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David Orange
03-28-2011, 08:50 AM
I wish I could find the thread, now, but it won't come up on search. I think it was called "Motorcycle Girl in the Nuclear Wasteland," or "Motorcycle Girl in Chernobyl." But nothing comes up and I haven't been able to locate the thread.

In that thread, however, someone told me, "The fact that you believe that a nuclear power plant can explode shows just how little you understand about the subject." Or something about like that.

And here we are several months later with Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in Japan having done exactly what I described. No, it wasn't an explosion like a nuclear bomb, but I said in the earlier thread that I didn't mean an explosion like a nuclear bomb. I meant a catastrophic failure of systems that could cause a reactor containment vessel to rupture and release core materials into the atmosphere. Of course, we don't know for certain that that even happened, but since Tokyo Electric Power Company stored the used fuel rods on top of the reactor buildings, all that had to happen was for the water to leak out of the cooling pools and the old fuel rods could melt down and release the same stuff into the atmosphere. And, unfortunately, it does appear that the actual reactor containment vessel on at least one reactor has been breached and actual core material is leaking into the environment.

I remember people asking me in the earlier thread, "Why hasn't another Chernobyl occurred? And I think I said "It's just a matter of time."

And now I say that if this could happen in Japan, it will happen again in the former Soviet territories eventually. It may happen in California. It almost happened at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama before Three Mile Island and that reactor was shut down for over 20 years.

So I'm afraid I do understand the vagaries of nuclear generation of electricity all too well. I wish I had been wrong, but this should be enough proof for anyone that nuclear power is too dangerous and complex to be trusted to corporations or the government. The powers of Heaven put the atom behind the perfect containment barriers, but the fears and greed of both capitalism and communism dug it out and brought it into our world.

It's time we face the fact that nuclear plants can explode with terrible consequences. The risks are simply too great to allow these plants to be built willy-nilly around the world. It's time to shut them all down and go solar. The silly claim that "solar is too expensive" have been disproven by the horrible costs exposed in this incident. It's free, safe, reliable and practical. It's only the artificial support of capitalist endeavors that make coal and nuclear even imaginable.

May God help us all.

David

dps
03-28-2011, 09:18 AM
It's time we face the fact that nuclear plants can explode with terrible consequences. The risks are simply too great to allow these plants to be built willy-nilly around the world. It's time to shut them all down and go solar. The silly claim that "solar is too expensive" have been disproven by the horrible costs exposed in this incident. It's free, safe, reliable and practical. It's only the artificial support of capitalist endeavors that make coal and nuclear even imaginable.



I don't agree that solar is free, reliable, safe and practical. There is always a cost and associated problems when producing energy of any kind both economically and environmentally.

How are you going to get the all the countries to shut down there nuclear power plants?

How do you go about enforcing it?

dps
.

David Orange
03-28-2011, 10:09 AM
I don't agree that solar is free, reliable, safe and practical.

Really? How much does it cost us to operate the sun every day?

And "solar" does not mean necessarily "generating electricity from sunlight." It means things like solar-efficient buildings such as monolithic domes (www.monolithic.com). It means efficient use of energy as well as production of energy. It means capitalizing on the major source of humanity's power over the past thousands of years instead of going the most complicated, dirty and dangerous ways of producing and using energy, which benefit major corporations at the expense of common citizens.

And what's not safe about solar power?

There is always a cost and associated problems when producing energy of any kind both economically and environmentally.

And the costs and problems of solar are effectively non-existent compared to the global poisoning from single nuclear accident. Radiation from Chernobyl spread across Europe and we've already gotten radiation from Fukushima in the US. If the Fukushima plant's problems get worse (and they very well could go catastrophic), we'll get worse than that.

But can you tell me of a single "solar disaster" in history? Not one in thousands of years.

How are you going to get the all the countries to shut down there nuclear power plants?

I won't. I also won't get them to care more about their citizens than they do about their corporations. But as you see citizens in Germany demonstrating against nuclear plants, you're going to see lots more--especially if Fukushima gets worse. And if another plant somewhere goes up soon (as it most definitely will eventually), you'll see anti-nuclear protests across the world just like we've seen anti-dictator protests all through the Arab world in recent days. Nuclear power is a failed idea. Only government subsidies are keeping it alive now.

How do you go about enforcing it?

There's no way. Either the people of a nation will vote out or overthrow their leaders who support nuclear poisons or international coalitions will eventually get it done.

And as for your sense of economics...."The way the current administration is handling our economy two cents aint't worth two cents anymore..." you need to remember that the decline in the value of two cents occurred during the Bush administration and was handed over to Obama. If we'd followed the opposition's course, two cents would be worth .10 cents now.

Nuclear power is as flawed as Bushonomics and it will fail as surely. The timing is the only question.

dps
03-28-2011, 10:34 AM
Really? How much does it cost us to operate the sun every day?

The cost is in converting the solar energy to usable energy, installing, operating and maintaining the equipment.

It is not free.

dps

p.s.

The sun uses nuclear energy to produce those solar rays.

lbb
03-28-2011, 10:40 AM
David Orange, I hear what you're saying, and I agree that the conventional "renewables won't work" argument is based on flawed data. However, you seem to have the view that many pro-renewables people have, that the solution to all this is through some kind of top-down policy initiative. You say, "Either the people of a nation will vote out or overthrow their leaders who support nuclear poisons or international coalitions will eventually get it done." Either way, a top-down approach.

That will never happen. We're past the point of top-down solutions working, in energy or anything else. All you have to do is look at US politics to see why: our system is designed to allow those with disproportionate influence to get a lot done. The only power available to the rest is the power to obstruct -- sometimes necessary, sometimes critical, but it never gets anything done. You can obstruct the nukes, but what are you building to take their place?

You will never build anything new using a top-down policy initiative -- the power of entrenched interests guarantees that. The solution is to stop spending all your energy on national and international policy, and start building what you want from the ground up. Getting caught in an endless "yes it will" "no it won't" argument about whether renewables will work is a complete waste of time. Build what you want. Make the change in your house, on your block, in your neighborhood, in your community. If it works, it'll be adopted, and if it's too slow for you, consider that your alternative is to make zero to negative progress. A journey of a thousand miles, and all that.

Basia Halliop
03-28-2011, 10:55 AM
I work all day doing research on solar electricity... I agree that nothing in life is free, except maybe conservation. I do prefer it to most other energy sources, but it's not 'free', nor 'absolutely clean'.

Some types of solar come closer than others, e.g. passive solar buildings which involve intelligent use of architecture, windows and insulation rather than doing it almost randomly as we mostly do... this provides energy savings that are free or close to free (sometimes the materials are different or more expensive or energy-intensive to make but it really depends and sometimes it's more a matter of doing the same thing in a different place which just takes thought not so much energy) and are pretty 'clean'.

Solar electricity, while I'm certainly a fan and would like to see more of it -- it just muddies the debate to call it totally pollution free, totally safe, or free. To make solar panels you need working mines to get the various minerals, intensive industrial processes to refine them, and further energy intensive processes to turn them into devices. All those do include pollution, health hazards, and occasional industrial accidents (particularly mining).

Then after that they work pretty much free and clean and nearly maintenance free for a couple of decades.

I'd rather argue safER, cleanER, etc...

Conservation, on the other hand -- yes, totally free and safe. Passive solar can vary where _exactly_ it falls on the spectrum but it tends to have a really good energy return on energy investment and I wish we used it more.... I'm often surprised at how little attention it gets -- not as glamorous as the higher tech stuff.

David Orange
03-28-2011, 10:57 AM
The cost is in converting the solar energy to usable energy, installing, operating and maintaining the equipment.

It is not free.

No one asked for "free". The sunlight is free and that can replace a lot of "generated" power if we use it properly. And the cost of converting sunlight to electricity is far less than the cost of building a nuclear plant and using uranium to generate electricity.

But again, vast amounts can be done simply by using more efficient equipment.

The sun uses nuclear energy to produce those solar rays.

Yes, and that's as close as we need nuclear fission to human beings. Do you want to live on the sun?

As I said, the powers of Heaven provided the proper containment for nuclear reactions. They're not meant to be contained on earth. But for profit, men will unleash hell, as long as they believe they can make themselves safe--others, they don't care about.

David Orange
03-28-2011, 11:03 AM
However, you seem to have the view that many pro-renewables people have, that the solution to all this is through some kind of top-down policy initiative. You say, "Either the people of a nation will vote out or overthrow their leaders who support nuclear poisons or international coalitions will eventually get it done." Either way, a top-down approach.

I think people voting out or overthrowing their leaders is the essence of a bottom-up approach.

That will never happen. We're past the point of top-down solutions working, in energy or anything else. All you have to do is look at US politics to see why: our system is designed to allow those with disproportionate influence to get a lot done. The only power available to the rest is the power to obstruct -- sometimes necessary, sometimes critical, but it never gets anything done.

It got rid of Mubarak.

You can obstruct the nukes, but what are you building to take their place?

Solar electric and water units on the roofs of every building built from now on?

The solution is to stop spending all your energy on national and international policy, and start building what you want from the ground up. Getting caught in an endless "yes it will" "no it won't" argument about whether renewables will work is a complete waste of time. Build what you want. Make the change in your house, on your block, in your neighborhood, in your community. If it works, it'll be adopted, and if it's too slow for you, consider that your alternative is to make zero to negative progress. A journey of a thousand miles, and all that.

Thoughts are things, Mary. To show people the relative costs of solar and nuclear is to build the understanding that nuclear is not only unsustainable but eventually disastrous is to lay the foundation for a new way of thinking, which is the first and most important element to building new physical structures that work with nature instead of against it.

David

dps
03-28-2011, 11:03 AM
I work all day doing research on solar electricity... I agree that nothing in life is free, except maybe conservation. I do prefer it to most other energy sources, but it's not 'free', nor 'absolutely clean'.

Some types of solar come closer than others, e.g. passive solar buildings which involve intelligent use of architecture, windows and insulation rather than doing it almost randomly as we mostly do... this provides energy savings that are free or close to free (sometimes the materials are different or more expensive or energy-intensive to make but it really depends and sometimes it's more a matter of doing the same thing in a different place which just takes thought not so much energy) and are pretty 'clean'.

Solar electricity, while I'm certainly a fan and would like to see more of it -- it just muddies the debate to call it totally pollution free, totally safe, or free. To make solar panels you need working mines to get the various minerals, intensive industrial processes to refine them, and further energy intensive processes to turn them into devices. All those do include pollution, health hazards, and occasional industrial accidents (particularly mining).

Then after that they work pretty much free and clean and nearly maintenance free for a couple of decades.

I'd rather say safER, cleanER, etc...

Conservation, on the other hand -- yes, totally free and safe. Passive solar can vary where _exactly_ it falls on the spectrum but it tends to have a really good energy return on energy investment and I wish we used it more.... I'm often surprised at how little attention it gets -- not as glamorous as the higher tech stuff.

Basia,

In your opinion if there were large scale solar farms that produced electricity instead of the conventional nonnuclear forms what would the cost be comparatively and the effects of diverting the solar energy away from earth's use of it?

dps

Basia Halliop
03-28-2011, 11:07 AM
In your opinion if there were large scale solar farms that produced electricity instead of the conventional nonnuclear forms what would the cost be comparatively and the effects of diverting the solar energy away from earth's use of it?

Honestly I really have no idea. That would require me to know a lot about farming and ecosystems and economics and a lot of things I don't know much about.

David Orange
03-28-2011, 11:16 AM
I work all day doing research on solar electricity... I agree that nothing in life is free, except maybe conservation. I do prefer it to most other energy sources, but it's not 'free', nor 'absolutely clean'.

The sunlight itself is free and it is delivered directly to us. Compared to uranium, which has to be mined, refined, contained, controlled and then stored, effectively forever, or to coal, which has to be mined, refined, transported and burned, releasing pollutants and filth, sunlight is like giving us free money.

Some types of solar come closer than others, e.g. passive solar buildings which involve intelligent use of architecture, windows and insulation rather than doing it almost randomly as we mostly do... this provides energy savings that are free or close to free (sometimes the materials are different or more expensive or energy-intensive to make but it really depends and sometimes it's more a matter of doing the same thing in a different place which just takes thought not so much energy) and are pretty 'clean'.

My points exactly. And when you compare these methods to coal or nuclear, which produce wastes that last a long time to effectively forever, solar is proactively clean. Even if you use energy-intensive materials like concrete and rebar, if they produce long-lived structures like monolithic domes (which can last literally hundreds of years), the costs become negative after awhile.

Solar electricity, while I'm certainly a fan and would like to see more of it -- it just muddies the debate to call it totally pollution free, totally safe, or free. To make solar panels you need working mines to get the various minerals, intensive industrial processes to refine them, and further energy intensive processes to turn them into devices. All those do include pollution, health hazards, and occasional industrial accidents (particularly mining).

But to compare those hazards to coal and uranium mining, we find that the benefits far outweigh the dangers and pollution and, over their lifetimes, the products come close to zero or negative cost in terms of pollution--whereas nuclear is never finally zeroed out.

Then after that they work pretty much free and clean and nearly maintenance free for a couple of decades.

I'd rather argue safER, cleanER, etc...

Yes, but so much cleaner, safer, etc., that it doesn't show up on the scale, over time.

Conservation, on the other hand -- yes, totally free and safe. Passive solar can vary where _exactly_ it falls on the spectrum but it tends to have a really good energy return on energy investment and I wish we used it more.... I'm often surprised at how little attention it gets -- not as glamorous as the higher tech stuff.

That's right. A garden, for instance, is a great use of solar power and conservation at the same time because every piece of fruit or vegetable you create saves a trip to the store and picking it fresh saves the cost and energy of refrigerating it. Composting leaves and grass clippings saves bagging those things in plastic bags and having them rot in landfills as well as reducing the need for fertilizers, etc.

The biggest lies about solar energy are that it "costs" so much and that it is mainly about making electricity out of sunlight. You bring up excellent points. Like aikido, solar consciousness is about a very different and far more intelligent approach to living.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
03-28-2011, 11:23 AM
Honestly I really have no idea. That would require me to know a lot about farming and ecosystems and economics and a lot of things I don't know much about.

However, for the same money we spend on a single nuclear plant, we could put solar electric cells on the roof of every building in our state. The investment could be recouped by time-payments for the systems by the homeowners and building owners, which would be offset by not having to pay for generated power. And this huge electric generation capacity could supply industrial needs during the day, when most home systems won't be heavily used.

Opponents of solar energy always use the most outlandish examples to make solar look bad and to make it look bad compared to nuclear, they have to get very outlandish, indeed.

I recall one comparison that used electric space heaters to heat an uninsulated mobile home, resulting in the need for acres of solar cells to heat one "home".

My point is that people need to drop the propaganda and look at the real long-term costs of solar in combination with energy-efficiency, conservation and appropriate use compared to the production of nuclear fuel, containment of reactions and virtually infinite storage of the deadly waste that remains.

When they say nuclear plants produce "no emissions," that's just a lie from the start. And nuclear plants can and do explode. Some propagandist in congress was just saying that a disaster only happens once in 300 years....but we've had three in my lifetime and the current one is still evolving. We don't know yet what will come of this one. We could literally lose Tokyo. Overlay the size of the Chernobyl dead zone on Japan. It doesn't look good.

