Well, what shall we talk about?

I’m back–somewhat worse for the wear after a hastily scheduled international trip.

Lots to talk about. Paris, which at the end of the day seems like an elephant straining mightily to give birth to a mouse. No legally binding clauses. No guarantees of $100 billion. Lots of ‘commitments’ that may prove to be anything but.

There’s Judith Curry’s post on Oreskes’ strident claims that we must fight nuclear energy and stick to solar and wind. What’s interesting is how quickly she’s throwing a cadre of respected climate scientists under the bus in her haste to reject nuclear. Just in case anyone thought this fight was actually about climate, this should serve to remind us all that the main argument is about policy and which group of corporations will actually control our energy future. Looks like GE forever while Peabody is consigned to the dustheap of history.

Lots going on–what’s on your mind? Anything you would like to see addressed in a specific post?

8 responses to “Well, what shall we talk about?

  1. I found this quote from Freeman Dyson to make a response on Judith Curry’s post:

    “The fundamental problem of the nuclear industry is not reactor safety, not waste disposal, not the dangers of nuclear proliferation, real though all these problems are. The fundamental problem of the industry is that nobody any longer has any fun building reactors….Sometime between 1960 and 1970 the fun went out of the business. The adventurers, the experimenters, the inventors, were driven out, and the accountants and managers took control. The accountants and managers decided that it was not cost effective to let bright people play with weird reactors. So the weird reactors disappeared and with them the chance of any radical improvement beyond our existing systems. We are left with a very small number of reactor types, each of them frozen into a huge bureaucratic organization, each of them in various ways technically unsatisfactory, each of them less safe than many possible alternative designs which have been discarded. Nobody builds reactors for fun anymore. The spirit of the little red schoolhouse is dead. That, in my opinion, is what went wrong with nuclear power.”

  2. Bjorn Lomborg has this video on Germany’s wind and solar:

    It looks to me like the phrase “renewables like wind and solar” means “wind and solar” with their numbers larded with same for hydro and biomass, which are not like wind and solar.

  3. Welcome back! I hope ” hectic” means ” worthwhile” The transformation of Oreskes into the toxic bloviator she has become is mildly interesting. The implication that Paris is simply an incremental step in the evolution of imperial climate control is more interesting. The parallels between the way the world economy was wrecked by the consensus on Wall Street and the way the climate consensus behaves is fascinating.

  4. How about a series on renewables?

    Let’s take solar. What works? What does not work? Where does it work? Where does it not work? Is there any hope that it can compete without subsidy and regulation? What segments of the market show the most promise? What segments show the least promise.

    The same with wind, geothermal and other schemes.

    I will note that in our area, wind is popular with the rent-seekers but unless you are getting a check from a wind-company, it is seen as entirely negative. Whereas geothermal is growing in favor among homeowners. Four of my relatives, all hard-nosed farmers, have installed geothermal system for purely economic reasons. They would not consider installing solar panels or private wind turbines, these they see as vanities, not as viable sources of energy.

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