What happened to Global Warming?

By on June 20, 2013 9:54:31 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

ZombiesRus5

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What happened to Global Warming?

When I put my first above ground pool in around the late 90's we were able to open it in April and start swimming in May.

Now my pool is just opened and still not warm enough to swim in

 

I'd like some global warming back...

 

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GeomanNL
October 13, 2013 8:09:12 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Seleuceia,

I'm not inclined to bother with the AGW debate, as no one here is changing their opinion...

I will however tackle a discussion about alternative energy...

Nuclear accidents are a problem...while rare, they are "big" and so when they do happen it's a big boondoggle...the uranium mining process is also a problem because it is a highly volumetric type of mining and all that radioactive rock is now just laying on the surface...

Coal power is dangerous too though...you got a lot of people getting injured or dying in the coal plants themselves or in the coal mines...then you have to factor in the health costs of the pollution...

I'm not going to quote specific numbers because, quite frankly, the research is often biased and dubious and I don't have the patience to play the game of "your sources are all part of an extremist conspiracy"...as it stands, I'm currently of the position that both are about equally deadly/problematic...the main difference really is that nuclear power gets more of a bad rap because it's deaths are more publicized...we will all hear about the nuclear incident of the decade, but not about the hundreds of individual deaths or injuries that occurred in coal power plants over a long period of time...in short, nuclear power is already safe enough...

Nuclear power is also already cost effective enough...to be fair, it does depend on where you life -- coal rich nations like the US and China are going to be less inclined to switch to nuclear...nevertheless, the costs per kilowatthour are comparable for coal and for nuclear...the real issue is not the cost to produce electricity, but the upfront investment needed to build the plant in the first place...nuclear power plants are riskier investments simply because they are more expensive and take longer to payoff...even if nuclear power plants produced slightly cheaper electricity, you'd still see a lot of coal simply because coal plants are less risky from a financial standpoint (ie they are better in the short run)...

In a way, the reason why nuclear power is avoided is the same reason most people don't buy electric cars...even though in the long run it may be the same cost, the upfront cost is the deciding factor...


I didn't really come on here to champion nuclear power, but I have kind of been keeping up with the thread over the weeks and it just seems incredible that so many people complain about carbon output without really offering an alternative....the first world is not going back to an agrarian lifestyle unless mother nature absolutely wrecks us.

I was just pointing out there are much better nuclear designs in existence that can use EXISTING waste as fuel.  And you are correct, no one really sees the health cost of coal because it is fairly spread out through society.  There is also a lot of radioactive waste floating around in coal ash, but it isn't enough to kill you outright as opposed to the site of a nuclear meltdown.  Bottom line, people who complain about carbon need to think about how to actually get the world off fossil fuels.  Nuclear is still the most viable alternative at the moment which is why nuclear plants are still being built around the world despite its relatively ugly public image. 


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October 13, 2013 8:33:53 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Cykur,
Nuclear is still the most viable alternative at the moment which is why nuclear plants are still being built around the world despite its relatively ugly public image.

ALL, repeat...ALL methods of energy production are 'ugly'.  It just depends on whose agenda it is to say so.

People protest against the construction of Hydro dams.  People protest against the 'aesthetics' of Wind Farms.

People protest against open cut coal mining.  People protest against man's dependence on non-renewable energy sources of all varieties.

Heck...they even protest against the construction of desal plants - in the second driest country on the planet.  [the driest is Antarctica...which has a population probably in the hundreds at best so doesn't really count].

Of course people protest against Nuclear.  It's all just something for the great unwashed to do while they queue for the dole....

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October 14, 2013 2:30:23 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

There aren't that many uranium deposits. If everyone switched to nuclear power, uranium would be depleted pretty quickly.

There's also a problem with nuclear weapons ... the risk that some crazy dictator gets his hands on a stockpile of nuclear weapons increases if every nation on earth has a lot of nuclear power plants.