David

lbb
03-28-2011, 11:23 AM
Conservation, on the other hand -- yes, totally free and safe. Passive solar can vary where _exactly_ it falls on the spectrum but it tends to have a really good energy return on energy investment and I wish we used it more.... I'm often surprised at how little attention it gets -- not as glamorous as the higher tech stuff.

It's not glamorous; it's also mostly a rich person's solution, as things stand now. The large majority of people can't afford to pay for a solar-friendly lot and build a new house, or extensively retrofit the one they have. But people do use it in smaller ways, putting plastic on porch screens both to insulate and to capture heat, or farming with unheated hoop houses to extend the growing cycle.

lbb
03-28-2011, 11:28 AM
I think people voting out or overthrowing their leaders is the essence of a bottom-up approach.

To what end? To put in another guy at the top. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

It got rid of Mubarak.

And brought what? Most people in the US stopped paying attention when Mubarak left and assumed that everything was going to be hunky dory from here on out. It most decidedly isn't.

ISolar electric and water units on the roofs of every building built from now on?

And what of those who aren't building new houses?

IThoughts are things, Mary. To show people the relative costs of solar and nuclear is to build the understanding that nuclear is not only unsustainable but eventually disastrous is to lay the foundation for a new way of thinking, which is the first and most important element to building new physical structures that work with nature instead of against it.

Well, best of luck to you. I still thinking you're working from the wrong direction, but at least you're doing something (I assume).

David Orange
03-28-2011, 11:29 AM
It's not glamorous; it's also mostly a rich person's solution, as things stand now. The large majority of people can't afford to pay for a solar-friendly lot and build a new house, or extensively retrofit the one they have. But people do use it in smaller ways, putting plastic on porch screens both to insulate and to capture heat, or farming with unheated hoop houses to extend the growing cycle.

This is largely true, but we have to have foresight and consciousness going forward, changing the ways we've done things so that in twenty or thirty years we'll be able to see a real difference.

What if we'd followed Jimmy Carter's lead on oil ever since he was in office?

Reagan put the kibosh on that and also took down the solar collectors that Carter put on the White House. And now we're worse off than ever on the matter of oil and we've made virtually zero progress on solar, but we've added two more nuclear disasters to the count.

The first step is admitting that we have a problem....

Basia Halliop
03-28-2011, 11:31 AM
It's not glamorous; it's also mostly a rich person's solution, as things stand now. The large majority of people can't afford to pay for a solar-friendly lot and build a new house, or extensively retrofit the one they have. But people do use it in smaller ways, putting plastic on porch screens both to insulate and to capture heat, or farming with unheated hoop houses to extend the growing cycle.

I think you're right that the fact that passive solar usually means custom-built is a major obstacle. I'd love to see more developers thinking about this from the start. It's so much more efficient and easier to just build right from the start rather than retrofitting. Some of the changes required aren't major.

There's also the fact that at least in Canada, we're still arguing for a building code that would catch us up to 1980's state of the art... In winter our homes mostly heat the outdoors and warm us up in passing on the way out. And air conditioners should really NOT be necessary in our climate. That's just poor building design if they are.

Basia Halliop
03-28-2011, 11:33 AM
For most people one of the biggest things they can do is just fix their basement insulation. At least where I live, as it obviously depends where you live.

David Orange
03-28-2011, 11:41 AM
To what end? To put in another guy at the top. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Maybe. And if so, overthrow him. What's your alternative? It sounds more or less like "Lay down and die" or as Home Simpson told Bart, "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is 'never try'."

And brought what? Most people in the US stopped paying attention when Mubarak left and assumed that everything was going to be hunky dory from here on out. It most decidedly isn't.

We don't know what it will bring. But it does show that change can come from the bottom up. And the alternative was to just keep on with Mubarak in power.

But if we force an end to nuclear, we will force ourselves to take up another approach. Buckminster Fuller's approach was that if you build something better, the people will turn to it simply because it's better. The only reason more people haven't turned to solar energy (and wind and water and tidal and geothermal) is that coal and nuclear lobbyists (and the types who ran Enron) continue to compare the costs of those things to the highly disguised and misleading "costs" of power from nuclear and coal. Of course, my guess is that when solar can be controlled by the super-wealthy, they will want to boost their profits by demanding that the government fire nuclear missiles at the sun...

And what of those who aren't building new houses?

Eventually, every house and every building will be replaced. Without exception. And as energy costs increase steadily, the benefits of replacing any non-efficient structure will quickly outweigh those of keeping it.

Thinking forward.

David

dps
03-28-2011, 11:45 AM
A good example of an energy efficient house,

"The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude.

Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this "eco-friendly" dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.

This is President George W. Bush's "Texas White House" outside the small town of Crawford"

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=0510480a-802a-23ad-401c-e362782ce790

dps

kewms
03-28-2011, 11:49 AM
The fundamental problem with solar energy is that it's not very efficient. 1.5 GW of nameplate capacity -- about equal to one nuclear reactor -- will cover about 10 million square meters, or just short of 4 square miles. Earth's total installed generating capacity is close to 13 Terawatts: that's a lot of solar panels and a lot of land. (The entire world installed just 18 GW of solar capacity last year.)

That presents a bunch of problems. First, land is expensive. Second, and more important for those who view solar energy as a green alternative, covering that much land with solar panels changes the albedo, much like covering it with parking lots would, with unpredictable environmental consequences.

Third, solar panel production uses a lot of energy and creates a substantial amount of hazardous waste. Energy consumption has come down in the last few years -- it takes about a year for a panel to generate the energy it took to make it -- but the hazardous waste is still with us. There are reports of solar plants in China simply dumping gallons of silicon tetrachloride in nearby fields. That will sterilize a field just as thoroughly as a Chernobyl incident, and the volume of waste produced by panel manufacturing is much larger.

I'm a fan of solar. I earn most of my living from the solar industry. But we're a long long way from converting the world to solar or other renewables. If we want to avoid climate change, the argument isn't really nuclear vs. renewables, it's nuclear vs. fossil fuels. And on that scale, nuclear wins by a wide margin.

Incidentally, I strongly suggest that anyone reading or contributing to this thread inform themselves about the differences between the Chernobyl incident and the Fukushima situation. Among other things, Chernobyl featured a graphite-moderated reactor which burned out of control for days. Nothing like that was ever a possibility at Fukushima.

Katherine

David Orange
03-28-2011, 11:50 AM
A good example of an energy efficient house...No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.

This is President George W. Bush's "Texas White House" outside the small town of Crawford"

It's a great example of someone who pushes coal, oil and nuclear on the populace and makes his money from that while avoiding all those costs for himself.

Very smart moves and, as you point out, completely devoid of moral considerations.

Cliff Judge
03-28-2011, 11:58 AM
A good example of an energy efficient house,

"The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude.

Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this "eco-friendly" dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.

This is President George W. Bush's "Texas White House" outside the small town of Crawford"

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=0510480a-802a-23ad-401c-e362782ce790

dps

Why is this a good example? Because it is the home of a fabulously wealthy individual whose family has been instrumental in making the USA reliant on foreign oil?

David Orange
03-28-2011, 12:02 PM
The fundamental problem with solar energy is that it's not very efficient. 1.5 GW of nameplate capacity -- about equal to one nuclear reactor -- will cover about 10 million square meters, or just short of 4 square miles. Earth's total installed generating capacity is close to 13 Terawatts: that's a lot of solar panels and a lot of land. (The entire world installed just 18 GW of solar capacity last year.)

Your error is to limit "solar energy" to generation of electricity. Basia brings up many very important aspects of solar power. Second, you indicate that we have to make huge solar farms in one spot. We can put solar electric and water units on the roof of every structure in the United States rather than taking up empty land for them. Third is the assumption that we actually need all the electricity that's being generated by nuclear plants. Efficient lights and appliances along with conservative use can reduce that "need" manyfold.

That presents a bunch of problems. First, land is expensive.

That problem is solved as stated above.

Second, and more important for those who view solar energy as a green alternative, covering that much land with solar panels changes the albedo, much like covering it with parking lots would, with unpredictable environmental consequences.

Again, don't use empty lands. Use all existing roofs and apprpriate built surfaces. In fact, cover all large parking lots with solar roofs and collect the rainwater runoff. This will also shade parked cars and reduce the need for car A/C.

Third, solar panel production uses a lot of energy and creates a substantial amount of hazardous waste.

Does it produce waste that will be hazardous for 100,000 years and have to be contained all that time? Compared to nuclear, the hazards from solar cell manufacture are negligible.

Energy consumption has come down in the last few years -- it takes about a year for a panel to generate the energy it took to make it -- but the hazardous waste is still with us. There are reports of solar plants in China simply dumping gallons of silicon tetrachloride in nearby fields. That will sterilize a field just as thoroughly as a Chernobyl incident, and the volume of waste produced by panel manufacturing is much larger.

Well, that is China.... And if you think what they do with solar manufacturing waste is bad, wait until you see how they handle nuclear waste.

I'm a fan of solar. I earn most of my living from the solar industry.

Excellent. How do you do that?

But we're a long long way from converting the world to solar or other renewables. If we want to avoid climate change, the argument isn't really nuclear vs. renewables, it's nuclear vs. fossil fuels. And on that scale, nuclear wins by a wide margin.

I say it only appears to win--even over fossil fuels. But a combination of renewables trumps them both.

Incidentally, I strongly suggest that anyone reading or contributing to this thread inform themselves about the differences between the Chernobyl incident and the Fukushima situation. Among other things, Chernobyl featured a graphite-moderated reactor which burned out of control for days. Nothing like that was ever a possibility at Fukushima.

As far as I know, the Fukushima plant is still burning and it seems that at least one reactor core is breeched. We haven't seen the end of this one yet, so it's too early to make that comparison. It can still get a lot worse.

Thinking forward.

David

kewms
03-28-2011, 12:51 PM
Your error is to limit "solar energy" to generation of electricity. Basia brings up many very important aspects of solar power. Second, you indicate that we have to make huge solar farms in one spot. We can put solar electric and water units on the roof of every structure in the United States rather than taking up empty land for them. Third is the assumption that we actually need all the electricity that's being generated by nuclear plants. Efficient lights and appliances along with conservative use can reduce that "need" manyfold.

Okay, so suppose you cut the need for energy generation in half. (A radically optimistic assumption, given the rapid rise in energy use in developing countries like China and India.) You *still* need 6 Terawatts of generating capacity. That's not going to come from renewables anytime soon.

And suppose you do put solar panels on every roof in the US. You still haven't solved problems like the need for electricity at night or in bad weather. And you still change the albedo of a large amount of surface area.


Again, don't use empty lands. Use all existing roofs and apprpriate built surfaces. In fact, cover all large parking lots with solar roofs and collect the rainwater runoff. This will also shade parked cars and reduce the need for car A/C.

Have you considered a funding model for this approach?


Well, that is China.... And if you think what they do with solar manufacturing waste is bad, wait until you see how they handle nuclear waste.

So the health of Chinese people doesn't matter? Even when most of their panels are shipped to rich Westerners who seem to think solar energy is free of environmental costs?


I say it only appears to win--even over fossil fuels. But a combination of renewables trumps them both.

I don't think your math holds up to close scrutiny.

Fun facts:
* Largest user of renewable energy in Europe: Denmark, with 20% of their total.
* Largest user of nuclear energy in Europe: France, nearly 100% of their total.
* France has among the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita in Europe. Denmark has among the highest.


As far as I know, the Fukushima plant is still burning and it seems that at least one reactor core is breeched. We haven't seen the end of this one yet, so it's too early to make that comparison. It can still get a lot worse.

I don't think the Fukushima plant was *ever* "burning" in the sense that the Chernobyl reactor was. Again, please educate yourself about the very significant differences between the two incidents.

Katherine

David Orange
03-28-2011, 01:36 PM
Okay, so suppose you cut the need for energy generation in half. (A radically optimistic assumption, given the rapid rise in energy use in developing countries like China and India.) You *still* need 6 Terawatts of generating capacity. That's not going to come from renewables anytime soon.

Wasn't it you who just said "Energy consumption has come down in the last few years -- it takes about a year for a panel to generate the energy it took to make it -- but the hazardous waste is still with us." So which is it?

The fact is, due to the recession, energy consumption has been falling, which is also a big factor behind the growing reluctance of a lot of fat cats to invest their money in nuclear plants. I was just listening to a report on NPR this morning about small communities "investing" in building prisons so that they would have jobs for their citizens as prison guards. But now the prison population is falling and many of those prisons are empty. The locals are again unemployed, but they still have to pay every month for the loans they took out to build the prisons. The big investors are seeing the same kind of phenomenon in nuclear power plant construction, which may relieve us of the need to protest new nuke plant construction, but won't, in itself, shut down existing plants.

And suppose you do put solar panels on every roof in the US. You still haven't solved problems like the need for electricity at night or in bad weather.

That remains less of a problem than how to handle nuclear waste--or the fall-out from a breeched reactor, doesn't it? We definitely won't solve the problems you mention as long as we have the drug of nuclear electric generation driving us to greater and greater consumption, just as Reagan's policies drove the rise in gas-wasting large vehicles, which have led us to today's serious problems with oil. At any rate, why give up 12 hours of virtually free energy every day of the year, year after year, because we don't yet have perfect ways to store electricity?

And you still change the albedo of a large amount of surface area.

I don't think adding solar units to roofs makes this worse than the roofs themselves. In other words, a moot point.

Have you considered a funding model for this approach? (...don't use empty lands. Use all existing roofs and apprpriate built surfaces...cover all large parking lots with solar roofs and collect the rainwater runoff.)

Sure. Instead of building nuclear and coal plants, the power companies build solar roofs over parking spaces and sell that power to the stores that have the parking lots. And this will still leave a lot of power to sell to industries and homes. Second, as I mentioned, the power companies could lease/mortgage solar systems to homeowners who would simply pay that bill instead of a bill for coal- or nuclear-generated electricity. And this bill would be lower, over time, than the bill for conventional power because it would generate excess power to be sold to industries, etc. And those who have invested in energy-efficient buildings would see even greater savings.

Alternatively, anyone who built a large store with a large parking lot could finaince the solar roofs themselves--using part of the energy for their own operations and selling the excess to the power companies, which would have the money because they wouldn't be spending it by the billions on nuclear plants.

And with this kind of volume production (and emerging technologies [http://www.nanosolar.com/technology]), the price of solar installations will plummet.

So the health of Chinese people doesn't matter?

That's a straw argument in reply to my statement "Well, that is China.... And if you think what they do with solar manufacturing waste is bad, wait until you see how they handle nuclear waste." Of course, any toxic waste is a problem, but the particular problem you mention ("There are reports of solar plants in China simply dumping gallons of silicon tetrachloride in nearby fields. That will sterilize a field just as thoroughly as a Chernobyl incident, and the volume of waste produced by panel manufacturing is much larger.") is strictly a matter of how the Chinese choose to handle the waste, and they do that very badly with every kind of waste or toxin they handle. But they can change that much more easily than how they would have to handle that the same land covered with plutonium. And make no mistake: if the current Chinese system becomes repsonsible for large amounts of nuclear waste, it will be mishandled and get out of hand. I'd rather deal with their mismanagement of solar cell manufacturing waste than their mishandling of plutonium and other nuclear wastes.

