on them.

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @06:24PM (#46742713)

    Nuclear waste disposal from conventional fission reactors is a solved problem. Unfortunately, the storage of said waste kicks the NIMBY crowd into high gear. Here's an idea...how about converting it to relatively inert ceramic blocks (already available tech) and sink it at some remote subduction zone fault where it gradually gets folded back into the mantle? That ought to suffice until the perpetually "50 years from now" fusion energy generation crowd catches up.

  • by bunratty (545641) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @06:30PM (#46742759)
    Considering that the climate varies according to natural variation such as solar output and volcanic eruptions, both of which we cannot predict, I don't think it's surprising that we can't predict climate exactly, especially over the short term. And just because we can't predict climate exactly doesn't mean the predictions are worthless. That's a false dichotomy.
  • Re:Fuck this shit! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kenwd0elq (985465) <kenwd0elq@gmail.com> on Sunday April 13, 2014 @07:16PM (#46743023)

    WikiPedia may be the wrong thing to point to if you want "scientific journals".

    Nor are the real "scientific" journals doing such a wonderful job, either. "Peer review" is a joke, and the track record of scientific journals retracting controversial articles is too long to put much faith in it. The mathematical models cannot predict the present by using inputs from the past. Contra Michael "Chicken Little" Mann, the "Medieval Warm Period _DID_ exist, and his own emails (leaked as part of the HadCRUT archive) prove that he was trying without success to explain it away. Kilimanjaro's snows have not receded. The glaciers in the Himalayas have not disappeared. Billions of people have not starved, nor has Australia been overrun with panicked Malaysians and Indonesians.

    I got really suspicious when I saw that the same Socialist/World Government nostrums that Carl Sagan tried to prescribe for Global Cooling in the 1970s were being prescribed now for Global Warming.

    My degree is in Physics; I always believe the actual facts. I haven't seen many, and most of them are on the "It's not a problem now, and may never be" side. And if we can only avoid collapsing the world economy with phony scare tactics, the world of 2060 will be rich enough to mitigate what minor effects there may be.

    And if Siberia and northern Canada warm up a bit, there will be millions of acres of additional cropland that we can't use now. Maybe that would be a good thing.

  • by MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @07:29PM (#46743091)

    The RK-9000 is a mechanical keyboard made by Rosewill which is the inhouse manufacturer for NewEgg. What does a keyboard have to do with anything?

    You cannot find a more "green" keyboard then a mechanical keyboard. Each keyswitch is rated at 50 milliion keypresses. If a letter foes buy a new keyswitch. ( Though I would buy a whole bunch of them ).Desolder the old switch solder in the new. My miniUSB port just broke and I wil be soldering in a new one as soon as it arrives. If the controller goes I can get a new one. I can probably get a new PCB if I have to. They are made to last and when any part breaks, it can be repaired or replaced.

    So why are they banned in Illinois. Thanks to our idiot of a governor. ( Second only to Gov Moonbeam ). He created a law regulating e-waste. The law says that for a manufacturer to sell their product, they have to register and certify that they recycle a certain amount of their products. [1] So for this reason, instead of being able to buy a long lasting green keyboard, you have to buy a cheap will fall apart soon keyboard.

    More and more the wacked out conservationalists ae acting like this,.

    [1] In fact when you sto[p and think about it, many electronics products can last forever,so companies may never even get the chance to recycle a large percentage.

  • get stuffed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @07:54PM (#46743209)

    During a news conference Sunday, another co-chair, Rajendra K. Pachauri of India, said the goal of limiting a rise in global temperatures "cannot be achieved without cooperation.

    Actually, that's the only way it can be achieved: "without cooperation", through markets. Economic development both makes it easy for individuals and nations to cope with the effects of climate change, such as they are, and to develop and switch to other forms of energy.

    The "cooperation" people like you propose are going to keep global economic development back by decades, hinder the development and deployment of more efficient energy sources and technologies, and worst of all form the basis for massive corruption and rent seeking as big corporations and their political cronies write huge handouts into the regulations.

    What we should do, however, is stop subsidizing fossil fuels and stop propping up regimes in the Middle East that give us cheap fossil fuels. We should also stop subsidizing energy-inefficient industries like agriculture. Having to bear the true cost of fossil fuels would do wonders for the adoption of renewable energies. But, of course, cutting subsidies is not on the table, which already tells you that all this bloviating about the apocalypse isn't about saving the planet, it's about adding even more crony capitalism to the crony capitalism we already have, now courtesy of the UN.

    Thanks, but get stuffed Mr. Pachauri.

  • Re:Nuclear? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mlts (1038732) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @09:00PM (#46743525)

    +1.

    We have 50-60 years of technology advancements. Look how cars have advanced. Had there not been such a strong oil/coal lobby, there would be advancements that would be impossible in today's political climate:

    1: Thermal depolymerization -- turn waste products back into crude ready for use again.

    2: Droughts would be mitigated as issue with desalination plants combined with the infrastructure to pump it inland.

    3: More technologies would be possible to reclaim used components. Waste can be recycled cleanly.

    4: More expensive (expensive as in energy) chemical processes can be used to reclaim toxic sites.

    I think future generations will think we are dolts as not to have moved to nuclear sooner, because more energy available per person can mean a lot more advances and a better quality of life.

  • Re:Nuclear? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:47AM (#46744969) Homepage

    Greenpeace is a prime example of an organisation that doesn't know when to quit.

    As some point Greenpeace actually reached it's targets. Instead of throwing a celebration party and disbanding, they started looking for new targets, regardless of whether they actually made sense; Greenpeace's unwritten goal became the continued existence of Greenpeace itself.

  • by macpacheco (1764378) on Monday April 14, 2014 @09:13AM (#46746311)

    I am thinking for myself. I have college level physics education (engineering basic curriculum), and I have friends and relatives that are accomplished electrical engineers in transmission, industrial electricity consumption (MW+ levels) and some generation experience.
    You seem to ignore that the grid has ZERO energy storage characteristics. Ohms law isn't the issue. It's that electricity flows at the speed of light, use it or it overloads the grid (too much electricity = high voltage, too little = low voltage).
    Load following sources can't shift production like 1% up or down every sub second period.
    So I don't see you showing how I'm wrong to say that specially too many wind turbines on the grid with their power output from 0 - 35Km/h winds proportional to wind speed cubed, a mere drop from 35Km/h to 30Km/h reduces production by 1/3. The theory that having thousands of turbines linked up smooths that is certainly true when looking at 15+ minute power production intervals, but electricity is nanosecond by nanosecond !
    The solution is technically simple, but economically daunting which is having gigantic electrical battery storage systems to smooth out the oscilations. To date it's still acknowledged as uneconomical. Huge capacitors would be much better (very fast charge/discharge, even though they have low energy density).
    Bottom line, I'm yet to see a self contained grid operating on at least 2/3 wind + solar year round. The case in point isn't Germany, it's the whole European grid, with nuclear + hydro + baseload fossil + peaking fossil producing well over 3/4 total electricity production, in that scenario, wind has plenty of buffer in the rest of the grid.
    That's why I insist on something like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Bermuda that is big enough to become an energy storage challenge to run without fossil or nuclear sources. Show just one of those running on solar+wind+geothermal+biomass+hydro alone... Make it happen. I'm indifferent to being proven wrong or not. I'm not cheering against renewables. I'm just posing the challenge hoping some of you is an accomplished transmission and generation electrical engineer that shows me with solid arguments I'm wrong (that I will run by my buddies, on of which is my dad, to verify it, BTW most of them are retired, they have zero vested interest in renewables failing).

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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