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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. The EPA debunked Administrator Pruitt’s latest climate misinformation

    Alchymist,

    Apparently I misread your post because you said "Sweet please try and stop insulting peoples inteligence" immediately after quoting me saying nuclear was much more expensive than renewable energy.  

    I am glad that we agree that nuclear energy cannot compete economically with renewable energy. 

    I note that you have provided no references that address Abbotts peer reviewed claims that not enough rare elements exist to build out nuclear power.  None of your citations say how much of any metals are required to build the reactors you support.  I have provided a reference to prove that enough materials exist to build out all needed renewable energy systems.  Abbotts conclusion stands unchallenged.

    Serious energy researchers do not consider significant amounts of nuclear energy in the mix in the future.  In Smart Energy Europe (cited at least 75 times in less than 2 years from publication) the first of 9 steps to convert to full renewable energy is to remove nuclear energy from the system.

    I note that none of your citations is peer reviewed.

  2. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    jclairea @8

    Good point. Pacific island nations get a double whammy. Serious sea level rise, stronger tropical cyclones, water salination problems, lack of resources.

    I also see what you are doing there. Demolishing his comments with niceness.

  3. One Planet Only Forever at 14:54 PM on 22 February 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    In addition to the recent dramatic and concerning history of Arctic Sea Ice and climate changes, there is the following new news report today February 21, by  Jason Samenow in the Washington Post (not Fake): Arctic temperatures soar 45 degrees above normal, flooded by extremely mild air on all sides

  4. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    Or we could talk about the year average for 2017. 2nd lowest for extent, but lowest ever for volume. Just sayin' ....

  5. “How is That Conservative?” Former Climate Denier now Backs Action

    It's great to see someone like Jerry Taylor change his views. It just takes some careful reading on climate change. The climate scientists sceptical of agw are in a small minority, but can be quite loud and have impressive degrees. The trick is to check their claims very carefully, because all is not always as it seems.

    As the article says the key thing is climate change threatens property, and both conservatives and libertarians are concerned with property rights. As more of a political moderate, I can definitely also relate to that view. Its excellent common ground right across the political spectrum.

  6. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM

    You may want to read this on renewable electricity and battery storage. Theres not much detail, probably due to  commercial sensitivity, but its interesting.

    www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/1/29/16944178/utility-ceo-renewables-cheaper

    "A final intriguing note: Robo says the company is hard at work on combining renewables with storage. “We recently submitted a bid at a very competitive price for a combined wind, solar, and battery storage product,” he said, “that is able to provide an around-the-clock, nearly firm, shaped product specifically designed to meet the customers’ needs.”

  7. The EPA debunked Administrator Pruitt’s latest climate misinformation

    Dear sweet,

    please could you point out where I said that nuclear can compete with renewables.

    I have not stated it.

  8. The EPA debunked Administrator Pruitt’s latest climate misinformation

    Alchymist,

    I see others have  responded to most of your wild, unsupported claims.  I will address only your unsupported assertion that nuclear can compete with renewable energy.

    According to many news reports:

    "On a Q4 earnings conference call on Friday, Robo [CEO of NextEra Energy] predicted that by the early 2020s, it will be cheaper to build new renewables than to continue running existing coal and nuclear plants" my emphasis.

    Since capitol costs are so high for nuclear plants they are already more expensive than renewable energy.  The builds at Georgia and South Carolina were supposed to prove that the nuclear industry could build on time and on budget.  Two reactors have been abandoned half finished and far over budget.  Westinghouse, the primary contractor, is bankrupt and the remaining build is near abandonment, way over budget and years behind schedule.

    Renewables are the way of the  future.

  9. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    OPOF, many thanks for that tip on how to find the original research study.

    So everyone is agreed on incrementalism. Its just the size of the increments!

    I always thinks its better to just get started, and do something, than debate endlessly about problems. Things can always be modified in accordance with changing circumstances, or if results are not acceptable in some way.

    Looking at history, consumption taxes don't normally cause the huge problems the scaremongers claim. One fear is that taxes become embedded and hard to reverse, however the climate issue means a carbon tax would eventually do its job, and would thus inevitably expire as alternative energy becomes abundant and permanent. Its not so much like a soft drink tax, that might be more a permanent fixture, designed just to pay for health costs.

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 08:42 AM on 22 February 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    nigelj@126,

    The article John writes about @111 is regarding a study that was submitted to Nature Sustainability on 08 August 2017. It was published on 05 February 2018 (to get to the article you click on the Nature Sustainability link at the end of the article).

    This is more recent than the 2016 article you referred to. And it is a very different type of evaluation. It is very applicable to climate science because it points out that “The most difficult biophysical boundary to meet is climate change: only 34% of countries are within the per capita boundary for this indicator.”

    I will add that I also agree with incrementalism. That is basically what the Kyoto Accord followed by the Paris Agreement is. The Kyoto Accord was the first serious coordinated global effort by the most fortunate nations to show leadership on transitioning human activity away from the unsustainable and harmful burning of fossil fuels. The Paris Agreement was the next increment. It clarified the ultimate objective as keeping total impacts below the 2.0 C threshold, and aspiring to limit impacts on future generations to 1.5 C which almost certainly will require charitable actions (actions that do not benefit the ones paying for them to be done) that effectively reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. The first increment of the Paris Agreement is the initial pledges of action by all nations. The next increments are the ratcheting up of the actions as required to have all nations equitably work on solving the problem, equitably including the understanding that those nations that benefited most from the current developed scale of the problem should be expected to do more to correct the problem.

    The incremental application of measures like carbon taxes would be to start with a rate of taxation then observe the result. After a few years adjust the tax rate or implement other measures as required to get closer to achieving the required result (combined global actions limited to a 2.0 C increase). Repeat the increase of tax or implementation of other measures as required to meet the required objective. Note that less action done earlier means more action will be required later.

    That is the expected result of the Paris Agreement - Continuing the Incrementalism after the first stage that was the efforts to meet the Kyoto commitments. Of course any nation that had members who deliberately resisted participating in correcting the incorrect developed ways of living after Kyoto would have developed a bigger current day challenge that now needs to be corrected. Since the need to transition from burning fossil fuels was well understood before Kyoto there is no reason for anyone to feel sorry for current day people who 'will suffer due to having to make more significant changes to 'fairly contribute to meeting the required global objective'. The real key is making sure that the ones who deserve to suffer most are actually the ones who suffer the most form the required correction.

    Some people figured out what is inevitably going to have to happen if humanity is to sustainably develop a better future. But instead of supporting the education of the population about the required changes and correctly identifying who should change or suffer, they try to argue for incrementalism that will fail to limit the harm to others (including future generations), choosing to demand/declare that the required incrementalism is incrementalism that in no way negatively affects them (many of them actually understand that they deserve to be negatively affected by the required corrections of what has developed - they can be expected to fight the hardest against admitting what the appropriate objective is, using the popularity of profitable harmful unsustainable activities as their main excuse to defend those activities).