Perhaps thorium-based nuclear power plants could be an alternative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power

 

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October 14, 2013 2:41:22 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
  tonnes U percentage of world
Australia 1,661,000 31%
Kazakhstan 629,100 12%
Russian Fed 487,200 9%
Canada 468,700 9%
Niger 421,000 8%
South Africa 279,100 5%
Brazil 276,700 5%
Namibia 261,000 5%
USA 207,400 4%
China 166,100 3%
Ukraine 119,600 2%
Uzbekistan 96,200 2%
Mongolia 55,700 1%
Jordan 33,800 1%
Other 164,000 3%
World total 5,327,200  
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October 14, 2013 2:48:03 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

In case you're wondering....that's the reserves.  Yes, Oz has by far the biggest...and SHOULD make themselves a major player in the Industry  instead of wimping out as usual...

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October 14, 2013 4:16:57 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I suppose you got it from here.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Uranium-Resources/Supply-of-Uranium/#.Ulul7538I-U

It mentions that consumption is 68,000 tons/year. The reserves are enough for about 80 years of production. However, only a small percentage of the total energy production is supplied by nuclear reactors, therefore those reserves cannot supply the total world energy requirement for a very long time...

This is more interesting.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-long-will-global-uranium-deposits-last

It mentions breeder reactors, which make better use of uranium. Unfortunately they are not so cool in terms of nuclear weapons and waste products.

It mentions seawater... an often-used (and imho a pathetic) analogy of using the ocean as an infinite supply for metals. If the prices are high enough then it will become economically viable blablabla... but at those prices it'll just be too expensive compared to other energy sources.

 

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October 14, 2013 4:43:56 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

I suppose you got it from here.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Uranium-Resources/Supply-of-Uranium/#.Ulul7538I-U

It mentions that consumption is 68,000 tons/year. The reserves are enough for about 80 years of production. However, only a small percentage of the total energy production is supplied by nuclear reactors, therefore those reserves cannot supply the total world energy requirement for a very long time...

This is more interesting.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-long-will-global-uranium-deposits-last

It mentions breeder reactors, which make better use of uranium. Unfortunately they are not so cool in terms of nuclear weapons and waste products.

It mentions seawater... an often-used (and imho a pathetic) analogy of using the ocean as an infinite supply for metals. If the prices are high enough then it will become economically viable blablabla... but at those prices it'll just be too expensive compared to other energy sources.

 

Transatomic says they could supply the entire worlds energy needs for 70 years using existing nuclear waste.  The point is to use new technologies, not the old light water reactors.

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October 14, 2013 5:20:08 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You're probably refering to breeder reactors.

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/are_fast-breeder_reactors_a_nuclear_power_panacea/2557/

It says (among other things): "Fast reactors can be run in different ways, either to destroy plutonium, to maximise energy production, or to produce new plutonium."

I wouldn't like breeder reactors everywhere on the world that are using plutonium as a fuel source (or produce plutonium as its own fuel source) because the plutonium can be used to produce nuclear weapons.

I'd prefer to spend some more resources on less risky ways of producting energy, than to replace one risk (runaway global warming) with another risk (nuclear apocalypse) just because it's "more economical".

Because if such a thing were to become mainstream technology, any country like North Korea could build a dozen of those breeder reactors to supply it with both cheap energy and a steady stream of fissile material to create hundreds of nuclear weapons. Imagine every country doing that... it would be a runaway nuclear race, a total nightmare.

 

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October 14, 2013 5:30:42 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

You're probably refering to breeder reactors.

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/are_fast-breeder_reactors_a_nuclear_power_panacea/2557/

It says (among other things): "Fast reactors can be run in different ways, either to destroy plutonium, to maximise energy production, or to produce new plutonium."

I wouldn't like breeder reactors everywhere on the world that are using plutonium as a fuel source (or produce plutonium as its own fuel source) because the plutonium can be used to produce nuclear weapons.