Even when most of their panels are shipped to rich Westerners who seem to think solar energy is free of environmental costs?

Again, a specious argument. Comparing solar cell manufacturing waste to nuclear waste is like comparing a child's peeing in the ocean to BP's massive oil spill last summer.

As long as we allow nuclear plants to operate, we're going to produce waste that will not go away for hundreds of thousands of years and which, as we see in Fukushima, can, itself, cause nuclear accidents. We are sure to see a similar incident in the US within fifty years and probably much sooner.

I don't think the Fukushima plant was *ever* "burning" in the sense that the Chernobyl reactor was. Again, please educate yourself about the very significant differences between the two incidents.

In other words, "The fact that I believe that a nuclear power plant can blow up shows just how little I understand nuclear power"?

Tell that to the people who are now homeless (for the foreseeable future) in Japan because of Fukushima Dai-Ichi. The differences between the two incidents are clear but still relatively minor. And we still don't know how much worse this incident will get. In fact, I am quite educated on this. I said a nuclear plant can blow up and Fukushima Dai-Ichi was exactly the kind of "blow-up" I meant. What I won't do is allow a nuclear apologist to obfuscate the very deadly repurcussions of nuclear waste in our environment under the banner of "educating" myself.

I'm still sure we can expect similar incidents in the former Soviet regions and, eventually, in China and in the good old, safe USA. It's just a matter of time unless we shut those poison factories down.

Thinking forward.

David

kewms
03-28-2011, 01:55 PM
Wasn't it you who just said "Energy consumption has come down in the last few years -- it takes about a year for a panel to generate the energy it took to make it -- but the hazardous waste is still with us." So which is it?

You're comparing two different statements, on two different topics.

The amount of energy required to make a solar panel has indeed come down substantially.

There is, in contrast, no evidence that a 50% cut in the total electricity used by humans is likely, in the short or long term.

At any rate, why give up 12 hours of virtually free energy every day of the year, year after year, because we don't yet have perfect ways to store electricity?

Where do you live? Seattle certainly doesn't get 12*365 hours of sunshine per year, and neither does most of the northern US or northern Europe.

In any case, I wasn't suggesting that we abandon solar energy, just that it does not, in itself, meet all of the world's energy needs.

Sure. Instead of building nuclear and coal plants, the power companies build solar roofs over parking spaces and sell that power to the stores that have the parking lots. And this will still leave a lot of power to sell to industries and homes.

Untrue. The Google corporate headquarters solar array, for example, provides only about 1/3 of the power consumed by the complex. And Mountain View is a pretty solar-friendly climate, and the Google array is one of the largest such installations in the US.

Second, as I mentioned, the power companies could lease/mortgage solar systems to homeowners who would simply pay that bill instead of a bill for coal- or nuclear-generated electricity. And this bill would be lower, over time, than the bill for conventional power because it would generate excess power to be sold to industries, etc.

The installations of that kind that already exist are generally *not* net producers of power. Whether the bill would be less than for conventional power depends on the cost of the electricity vs. the rent paid for the space, but the site owner should still expect to draw more power from the grid than the excess he feeds back to it.


In other words, "The fact that I believe that a nuclear power plant can blow up shows just how little I understand nuclear power"?


Frankly, yes.

In fact, I am quite educated on this. I said a nuclear plant can blow up and Fukushima Dai-Ichi was exactly the kind of "blow-up" I meant.

Okay. Then please tell us precisely what sort of explosions occurred at Fukushima vs. Chernobyl and what the consequences of those explosions are. I don't see a gaseous hydrogen ignition by an ordinary spark as comparable to a graphite fire ignited by an uncontrolled nuclear reaction, so please explain why I am mistaken.

Katherine

RonRagusa
03-28-2011, 02:12 PM
Okay. Then please tell us precisely what sort of explosions occurred at Fukushima vs. Chernobyl and what the consequences of those explosions are.

Does the type of explosion really matter? The fact is that as a consequence of both explosions radioactive material has been released into the environment. Pretty much sucks if you happen to live in the neighborhood regardless of the type of explosion.

Best,

Ron

David Orange
03-28-2011, 02:26 PM
The amount of energy required to make a solar panel has indeed come down substantially.

And if the US put the kind of funding behind solar that it has put behind nuclear, that price would drop further and further. There simply is no excuse for a uranium powered nuclear plant on earth.

However, we could deploy sodium fast reactors long enoug to consume existing waste and we could put some funding into thorium reactors instead of uranium-powered reactors:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/theweek/20110328/cm_theweek/213611;_ylt=Ag9DCGVCCBg8FHYdTVIFde2s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFlZ2c4c2RzBHBvcwMyMTgEc2VjA2 FjY29yZGlvbl9vcGluaW9uBHNsawNjb3VsZHRob3JpdW0-

Where do you live? Seattle certainly doesn't get 12*365 hours of sunshine per year, and neither does most of the northern US or northern Europe.

I live in Alabama, but photoelectric cells and water heaters work very well even on cloudy (but not rainy) days. Still, there is absolutely zero risk that they will blow up and spread radiation across the planet, is there?

In any case, I wasn't suggesting that we abandon solar energy, just that it does not, in itself, meet all of the world's energy needs.

And I didn't suggest that it would, either. But combined with wind, water geothermal, tidal and other renewable sources (and uses), solar is a vital component for energy independence and what we're doing now is simply wasting a free resource because the super wealthy have not been able to formulate a way to monopolize the sun.

The fact is, we have nuclear plants not at all because they benefit people but because they benefit corporations and their investors. They are poison to humans and that poison will be released as long as we have nuclear plants.

Untrue. The Google corporate headquarters solar array, for example, provides only about 1/3 of the power consumed by the complex.

Is their entire parking lot covered with a solar roof? I don't think anyone has done that yet. And there are other elements involved, such as the type of installation they do have. But 1/3 of their power every day, year after year...that's nothing to sneeze at. Perhaps they could add geothermal and wind units to reach 2/3s and, as solar technology continues to improve, as in nanosolar, that will improve. Further, as each year goes by and the costs of other types of energy continue to soar, the cost of solar will become increasingly cheaper even if no advances are made.

The installations of that kind that already exist are generally *not* net producers of power. Whether the bill would be less than for conventional power depends on the cost of the electricity vs. the rent paid for the space, but the site owner should still expect to draw more power from the grid than the excess he feeds back to it.

Still, it would be less than what he's drawing without the solar array. And as conventional costs soar, it becomes a better deal.

(DWO--In other words, "The fact that I believe that a nuclear power plant can blow up shows just how little I understand nuclear power"?)

Frankly, yes.

Well, frankly, you're wrong. The Fukushima explosions are exactly the kind of accident I referred to: a breech of core containment and release of core material to the environment. If it doesn't get far worse than it currently is, it will be a miracle--not a technological triumph.

Okay. Then please tell us precisely what sort of explosions occurred at Fukushima vs. Chernobyl and what the consequences of those explosions are.

No question that the two explosions are different, but anyone who says the Fukushima plant didn't blow up is merely playing with semantics in a matter of grave global import. And as for the consequences? Those have yet to be seen. Explosions and releases continue to occur at Fukushima. You speak as if it's all over now, but the crisis continues to evolve and there is no indication that it will be over soon. So what do you think the consequences are? You have no way of estimating. But I do know that they all result from nuclear industry lies and underestimations of the dangers of building a nuclear plant anywhere--but especially in an earthquake prone area and dismissing the very real likelihood of a massive tsunami. We can certainly expect something at least this bad in California.

I don't see a gaseous hydrogen ignition by an ordinary spark as comparable to a graphite fire ignited by an uncontrolled nuclear reaction, so please explain why I am mistaken.

First, the hydrogen ignition occurred when the hydrogen mixed with the atmosphere. And that explosion destroyed the spent-fuel cooling pool on top of the reactor building :hypno: . Those spent fuel rods were left dry, exposed to the atmosphere, melting down and releasing radiation to the environment. How much radiation? We cannot tell because that information is in the hands of Tokyo Electric Power Company--a corporation covering its association for criminal negligence.

And you haven't seen the end of it yet. Or is a ruptured reactor containment a mere inconvenience, outweighed by Chinese waste dumping in a field?

What I see as your big mistake is to drastically overstate the pollution of photovoltaic manufacture and to drastically minimize the toxicity and scale of the nuclear waste problem.

Thinking forward.

David

David Orange
03-28-2011, 02:30 PM
Does the type of explosion really matter? The fact is that as a consequence of both explosions radioactive material has been released into the environment. Pretty much sucks if you happen to live in the neighborhood regardless of the type of explosion.


My point, exactly. And we're already getting radiation from this event in the US. Fairly negligible at the moment, but this could very well get much, much worse.

This event has been ranked with Chernobyl. It's certainly one of the two worst nuclear events in history.

Best to you, Ron.

David

lbb
03-28-2011, 03:04 PM
Maybe. And if so, overthrow him. What's your alternative? It sounds more or less like "Lay down and die" or as Home Simpson told Bart, "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is 'never try'."

I suspect you know just how intellectually dishonest it is to frame an argument as a false dichotomy like this and thus attempt to place a patently ridiculous argument in someone else's mouth. Putting another guy in a suit in at the top is not "trying your best".

We don't know what it will bring. But it does show that change can come from the bottom up. And the alternative was to just keep on with Mubarak in power.

"Change" is a value-neutral word, David. You might want to take a look (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/2011210135310479662.html) at some of the results of this "change".

But if we force an end to nuclear, we will force ourselves to take up another approach. Buckminster Fuller's approach was that if you build something better, the people will turn to it simply because it's better.

David, I notice that you live in Birmingham, AL. People in Birmingham probably feel like they just got through a hard winter, but really, you have no idea what I'm talking about. I live in a New England community with considerable poverty. People here can't afford to "build something better". It takes everything they have and then some just to survive the winter -- and I am not using that word in the figurative sense. More than a few families end up moving everyone into the kitchen to live in one room for the winter -- the room where the woodstove is. Right now, it's 23 degrees and a 30 mph wind is blowing -- at the end of March. It's all well and good to talk about the future, but these people are struggling to survive the present. Nobody cares about them. Nobody cares if they die in the present, and nobody is doing anything to get them to this science-fiction future of yours.

Eventually, every house and every building will be replaced. Without exception. And as energy costs increase steadily, the benefits of replacing any non-efficient structure will quickly outweigh those of keeping it.

You don't get it, David. It doesn't matter if A costs less than B if you can't afford either one of them.

No doubt you'll get what you want some day, but it's all classic revolutionary theory: "The worse, the better," as Lenin said. It works great if you take the long view and don't care who gets hurt as part of your "worse".

dps
03-28-2011, 04:21 PM
David Orange,

You are being very idealistic where you should be more realistic.

If it isn't cheaper or more convenient than what we have now, people will not want it.

dps

Janet Rosen
03-28-2011, 05:05 PM
I would love to have solar power both for electricity and for hot water heating. I'm in a great location for it. I can't afford it. Period. Not even with all the tax benefits etc that were available.
A bunch of small to midsize American companies started producing solar stuff and almost immediately got undercut by Chinese technology. If the US Govt was serious about this they would actually fund in the form of subsidies both production and installation (can anybody say "creation of jobs"?) of solar stuff for both private homes and public buildings.
But nobody seems to actually want to create jobs....

Fred Little
03-28-2011, 07:16 PM
But nobody seems to actually want to create jobs....

Actually, there are people who want to create jobs. They brought 250,000 people into the streets of London last weekend to send a simple message: don't cut our forests, don't cut our library hours, don't cut public services: cut carbon and put our brothers and sisters back to work. They call themselves the Trade Unions Council and they mean business. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/27/britain-decent-demo-mob?intcmp=239)

They also have a program: One Million Climate Change Jobs (http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/)

Imagine that: a labor movement with vision. Better yet, don't just imagine it: make it a reality here.

Cheerio,

FL

David Orange
03-28-2011, 07:25 PM
I suspect you know just how intellectually dishonest it is to frame an argument as a false dichotomy like this and thus attempt to place a patently ridiculous argument in someone else's mouth. Putting another guy in a suit in at the top is not "trying your best".

No, Mary. You were the one who declared that it is no good to get rid of a bad leader because you'll only get another one just like him. You said "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." In fact, you're literally saying "Never try."

I'm saying, if he's a bad leader, boot him out. If the next one is bad, boot him, too. All the way down.

"Change" is a value-neutral word, David. You might want to take a look (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/2011210135310479662.html) at some of the results of this "change".

So all change is bad? I did say "overthrow or vote them out." But we have to shake them off and I don't mean to replace them with tea partiers who let Bush run amuck, dishing out billions of dollars to corrupt warlords only to start screaming when Obama tries to take care of the citizens here at home.

David, I notice that you live in Birmingham, AL. People in Birmingham probably feel like they just got through a hard winter, but really, you have no idea what I'm talking about. I live in a New England community with considerable poverty. People here can't afford to "build something better". It takes everything they have and then some just to survive the winter -- and I am not using that word in the figurative sense. More than a few families end up moving everyone into the kitchen to live in one room for the winter -- the room where the woodstove is. Right now, it's 23 degrees and a 30 mph wind is blowing -- at the end of March. It's all well and good to talk about the future, but these people are struggling to survive the present. Nobody cares about them. Nobody cares if they die in the present, and nobody is doing anything to get them to this science-fiction future of yours.

What's more science fiction, Mary: insulated homes and solar/wind/water/geothermal energy....or a nuclear plant that blows up and makes their land a wasteland? Science fiction is only science fiction until it becomes science fact. I've posted new solar technologies, new building technologies: all fact. No fiction about them. We can bring in leaders that support those factual technologies or we can just "never try" and keep the types that continually spend our taxes on subsidies for nuclear power. It takes more than caring, Mary. You have to care enough to take action and keep taking action until you succeed. And the first action is to shake off the defeatist attitude that you have to accept whatever the fat cats hand down to you. You first have to learn that there is a better way, that they could just as well hand down something better, for less money, with greater benefit to all.

You don't get it, David. It doesn't matter if A costs less than B if you can't afford either one of them.

But A costs far less than B, which is what we're already paying for. Obviously, we can pay for nuclear, though in truth no one can afford it.

No doubt you'll get what you want some day, but it's all classic revolutionary theory: "The worse, the better," as Lenin said. It works great if you take the long view and don't care who gets hurt as part of your "worse".

I'm not saying to force people to build new houses. I'm saying that every building and every home has a limited lifespan. The day will come when it will be replaced. Do we replace old building with shotgun shacks? No, because no one builds that way anymore: we changed the laws and codes. Do we replace outdoor toilets with other outdoor toilets? No, the laws and codes have changed. And the nuclear plant is an idea whose time never was. We've just let our politicians feed the super-wealthy subsidies to make us dependent on them when they could have made us independent with solar and other alternative technologies with the same subsidies.