    And what is undeniable is that more fortunate people who did not transition away from the burning of fossil fuels could gain a competitive advantage relative to those who more responsibly changed their ways. Deliberate attempts to get competitive advantage that way since Kyoto deserve a penalty. That will likely need to be corrected by targeted trade sanctions against those people who have shown a history of trying to Win that way. To 'be fair', it appears inevitable that targeted trade sanctions will be required to penalize things like attempts by people in nations like the USA, Canada, and Australia (the supposedly more advanced nations on the planet), to continue to benefit from the burning of coal (including exports of coal for burning elsewhere). And those actions targeting already fortunate people who continue to try to benefit from the burning of coal will likely need to incrementally be expanded to target already fortunate people who continue to try to benefit from the burning of bitumen, then oil, then natural gas, as required to achieve the agreed objective of 'fairly' limiting the harm done to future generations.

  11. Philippe Chantreau at 08:34 AM on 22 February 2018
    The EPA debunked Administrator Pruitt’s latest climate misinformation

    Alchemyst is quite elogious on China's nuclear program. I looked into it a little to see if the usual problems were better dealt with (delays and cost overruns) and was not so impressed. Alchemyst refered to Wikipedia, so I'm taking it as an acceptable source of information.

    The Wiki on China nuclear program reveals a mixed picture. The first 3 links in post 21 refers to the CAP 1400 reactors, an evolution of the Westinghouse AP1000 design, set to be built at the Shidawoan site. One link is from 2014, the other 2016, the last from 2017 mentions the scaled down version of the Westinghouse design. The current Shidawoan installation is a proof of concept demonstration project, which was set to be connected to the grid in 2018. That first unit is a 200 MW scaled down version of the full size 1400 MW design. The CAP1400 design passed the IAEA generic reactor safety review in 2015 and construction was set to begin by the end of that year. However, as of 2017, construction has been postponed because of the significant delays in completing the AP1000, Westinghouse older design. Westinghouse was majority owned by Toshiba but has filed for bankruptcy, which could be a major hurdle in bringing the CAP1400 design into existence. My take is that enthusiasm for the AP1400 should wait at least until construction is well under way and we're nowhere close to that.

    The problems with nuclear energy remain: it is extremely expensive, usually more than planned; construction takes a long time, once again usually more than planned. Plants have a limited life span, beyond 40-50 years the upkeep adds significant costs to production. 

    The CANDU (pressurized heavy water reactors pioneered in Canada) types of plants look like a good idea in theory, especially from the operational safety point of view, although tritium emissions need attention. The fact that they can draw from a variety of fue sources and recovered uranium also speaks in their favor. The CANDU6 reactors built in Quinshan can boast of their completion on schedule and on budget, refreshing among modern built facilities. Most such reactors are found in Ontario, and many have been decommissioned, sometimes at very high costs. Economic performance does not call for more enthusiasm than the yet-to-be-started AP1400. From the CANDU wiki:

    "Based on Ontario's record, the economic performance of the CANDU system is quite poor.[according to whom?] Although much attention has been focussed on the problems with the Darlington plant, every CANDU design in Ontario went over budget by at least 25%, and average over 150% higher than estimated.[66] Darlington was the worst, at 350% over budget, but this project was stopped in-progress thereby incurring additional interest charges during a period of high interest rates, which is a special situation that was not expected to repeat itself."

    Furthermore: "In 1998, Ontario Hydro calculated that the cost of generation from CANDU was 7.7 cents/kWh, whereas hydropower was only 1.1 cents, and their coal-fired plants were 4.3 cents. As Ontario Hydro received a regulated price averaging 6.3 cents/kWh for power in this period, the revenues from the other forms of generation were being used to fund the operating losses of the nuclear plants."

    Nuclear is no panacea and does not deserve less careful consideration than any other solution.

  12. Antarctica is gaining ice

    "a outlier paper (Zwally 2015)"

    Let's look at that: 

    Zwally et al 2015 took an unconventional approach to assessing the mass balance of Antarctica. Unlike other studies, before and since, that used satellite altimetry or satellite gravimetric methods, Zwally’s team chose to compare net snowfall accumulation to estimated ice discharge to the ocean. In order to do this type of analysis properly, 3 main things are needed:

    1. It is critical to use the most optimal corrections for instrument biases (the ICESat data used need to have the appropriate saturation bias corrections to get real-world answers that are reproducible)
    2. The most-accurate densities of snow have to be used
    3. The most-optimal values for changes in bedrock elevation (GIA) in response to ice sheet mass changes have to be used

    As has been since determined by multiple studies (A, B, C and D, listed following):

    1. The ICESat bias corrections used by the Zwally team were appropriate for measuring sea ice, but not for measuring high altitude land-base ice sheets like found in Antarctica (the values returned for Lake Vostok alone were so unphysical that they should have made the entire study DOA)
    2. A value for snowfall density different than that determined by decades of land-based research was used
    3. The values used by the Zwally team to correct for GIA were too high by a factor of 2

    As such, their results cannot be reproduced using well-established bias corrections, known snow densities and more appropriate values for GIA.

    The values for the Antarctic ice sheet mass balance from NASA GRACE are the most current available (to January 2017). An ever-strengthening, consilient body of research using multiple methods all point to that conclusion.

    Reference studies:

    A. Scambos et al 2016 Comment on Zwally et al 2015

    B. Martín-Español et al 2016 - Spatial and temporal Antarctic Ice Sheet mass trends, glacio-isostatic adjustment, and surface processes from a joint inversion of satellite altimeter, gravity, and GPS data

    C. Schröder et al 2017 - Validation of satellite altimetry by kinematic GNSS in central East Antarctica

    D. Martín-Español et al 2017 - Constraining the mass balance of East Antarctica

    Interestingly, previous research has shown that ice sheet mass contributions from land-based ice sheets have exceeded thermal expansion as the biggest contributor to global sea level rise. Recent research now has isolated the individual ice sheet contributions to global sea level rise.

    Per Hsu and Velicogna 2017, between April 2002 and October 2014, the mass component of global mean sea level grew by about 1.8 millimeters per year, with 43 percent of the increased water mass coming from Greenland, 16 percent from Antarctica, and 30 percent from mountain glaciers. There is an additional ~1 mm per year of SLR coming from thermal expansion (H/T to Victor Zlotnicki).

  13. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/results/2012/04/01/pacific-islands-disaster-risk-reduction-and-financing-in-the-pacific

    ^World Bank article I referenced in previous post.