I'd prefer to spend some more resources on less risky ways of producting energy, than to replace one risk (runaway global warming) with another risk (nuclear apocalypse) just because it's "more economical".

 

 

I provided the info in earlier posts.  I'm talking about next generation reactors that consume waste, can't have a catastrophic meltdown, and can't be used to produce weapons grade material.  At some point if fuel reserves ran low I suppose they could be used in conjunction with breeder reactors, but that is so far off we will have new options and can reassess.

http://transatomicpower.com/products.php

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October 14, 2013 6:15:17 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I'm not sure, but I think that's a breeder reactor too.

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October 14, 2013 6:25:12 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,
I'd prefer to spend some more resources on less risky ways of producting energy, than to replace one risk (runaway global warming) with another risk (nuclear apocalypse) just because it's "more economical".


One more thing, if you don't want either fossil fuel OR nuclear, what are YOU suggesting.  Maybe I missed it somewhere in all the reams of posts.  Other energy sources have limitations.  Hydro and geothermal are excellent sources of power, but they can only be developed in areas where they are available.  Hydro already supplies something like 16% of the worlds power.  Solar and wind are not reliable in all areas and require a lot of infrastructure to be built out. Even with massive subsidies they supply just a few % of the world's power requirements.  Batteries and solar panels are resource intensive and produce waste products to manufacture.  We might be able to switch some cars over to hydrogen fuel cells once the cost comes down, but it doesn't answer what is going to power the big cities with huge power requirements.  As Jafo pointed out, people complain about everything.  Even under the best circumstances, we are going to be using fossil fuels for a long time to power our vehicles, remember we have jets and ships too.  Just managing to supply the power grid with energy from something other than coal would be a massive victory, but it isn't going to happen anytime soon.

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October 14, 2013 6:27:05 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

I'm not sure, but I think that's a breeder reactor too.


It is a type of molten salt reactor, it is NOT a breeder reactor.

 

EDIT:  Just to clarify, there can be molten salt breeder reactors and there can be thorium molten salt reactors as well.  The one that Transatomic wants to build they specifically call a "Waste Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor" because it uses its fuel to very high efficiency and leaves very little waste behind.  Most light water reactors consume very little of the fuel before it must be replaced and becomes considered waste.

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October 14, 2013 7:03:33 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Ok, it looked like a breeder reactor because it can breed the complete spectrum of isotopes... from uranium to plutonium to... very short-live waste. That's the idea behind a breeder.

http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/2013/02/28/u-s-china-molten-salt-nuclear-adviser-among-vets-joining-transatomic-board/

It seems like it's more or less intended for use of thorium anyway.

I'd prefer that, I've read that thorium produces less products that can be used in nuclear weapons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

So ok... I wouldn't mind such a reactor, as long as it doesn't run on uranium.

But still... it's a bit dirty.

It might be a useful source of energy until fusion gets developed.

Or it could be a source of energy until the world has enough solar (panel) plants to run on that type of energy.

Who knows... it's not a perfect world.

 

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October 14, 2013 7:11:26 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

Ok, it looked like a breeder reactor because it can breed the complete spectrum of isotopes... from uranium to plutonium to... very short-live waste. That's the idea behind a breeder.

http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/2013/02/28/u-s-china-molten-salt-nuclear-adviser-among-vets-joining-transatomic-board/

It seems like it's more or less intended for use of thorium anyway.

I'd prefer that, I've read that thorium produces less products that can be used in nuclear weapons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

So ok... I wouldn't mind such a reactor, as long as it doesn't run on uranium.

But still... it's a bit dirty.

It might be a useful source of energy until fusion gets developed.

Or it could be a source of energy until the world has enough solar (panel) plants to run on that type of energy.

Who knows... it's not a perfect world.

 

 

I just did an edit before I saw your response up .... it is dirty in that you wouldn't want it to spring a leak anymore than any other nuclear reactor, but considering we could operate them on existing waste for probably a century, it is really doing us a favor.  A solution like this gives us a lot of time to figure out the next step.