But it seems clear that no matter what anyone suggests, you're going to find the worst possible interpretation of that and mire yourself in hopelessness. If that makes you happy, that's strange. I know we can do better without running the risks inherent in uranium-based nuclear power plants. I know we can move to a better technology with less expense for the common people. You should look into these things and lose the defeatist attitude.

Thinking positively.

David

David Orange
03-28-2011, 07:33 PM
David Orange,

You are being very idealistic where you should be more realistic.

If it isn't cheaper or more convenient than what we have now, people will not want it.


Really? Very few things in the world are more expensive than nuclear power. But the expenses are hidden. That's more than realistic: that's real. Just as the price of gasoline is artifically low here, the price of nuclear is made to seem much lower than it is.

And like all lies, that's going to come to light eventually, even if we don't have a disaster like Fukushima. But if we do have something like that, it will be clear how terribly expensive and foolish it was to trust in those lies. How "inconvenient" that will be.

David Orange
03-28-2011, 07:39 PM
I would love to have solar power both for electricity and for hot water heating. I'm in a great location for it. I can't afford it. Period. Not even with all the tax benefits etc that were available.
A bunch of small to midsize American companies started producing solar stuff and almost immediately got undercut by Chinese technology. If the US Govt was serious about this they would actually fund in the form of subsidies both production and installation (can anybody say "creation of jobs"?) of solar stuff for both private homes and public buildings.
But nobody seems to actually want to create jobs....

Exactly. They want to shovel billions of dollars to people who are already wealthy and who make their living selling coal and nuclear power to a captive populace. If they gave people better jobs...why, they wouldn't be captive to the status quo anymore.

If we want it, we have to spread the knowledge of it (and the knowledge of how deadly nuclear power is) and stand up and demand the change we need and deserve.

But there are already initiatives for group buying of solar systems to bring costs way down. There are new types of solar electric cells that are cheaper and cleaner to produce. And when the economies of volume kick in, we'll see them become affordable. After all, the other forms of energy are steadily becoming more expensive. We're reaching the tipping point. If any good can come out of Fukushima, it will be global awakening to the necessity of kicking both nuclear and fossil fuels out of our societies.

Good luck with your efforts.

David

Tenyu
03-28-2011, 08:07 PM
Latest video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZKFGavZ_rf4#at=75

David Orange
03-28-2011, 08:48 PM
You are being very idealistic where you should be more realistic.

If it isn't cheaper or more convenient than what we have now, people will not want it.

I'm sure the people from around the Fukushima plant are enjoying the convenience of being unable to return to their homes, unable to get any of their personal belongings or care for their pets, maybe unable ever to return to their homes. I'm sure the people of Tokyo find it very convenient to drink bottled water, to be unable to use their radioactive tap water. The farmers probably found it more convenient to dump their radioactive milk and discard their radiated vegetables than to sell them. It's more convenient not to have to count the money they would have made.

However, if it gets worse at the nuclear plant, it might start to seem a little less convenient.

There simply is nothing more convenient than clean, safe nuclear power, all right.

Janet Rosen
03-28-2011, 09:18 PM
Fred, the problem here as I see it is that between the pervasive Marlboro man/self made rugged individual myth and the belief that everybody is - with just a little luck! - about to be part of very wealthy, Americans refuse to actually identify themselves as working people or lower middle class and seem very happy to act and vote against their self interest. Oh don't get me started....This unreconstructed leftie really needs to stay off the Open Discussions....
Actually, there are people who want to create jobs. They brought 250,000 people into the streets of London last weekend to send a simple message: don't cut our forests, don't cut our library hours, don't cut public services: cut carbon and put our brothers and sisters back to work. They call themselves the Trade Unions Council and they mean business. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/27/britain-decent-demo-mob?intcmp=239)

They also have a program: One Million Climate Change Jobs (http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/)

Imagine that: a labor movement with vision. Better yet, don't just imagine it: make it a reality here.

Cheerio,

FL

lbb
03-28-2011, 10:02 PM
No, Mary. You were the one who declared that it is no good to get rid of a bad leader because you'll only get another one just like him. You said "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." In fact, you're literally saying "Never try."

David, do you know what the word "literally" means? It means in exactly those words. There is only one way to "literally say 'Never try'", and that's to type those exact words. I don't think you'll try to edit history and say that I did that, so now let's address your other misapprehensions. What I said is that it is no good to get rid of a bad leader if you will only get another one just like him. Once and for good, don't tell me what I said.

I'm saying, if he's a bad leader, boot him out. If the next one is bad, boot him, too. All the way down.

That's all very well and good if you view revolution as a spectator sport or the proverbial dinner party. In real life, it takes a tremendous toll on societies, on economies, on real live human beings. People die. Eggs get broken. It's not something to be cavalier about.

So all change is bad?

There you go again! How do you get that from the statement ""Change" is a value-neutral word"? I'm baffled.

I did say "overthrow or vote them out." But we have to shake them off and I don't mean to replace them with tea partiers who let Bush run amuck, dishing out billions of dollars to corrupt warlords only to start screaming when Obama tries to take care of the citizens here at home.

Well, see, that's the problem -- change is hard to control. Take the French Revolution as an example -- or sure, take the Tea Party movement. How many people on the right do you think wish now that they'd never let that genie out of the bottle?

What's more science fiction, Mary: insulated homes and solar/wind/water/geothermal energy....or a nuclear plant that blows up and makes their land a wasteland?

False dichotomy, David.

IScience fiction is only science fiction until it becomes science fact. I've posted new solar technologies, new building technologies: all fact. No fiction about them.

Only the part where everyone has them and they are adequate for all our energy needs. Don't you see my point? It's a great goal, but we have to get from here to there -- and it's morally unconscionable to wave away the messy details of real human lives.

It takes more than caring, Mary. You have to care enough to take action and keep taking action until you succeed. And the first action is to shake off the defeatist attitude that you have to accept whatever the fat cats hand down to you.

Fine, David. You preach -- when you find an audience with this "defeatist attitude" you're talking about. Don't preach to me. Realism is not defeatism.

But A costs far less than B, which is what we're already paying for. Obviously, we can pay for nuclear, though in truth no one can afford it.[/quote[

"We"? You're not paying these people's heating bills. You're not paying for A or B for them. You really can't make statements about what they can afford.

[QUOTE=David Orange;280141]I'm not saying to force people to build new houses. I'm saying that every building and every home has a limited lifespan. The day will come when it will be replaced.
People without shelter freeze to death in three hours. They'll be dead when your day comes. It's not a "someday" problem. They need solutions now. They need a way to get from here to there.

Tenyu
03-28-2011, 11:09 PM
Declining energy sources and declining EROEI determine what economically viable energy is left for civilization. Wanting ff or nuclear energy, even in a utopian egalitarian world, doesn't matter when the finite energy becomes unavailable. People really can't conceive of the non-linear limits we're hitting right now.

http://www.oilempire.us/oil-jpg/peak_per_capita.jpg

David Orange
03-29-2011, 12:03 AM
Fred, the problem here as I see it is that between the pervasive Marlboro man/self made rugged individual myth and the belief that everybody is - with just a little luck! - about to be part of very wealthy, Americans refuse to actually identify themselves as working people or lower middle class and seem very happy to act and vote against their self interest. Oh don't get me started....

That explains a lot about American politics today. The common voter will give himself/herself a pay cut to give benefits to the super wealthy...apparently because they want good conditions when they get rich....

This unreconstructed leftie really needs to stay off the Open Discussions....

No way. We need you here.:)

Best.

David
That

David Orange
03-29-2011, 12:44 AM
David, do you know what the word "literally" means? It means in exactly those words. There is only one way to "literally say 'Never try'", and that's to type those exact words. I don't think you'll try to edit history and say that I did that, so now let's address your other misapprehensions. What I said is that it is no good to get rid of a bad leader if you will only get another one just like him. Once and for good, don't tell me what I said.

OK. You effectively said "Never try" because every example I give you turn it back to the sad-sack hopelessness that we'll only get the same result and therefore... we should never try.

That's all very well and good if you view revolution as a spectator sport or the proverbial dinner party. In real life, it takes a tremendous toll on societies, on economies, on real live human beings. People die. Eggs get broken. It's not something to be cavalier about.

It's definitely the extreme. And if life is too oppressive under your regime, you really have to consider whether cowering under tyranny is better than the risks. We, of course, have the right to vote, but it took serious revolution to get it. I'm certainly not cavalier about it, any more than I'm cavalier about making war on other nations. But if you don't want to make some effort to change the status quo, then you should accept whatever it hands you without complaining.

There you go again! How do you get that from the statement ""Change" is a value-neutral word"? I'm baffled.

I get it from your response to every suggestion I make toward changing the status quo. You always complain that we'll only get more of the same. It's like you've imprinted the personality of Eeyore. I believe we can change our society for the better. You seem to believe that any change can only lead to the same or worse.

Well, see, that's the problem -- change is hard to control. Take the French Revolution as an example -- or sure, take the Tea Party movement. How many people on the right do you think wish now that they'd never let that genie out of the bottle?

I just wish they'd let it out (or that the tea partiers had given a damn) nine years ago, when people like me were warning that the President was selling out our future with crazy spending. But we complained that he was spending on foreign warlords and criminals, building schools in a country where the security was so lax that the schools were being destroyed as fast a we built them. You can't really control change, but you can be consistent in what change you demand.

False dichotomy, David.

No it's not. I gave several examples of real technologies that are here and now, and evolutions of those technologies that are coming along even now. The falseness is when you called that my "science fiction future." The only reason it's "science fiction" is that certain people are working hard to make it seem unattainable or "too expensive" or "not convenient." And like the working class voters Janet mentions above, you seem intent on helping those people keep it that way for all of us. It's here and now and if we shifted our social priorities from nuclear to the alternatives, it would be in our hands.

And the alternative to that shift is nothing more or less than more and more disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Only the part where everyone has them and they are adequate for all our energy needs. Don't you see my point? It's a great goal, but we have to get from here to there -- and it's morally unconscionable to wave away the messy details of real human lives.

Again, the part where everyone has them and they're adequate for all our energy needs is as simple as shifting our national priorities from things that benefit the top 2% and really getting down to what benefits and strengthens all the people. But even the wacky radical poor white trash only want to support the super rich. That's what has to change--not the technologies or the weather. People got along for thousands of years without nuclear power. We've only had nuclear since about 1940--about 70 years. And we've had three very serious nuclear accidents in the past 32 years. And the most serious have both been within the past 20 years. The worst is yet to come, and sooner than anyone seems to expect.

But A costs far less than B, which is what we're already paying for. Obviously, we can pay for nuclear, though in truth no one can afford it.

"We"? You're not paying these people's heating bills. You're not paying for A or B for them. You really can't make statements about what they can afford.

Nuclear subsidies are national, Mary. They're not local. We all pay for nuclear plants. I do pay for those folks' bills when they're nuclear provided.

People without shelter freeze to death in three hours. They'll be dead when your day comes. It's not a "someday" problem. They need solutions now. They need a way to get from here to there.

Yes. Shift our priorities from mass, centralized power to distributed systems where the power is generated at the point of use. Terrorists can blow up that kind of network and they can't poison thousands of square miles by attacking someone's dome and solar water heater. But our government and the proud fat-heads in suits only want to build the very complex and expensive systems that funnel the people's resources up to the super rich.

And changing that begins with changing the way people think about these things. Buckminster Fuller showed that the most important part of everything is invisible--in the original conception of how it is designed and put together. Bronze--one of the strongest and most flexible metals known--is created by combining two of the softest metals on earth: copper and tin. The strongest steel is made by adding nickel or chrome to iron, both weaker than iron itself. The secret is in the invisible molecular level. And that was conceived in the utterly invisible realm of thought. You have a very hard way of thinking, but not very flexible and not very broad. Until we expand that kind of thinking with the vision of a better way, we're just going to keep on getting what the robber barons give us, which is the right to let them take from us. We've got what we need, if we'll just recognize it and refuse to allow others to keep us from accessing it.

Thinking widely, deeply, flexibly, invisibly and most of all positively.

David

David Orange
03-29-2011, 12:47 AM
Declining energy sources and declining EROEI determine what economically viable energy is left for civilization. Wanting ff or nuclear energy, even in a utopian egalitarian world, doesn't matter when the finite energy becomes unavailable. People really can't conceive of the non-linear limits we're hitting right now.

It will certainly affect us all, but it won't affect the sun. Our only hope is to connect up there and drop the artificial mass generation that benefits the few at the expense of the many, the environment and the very usability of the air and water and dirt of the earth.

David

David Orange
03-29-2011, 12:53 AM
People without shelter freeze to death in three hours. They'll be dead when your day comes. It's not a "someday" problem. They need solutions now. They need a way to get from here to there.

Of course, this need has existed from the dawn of humanity. There's nothing new about it except that modern Americans have allowed themselves to be cornered into an energy "dust bowl" where the super wealthy control the resources of oil and nuclear by ownership. They control the resources of the sun and green building through mental constructs that tell us these things are unreliable and ineffective.

For the price of building a small addition to one's house, it's possible to build a 20' diameter monolithic dome with kitchen and bath, that is super insulated and will stand up to hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. With a tiny input of heat, it can stay warm all winter and cool all summer. Very few Americans really could not afford this kind of dwelling, but most are convinced that it is out of reach. Let's not be Okies and stay in the failing situation until our only hope is four patches of rubber on the unforgiving road.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
03-29-2011, 06:24 AM
Of course, this need has existed from the dawn of humanity. There's nothing new about it except that modern Americans have allowed themselves to be cornered into an energy "dust bowl" where the super wealthy control the resources of oil and nuclear by ownership. They control the resources of the sun and green building through mental constructs that tell us these things are unreliable and ineffective.

For the price of building a small addition to one's house, it's possible to build a 20' diameter monolithic dome with kitchen and bath, that is super insulated and will stand up to hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes. With a tiny input of heat, it can stay warm all winter and cool all summer. Very few Americans really could not afford this kind of dwelling, but most are convinced that it is out of reach. Let's not be Okies and stay in the failing situation until our only hope is four patches of rubber on the unforgiving road.

Here is what has been done in my town regarding energy efficient housing, I believe it may be the largest such project worldwide:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauban,_Freiburg
(and of course, it has a disproportionate number of aikido clubs...)
It's mainly "post-materialist" middle class though, and moderate climate.

On a more festive note, in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe we just ousted the conservative government in my federal state, and will now have a green party prime minister in one of the most technologically innovative regions of the world. So there will be ample occasion to observe what leadership can contribute to changes.

lbb
03-29-2011, 07:36 AM
I get it from your response to every suggestion I make toward changing the status quo. You always complain that we'll only get more of the same. It's like you've imprinted the personality of Eeyore. I believe we can change our society for the better. You seem to believe that any change can only lead to the same or worse.

This tells me that you didn't bother to read my very first contribution to this thread, just knee-jerked off a few isolated phrases in it. If you had, you'd know that my contention, then and now, is absolutely not that change isn't possible -- it's that you seem to me to be approaching change from the wrong direction. But it's a perspective that most people who want change, or say they want change, are pretty much stuck in. You say I have to change my thinking? I say you don't understand my thinking, and that that shows that you may need to change yours in an even more radical way. Perhaps if you go back and re-read, you'll see what I'm talking about, and you'll stop making incorrect and frankly insulting statements about my beliefs and attitudes.