  14. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    @jef, I agree with your critiques of this article’s advancement of both reducing atmospheric carbon levels now, while also encouraging a low-carbon future, which it does without an inclusion of how individuals or groups might take action. You are absolutely correct in saying that what is needed is truth speaking to the masses, which is a “herculean task,” yet should be of utmost importance given climate change’s immediacy. The article discusses Antartica’s importance in being a reservoir of 70% of our world’s freshwater, with melting ice sheets and the resultant sea rise posing great danger to over 150 million people globally. Unfortunately, climate change is not at all fair, having perverse asymmetry of impacts and interests, meaning those who contribute the least are often impacted the most. The article alludes to this by describing the potential future threat to populated areas such as Florida and New York, but the “immediate and acute” threat small low-elevation islands are already facing, such as the Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Due to their fragile environments and often unstable economies, island nations tend to struggle greatly at bouncing back after a devastating natural disaster, for they simply do not have the resources to be resiliently reactive. Ten years ago, the World Bank created the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (PCRAFI) in order to establish risk assessment strategies, while developing pragmatic financial and technical applications to try and mitigate these islands’ susceptibility to disasters. As a prominent global development organization, The World Bank has an interest in lessening poverty seen around the world via sustainable solutions; but if major contributors to climate change are not working to lessen their carbon footprints, will such mitigation strategies truly be effective?

  15. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    "the overall increase in Antarctica ice"

    Zwally et al 2015 took an unconventional approach to assessing the mass balance of Antarctica. Unlike other studies, before and since, that used satellite altimetry or satellite gravimetric methods, Zwally’s team chose to compare net snowfall accumulation to estimated ice discharge to the ocean. In order to do this type of analysis properly, 3 main things are needed:

    1. It is critical to use the most optimal corrections for instrument biases (the ICESat data used need to have the appropriate saturation bias corrections to get real-world answers that are reproducible)
    2. The most-accurate densities of snow have to be used
    3. The most-optimal values for changes in bedrock elevation (GIA) in response to ice sheet mass changes have to be used

    As has been since determined by multiple studies (A, B, C and D, listed following):

    1. The ICESat bias corrections used by the Zwally team were appropriate for measuring sea ice, but not for measuring high altitude land-base ice sheets like found in Antarctica (the values returned for Lake Vostok alone were so unphysical that they should have made the entire study DOA)
    2. A value for snowfall density different than that determined by decades of land-based research was used
    3. The values used by the Zwally team to correct for GIA were too high by a factor of 2

    As such, their results cannot be reproduced using well-established bias corrections, known snow densities and more appropriate values for GIA.

    The values for the Antarctic ice sheet mass balance from NASA GRACE are the most current available (to January 2017). An ever-strengthening, consilient body of research using multiple methods all point to that conclusion.

    Reference studies:

    A. Scambos et al 2016 Comment on Zwally et al 2015

    B. Martín-Español et al 2016 - Spatial and temporal Antarctic Ice Sheet mass trends, glacio-isostatic adjustment, and surface processes from a joint inversion of satellite altimeter, gravity, and GPS data

    C. Schröder et al 2017 - Validation of satellite altimetry by kinematic GNSS in central East Antarctica

    D. Martín-Español et al 2017 - Constraining the mass balance of East Antarctica

    Interestingly, previous research has shown that ice sheet mass contributions from land-based ice sheets have exceeded thermal expansion as the biggest contributor to global sea level rise. Recent research now has isolated the individual ice sheet contributions to global sea level rise.

    Per Hsu and Velicogna 2017, between April 2002 and October 2014, the mass component of global mean sea level grew by about 1.8 millimeters per year, with 43 percent of the increased water mass coming from Greenland, 16 percent from Antarctica, and 30 percent from mountain glaciers. There is an additional ~1 mm per year of SLR coming from thermal expansion (H/T to Victor Zlotnicki).

  16. Antarctica is gaining ice

    And just a reminder, that on this site, you must provide references to support your beliefs. Otherwise you will be moderated for sloganeering.

  17. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Hmm, if you are fixating on a outlier paper (Zwally 2015), then I suspect you are using extremely suspect sources for your information. Gravity and altimitry methods both have weaknesses (but different ones). A clever approach which reconciles the metholodies by a joint inversion of altmetry, gravity and GPS is Espanol et al 2016. Their approach demonstrates a sustained net mass loss of  84+/- 22 Gt/yr.

    "How about helping the developing countries develop and solve an ongoing humanitarian crisis now that oh by the way is truly polluting the environment?" Why do you believe fixing climate (which is important way to help developing countries) is incompatiable with your perceived priorities?

  18. Philippe Chantreau at 06:49 AM on 22 February 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    Alchemyst coments about last summer sea ice extent. How about the current values? 

    NSIDC, February 6, 2018:

    "January of 2018 began and ended with satellite-era record lows in Arctic sea ice extent, resulting in a new record low for the month. Combined with low ice extent in the Antarctic, global sea ice extent is also at a record low." (emphasis added) 

  19. The EPA debunked Administrator Pruitt’s latest climate misinformation

    Alchemyst @21

    Right now nuclear is safer than other sources of electricity. I just wonder how the statistics will look if multiple third world countries have reactors. It wont take many accidents to radically change the statistics per mwhr.

    But listen. I'm not firmly opposed to nuclear power in principle. I have always said its an individual countries choice on what suits them. I doubt nuclear will become prolific enough for my worst fears about safety to materialise, so Im not too worried over the issue.

    I agree safety it is a public perception thing. But you can hardly blame people. Like I said, nuclear accidents are shocking, and have a sort of disproportionate effect on our consciousness. Its the same as the way some people respond to islamic terrorism, they go batshit crazy. In fact more people in the USA are killed by lawn mower accidents each year on average. But its the unpredictability of terrorism and its gruesome nature that scares people, and much the same can be said of nuclear accidents, because they are just so unpredictable, deadly and the contamination is both a real problem, and an insidious sort of thing psychologically.

    However its hard changing human nature, and so on that basis I suggest the nuclear industry needs a "gamechanger" technology in terms of safety, something that really makes a fresh start. You can't blame the green lobby. The general public look at the issues for themselves.

    You quote the example of China, and rapid progress with nuclear power. Ok fair enough. Obviously in a dictatorship they don't care about any public opposition like in the west. This is great for the nuclear industry,  do you really want to live under a dictatorship? And this dictatorship has made a mess of their environment in other respects.

    I also wonder how many safety shortcuts are made in China to build the reactors that fast.

    Western countries are free market democracies. I like that on the whole. People have a right to protest and long may this remain. Safety standards are likely going to be better than China and if this slows down construction, "so be it".

    Electricity generators in America for example make the choice of nuclear or wind power, and I think it should be left to them to make that choice. Do you think governments should force nuclear power on 1)the population, and 2) onto generating companies? Seems too draconian to me and not in line with western values.