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October 14, 2013 8:20:24 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I wouldn't want them to run on waste!

Currently the waste (plutonium) is buried safely underground, or deep in the ocean - whereever one can not touch it and abuse it. As soon as such waste products are handled and brought above ground, you START introducing problems. It is brought near habitable areas, it's concentrated, transported... and if that's done globally, there's a risk of abuse. What happens if plutonium is stolen by a bunch of terrorists and mixed with drinkwater... well... whole city gets hit by cancer. If this waste is re-used on a global scale, the risks are pretty high, it's almost guaranteed that this will happen someday. Not to mention the risk that it's stolen, refined and turned into a bomb. No way.

Let's stick to thorium, the risks are a lot smaller for that.

 

 

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October 14, 2013 9:44:12 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

I wouldn't want them to run on waste!

Currently the waste (plutonium) is buried safely underground, or deep in the ocean - whereever one can not touch it and abuse it. As soon as such waste products are handled and brought above ground, you START introducing problems. It is brought near habitable areas, it's concentrated, transported... and if that's done globally, there's a risk of abuse. What happens if plutonium is stolen by a bunch of terrorists and mixed with drinkwater... well... whole city gets hit by cancer. If this waste is re-used on a global scale, the risks are pretty high, it's almost guaranteed that this will happen someday. Not to mention the risk that it's stolen, refined and turned into a bomb. No way.

Let's stick to thorium, the risks are a lot smaller for that.

 

 

 

Yeah.....ummm.... I was thinking we would just use the 100's of thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste sitting around in spent rod storage pools.  Not the stuff that was dumped in the ocean 20 years ago.  I don't think anyone is doing much ocean dumping these days.  There really isn't any additional risk with a waste processing reactor, not anymore than already exists....I would think you'd be happy to use a reactor that burns up existing waste rather than create more.  Anyhow, I can't decide if you are trolling me, or if you really have a problem with every possible idea.

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October 14, 2013 10:23:16 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Cykur,
There really isn't any additional risk with a waste processing reactor, not anymore than already exists..

I dunno... I don't want to troll you, it just looks to much like a breeder reactor to me. Are you absolutely sure it's not a breeder reactor? Because it looks to me like you can put anything you want into such a reactor and it'll produce all possible isotopes.

This means that if you put "waste" in it, then it'll get rid of the plutonium sure. But such a reactor can also produce new plutonium from the uranium-waste.

So I dunno... are you sure that's not possible? Aren't we opening pandora's box if we build those things everywhere?

 

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October 14, 2013 10:54:47 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,


Quoting Cykur, reply 691There really isn't any additional risk with a waste processing reactor, not anymore than already exists..

I dunno... I don't want to troll you, it just looks to much like a breeder reactor to me. Are you absolutely sure it's not a breeder reactor? Because it looks to me like you can put anything you want into such a reactor and it'll produce all possible isotopes.

This means that if you put "waste" in it, then it'll get rid of the plutonium sure. But such a reactor can also produce new plutonium from the uranium-waste.

So I dunno... are you sure that's not possible? Aren't we opening pandora's box if we build those things everywhere?

 

 

Nothing I've read indicates it would be used as a breeder reactor, but it certainly isn't impossible.  There are different ways to make breeder reactors, so it might be possible to use or modify a Transatomic reactor for this purpose.  I don't know, someone would have to ask them.  We've already got nuclear reactors all over the place so I'm not sure where you consider the line crossed into opening Pandora's box.

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October 14, 2013 11:14:30 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Lomborg compared to Ken...

 

Lomborg:

http://ideas.time.com/2013/09/30/climate-activists-need-to-dial-back-on-the-panic/

On Friday, the U.N. climate panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), produced its first overview in six years. It wasn’t about panic and catastrophe, which unfortunately has dominated our climate debate, leading to expensive but ineffective policies.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/06/25/obama-climate-change-georgetown-column/2455723/

The president should instead ask the rest of the world to follow the U.S. lead on green innovation. Economic models show that this is by far the best, long-term climate policy. If we all invested far more to innovate down the cost of future green energy, we could outcompete fossil fuels faster and truly solve global warming.