David Orange
03-29-2011, 08:40 AM
This tells me that you didn't bother to read my very first contribution to this thread, just knee-jerked off ...

Classy, Mary.

....my contention, then and now, is absolutely not that change isn't possible -- it's that you seem to me to be approaching change from the wrong direction. But it's a perspective that most people who want change, or say they want change, are pretty much stuck in.

No. It's clear that you read my statement backward. Where do you get that I advocate a "top-down" solution?

Mary Malmros wrote: you seem to have the view that many pro-renewables people have, that the solution to all this is through some kind of top-down policy initiative. You say, "Either the people of a nation will vote out or overthrow their leaders who support nuclear poisons or international coalitions will eventually get it done." Either way, a top-down approach.(end of quote)

How is the people voting out bad leadership a "top-down" approach. That's what's called a "grass-roots" or "bottom-up" approach.

Mary Malmros wrote: That will never happen. We're past the point of top-down solutions working, in energy or anything else.(end of quote)

And I didn't advocate any kind of top-down approach. You have to make your own home energy-efficient, compost your leaves instead of bagging them off to the landfill, grow a good garden and produce as much of your own food as you can, limit driving as much as possible, conserve electricity and natural gas, etc., etc., etc. That is the opposite of top-down.

Mary Malmros wrote: All you have to do is look at US politics to see why: our system is designed to allow those with disproportionate influence to get a lot done. The only power available to the rest is the power to obstruct -- sometimes necessary, sometimes critical, but it never gets anything done.( end of quote)

There, you explicitly said that all the power is in the hands of the wealthy and "The only power available to the rest" is the power to obstruct....but it never gets anything done. How else can that be interpreted than that there is no hope, so we should never try?

Mary Malmros wrote: You can obstruct the nukes, but what are you building to take their place? (end of quote)

And I clarified that as well. As David South, of Monolithic Domes says, the best alternative energy is to not need the energy. Build monolithic domes that need very little utility input. Supply the rest with a combination of solar, wind, geothermal, tidal power sources, etc.

Mary Malmros wrote: You will never build anything new using a top-down policy initiative -- the power of entrenched interests guarantees that. The solution is to stop spending all your energy on national and international policy, and start building what you want from the ground up. (end of quote)

Which is what I advocated. However, at the same time, we have to force the government to pay attention to the facts of our energy world, stop pouring money into these huge, expensive projects and recognize that the real human need is on a human scale, shifting the money from nuclear plants, with all their problems to the simple and direct solutions such as efficient building, solar research and implementation, and other direct solutions.

Mary Malmros wrote: Getting caught in an endless "yes it will" "no it won't" argument about whether renewables will work is a complete waste of time. Build what you want. Make the change in your house, on your block, in your neighborhood, in your community. If it works, it'll be adopted, and if it's too slow for you, consider that your alternative is to make zero to negative progress. (end of quote)

Good ideas, but woefully incomplete. We know and have proven that these approaches work. We must not only implement them but also bring a screeching halt to the massive waste of resources and land, as well as the unnecessary risks of the current approach. It's not just enough to improve your own home if the government allows a private company to spray fall-out over your city.

The people of Japan are some of the most advanced in solar usage. Even the old yoseikan hombu--a sixty-year-old schoolhouse, had a solar water heater and it pumped out hot water as soon as the sun came up in the morning. You can bet that most of the people displaced by the radiation threat in Fukushima also had solar water heaters and probably photoelectric, as well. Now they can't use those devices because the behemoth of nuclear power has put them off limits. Now, those people who invested in a better way, are shivering in high school gyms because the nuclear genie has poisoned their homes.

Look at Nicholas Eschenbruch's post, what the people of Germany have done. They experienced the fall-out from Chernobyl. They have recognized that they must build fromt the bottom up, but they also have to make change from the top down. It's not a one-sided proposition. You have to do the best you can with your own situation, but if you don't change your national priorities, all your work can be nullified in a matter of hours.

Thinking real.

David

David Orange
03-29-2011, 08:48 AM
Here is what has been done in my town regarding energy efficient housing, I believe it may be the largest such project worldwide:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauban,_Freiburg
(and of course, it has a disproportionate number of aikido clubs...)
It's mainly "post-materialist" middle class though, and moderate climate.

Beautiful!

And we can do that here, too. Despite Katherine's claims, in the US, some states have a system called "net metering" by which unused solar electric production feeds back into the energy grid and the homeowner's electric meter runs backward! If we re-prioritized and put these units on every house and public building, along with steady implementation of energy efficiency standards, in a decade or two, we could transform this nation.

Sadly, it's more likely that we'll have two or three Fukushima-style nuclear disasters in that time, while simultaneously becoming increasingly dependent on foreign oil and mired in the pollution of that whole approach.

On a more festive note, in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe we just ousted the conservative government in my federal state, and will now have a green party prime minister in one of the most technologically innovative regions of the world. So there will be ample occasion to observe what leadership can contribute to changes.

Sadly, in the US, the voters vote against what's really good for them out of some illusion that they're soon going to be among the super wealthy, so they have to create prime conditions for the super-wealthy at the expense of the masses of citizens held captive to their whims. History will look back on this era with dropped jaws. So many little Neros fiddling while the nation burns to the ground.

Best to you guys.

David

phitruong
03-29-2011, 08:58 AM
i like solar and wind powers and such. however, i also know that high tech society cannot use those alone. when it comes to nuclear power and its hazardous conditions, it creates such a deep psychological fear. interesting though that Japan, a nation that experienced two major nuclear episodes during WWII, chose to use nuclear power to power their society; yet many part of the world, fear of it. say if they decided to drop all their nuclear power plans, what can they replace it with? can't see them power those maglev trains with solar and wind. or elevators or hospital equipments. the amount of batteries to hold such power would be enormous, not to mention the amount of hazardous materials (and waste) those batteries represent.

just want to throw out some thing to contrast. here is the number of automobile deaths from NHTSA (USA) statistics http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx . we have more kill in a year than all the death from nuclear radiation in the US, yet i don't see us banning automobile anytime soon. also, most of the US Navy vessels are nuclear powered. we don't see anyone complaint there do we?

lbb
03-29-2011, 10:07 AM
Classy, Mary

Classy, David -- selectively cutting and pasting to manufacture an obscene insult. I'm done with your cheap tactics.

Janet Rosen
03-29-2011, 10:22 AM
Here is what has been done in my town regarding energy efficient housing, I believe it may be the largest such project worldwide:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauban,_Freiburg
(and of course, it has a disproportionate number of aikido clubs...)
It's mainly "post-materialist" middle class though, and moderate climate.

On a more festive note, in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe we just ousted the conservative government in my federal state, and will now have a green party prime minister in one of the most technologically innovative regions of the world. So there will be ample occasion to observe what leadership can contribute to changes.

From what I've read, there are towns in a variety of European countries way ahead of what is being done in USA on this. Oh..and congrats on the GP win :)

David Orange
03-29-2011, 11:22 AM
i like solar and wind powers and such. however, i also know that high tech society cannot use those alone. when it comes to nuclear power and its hazardous conditions, it creates such a deep psychological fear.

It's warranted. How many zones of the world can we afford to make like the Chernobyl area? And we don't yet know what will happen around Fukushima. How much area can Japan afford to fence off as impassable and unuseable? Where will the people go if they can't return to their homes? A lot of people displaced by this nuclear carelessness and deception were largely unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami. They were okay and would have continued okay but for the radiation released by that plant. When a nuclear accident occurs, it is ruinous. People have learned not to trust those with a vested interest in profiting off nuclear plants. Tokyo Electric has a history of covering up the truth about its nuclear incidents. They ignored the warnings of geologists about the likelihood of earthquake and tsunami. They misled the people and built that plant against all sound advice and now look what we get.

interesting though that Japan, a nation that experienced two major nuclear episodes during WWII, chose to use nuclear power to power their society; yet many part of the world, fear of it.

I think there was serious opposition to the adoption of nuclear power in Japan, but that was rolled over by the wealthy interests who wanted to profit at any cost. A lot of the original nuclear proponents died rich and pampered and never had to take responsibility for this. So they don't care. It's the schmucks who followed them that have gotten blamed for this and not unrightly. Nuclear wasn't embraced by the common Japanese. It was pushed on them--forced on them--and other approaches were never seriously considered.

... say if they decided to drop all their nuclear power plans, what can they replace it with? can't see them power those maglev trains with solar and wind.

Well, they only have one and it's experimental. The bullet trains are fantastic, but they're not all they're made out to be. The convenience of having them has come at a high price to their culture and the humanity of their society. It's gone from a very unique arrangement on the human scale to a roboticized, mechanical society. I believe they've lost more than they've gained and not everyone (by far) welcomed the change.

... or elevators or hospital equipments. the amount of batteries to hold such power would be enormous, not to mention the amount of hazardous materials (and waste) those batteries represent.

That's true, but not everything in the world has to be powered by electricity and nuclear isn't the only way to provide that electricity. Prioritizing really important functions is one way to reduce the "need" to generate power with nuclear plants. And maybe it's time to can uranium plants altogether and go to thorium.

just want to throw out some thing to contrast. here is the number of automobile deaths from NHTSA (USA) statistics http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx . we have more kill in a year than all the death from nuclear radiation in the US, yet i don't see us banning automobile anytime soon.

Well, if I go out and get killed in a car, or if thousands of people die in car crashes, it doesn't poison thousands of square miles or spread into other countries and poison their lands. It's tragic when anyone dies, but when their deaths include closing of entire regions for thousands of years....that's a big difference.

... also, most of the US Navy vessels are nuclear powered. we don't see anyone complaint there do we?

I'd like to say that that's due to the discipline of the Navy and their complete lack of a profit motive or concern for shareholders. Every move they make is highly regimented and planned out, whereas, with nuclear plants, corners are cut, lies are told, procedures are ignored, haphazard experiments are conducted (see Chernobyl...and the Fukushima "accident" resulted largely from seriously erroneous "trial and error" responses to the loss of reactor coolant). In the Navy, when a pilot lands a jet on a carrier, there are video tapes from the cockpit, from the tower, from the deck. Any minor variation or error results in extensive grilling of the pilot and, often, disciplinary action and possibly reduction of rank and pay. And they run their reactors with the same strict discipline.

However, look at the history of Russian Naval nuclear reactors. Very, very bad.

Again, consider that we've had about 70 years of history with nuclear reactors--maybe more. And in the past 32 years, we've had three major land-based accidents--and they seem to be getting worse as time goes by; and how many sea-based incidents? At least two, I believe, and most of the information on those was hidden by the Russian Navy.

At the very least, we need to identify vulnerable reactors such as Fukushima and Monju (where there has already been at least one accident) and shut those down. They are not the panacea they were sold as and they are a very serious threat to human society and life as we know it.

Best to you, Phi.

David

Tenyu
03-29-2011, 11:22 AM
"It is not my purpose to persuade you that we indeed face an environmental, financial, political, energy, soil, medical, or water crisis. Others have done so far more compellingly than I could. Nor is it my aim to inspire you with hope that they may be averted. They cannot be, because the things that must happen to avert them will only happen as their consequence. All present proposals for changing course in time to avert a crash are wildly impractical. My optimism is based on knowing that the definition of "practical" and "possible" will soon change as we collectively hit bottom.
Another way to put it is that my optimism depends on a miracle. No, not a supernatural agency come to save us. What is a miracle? A miracle comes from a new sense of what is possible, born from a surrender of the attempt to manage and control life. In individual experience miracles often happen when life overwhelms us. For an alcoholic, to suggest "just stop drinking" is ludicrous, impossible, unimaginable. It takes a miracle. The changes that need to happen to save the planet are the same. No mainstream politician is proposing them; few are even aware of just how deep the changes must go.
When the above-mentioned crises converge, when we experience acutely and undeniably that the situation is out of control, when the failure of the old regime is utterly transparent, then solutions that appear hopelessly radical today will become matters of common sense.
And this will happen. The timing of each crisis is uncertain, but the forces driving them are inexorable and cannot fail to be expressed sooner or later. Processes set in motion long ago have accelerated past critical mass; we are just beginning to taste their effects. Even if we somehow stopped making new pollution right now, the cumulative effects of existing ecological damage are enough to generate catastrophe. The same inevitability is true in other realms as well: public health, education, finance, and politics. It is already too late. It is only a matter of how soon, how bad, how long. However bad you think it is, it is probably worse. Read books like The Dying of the Trees or Boiling Point if you don't believe me.
Like the Titanic, the momentum of technological society is so huge that even if we reversed the engines and steered hard right now, the short-term and mid-term course of events would not change much. We are on a collision course with nature that can no longer be averted. Yet not only have we done little to brake or steer away from the looming iceberg, we have maintained an oblivious policy of "full speed ahead!" In the United States, Republican policy has been essentially, "What iceberg?" while the Democrats try to change course by a few degrees—but not so quickly as to spill the drinks on the first class deck. The "practical" proposals and workable compromises on the table are woefully inadequate. One party repudiates the Kyoto Treaty and the other endorses it, but few acknowledge that even that is far too little, far too late. Outside the United States, "developing" countries such as India and China, abetted by Western institutions, stoke the Titanic's furnaces with their headlong industrialization using the old linear model of extraction, processing, consumption, and waste.
And meanwhile, on deck the party continues, as it will continue to continue even after the first crunch reverberates through the ship, even as the icy torrent consumes compartment after compartment. On the top deck the band will play on even as the ship lists and rolls, maintaining a desperate and deadly illusion of normalcy.
At this point the utter bankruptcy of the program of competition, security, and financial independence will begin to become so flagrantly obvious that no one will be able to ignore it. I once read a pessimistic book of the business genre forecasting a polarized society of crime-ridden slums and wealthy walled, gated, fenced, alarmed, guarded communities. The author's advice was to contrive to live in the latter! This is tantamount to climbing to the highest deck of a sinking ship. Everyone speaks of the intensifying competitiveness of the present era, evoking in my mind masses of rats struggling and clawing for the top—where they will perish but a few minutes later than the rest.
Yes, you can locate yourself as far as possible from the war zones, trash incinerators, toxic waste dumps, smog zones, bad neighborhoods, and other perils of an increasingly toxic world, but sooner or later the converging crises of our era will obliterate all defenses. No matter how diversified your investments, no matter how many guns in your walled compound or cans of food in your basement, the tide of calamity will eventually engulf you. Gates, locks, razor wire and guns can ensure security only temporarily, and a fraudulent, anxious security it is. Eventually we will abandon our bunker mentality and understand that the only security comes through giving, opening, and being at the center of a flux of relationships, not taking more and more for self; security comes not from independence but from interdependence. The survivors will not be those who try to insulate themselves in a fortress, but who are able to give, to help, and to contribute to a community. They will form the basis of a new kind of civilization." Excerpt from Ascent Of Humanity

David Orange
03-29-2011, 11:26 AM
Classy, David -- selectively cutting and pasting to manufacture an obscene insult. I'm done with your cheap tactics.