    Having said that, government has to ensure the electricity system is stable, and of course lines companies have to ensure stability of supply. NZ has legislation requiring generators provide adequate generation to cope with shortgages etc, so this forces the electricity companies to carefully consider all options. They will build nuclear - if they absolutely have to for stability of supply. But right now wind and solar are economically attractive options. But my point is this seems like a generally good overall framework of decision making, that balances a free market with the state ensuring there is fundamental stability of supply

    Regarding Halfnium, I do not know enough to really comment. However I was reading an article the other day that the world only has 50 years of cobalt left (ok it will be more in reality, but you hopefully see the point). The point Im making is many minerals have limited reserves. If Nuclear expands radically, it seems a fair bet some of its metals requirements are going to get expensive. Of course lets be fair, this is not unique to the nuclear industry, but nuclear power uses a lot of specialist metals, and its another problem to add to an industry with problems.

  20. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    The Arctic having the second lowest (or as this year the third lowest) summer ice does not ring the same bell as the lowest, probably best not to ring it too loudly.

  21. How to Change Your Mind About Climate Change

    Here's a good companion piece in today's NYTimes: How Six Americans Changed Their Minds about Global Warming.

    And Peter Sinclair has a new video about Jerry Taylor at Yale Climate Connections.

  22. The EPA debunked Administrator Pruitt’s latest climate misinformation

    Alchymst,
    Proposed theoretical reactors that have never been built are not solutions. 

    3 have been built 2 in Germany which the green lobby shut down and one in China (see refs in above post)

    Abbott discusses the breeder reactors you propose.

    No he does not he only dicusses  liquid cooled reactors not gas cooled as I proposed

    The fact that none have been able to run for significant amounts without problems tells us how likely it is that they will be useful in a reasonable amount of time.

    The Julich demonstration reactor reactor ran for 20 years

    Work out a timeline: if they have a design next week it will take them 5-10 years to build. Then it will take 5-10 years to determine if the alloys they have chosen can withstand the extreme conditions in the breeder reactor and if their complex purification scheme for the fuel will work (both unlikely).


    China  is loading the first reactor, 7 more are in various stages of construction on the site, see above post for reference

    Then they will have to apply to scale up and buiild new plants which take 9-19 years to build from the initial proposal. It will be at least 5+5+9 = 19 years before the first plants will be on-line in 2037. That is too late, we need a solution that we can build out today.

    see previos comment 1 is being loaded 7 more are in construction

    Abbott used the diagram of elemental abundance to show that the elements needed for nuclear reactors do not work. He included a table of how much of these metals are currently in production and current reserves which you did not address.

    Abbot for example used halfnium as a rare metal which was needed in a nuclear reactor. halfnium is used in submarines as cost is of litte object. Civilian reactors use Boron, Cadmium and silver for references see above. one of the references is for 14 year old schoolscience in the UK, so if children are expected to know this why the fuss about halfnium. The second ref is from the nuclear engineering department Berkley, California.  

    This data showed that there are not enough materials for your nulcear utopia. Apparently Berylium is one of the key short materials. I mentioned it above but it appears to have slipped your memory.

    Beryllium is a reflector it is used for small reactors and for starters. It is not needed for large reactors. no reference but a bit of physics. Beryllium reflectors bounce back the neutrons into the reactor. For this to work the k infinity of the core material is greater than unity. If k infinity is greater than one then a sufficiently large reactor does not need a reflector, and does not need to infinite! 

    India's "thorium reactor" includes uranium to burn the thorium. In 2013 it was scheduled to fire up in 2014. In 2014 in 2015, in 2015 2016, and last summer (2017) in early 2018. It has not fired up yet. Placing all your money on an untried technology that is years behind schedule and even in the best case will not be ready in time is not a very good plan. Not very convincing.

    The advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) is one of the few proposed large-scale uses of thorium.[52] India is developing this technology, their interest motivated by substantial thorium reserves; almost a third of the world's thorium reserves are in India, which also lacks significant uranium reserves.

    The third and final core of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station 60 MWe reactor was a light water thorium breeder, which began operating in 1977.[53] It used pellets made of thorium dioxide and uranium-233 oxide; initially, the U-233 content of the pellets was 5–6% in the seed region, 1.5–3% in the blanket region and none in the reflector region. It operated at 236 MWt, generating 60 MWe and ultimately produced over 2.1 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. After five years, the core was removed and found to contain nearly 1.4% more fissile material than when it was installed, demonstrating that breeding from thorium had occurred.[54][55]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor

    In any case, nuclear is completely uneconomic. Renewable energy is half the cost of nuclear.
    If you cannot be bothered to find references to support your wild claims you should comment at anonther site where they do not care what absurd claims you make up.

    Sweet please try and stop insulting peoples inteligence

  23. The EPA debunked Administrator Pruitt’s latest climate misinformation

    nigelj,

    Nuclear safety is much better than other fuel/energy producers. The difficulties are public perception of these accidents. for example the THTR reactor that used thorium uranium fuel mixture was shut down regarding an accident that released a small amount of radiation outside the building. This was following Chernobyl and with the Green lobby, the German Parliament it was used as a pretext to shut the building down.  The designs are currently being used for a scaled up reactor in China. The article fails to mention that the reactor is capable of using thorium fuel.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600757/china-could-have-a-meltdown-proof-nuclear-reactor-next-year/

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2014/04/construction-progresses-on-chinas-high.html

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/04/china-has-started-loading-pebble-bed-fuel-into-new-reactor-which-will-begin-operation-later-this-year.html

    Your point on contaminated land is probably the most pertinent, certainly in the west, as in order to maintain low radiological doses people are removed from the proximity of the leak, But you must remember that the biggest leak of artificial radiation occurred in the 1950s, 1960s during the bomb tests.

    In the west the green lobbies are strong, but I do not hear much from these in places like China, Iran and Russia. They will carry on with their nuclear programs and ignore the West hesitation. There will not be problems with siting the reactors too close to population centres.

    Unhampered by lack of energy resources these economies will grow and will get more powerful and so will be able to overshaow the West
    . We are already seeing this in China which is becoming to dominate the far east and is busily influecing a lot of the countries in development inAfrica and South America. If the west do not thrive economically then the eastern block will overtake the western economies.  

    ps here is a reference to the use of Boron insted of Halfnium in nuclear reactors

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zpp4jxs/revision/2

    what it pinot out is that it is taught to 14 year olds in Britain was ignored in Abbott and the peer reviewers

    http://fhr.nuc.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/12-007_Boron_Use_in_PWRs_and_FHRs.pdf

  24. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Fishfear

    According to the most recent summary by the US Global Climate Change Research Program, the official report of the Trump administration, for sea level "A rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out."  That would cause a loss of more than a trillion dollars of real estate in Miami alone.  World wide hundreds of millions of peoples homes would be washed away.

    Your unsupported claim that " Even during the most rapid ocean rise scenarios things will be just fine..." is simply false.

    According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the sea ice around Antarctica has set record lows each of the past two years.  The land ice is declining at an increasig rate according to gravity measurements.  

    Your claims are all simply false.  Please provide evidence to support your wild claims.