Ken:

http://www.thenation.com/article/175316/new-climate-radicals

But if we accept what climate science is telling us—that humanity faces an existential threat and that we’ve all but run out of time—then we have to start acting like it. This means, first and foremost, that we have to stop burning coal, whatever the cost—because the cost of continuing to burn it is immeasurably greater.

....

They had been informed, however, that for obstructing a navigable waterway, they could be vulnerable to a federal fine of $40,000 per day. “We were prepared to go to jail,” Ken told me afterward. “What we weren’t prepared for was bankruptcy.” 


 

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October 14, 2013 11:35:19 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Well... currently there are not nuclear reactors everywhere... they are expensive and they are built usually with the express intent of making nuclear weapons. It's a choice that a country has to make and it's sometimes an expensive and difficult choice.

If we would build cheap reactors everywhere, it won't be a choice anymore, but an additonal option and that makes it so much easier to cross the line... you've to make sure that cannot happen.

Well... I dunno, maybe I'm a bit too gloomy about this. But I'm old enough to remember the cold war, I wouldn't like to go back to that just because a few African dictators decide to start a new nuclear arms race with cheap, readily available fissile material.

I just know that so far, most of the nations with nuclear power plants have nuclear weapons. The ones that don't, are capable of making nukes if they decide to in the future. If a new dictator would emerge in Germany for example, it'd be very tempting for him to start producting nukes.

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October 14, 2013 11:51:30 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

source: http://www.euronuclear.org/info/encyclopedia/n/nuclear-power-plant-world-wide.htm

Nuclear power plants that cleanup the waste product sounds like an excellent green energy for the future.

 

 

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October 14, 2013 3:27:20 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Nuclear weapons are expensive.  Using valuable materials inefficiently to make nukes would be a silly thing to do, economically.

 

The guys that are after nukes are going to get them anyway, we're a world full of spineless shits without the will to act anyway so what does it matter?  We didn't stop North Korea, and that was literally a country run by a nut job.  We wont stop Iran, and supposedly they're a bunch of crazy fundamentalists that will nuke us if they get one.

 

Since you remember the cold war, you should also remember that despite the extreme paranoia on both sides, and the USSR's penchant for conquest and interference in other countries even beyond our own, nobody got nuked.  If Iran ever turns up in the hands of 12'vers, we be fucked, short of that kind of insanity I don't see why you should worry about some two bit dictator getting nukes in Africa.  All they'd be for is so they can butcher their own people with impunity.  Once everyone has nukes, no one rational would ever partake in aggression.

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October 14, 2013 4:48:53 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You know what happens when everyone got nukes? 99 of them won't do anything, they're scared. And 1 of them thinks nukes only damage the enemy while he's invulnerable and he goes for a first strike, and blows up a whole region. Decades later, another crazy ass dictator shows up and blows up another region. Decades later another one, and so on, until there's nothing left. Such power at your fingertips, it just takes one moment of insanity (for example drug-induced, or alzheimer from extreme old age) and BOOM. Everything is gone. That's what's going to happen.

Check this crazy ass reasoning:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/11/26/lord-gilbert-neutron-bomb_n_2190607.html

Or this (a bit old but it shows the reasoning of some people, notably those in power):

http://b-29s-over-korea.com/NorthKorea-A-Bomb/US-Planned-To-A-Bomb-N-Korea-In-1950-War_02.html

 

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October 14, 2013 5:07:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The current leader of North Korea executed an ex and her family because his wife was jealous of her career.

 

Nukes are expensive.  Every two bit dictator wont get them, the worst already has.

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October 14, 2013 5:53:30 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Nukes are not that easy to maintain or build.  Dirty bombs?  Those are so easy I'm amazed one hasn't gone off yet.....

 

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