Mary, it seems that you reach this point with someone on this forum about once a week. Strange that it's always the other person who uses cheap tactics, even though we can all see how you distort what others say and lead the topic into all kinds of irrelevant side issues. You take a hard line opposition and hold it irrationally against all explanations, throwing insults and snide comments until you finally, time after time, get tired of "the other person's" cheap tactics.

Maybe it would do you some good to look back through the threads where you finally 'get done' and consider what you, yourself, have said. I assure you, it will be very enlightening if you honestly look at your own approach.

Meanwhile, I stand by the topic I started here: nuclear plants can and do "blow up" and this one will not be the last. We can't afford to allow that to continue. The change has to come from the bottom up and half of that means demanding change from the top down.

Speaking truly.

David

DonMagee
03-29-2011, 02:58 PM
I still don't see the danger in nuclear power. Even with the latest bad news today it's still nowhere near Chernobyl. In fact, this disaster just shows how secure and safe this power really is. This is a reactor that is very old and a design we would never build today and it has for the most part survived everything the earth could throw at it without making the land unlivable or killing us all.

Right now we are talking about 10000 mSv and 10 minutes next to Chernobyl when it blew up was 50 Sv. For the record 1000 mSv = 1 Sv which means it is 50 times less. Further more, most of the radiation released has very short lifetimes and will be 100% gone in a few weeks to months.

Modern reactors are even safer. Most use gravity fed systems which would have made the issue of no water for the pumps irrelevant. There are other designs that we do not use (mostly because they didn't gain favor for a lack of producing weapons grade materials) that are way safer than the media wants to report on. One example that comes to mind is the pebble bed reactor. Newer designs also have changed the fuel types to fuel that is much safer and produce much shorter lived radiation. The influx of passive safety systems has made modern reactor designs almost extremely safe.

90% of what we read is pure scare propaganda. It's good to drum of sales of papers and viewers of a tv channel. But don't be fooled, japan is not going to be a unlivable wasteland and this event while tragic is no where near being another Chernobyl. It is dangerous and unsafe for the short term however and needs to be taken seriously.

All energy solutions have dangers and negative impacts. Coal has pollution, and coal fires (did you know there is an entire town in the USA that is unlivable due to coal fires? Did you know no one will be able to live there for hundreds or maybe even thousands of years?) Nuclear has the very rare chance of radiation disasters (and it is even more rare with each generation of the technology), most modern day soloar power depends on toxic chemicals and oil to produce the devices we need to make that power, or requires burning hydrogen produced by the solar cells and thus creates the hazards of storing hydrogen, etc. The trick is to make things as safe and as efficient as possible. I think that with the current trends of research (and if we can keep our irrational fears at bay) that we can create 100% safe nuclear power plants.

If anything should be debated here, it is how long we should allow aging and outdated security systems to remain in place. This reactor was first in use in the 1970's. Many problems with the designs of these plants have been discovered and resolved in the 3 to 4 decades this plant has been in operation. We should be asking why these safety measures were not retrofitted. It is clear these plants were marked for replacement, but perhaps that should have been done 10 or 15 years ago. That said, we can all monday morning quarterback.

Solar power may one day be efficient enough to replace our power consumption, but I don't see it being a reality in the near future. While it can reduce our energy footprint (and thus reduce the need for as many power plants in the short term), energy use, like bandwidth needs will be every increasing. More and more of the world is moving into an age where they need constant power for their day to day lives. It's not just that our current 1st world people are using more power, its that more and more 3rd world people are starting to need 1st world levels of power. Add to that an ever increasing population and you find energy demands will be growing exponentially and solar efficiencies are not.

This is coming from a environmentally conservative member of society. I have bought high efficiency washers and dryers to reduce my water impact, I use those horrid light bulbs (i miss real light bulbs) to reduce my power footprint and replaced my heating and air with 95% efficient systems. I have all my computers set to wake on lan and power save modes so they run as little as possible, and I'm responsable for consolidating my server farm at work with the sole goal of reducing power and cooling requirements. I actively fight technologies that are bad for the environment like fracturing for natural gas. However, I think that nuclear power is an important step in meeting our energy needs and it can be done much safer and cleaner then any mainstream power generation currently in use.

Lastly, let's put radiation into prospective. http://xkcd.com/radiation/

Ron Tisdale
03-29-2011, 03:23 PM
Hi Don, problem is, there are still WAY too many of that or similar designs around, and in really bad places (fault lines and such). I mean, even with the mitigating factors you mentioned, this incident is NOT an add for nuclear power, in my estimation.

But hey, what do I know, I was an english major... :D

Good reading you again,
Best,
Ron (and look how far THAT degree got me...)

Ron Tisdale
03-29-2011, 03:26 PM
Wow, that chart seems pretty informative...but did I miss where they discuss the links to cancers like thyroid cancer? Probly did...let me go read some more...

B,
R

DonMagee
03-29-2011, 03:32 PM
Hi Don, problem is, there are still WAY too many of that or similar designs around, and in really bad places (fault lines and such). I mean, even with the mitigating factors you mentioned, this incident is NOT an add for nuclear power, in my estimation.

But hey, what do I know, I was an english major... :D

Good reading you again,
Best,
Ron (and look how far THAT degree got me...)

I'm not saying not to learn from it. I say we need to be using this as leverage to replace or retrofit existing designs. But I do think this shows how safe these things really are. There is no wide scale radiation deaths, the containment structures and safety systems are for the most part doing what they are built to do and while this is dangerous, so far it is being handled and it seems like the long term effects will be minimal. Now imagine if this was a brand new reactor with modern safety systems (such as passive gravity feed cooling).

The earthquake did nothing to hurt these reactors, the safety systems worked perfectly (in fact too well, the auto shutdown cut the very power they needed when the wave washed out the generators). This is not an ideal situation, but it does show that even in the worst circumstances these things are still very safe, and especially safe when compared to the worst designs we have ever built (like chernobyl).

So what I'm saying is that instead of knee jerk fear based reactions setting back the world decades, let's instead learn from this, and get to work right now retrofitting and replacing our reactors to make them safer. In fact new reactors are more efficient, which means we will probably need less of them and thus make the whole thing even safer.

Ron Tisdale
03-29-2011, 03:36 PM
From your lips to god's ears...

I hope I am not having a "knee jerk" reaction but...I don't know if I want to live within 50 miles of those reactors for the next 5 to 10 years. And I can't help but imagine the dislocation the folks who DO live in that area are going through now, and will continue to go through for some time. I just hope it all works out.

Best,
Ron

Mark Freeman
03-29-2011, 04:34 PM
Here is what has been done in my town regarding energy efficient housing, I believe it may be the largest such project worldwide:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauban,_Freiburg
(and of course, it has a disproportionate number of aikido clubs...)
It's mainly "post-materialist" middle class though, and moderate climate.

On a more festive note, in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe we just ousted the conservative government in my federal state, and will now have a green party prime minister in one of the most technologically innovative regions of the world. So there will be ample occasion to observe what leadership can contribute to changes.

Hi Nicholas,

you are fortunate to reside in such a place, we are aware in the UK that Germany has been far more forward thinking than us when it comes to applying innovative technological solutions to the environmental problems we create for ourselves.

I remember reading about the ideas in the link I've provided below. The use of CSP and the easy to produce low tech hardware I think is encouraging. This particular project won't provide all of Europe's power needs, but it will make a sizeable contribution. And if it works well, it will no doubt spur on other countries (with the right conditions) to follow suit. I think that a side effect of this type of power production is that salt water can be used and is de-salinated in the process, the shade provided by the mirrors, combined with the water, could turn former desert into productive food producing acreage.

http://www.newenergyworldnetwork.com/cleantech-features/quest-for-solar-power-in-north-african-deserts.html

Keep pushing and innovating over there, we will be following our more enlightened european cousins and no doubt buying your technology in the future. Having said that, we do have some wave power projects going around the UK that are I believe, pushing on being larger than anywhere else in the world.

regards

Mark

kewms
03-29-2011, 05:29 PM
Does the type of explosion really matter? The fact is that as a consequence of both explosions radioactive material has been released into the environment. Pretty much sucks if you happen to live in the neighborhood regardless of the type of explosion.

Yes, the type of explosion absolutely matters. If someone is going to throw around nightmare scenarios like "they could lose Tokyo," then that person should have some understanding of what might lead to such a scenario. A few puffs of exploding hydrogen simply aren't going to cause that kind of large scale, long term contamination. Comparing Fukushima to Chernobyl because they "both had explosions" is profoundly ignorant at best, and deliberately misleading fear mongering at worst.

Katherine

kewms
03-29-2011, 05:55 PM
Is their entire parking lot covered with a solar roof? I don't think anyone has done that yet.

Satellite image at: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=207124152362853563418.00000111b083b28bf007c&ll=37.421918,-122.084075&spn=0.00723,0.005735&z=18

The entire parking area isn't covered, probably because they would have had to cut down trees to do that. But most of the usable roof area is.


Well, frankly, you're wrong. The Fukushima explosions are exactly the kind of accident I referred to: a breech of core containment and release of core material to the environment. If it doesn't get far worse than it currently is, it will be a miracle--not a technological triumph.


I don't think anyone has actually confirmed that the core containment has been breached. Or do you have better access to the site than Tepco does?

But I do know that they all result from nuclear industry lies and underestimations of the dangers of building a nuclear plant anywhere--but especially in an earthquake prone area and dismissing the very real likelihood of a massive tsunami. We can certainly expect something at least this bad in California.


Really? The tsunami was more than double the Japanese design estimate. The quake was larger than any that have hit California (or Japan, for that matter) since seismic measurements began. 9.0 earthquakes simply are not that common anywhere in the world.


First, the hydrogen ignition occurred when the hydrogen mixed with the atmosphere. And that explosion destroyed the spent-fuel cooling pool on top of the reactor building :hypno: . Those spent fuel rods were left dry, exposed to the atmosphere, melting down and releasing radiation to the environment. How much radiation? We cannot tell because that information is in the hands of Tokyo Electric Power Company--a corporation covering its association for criminal negligence.


Actually, Greenpeace has been doing independent measurements. I'm not a fan, but they certainly can't be accused of being pro-nuke. Their map is here:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&msa=0&msid=216097317933419817421.00049f79dd8efb50bf317&source=embed&ll=37.62946,140.581055&spn=1.305124,1.468048&z=10

It should be read in conjunction with this helpful table, showing just how much radiation a microsievert is:
http://xkcd.com/radiation/

Katherine

kewms
03-29-2011, 05:58 PM
This event has been ranked with Chernobyl. It's certainly one of the two worst nuclear events in history.

Yes, it is worse than Three Mile Island, and therefore is the second worst (of three total) nuclear events.

That's somewhat like comparing salmonella to the Black Death. They're both caused by bacteria, after all. :eek:

Katherine

kewms
03-29-2011, 06:17 PM
And you haven't seen the end of it yet. Or is a ruptured reactor containment a mere inconvenience, outweighed by Chinese waste dumping in a field?

What I see as your big mistake is to drastically overstate the pollution of photovoltaic manufacture and to drastically minimize the toxicity and scale of the nuclear waste problem.

And yours is to drastically overstate the negative effects of nuclear power while completely ignoring the costs of renewables.

The problem is that the real world alternative to nuclear isn't solar and wind, it's coal and natural gas. The most pro-renewable countries in Europe struggle to get 20% of their electricity from renewables. The most ambitious state-level programs in the US think 25% is a wildly ambitious target. And these are the richest countries in the world. So how do you fill the gap? Does the nuclear risk -- and I'm not denying that there are risks -- outweigh the global warming risk? Would you rather live in Tokyo, or Tuvalu?

(Relative contributions to the US energy supply, by fuel source and end use: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov/content/energy/energy_archive/energy_flow_2007/LLNL_US_EFC_20071.png)

Katherine

kewms
03-29-2011, 06:26 PM
And we can do that here, too. Despite Katherine's claims, in the US, some states have a system called "net metering" by which unused solar electric production feeds back into the energy grid and the homeowner's electric meter runs backward! If we re-prioritized and put these units on every house and public building, along with steady implementation of energy efficiency standards, in a decade or two, we could transform this nation.

Which claims were those? As I said, I earn my living in the solar industry, and am well aware of both the advantages and the limitations of net metering.

Sure, the meter runs backward during the day when the owner isn't home and the sun is shining. Then it runs forward at night, which is when residential energy consumption peaks. Over the course of a year, the owner is in most cases still going to be a net consumer of energy. (Especially if he's got an electric car charging in the garage.)

Katherine

Tenyu
03-29-2011, 06:52 PM
Uranium mining:

http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200704/r140498_483405.jpg

http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200809/r293412_1257901.jpg

DonMagee
03-29-2011, 07:02 PM
Uranium mining:

http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200704/r140498_483405.jpg

http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200809/r293412_1257901.jpg

Looks very close to the limestone mines near where I grew up.

Tenyu
03-29-2011, 07:09 PM
It looks a lot like tar sands in Alberta too.

Tenyu
03-29-2011, 07:11 PM
h2 from the oildrum:

zurisee, any discussion by a pro nuke person MUST avoid the core issues of future stewardship, it is precisely because this issue must be avoided that they raise a non-stop stream of straw men, each more ludicrous from a logical point of view than the last, and each almost trivially easy to see through with just beginner level logic, and the facts you can find at TOD.

However, consider this benefit: by for example trying to say coal makes CO2 which is worse, you have in fact gotten them to admit that coal power generation is also unsafe and bad, and it's actually quite difficult to get corporations or entrenched government bureaucracies to admit that anything is bad in their sphere, so that's actually substantial, but it points to how weak their arguments are, if they had stronger arguments, they wouldn't need to admit all the negatives of the options. I take some comfort in noting this fact.

Cars are of course major CO2 emitters as well, and are very new, we do not 'need' cars at all to thrive and have a great life, yet the example is tossed out of all the car deaths. I totally agree with this concern, dump all the cars now, that would be a great way to start fixing the problem. Cars are toxic on every level, including the disposal of their toxic wastes, which we tend to send offshore, or to Mexico. So I'm glad to see pro nuke people agreeing that our society is filled with dangerous, toxic things, which we need to also correct and eliminate.

The end of oil is of course the solution, since mankind decided to ignore the real solutions, now man has to wait for the solution to be imposed top down, non-negotiably.

I am glad to see this mention of the discounting of the future, which takes on a nearly pathological character in such discussions. No, strike that, it's not nearly pathological, it's fully pathological.

The growth based system we have generated has no answers, so of course it will flail desperately and pollute, destroy, and devastate to its maximum potential before it loses its ability to do so.

When you consider that we maintain that we 'need' nuclear power only to generate a small fraction of the energy we waste daily it is painfully obvious that we do not in fact need it at all, though it is possible that the system it depends on needs it, I'm not sure what the breaking points are when the growth fuel of energy the industrial system depends on is reduced on absolute terms, not raised. My guess is they are unable to even conceptualize this reality, and so are frantically trying to negotiate the non-negotiable, at each step of the process making the long term outcome that much worse. I am impressed however by how weak the arguments are, it leads me to believe that their actual political situation may be correspondingly weak.