  25. Antarctica is gaining ice

    I watch the video from years ago and giggle... "The unexpectedly rapid loss of land ice..." Assuming the maximum temps projected by the IPCC does this young man understand how long it would take for a even a 10% melt? Even during the most rapid ocean rise scenarios things will be just fine... The sky is not falling. How about helping the developing countries develop and solve an ongoing humanitarian crisis now that oh by the way is truly polluting the environment?

    Moderator Response:

    [TD] That video from "years ago" was made only 2.5 years ago. In my response to your previous comment I gave you a link to a Scientific American article that references studies from last year, which you could read if you were sincerely interested in learning. That "young man" in the video was a PhD candidate with a large number of peer reviewed professional publications directly relevant to the topic he was speaking about in that video. (A remarkable number of publications for a PhD student!) Now he is a postdoctoral fellow. His degrees and postdoc all are directly relevant: physical geography, geomatics, spatial analysis, glaciology, permafrost science, and northern environmental change.

    Meanwhile you claim you are "working on" a PhD and have failed to respond to the specific counters to your claims that I already provided.

    The percent of land ice melt is not relevant. What matters is the absolute amount of water released by the melt. Someone actually enrolled in a PhD program in planetary geology would know that.

    Read the post about how much sea level will rise. After you read the Basic tabbed pane, read the Intermediate one. Watch the two videos. Then read professional statistician (multiple peer reviewed publications on climate change) Tamino's explanation of a new paper supporting the existence of sea level rise acceleration so much that by the year 2100 sea level would be .654 meters higher than in 2005, supporting the projections of IPCC AR5's RCP 8.5. Then explore the Surging Seas site to see the concrete, practical implications of that amount of rise, but keep in mind that the amount of rise could be double that .654 meters which was only extrapolated from observations up to now, because the current acceleration easily could increase. Then explore the US Geological Surveys site on sea level. If you really are enrolled in a PhD program, you should be able to handle the AR5 WG1's Chapter 13 on Sea Level Change. To learn about impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, read WG2's report.

  26. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    NASA's Operation Icebridge... Please Google it and then ask yourself why a search of Skeptical Science has no mention of the on going definitive research that now shows the overall increase in Antarctica ice. One would think this would be at least worth a mention... Right?

    PS I have a BS in physical science, a MBA and I'm working on my PhD in planetary geology. I'm NOT a warming denier I'm just convinced CO2's role has been overblown and like the proverbial squirrel, we have taken our eye off the ball and should be helping a billion plus people in the developing world live better lives and stop polluting our little blue ball.

    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Entering "Operation Icebridge" in the SkepticalScience Search field at the top left of every page reveals several hits. So what? Googling yields a bunch of hits, at least the first dozen of which fail to even hint at any "definitive research that now shows the overall increase in Antarctica ice." But there is a very informative page that should be comprehensible to someone who is "working on" a PhD in planetary geology.

    Entering "Antarctic" in the Skeptical Science search field yields many hits, including a response to the myth "Antarctica is gaining ice."

    Perhaps you are fixated on Zwally's 2015 paper. A more recent (July 2017) Scientific American article describes more recent research than that particular Skeptical Science post does, explaining that most scientists who study Antarctic land ice believe that its net is loss, not gain. Perhaps even Zwally:

    Zwally's study team claimed that if mass losses in West Antarctica continued to increase, it would only be a few decades before they overtook the gains in the east. Also, the team has additional, unpublished data showing the mass losses in West Antarctica have not only increased, but have tripled—at least from 2009 to 2012. Early data show 2016 might have been the tipping point at which losses in West Antarctica became so great that they equaled those gains in East Antarctica. That means Zwally's results might already be in agreement with others on the key point: this frigid land—one that holds the fate of much of humanity—is melting.

    A sincere word of advice from someone who's already gotten a natural science PhD: If you really are working on a PhD in planetary geology, you need to search the literature more thoroughly and critically, and synthesize what you find. PhD quality work is a big step up from BS quality work.

  27. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    I read what appears to be the same article referenced by John Hartz @111 but in New Scientist 10 Feb. "Rags to Riches. It's official we cant be wealthy without trashing the planet".

    Anyway, great article, but sadly the article was just too short to really do the subject justice.

    I have been debating sustainability, resource scarcity, etcecetera with some people on another website. I tell you a lot of things will have to change, or the planet will teach us some bitter lessons and force change. But its off the climate change topic. Anyway I remain an optimist.

    This may be of related interest on economic growth and why we may be heading to reduced growth rates:

    www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/economic-growth-jobs-recession-slowed-technology-214220

    I have the same basic belief as OPOF: we have to ensure everyone progresses, not just a few. There are many reasons for this, not simply compassion, there are security and economic reasons. It doesnt have to be relentlessly exact, but we need to be going in at least roughly the right direction.

  28. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    nigelj @ 21

    We obviously have some similar interests.  I have "Behave" by Robert Sapolsky sitting at home in Vancouver.  Too heavy to lug down here.  Instead I brought along Steven Pinker's new book "Enlightenment Now".

    One of the interesting parts of spending some time down south (for us in Canada) is the chance to "rub shoulders" with some real Republicans.  Last night we were seated at a restaurant by a retired internist and his wife from Oregon.  They were clear Trump supporters but clearly acknowledging that Trump had personality disorders (sounds like Paul Ryan).  But he actually described American society as an "eat what you kill" society and seemed happy with it.  For a medical doctor to espouse this view was somewhat surprising and disappointing.  His only justification for "gerrymongering" was "that is the way it has always been" (again very happy with it).  Although we did not have time to get into it, I think he rolled his eyes when he (not me) mentioned climate change.  So Trump supporters are not just the ones alienated from globalization.  A little "anecdotal" but there are some pretty wide gaps in US society.  He blames the media on both sides for the disconnect that has developed between Democrats and Republicans over the last 30 years.   On the other hand, there was another couple from Washington state who, when they found we were Canadian, were very apologetic about the US and Trump.  The fellow had a fleecy on with the word "Canada" emblazoned on it. He said he bought it in Vancouver and planned to wear it on their upcoming trip to Great Britain.  Pretty scary to see this gap in the most powerful democracy in the world.

  29. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM @ 119,

    I like your story of Bob Woodward and his "sole exception of Richard Nixon".

    The story is somewhat dated now, for I gather Woodward has just recently added a "second exception".

    All the same, it illustrates how those who are evil-doers can still believe (at least in some small part of their brain) that they they are working towards the public good. 

  30. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    Jef @3

    I dont see where your lack of clarity is. The "article" is actually mostly on Antarctic ice loss, and the considerable dangers of this. You are missing this fundamental point. You claim its got no references, but its full of links.

    I dont really know what you are referring to on technology. Theres a link to something on blended hydrogen, but its hardly the main point of the article. You seem a little off topic to me.

    You say " I have personally worked on several biofuel, syngas, biochar, and other projects alongside university efforts over the last 10 to 15 years and none of them are still active, all were essentially failures or a net wash at best. In other words as much is saved as is generated."

    Your claims of experiments are not compelling and are anecdotal. Provide a link so I can check. We have a highly profitable synthetic methanol plant in my country and biofuels are actually quite well established now.

    "Most if not all “renewable” energy is 100% dependent on FFs. They are a FF extender at best."

    Only in their production, and studies show they reduce CO2 over time. Refer below.

    www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2010/09/the-facts-about-wind-energy-and-emissions.html

    www.scientificamerican.com/article/wind-power-proves-effective-co2-saver/

    You sir just post a lot of claims, but not much in the way of peer reviewed analysis, or something from a recognised mainstream science magazine to back it up.

    Like Riduna says there are ways of reducing emissions significantly, and that is whats important. I have mixed thoughts about BECCS, and I posted something on some other article recently. The best negative emissions systems appear to be tree planting and soil sequestration of carbon. Soil sequestration can certainly be scaled up in physical terms, its mainly a question of relatively simple changes to farming techniques, incentives and education. 

    Regarding the antarctic (the actual point  of the article) there are a lot of issues pointing at possibility of more rapid sea level rise than currently anticipated. I dont like the sheer number of possible problems when you combine the antarctic and greenland etc. This suggests use of the precautionary principle.

  31. One Planet Only Forever at 13:54 PM on 21 February 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    John Hartz@111,

    Thank you for the informative reference. It helps me better understand how 'competition to appear to be better off than others' developed desires/excuses for things that are understandably harmful to the future of humanity, Personal/Private Interests that are understandably unsustainable.

    A nit-pick with the author's Headline. The play on words with Comfortable/Uncomfortable is cute. But the study is not about 'comfort'. The study's concern is “Humanity faces the challenge of how to achieve a high quality of life for over 7 billion people without destabilizing critical planetary processes.” (the opening statement of the abstract for the report). Comfort may be a part of the life satisfaction goal that is in the study. But it is a term that is wide-open to interpretation. And even if it was more precisely defined, how significant it is could vary a lot among the population, even among the population of a single nation.

    The study is limited to evaluating measurements of what has developed in nations based on 2011 data. Admittedly, data is required for an analytical analysis. But the developed data pool is not the full spectrum of possible ways people can live. It is only the results of the current global domination of human activity by competitive materialism and consumerism. The result has been competition/fighting to develop perceptions of superiority relative to others any way that can be gotten away with, generally ruled by popularity, profitability or social/financial/warfare power. A different result would develop if helping to advance humanity to a sustainable better future was the understood measure of success and acceptability (a justified Golden Set of Rules/Goals globally understood and accepted by the majority of humans to increase the chances of a helpful result developing, such as the set of sustainability goals mentioned in the report).

    The required changes to have a better chance of a future for humanity will not be developed in the same socio-economic-political 'attitude environment'. In fact, the evidence is that deliberate actions in opposition to such changes are to be expected to be able to unjustifiably win in the existing developed system.

    A global change of understanding regarding what is acceptable will be required. Games of power, popularity and profitability with everyone freer to believe what they want and do as they please will not develop the required changes. In fact, the developed evidence measured in the study shows that people freer to believe what they want and do as they please in pursuit of Private Interest can be expected to develop less sustainable ways of living.

    A second nit-pick is in the following quote in the article (and repeated in your comment).

    "Unfortunately, the same is not true for other social goals that go beyond basic subsistence such as secondary education and high life satisfaction. Meeting these goals could require a level of resource use that is two to six times the sustainable level."

    The study Abstract states 'life satisfaction' as the example of goals that requires high resources. The following quote is from the Abstract: “However, the universal achievement of more qualitative goals (for example, high life satisfaction) would require a level of resource use that is 2–6 times the sustainable level, based on current relationships.”
    In the report the following is stated: “The social goals with the highest associated resource use, ranging from about two to six times the per capita biophysical boundary, are democratic quality, equality, social support, secondary education and life satisfaction.”

    It makes sense that those items are measured as 'highly achieved goals in high resource use nations'. But the correlation exists in the socio-economic-political 'attitude environment' that has developed. It is not a required correlation.

    They are the Winner Nations of the competition to gather as much benefit as possible in the games people play. The fact that there is serious poverty in many of the Biggest Winner Nations exposes that there are serious flaws in the ways things have developed, flaws in the play of, or enforcement of rules in, the games/competitions.

    Clearly, changing attitudes through global education can change the resulting development. But the real change has to occur among the perceived Winners. All of the most powerful, most popular, and wealthiest need to have their helpfulness/harmfulness evaluated, with penalties personally assessed accordingly.

    Things boil down to needing to correct the incorrectly developed perceptions of "Life Satisfaction" and correcting the incorrect admiration for Masters of Illusion/Deception, the undeserving winners.

    And everyone can understand that unsustainability is due to the total actions of the total population. So, although the total population is a concern, the developed over-consumption and highest harm creating ways of life of the 'Biggest Winners in the competition to be perceived to be superior to, or more successful than, others' can clearly be the real problem.

    Also, the problem is not 'Nations', it is people who play to Win any way they can get away with, including deliberately attacking increased awareness and better understanding that would expose the unacceptability of the way they play the game, exposing how harmful they have been. Those type of people can be Harmful Winners in any nation (rich or poor).

    The entire global population needs to be educated to admire and desire actions that help sustainably improve life for others (and sustainably means able to continue to be a help into the far future, only retired/replaced when a better sustainable way is developed). The converse is for the entire global population to understand the importance of no longer being impressed by anyone who tries to 'get ahead, Win a harmful Private Interest pursuit, in an unhelpful/deceptive/secretive way', no matter how powerful, popular, or rich they appear to regionally temporarily currently be.

  32. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Yes, activism by both sides can increase polarity but I think there needs to be distinction between right-wing activists and paid disinformers. Someone lying for money is not a moral actor.

    Agreed too that there is good data suggesting general public is less polarized than elites but elites act to lead opinion so it matters. Also data the importance of the middle ground. The civil rights movement didnt convince hard line racists (still hasnt), but it did influence more flexible thinkers who in turn influenced the next level down eventually creating a new norm.

  33. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    jef @ 3

    I think your criticism of BECCS and some of the other ‘schemes’ you have come across is quite right. You may be interested in my comment here.

    You sound very frustrated that their isn’t an instant cure to halt global warming. Well, there isn’t!  But there are ways of significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, such as transitioning away from coal fired electricity generation (in progress) electrification of transport (in progress) and increasing the efficiency with which we use electricity (also in progress).

    I know they are not overnight cures but they are among several effective ways of reducing emissions. Over the coming decade you will see them beginning to work. We need to do more and I believe we will – because if we don’t?   Well, as they say, ‘nothing concentrates the mind so much as the prospect of being hanged’.