I am not really interested in watching such types flounder around trying to paint themselves a picture where growth and ecosystem destruction are the price of progress, so called (perversely), to be honest, what interests me more is seeing how the actual people who will solve these issues begin to evolve the understandings and world views that will help take us out of this pit we have dug ourselves.

I'm interested in the person who has already scoped out the sides of the pit, has found some possible trails, and has assembled what they need to try to make their way out, which will have to be a group effort, since humans are social animals, that's a strength. Not loner survivalist types, who just seem set on building a compound at the pits floor, stocking it with provisions, then trying to hold against the earthquakes and landslides that are bound to come and bury them in the end.

Tenyu
03-29-2011, 07:23 PM
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/24/2907304.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/15/2516584.htm

David Orange
03-29-2011, 07:52 PM
A few puffs of exploding hydrogen simply aren't going to cause that kind of large scale, long term contamination. Comparing Fukushima to Chernobyl because they "both had explosions" is profoundly ignorant at best, and deliberately misleading fear mongering at worst.

Right. What does Tokyo need with tap water?

Let them drink beer?

They've just pushed the evacuation zone further out from the plant.

This is not over by a long shot and neither you nor Don nor I know what will come of it.

The biggest point of concern, however, is that they said it can't happen, yet, it did.

We won't know how bad it was until it's all wrapped up, which is a long way off. It could still get worse.

All we know for sure is that it wasn't supposed to get this bad, but it did, and apparently it's getting worse every day.

"Don't speak too soon, for the wheel's still in spin..."

David

David Orange
03-29-2011, 08:01 PM
I don't think anyone has actually confirmed that the core containment has been breached. Or do you have better access to the site than Tepco does?

I'm going by what Tepco said.

David Orange wrote:
Quote:
But I do know that they all result from nuclear industry lies and underestimations of the dangers of building a nuclear plant anywhere--but especially in an earthquake prone area and dismissing the very real likelihood of a massive tsunami. We can certainly expect something at least this bad in California. end quote

Really? The tsunami was more than double the Japanese design estimate. The quake was larger than any that have hit California (or Japan, for that matter) since seismic measurements began. 9.0 earthquakes simply are not that common anywhere in the world.

They're still too common to build a nuclear plant on the fault. And geologists warned Tepco that bigger quakes than Tepco's design mimimization "expected" have hit Japan in the past. If this were a cotton candy factory, sure, build it on an ancient earthquake and tsunami zone. But this is uranium and plutonium. Stupid idea at best: criminal at worst.

Actually, Greenpeace has been doing independent measurements. I'm not a fan, but they certainly can't be accused of being pro-nuke. Their map is here:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&msa=0&msid=216097317933419817421.00049f79dd8efb50bf317&source=embed&ll=37.62946,140.581055&spn=1.305124,1.468048&z=10

It should be read in conjunction with this helpful table, showing just how much radiation a microsievert is:
http://xkcd.com/radiation/

So you wouldn't mind going over and living in the "nuclear exclusion zone," huh? It's really not that bad at all, from what you're saying.

While you're over there, you can drink my (and my relatives') share of the tap water.

David Orange
03-29-2011, 08:06 PM
Yes, it is worse than Three Mile Island, and therefore is the second worst (of three total) nuclear events.

Three? You seem to forget some Russian naval accidents, a certain submarine smoking along the surface, a number of people killed, the reactor simply sunk to the ocean floor, IIRC. And we really don't know, since we're talking about the Soviets now, if those were all the accidents and all the deaths. You still don't know how large the final "nuclear exclusion zone" around Fukushima will be or how long people will be prevented from returning to their homes or eating the food from that region.

That's somewhat like comparing salmonella to the Black Death. They're both caused by bacteria, after all. :eek:

Except that all these nuclear incidents were caused by stupidity, disregard for scientific warnings, cover-up of the facts and profit motives--a combination that always proves deadly.

Katherine[/QUOTE]

David Orange
03-29-2011, 08:50 PM
David Orange wrote: What I see as your big mistake is to drastically overstate the pollution of photovoltaic manufacture and to drastically minimize the toxicity and scale of the nuclear waste problem.

And yours is to drastically overstate the negative effects of nuclear power while completely ignoring the costs of renewables.

No, I haven't "completely ignored" the costs or the pollution from renewables, but there's just no comparison to the negative effects of nuclear power. There are about 150,000 people around Fukushima right now who can't go back to their own homes strictly because of the nuclear carelessness and underestimation of the dangers.

The problem is that the real world alternative to nuclear isn't solar and wind, it's coal and natural gas.

Well, that's strictly because there has been no subsidy of solar on the scale we've seen for nuclear. If solar had received 10% of the subsidies given to nuclear over the past 50 years, solar would be far more advanced than it is now.

And the only reason this hasn't been done is, again, the fat cats can control the access to nuclear-generated power and they cannot monopolize the sun. So they tell us that solar is impractical and beat that drum so hard that people vote against their own best interests, again and again, and we have a nuclear-dominated world instead of solar-dominated.

David Orange
03-29-2011, 08:54 PM
Which claims were those? As I said, I earn my living in the solar industry, and am well aware of both the advantages and the limitations of net metering.

So what's your position in the solar industry? You sound like one of those "anti-smoking advocates" whose paychecks are signed by Marlboro.

Sure, the meter runs backward during the day when the owner isn't home and the sun is shining. Then it runs forward at night, which is when residential energy consumption peaks. Over the course of a year, the owner is in most cases still going to be a net consumer of energy.

"In most cases," you say. But most people on net metering are going to be far lesser consumers than those without it, aren't they? So you're really advocating wasting it all because solar cells don't produce the electric output of a nuclear plant.

Who did you say signs your paychecks?

David Orange
03-29-2011, 09:06 PM
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/24/2907304.htm

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/15/2516584.htm

And talk about your peak oil, projections are that there is only enough uranium for the next 80 years of nuclear power generation. If it's so necessary now, what will society do when it's all been used?

And if we can do without it then, why not now?

Well, because people can make too much profit from it now and the future be damned, by their lights.

Why run these risks (which are extremely high, with disasters very likely) only to be left with nothing after 80 years?

Simply profit at the expense of humanity, is all.

Best wishes.

David

kewms
03-29-2011, 09:18 PM
Well, that's strictly because there has been no subsidy of solar on the scale we've seen for nuclear. If solar had received 10% of the subsidies given to nuclear over the past 50 years, solar would be far more advanced than it is now.

And the only reason this hasn't been done is, again, the fat cats can control the access to nuclear-generated power and they cannot monopolize the sun. So they tell us that solar is impractical and beat that drum so hard that people vote against their own best interests, again and again, and we have a nuclear-dominated world instead of solar-dominated.

Huh? All of the reactors currently operating in the US were begun in 1974 or earlier. The only US reactor currently under construction was begun in 1973.

We don't have a nuclear dominated world, we have a fossil fuel dominated world.

Katherine

dps
03-29-2011, 09:20 PM
I am glad I don't live in the paranoid world of David Orange.
dps

Fred Little
03-29-2011, 09:32 PM
Vienna - Findings of plutonium traces outside Japan's stricken Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant have reinforced the view that there has been a partial reactor meltdown, Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Tuesday. (http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/news/article_1629457.php/BACKGROUND-Partial-nuclear-meltdown)

oopsie!

DonMagee
03-29-2011, 09:47 PM
Imagine being one of the thousand people who lost their homes (and who knows if any more will if it spreads) because of coal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania or another interesting case http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Straitsville,_Ohio

"New Straitsville was originally founded in 1870 as a coal mining town by the New Straitsville Mining Company. The town grew quickly and by 1880 the population was over 4000 people. The coal mining activity ended in 1884, when a labor dispute at the mine ended with a group of miners sending a burning coal car into the mine, igniting the coal. At one time the heat from the fire was so great that residents could draw hot water directly from wells to brew coffee. The fire in the New Straitsville mine burns to this day."

The fact is all of these accidents are very rare, and we are getting better and better at preventing them and fixing them. Why wasn't there a crazy outcry to ban coal mining after a entire US town was lost? People are scared simply because the media tells them to be. Radiation is dangerous, but no more dangerous than a million other things being done right here in the US.

Yes, the levels of radiation are unsafe, yes it is a good idea to move out of the area until they lower (and they will once they fix this). But this is not a land is lost situation. This is a tragedy and a learning experience.

And even if by some small change the land becomes a uninhabitable waste land, it still wouldn't effect my researched and well thought decision that we should abandon nuclear power anymore then the deep water accident makes me want to abandon all oil drilling or the Centralia accident makes me want to abandon all coal mining. I think their are far worse things to worry about (like hydraulic fracking) and a lot to gain by continuing to research generating power from the atom.

kewms
03-29-2011, 09:57 PM
So what's your position in the solar industry? You sound like one of those "anti-smoking advocates" whose paychecks are signed by Marlboro.

"In most cases," you say. But most people on net metering are going to be far lesser consumers than those without it, aren't they? So you're really advocating wasting it all because solar cells don't produce the electric output of a nuclear plant.

Who did you say signs your paychecks?

I'm an analyst and a consultant to several companies in the industry, with whom I've signed non-disclosure agreements. To the best of my knowledge, none of my clients are involved in the nuclear industry in any capacity. A search on my name should turn up most of my public work on the subject.

At no point have I advocated "wasting" solar energy. I've just pointed out that renewables, by themselves, are not currently sufficient to replace fossil fuels in the world's energy supply.

Katherine

kewms
03-29-2011, 10:06 PM
And the only reason this hasn't been done is, again, the fat cats can control the access to nuclear-generated power and they cannot monopolize the sun.

Nonsense. The "fat cats" can certainly control your access to solar electricity. There's an enormous, multi-billion dollar supply chain behind every solar cell on the planet. (And there had better be, for solar to achieve anywhere near the scale you envision.) It's just a slightly different group of fat cats.

Katherine

Tenyu
03-29-2011, 10:11 PM
The problem is no one posting in this thread is even aware of what the real problems are. If any of you were to read Ascent Of Humanity you would quickly change your mind.

Charles Eisentstein has a greater understanding of Aiki and Aikido than anyone posting on this forum.

dps
03-30-2011, 12:26 AM
I'm an analyst and a consultant to several companies in the industry, with whom I've signed non-disclosure agreements. To the best of my knowledge, none of my clients are involved in the nuclear industry in any capacity. A search on my name should turn up most of my public work on the subject.

Katherine

I Googled both Katherine and David Orange;

From http://www.thinfilmmfg.com/admin/about.htm#KDinfo,

"Katherine Derbyshire, the founder of Thin Film Manufacturing, has a BS in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MS in materials from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published research on diamond thin films, high temperature superconductors, and archaeological bronzes.

She has been involved with the semiconductor manufacturing industry since 1994, when she joined Solid State Technology as Senior Technical Editor. She won two American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards before departing as Chief Technical Editor in 1998. Next, she joined Semiconductor Online, where she quadrupled traffic and established the site as a leading information provider for the industry. She left Semiconductor Online in 2001 to found Thin Film Manufacturing. "

From UAB Campus Directory http://www.uab.edu/directory/

David Wayne Orange

University department: Biostatistics
University job title: Research Assistant
Physical location of office: Ryals Public Health Bldg

Could not find David Orange on.

Faculty and Staff in Epidemiology UAB
http://www.soph.uab.edu/epi/faculty

or

Faculty and Staff in Biostatistics UAB
http://www.soph.uab.edu/bst/faculty

I did find him here as a research assistant on the research staff of Research Methods and Clinical Trials at UAB

http://www.soph.uab.edu/RMCT/people/staff

dps

Anthony Loeppert
03-30-2011, 01:41 AM
The cost is in converting the solar energy to usable energy, installing, operating and maintaining the equipment.

It is not free.


Right! Especially when compared against those straight forward predicable costs, operating a nuclear power plant (at least in the USA) is very attractive. Insurance liability is downright cheap (http://newyorkcity.injuryboard.com/toxic-substances/us-nuclear-industry-protected-from-liability-in-event-of-a-nuclear-catastrophe.aspx?googleid=289568) and with all the government loan guarantees demanded on the front end, I mean, really why not OWN a nuclear power plant?

I recommend to anyone living near a nuclear power plant to stop your current life plan and build a nuclear power plant so you can afford to live somewhere where there isn't a nuclear power plant. Those things are dangerous!

dps
03-30-2011, 02:44 AM
I mean, really why not OWN a nuclear power plant?

I recommend to anyone living near a nuclear power plant to stop your current life plan and build a nuclear power plant.....

Coming to a neighborhood near you.

From http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2050039,00.html

"Designed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory spin-off Hyperion Power Generation Inc., the nuclear battery — so called because it is cheap, small and easily transportable — is about the size of a refrigerator, compared with a 50-ft.-tall traditional reactor. It produces 25 megawatts of electricity — approximately a fortieth the output of a large atomic power-plant reactor. While not quite compact enough for cars, the battery, known as the Hyperion Power Module, has been designed to power subdivisions or towns with fewer than 20,000 homes, as well as military bases, mining operations, desalination plants and even commercial ships, including cruise liners."

Hyperion Hydride Reactor

http://www.hyperionpowergeneration.com/product.html



"Each HPM provides 70 MW thermal energy or 25 MW electric energy via steam turbine for seven to ten years. This amount of energy provides electricity for 20,000 average American-style homes or the industrial or infrastructure equivalent. Initial deliveries, slated to begin in the second half of 2013, are being scheduled."

http://www.hyperionpowergeneration.com/product-purch.html

dps

phitruong
03-30-2011, 06:53 AM
And talk about your peak oil, projections are that there is only enough uranium for the next 80 years of nuclear power generation. If it's so necessary now, what will society do when it's all been used?

David

there is a project in France to build the first fusion reactor. the project is sponsored by many nations across the world. my guess is in 20 years, we would start replacing fission power plan with fusion power plan. once fusion power becomes more of a commodity, probably in 40 years, the whole uranium situation won't be.

DonMagee
03-30-2011, 07:22 AM
And talk about your peak oil, projections are that there is only enough uranium for the next 80 years of nuclear power generation. If it's so necessary now, what will society do when it's all been used?

And if we can do without it then, why not now?

Well, because people can make too much profit from it now and the future be damned, by their lights.

Why run these risks (which are extremely high, with disasters very likely) only to be left with nothing after 80 years?

Simply profit at the expense of humanity, is all.

Best wishes.

David

Thorium or some other fuel will be fine. You don't have to use Uranium, it's just the first way they figured it out. In fact newer fuels are much safer with much less waste.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 10:29 AM
I am glad I don't live in the paranoid world of David Orange.
dps

But you do, silly boy. It's truly unfortunate for me, however, that your type has so much influence in my world. Are you the same David Skaggs who was in the Republican machinery from Ohio?

Talk about paranoid.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 10:42 AM
Huh? All of the reactors currently operating in the US were begun in 1974 or earlier. The only US reactor currently under construction was begun in 1973.

So you're saying that every reactor in the US is about 40 years old or older.