  34. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Scaddenp @120

    Yes I did allude to the fact incrementalism doesn't apply to everything.

    Growth in fossil fuels use, population and economic growth all looks exponential. Just out of curiosity would you consider that "incremental"? It doesn't seem so to me.

    I think you have explained the the purity issue very well and its not meant to be taken offensively or as a bad thing in principle. I think it depends how its applied, and whether application has some sensible basis.  I do also understand Norris point of view on it.

    But I would suggest politics is being polarised by activists on both left and right and feedbacks set in. The leftists are seen as disloyal etc, and the right wing activists (tea party, heartland people) are seen as not caring about fairness, and evidence based science. Its all very unfortunate.

    However I read an interesting article in the Economist that researched political attitudes with Americas population. The partisan division is much stronger between politicians and elite groups than the general population overall. Of course there are big red / blue partisan state divisions, and divisions within states, but the biggest divisions are in the leadership. Apparently many people in small town america voted on gut instincts on the leaders style and personality, rather than policy or democratic / republican divisions. This is all contrary to my impression. Complicated. But the polarisation is apparently more at the top than the bottom. Don't know what it all means, but its not good.

    All the moral foundations in the theory seem to have value. It just seems to me all become toxic when taken to extremes, for example excessive authoritarianism. Children need authoritarian parenting to a point, but treating adults this way can go too far. However fairness seems unique and something that is more clear cut. It seems hard to say that unfairness is ever a good thing. 

    I have read some moral philosophy like aristotle, kant, mill, rand (please forgive me about rand, I must have been crazy).

    I also have a book you may find interesting, but I have not read much of it yet: "Behave" by Robert Sapolsky. "The biology of humans at their best and worst". This was the main point in my replying to your post. You are a busy guy so I dont expect a reply. We are possibly talked out on the issues for now anyway.

  35. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7

    I thought the article was long on words and short, to the point of non-existence, on cost and the benefits to farmers and electricity consumers.

    The problem with “BECCS”, as with coal-fired electricity generation, is the essential element involving sequestration and secure storage of CO2. This requires capture of the CO2 produced at the combustion point. Technology enables about 80% of it to be captured. It then has to be compressed into a liquid so that it can be transported by pipeline to a burial destination. That destination has to be located at a site where the liquid CO2 can be pumped into geological strata able to hold it securely for millennia.

    This process has been trialled and found so expensive that it increases the cost of electricity by over 50% and, as noted above, still results in some CO2 emissions.

    The question not asked in the article is: Why would any sane financier invest in wood-fired electricity generation fitted with carbon capture and storage when solar and wind generators with energy storage have a lower capital cost and can sell the electricity they generate much cheaper – and do so without producing, let alone emitting CO2?

  36. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    The language is far from clear. Broad generalizations completely without reference (the onus is on the authors of the article not me).
    Simply stating there is a problem then saying we need to ...oh I don't know... make it less of a problem?
    It is a life threatening catastrophe that requires massive world wide action NOW!
    Where is the attribution to successful beccs operations that show the potential to scale…none. I have personally worked on several biofuel, syngas, biochar, and other projects alongside university efforts over the last 10 to 15 years and none of them are still active, all were essentially failures or a net wash at best. In other words as much is saved as is generated.
    Most if not all “renewable” energy is 100% dependent on FFs. They are a FF extender at best.
    Oh plastics… yes thats not a problem is it?
    So yes… magical thinking/technocopianism. You sir are the problem not the solution. We need real solutions not just a slight adjustment of the dial.

  37. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    nigelj - while incrementalism is generally good in governance, we also have to be aware that nature doesnt follow those rules and shouldnt necessarily be a guide in all circumstances - particularly we have ignored incrementalism to begin with.

    Norrism - in MFT, the purity foundation is also called sanctity. Maybe a better term? However, forget what the term is called, and consider more it's influence on instant subconscious judgements about something. This foundation is behind why racists consider themselves moral actors. It is also believed to behind the appeal to preserve virgin forest. There is no judgement involved here on the moral foundations. Sanctity is not immoral for instance. The binding moral foundations give a very clear evolutionary advantage. However, I am noting that there is a clear left/right difference in the influence of moral foundations.

    Climate change opinions are now strongly influenced by identity politics in the US which is unfortunately rather intractable. Once something becomes polarized, then feedbacks work to increase polarization. It is all to common for left-wing activists to indulge in behaviour which alienates the right where what they do can be perceived as disloyal, disrepectful or even unclean. This is one of the feedback that creates or builds polarization.

  38. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    scaddenp @ 115 and nigelj @ 115

    I think we have pretty well exhausted this topic.  But I think you agree that the use of the word "pure" has just too many contexts related to fascism and its modern version the "alt right" to be used in a conversation to describe conservative viewpoints on climate change.  I think nigelj makes this point.  There is an aspect of evil (whatever that term really means) in the views of fascists and their racist views that should have nothing to do with a discussion of climate change.

    I once attended a fairly small gathering in Vancouver with Bob Woodward (in town promoting his latest book at the time I believe) where he expressed the view that of all the US presidents he had interviewed, notwithstanding their differing political viewpoints, they all had the best interests of the American public at heart with the sole exception of Richard Nixon.

  39. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    I have to say Singapores incrementalism looks a bit like a very timid little snail. However it shows how many countries are at least doing something. Or maybe its a reasonable tax measured against their level of economic output.

  40. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Incrementalism seems like a good philosophy as a general rule. The problem Karl Popper has is there are far more exceptions than he is willing to acknowledge. That's just the reality.

    However incrementalism is pretty applicable obviously to things like carbon taxes, provided we start right now. The longer its left, the shorter the window of opportunity becomes, and then there could be a need for a far more drastic solution to climate change, as panic sets in, and fossil fuel companies will really be feeling pain. New research has shown strong evidence of an acceleration in sea level rise over the last 20 years, and projecting that takes us to about half a metre by end of century. Now even just a small additional acceleration this decade or so will get to a metre or more and this is what models predict, conservatively.

    And there was nothing too incremental about growing fossil fuel use. Looks more like an exponential growth curve to me.

  41. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    nigelj,

    if it was global temperatures that came back after a 5-year slumber with a new all–time record, you'd think it would be news at least somewhere on the planet.

    Not so for Arctic sea ice, apparently. But I do agree with you that this omission is on Axel Schweiger & the PIOMAS project, who didn't want to do the math until February 8th. Journalists follow published facts from scientists, and when there is none, there's nothing to report.

  42. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    Riduna @8

    Yes. In hindsight in terms of serious problems the decrease in sea ice area is probably more significant that changes in thickness / total volume. Its a problem for endless reasons as you say, and it also has large implications for N hemisphere weather patterns.

    A lot of sinkholes are opening up in northern russia. I saw a fantastic video of this by a russian scientist, showing these things in detail, and also a lecture on the issue, but I just cant find it again. However I'm pretty sure it was releasing methane and also CO2 in quantity. Soil carbon  can be metres deep. Wish I could find that video.

  43. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    Speaking of carbon taxes...

    INDUSTRY observers welcomed Singapore's soft start in its implementation of a carbon tax through an initial price lower than the range provided earlier by the government, though some affected companies continue to hope for benchmarks to be used together with the tax.

    The gradual increase upwards will help companies to decide whether they want to pay the tax or spend on projects to reduce their carbon emissions, said Nanyang Technological University (NTU) department of economics head Euston Quah.

    Singapore's carbon tax will start at S$5 a tonne for five years from 2019, and, following a review in 2023, eventually be raised to between S$10 and S$15 a tonne by 2030, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

    Singapore Budget 2018: Singapore's carbon tax to start at S$5 a tonne by Andrea Soh, Energy & Commodities, The Busines Times, Feb 20, 2018

  44. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM - I actually dont dispute incrementalism as a good idea. Would just like conservatives to take a first step - even killing FF subsidies is a good first step. However, as indicated, I also think we have used FF to breach incrementalism and are flailing to cope with consequences. If we want to rapidly reduce (30 year timeframe), then time to start was long ago.

    "Purity" is just a word - teasing out its meaning in Moral foundation theory really means looking at how it is measured. I am not advocating using the word in framing (white supremicists do however, appealing to that foundation) but appealing to that foundation in environmental advocacy is effective for gaining wider support. eg clean air, preservation of "virgin" forest etc.

    I have to thank my son's master's dissertation for making me aware of this and I am digesting the material on effective communication. Nonetheless, I feel it is pretty hard to have a dialogue when one side has little respect for facts or logic and leap to rhetoric and FUD instead.

    Storage issues are tightly linked to the actual mix of generation available and the ability of the transmission network to move power from distant sources. Having any hydro is a plus, because you can do zero cost storage by holding back water when sun shines, wind blows, and generate from it when it doesnt. While a lot has been made of storage issues as an excuse for sitting on hands, in places where need is arising, I see a rush by technology to meet the need. One of the points of measures like banning FF from a certain date, carbon taxes etc. is to actually stimulate that technology development.

  45. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    jef @1

    "...major reduction in greenhouse gases", "...reduce CO₂ levels now...", "...new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions..."."Wiggly wormy weasle words that muddle the truth."

    They don't muddle the truth, because the language is clear enough and is based on what we know is possible. You also don't explain why you think the statements in the article muddle the truth, so you are just posting empty propaganda.

    "technological innovations are providing new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions..."."There are currently none that have any prospect what so ever at scaling to a degree that is even 1% of what will be necessary, but don't let that stand in the way of "magic happens aka technology"

    You give no evidence that these things can't be scaled up. Theres no technical reason because the technology exists. The only thing standing in the way is perhaps human motivation, but people have found the will in the past to tackle major projects. Of course nobody said it would be easy. Where does the article say it would be easy? So you are just posting empty cynicism.

    Of course one other thing standing in the way are campaigns of climate science denialism and also attacks on renewable energy, mainly from self promoting lobby groups. Maybe have a look in the mirror?

    "...a low-carbon future."Which is it, negative carbon/removing carbon in massive giga, trillion, mega amounts, or just lower?"

    The article said low carbon, so presumably they mean low carbon. Humanity will always use fossil fuels for things like plastic manufacture, had you not thought of that?

    "What is needed is speaking truth to the masses. Difficult? hell yes, but absolutely good will happen until we take on that herculean task first.'

    Yes, and you are not communicating anything very well to the masses,  because you make wild, one sided, unsupported, cynical claims.

  46. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    NorrisM @112

    Yes pumped storage is the main current bulk storage option. There is also molten salt storage associated with some forms of solar power as below.

    www.solarreserve.com/en/technology/molten-salt-energy-storage

    Bulk battery storage is actually technically feasible, but the cost is too high. However we have good certainty that battery costs will fall very considerably.

    Im not a person who normally buys into some of the technology hype we see, however I think theres good evidence that battery costs will fall and numerous new technologies are already in working prototype stage such as aluminium batteries.

    I just take a general interest in the climate issue, and I try to make considered statements, but theres never enough time to tackle every aspect in the detail it really needs. Im sure you find the same. I rely on people being smart enough to "join the dots" sometimes. My real point was storage options do exist already.

  47. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #7

    Nigelj @ 2

    Are you also interested in the area covered by sea ice since this affects albedo, solar energy absorbed by the Arctic Ocean and its effect on thinning of sea ice? Continuing loss of albedo in summer (doesn’t matter in winter) means Arctic ocean warming which may prove problematic on 2 counts: coastal erosion and methane release.

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    scaddenp @ 108 and 109

    "How about it takes time? But if you never start, you will never get there."

    Sounds like incrementalism to me.    

    If you are trying to build a consensus with conservatives using a heavily laden word like "purity" is counter productive.   And if you are not, then are we not into "echo chamber" issues? 

  49. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

    nigelj @95 and 106

    Firstly, in answer to your question at 106, I have a number of times indicated that I would be happy starting with US$20/tonne and even perhaps US$30/tonne and see what happens.  For that reason I would not "sign on" to a possible $80/tonne tax until we saw what happened at $30.  Again, I personally have no real idea what the right level of carbon tax should be as I suspect is the case for most on this website because none of us have the economic resources to make rational judgments on such an issue.  If there is a "peer reviewed" paper on this I would be happy to review same. Governments have those resources so I will choose to trust our federal government in Canada on what level of carbon tax can work without "complicating the economy".

    But given the additional information provided by John Hartz above,  the carbon taxes implemented so far are not having the effect required just as I suspected.  Having said this, the answer I assume is to give them some time to work.  I am happy with that but time is not on our side in the view of many on this website.

    But I have intended to ask you a question related to the following comment you made in 95:

    "The storage problem is largely solved in terms of technology. Look at the huge Tesla lithium battery complex in southern Australia, that is now saving them money."

    My understanding that with respect to "bulk storage" this statement is incorrect.  The Tesla installation has not solved the bulk storage issue associated with wind and solar power so that "pumped storage" is still the only viable source of bulk storage at present.

    This view is based upon the comments of other contributors on this website.  I would be happy to be proved wrong on this.

  50. Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world

    "...major reduction in greenhouse gases", "...reduce CO₂ levels now...", "...new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions...".

    Wiggly wormy weasle words that muddle the truth. 

    "technological innovations are providing new ways to reduce CO₂ emissions...".

    There are currently none that have any prospect what so ever at scaling to a degree that is even 1% of what will be necessary, but don't let that stand in the way of "magic happens aka technology".

    "...a low-carbon future."

    Which is it, negative carbon/removing carbon in massive giga, trillion, mega amounts, or just lower?

    What is needed is speaking truth to the masses. Difficult? hell yes, but absolutely good will happen until we take on that herculean task first.

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