What happened to the "modern" plants that are so much safer than the design in Fukushima? You're saying they're all as old as Fukushima, it seems. Therefore, they're all outmoded and unreliable.

Our nucelar industry really began in the 1940s and it's been going strong ever since, with massive public funding which could have been better used for other investments in the public good, just like the $700B Bush wasted in Iraq over eight years.

Interesting that one of the first nuclear accidents did occur in Alabama, when the Browns Ferry nuclear plant had to be shut down by a fire threatening the control systems. It was the largest and most advanced nuclear complex in the world. It has a very interesting history.

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

We don't have a nuclear dominated world, we have a fossil fuel dominated world.

We have both.

But mostly what we have is a world in which the common people are herded like sheep and guided to a view that enriches those who control the oil and nuclear power.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 10:46 AM
Thorium or some other fuel will be fine. You don't have to use Uranium, it's just the first way they figured it out. In fact newer fuels are much safer with much less waste.

Actually, thorium was first. They didn't use it because they wanted the plutonium by-product for use in weapons.

And if thorium is actually safer, with less waste, why don't they switch to it?

Vested interest. The same people who control the plants control the uranium mining. They make their money off the risks and complexities. It's not in their interest to use a cheaper, more readily available fuel because that would cut their profits from the vast organizations needed to handle uranium. Waste is bad for us but good for them.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 10:48 AM
there is a project in France to build the first fusion reactor. the project is sponsored by many nations across the world. my guess is in 20 years, we would start replacing fission power plan with fusion power plan. once fusion power becomes more of a commodity, probably in 40 years, the whole uranium situation won't be.

Well, they could replace the uranium plants now with thorium plants. There's no need for us to live under these ungodly threats just so that car dealerships can be lit like Christmas trees all night long, 365 days a year. But the vested interests want us to live under those threats because their own profit is their only concern and it would cost them a lot of money to make the switch.

RonRagusa
03-30-2011, 11:03 AM
there is a project in France to build the first fusion reactor. the project is sponsored by many nations across the world. my guess is in 20 years, we would start replacing fission power plan with fusion power plan. once fusion power becomes more of a commodity, probably in 40 years, the whole uranium situation won't be.

Ahhh... fusion power, the Holy Grail of energy production. Research into the peaceful use of the fusion reaction has been ongoing since 1947 with, to date, no reports of a sustainable chain reaction having ever been attained. From the beginning of this research the promise of unlimited energy produced cheaply and safely from fusion has been always about 20 years away. I dunno, why are we wasting all this money trying to build a fusion reactor on earth when we already have one operating just waiting to be tapped? Did you ever stop to consider that the sun is 93 million miles away for a reason? That bringing it down to earth in the form of a fusion reactor might not be such a good idea? Would you want a 10 million degree oven in your neighborhood?

I wonder if the money invested in fusion research for the past 60 years had been spent on research in renewable energy production whether we would be in the same pickle we find ourselves in today having to rely primarily on fossil fuels and the nuclear boondoggle.

Best,

Ron

akiy
03-30-2011, 11:07 AM
Hi folks,

Please watch your tone and stay away from personal attacks. Thank you.

-- Jun

David Orange
03-30-2011, 11:24 AM
Imagine being one of the thousand people who lost their homes (and who knows if any more will if it spreads) because of coal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania or another interesting case http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Straitsville,_Ohio

There's no question that coal is a nasty business. I was actually a coal miner, myself, for one month in 1975, due to a range of strange circumstances. I saw the industry first hand from inside the mine and I've lived in coal country all my life. I don't like it at all.

However, how many towns thes size of New Straitsville and Centralia could fit inside the nuclear exclusion zone of Chernobyl?

And how long will these coal fires last? 100,000 years? I really doubt it.


The fact is all of these accidents are very rare, and we are getting better and better at preventing them and fixing them. Why wasn't there a crazy outcry to ban coal mining after a entire US town was lost?

I'm sure there would have been if a region the size of Chernobyl's had been lost.

People are scared simply because the media tells them to be. Radiation is dangerous, but no more dangerous than a million other things being done right here in the US.

Like what? Nothing compares to the risk of something like Chernobyl.

Yes, the levels of radiation are unsafe, yes it is a good idea to move out of the area until they lower (and they will once they fix this). But this is not a land is lost situation. This is a tragedy and a learning experience.

I might agree if the situation in Fukushima were anywhere near resolution. The fact is, it's still in a very precarious state. If one (or more) of the reactors has actually been breeched, and if that condition goes worse, you'll have to change your tune remarkably. It's way too soon to say what will happen. It's like looking at a burning car and saying, "As soon as the fire goes out, we can drive it again." But the fact is, a burning car has an excellent chance of exploding. A breeched nuclear reactor is not a learning experience and we don't know how big the final nuclear exclusion zone around Fukushima will be or how long it will be maintained. You can't say it's "not a land lost situation" because at the moment and for the foreseeable future, it is a land lost situation. They can't drink the water or the milk or eat the vegetables or even go back to their homes to get pictures of their mothers or children. Really, what you're saying is like a gambler at a roulette wheel saying "I haven't really lost much so far," though he continues gambling and losing steadily. What's that song lyric? You never count your money when you're sitting at the table? It's time for us to realize that we should have "folded" on nuclear power decades ago.

And even if by some small change the land becomes a uninhabitable waste land, it still wouldn't effect my researched and well thought decision that we should abandon nuclear power anymore then the deep water accident makes me want to abandon all oil drilling or the Centralia accident makes me want to abandon all coal mining. I think their are far worse things to worry about (like hydraulic fracking) and a lot to gain by continuing to research generating power from the atom.

Well, I'd say there's far more than "some small chance," but how many nuclear exclusion zones will be acceptable to you? How big can they be before you realize you're busted? If the reactor really goes all in and Tokyo is engulfed in the exclusion zone, will that change your mind? If the radiation reaches your town? It's already in Alabama, Nevada, South Carolina and therefore, probably all across the US. So far, it's supposedly non hazardous to humans (got a bridge to sell you), but what if seriously dangerous material is released and follows the same distribution patterns?

I agree that hydraulic fracking is a horrible assault on human existence, but remember that the main motivation is the same as that behind nuclear power plants: to make money, regardless of the risks to the people who live in the area and regardless of the long-term damage to the environment. We need to force an end to all these things, but it seems clear that the wholesale gutting of the EPA is designed precisely to prevent any impedence of the profit behemoth.

Keith Larman
03-30-2011, 11:38 AM
I'll wade in here a little, but I'll stand back a bit to stay out of range of flailing, random fists....

A company I invested in many years ago when it was called Thorium Power is now called Lightbridge (http://www.ltbridge.com/). They are making inroads in a variety of places with thorium technology. Write your legislators and ask why more work isn't being done to change the focus towards technology like thorium. Write Mr. Chu at the Department of Energy.

That's what I did. I even had a moment to talk with my congressman a while back. Talked about it directly.

Back in 2008 there was the 2008 Thorium Energy Independence and Security Act sponsored by Orrin Hatch and Harry Reid. It failed, but it was a good step. More need to be taken.

However, the problem here is the shrill level of debate. Thorium tends to get lumped in to all things nuclear which itself means mushroom clouds, big booms, holes to China, vast devastation, mutant ants and lizards, etc. to many. We cannot move forward until we can have intelligent, focused, fair discussion. Too much knee jerking and a lot of babies are getting tossed with the bathwater...

I wonder how many people die or are horribly disfigured each year in car fires when the gasoline ignites... But no, that's background noise because that has been our world for a long time. Along with the pollution. Along with the accidents. How many people were basically vaporized when the BP rig exploded? How many have died on rigs just drilling? How many die transporting gasoline in tankers?

It all has costs.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 11:46 AM
I'm an analyst and a consultant to several companies in the industry, with whom I've signed non-disclosure agreements. To the best of my knowledge, none of my clients are involved in the nuclear industry in any capacity. A search on my name should turn up most of my public work on the subject.

At no point have I advocated "wasting" solar energy. I've just pointed out that renewables, by themselves, are not currently sufficient to replace fossil fuels in the world's energy supply.

Well, so much of the argument presupposes that we have to meet all the "demand" for power when a tremendous amount of it is wasted and unnecessary usage. There's an appreciable demand for heroin in the US. Does that mean we should "meet" that demand?

And another factor is the misrepresentation and misuse of renewables, themselves, such as using photovoltaics to run electric space heaters, or the incredibly stupid use of corn for biofuel. We could do a far better job by using industrial hemp for everything from fuesl to oils, to paper and many other products. Hemp was a $20B/year industry in the US that was wiped out overnight about 1930. Reviving that industry would eliminate tremendous waste while supplying many vital products in a quickly-renewing form. It isn't all about photovoltaics. Renewables can meet much more of our needs than the many lobbyists insist.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 11:48 AM
Nonsense. The "fat cats" can certainly control your access to solar electricity. There's an enormous, multi-billion dollar supply chain behind every solar cell on the planet. (And there had better be, for solar to achieve anywhere near the scale you envision.) It's just a slightly different group of fat cats.


But no one can prevent my using solar heat, solar food production, solar cooling, solar light. A big part of the slander of solar power is that it has to be converted to electricity to be useful. It does not.

Ron Tisdale
03-30-2011, 11:55 AM
How many people were basically vaporized when the BP rig exploded?

11 I believe...someone check my math please...and 11 is already a lot, if you belong to their families or knew them.

Best,
Ron

phitruong
03-30-2011, 12:13 PM
Ahhh... fusion power, the Holy Grail of energy production. Research into the peaceful use of the fusion reaction has been ongoing since 1947 with, to date, no reports of a sustainable chain reaction having ever been attained. From the beginning of this research the promise of unlimited energy produced cheaply and safely from fusion has been always about 20 years away. I dunno, why are we wasting all this money trying to build a fusion reactor on earth when we already have one operating just waiting to be tapped? Did you ever stop to consider that the sun is 93 million miles away for a reason? That bringing it down to earth in the form of a fusion reactor might not be such a good idea? Would you want a 10 million degree oven in your neighborhood?

I wonder if the money invested in fusion research for the past 60 years had been spent on research in renewable energy production whether we would be in the same pickle we find ourselves in today having to rely primarily on fossil fuels and the nuclear boondoggle.

Best,

Ron

don't know if you have seen this or not http://www.iter.org/ it will be in 20 years. we have much to lose if we won't.

if we looked at history, we built the atom bombs before we built the power plan. we already have fusion bombs. now we are working to harness that power. good idea or not, only time will tell. but by then, we won't be around to know.

we human like challenges and adversity. we thrive on such things. we looked up at the moon and said we want to walk on it and we did. was that a good idea? didn't matter, we just did. we look up at the stars and said we will travel among them, and we will. is that a good idea? doesn't matter. we will. that's human.

DonMagee
03-30-2011, 12:34 PM
I'll wade in here a little, but I'll stand back a bit to stay out of range of flailing, random fists....

A company I invested in many years ago when it was called Thorium Power is now called Lightbridge (http://www.ltbridge.com/). They are making inroads in a variety of places with thorium technology. Write your legislators and ask why more work isn't being done to change the focus towards technology like thorium. Write Mr. Chu at the Department of Energy.

That's what I did. I even had a moment to talk with my congressman a while back. Talked about it directly.

Back in 2008 there was the 2008 Thorium Energy Independence and Security Act sponsored by Orrin Hatch and Harry Reid. It failed, but it was a good step. More need to be taken.

However, the problem here is the shrill level of debate. Thorium tends to get lumped in to all things nuclear which itself means mushroom clouds, big booms, holes to China, vast devastation, mutant ants and lizards, etc. to many. We cannot move forward until we can have intelligent, focused, fair discussion. Too much knee jerking and a lot of babies are getting tossed with the bathwater...

I wonder how many people die or are horribly disfigured each year in car fires when the gasoline ignites... But no, that's background noise because that has been our world for a long time. Along with the pollution. Along with the accidents. How many people were basically vaporized when the BP rig exploded? How many have died on rigs just drilling? How many die transporting gasoline in tankers?

It all has costs.

This is exactly my point. I'm not saying to build 1960's reactors to keep our power running. I'm saying invest in new, safer, more efficient nuclear tech. David Orange seems to think that if it has the word nuclear in it then it can only lead to vast devastation and explosions. Look even at his description of fusion. The laughable concept that if we could figure out a way to have stable fusion we would kill us with some kind of mini sun. It's just a flawed representation of how these things work. I can't take anything else seriously when comments like that are made. With mindsets like these there will be no progress and our society will stagnate and be unable to keep up with it's own growth.

Further more there seems to be some kind of mental block that makes people think that cancer causing radiation is somehow worse then cancer causing pollutants from oil, coal etc. This becomes even sillier when you see how easy it is to control the dangerous substances with nuclear power as apposed to coal and oil where you have no choice but to release it into the air.

I'd say the deep water accident was way more damaging to this planet then this nuclear accident can ever be even if the plant does somehow find a way to explode (which is impossible based on the known physics of the universe). How many people are going to die from eating the byproducts of the chemicals dumped into the ocean to fix that problem? How many people have lost their home and livelihoods because their entire source of income for generations was destroyed?

It's clear to me that japan has some work ahead of it, but it doesn't look anywhere near ominous yet. Personally, I'd be more worried about eating poison fish from oil spills, breathing in all the toxic fumes being released from 2 hundred year long coal fires (that could run for thousands of years), or even drinking water contaminated with proprietary agents to get natural gas out of the ground.

Even if we can reduce our power needs today by forcing a new 'dark' age on 1st world countries, demand will still grow faster then we can find ways to save power. We will need vastly more efficient and clean power generation methods. Power demand will grow even greater as we realize that fuels like gas and oil are economically and literally unsustainable. Unless we are proposing a destruction of society and building a new utopia where all jobs are within walking distance and all homes are heated, cooled, and powered by solar tech, earth tubes, and geothermal (as well as moving out of the areas where this is not possible) then the best we can hope for is too put pressure where it needs to be to keep our systems update, and build new safer systems.

I'm sure like all technologies there will be a breakthrough that renders nuclear power obsolete. Until that happens, I'm hedging my bets on it be our current best hope for living comfortably and civilly.

kewms
03-30-2011, 01:04 PM
So you're saying that every reactor in the US is about 40 years old or older.

What happened to the "modern" plants that are so much safer than the design in Fukushima? You're saying they're all as old as Fukushima, it seems. Therefore, they're all outmoded and unreliable.

No, the more modern designs are being built in countries other than the US.

Also, because the approval cycle in the US is so long, I would expect that reactor designs are updated along the way. If I were the nuclear industry shill you accuse me of being, I might have a definitive answer to that question. Since I'm not, I don't.

Katherine

kewms
03-30-2011, 01:08 PM
I Googled both Katherine and David Orange;

From http://www.thinfilmmfg.com/admin/about.htm#KDinfo,

"Katherine Derbyshire, the founder of Thin Film Manufacturing, has a BS in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MS in materials from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has published research on diamond thin films, high temperature superconductors, and archaeological bronzes.

She has been involved with the semiconductor manufacturing industry since 1994, when she joined Solid State Technology as Senior Technical Editor. She won two American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards before departing as Chief Technical Editor in 1998. Next, she joined Semiconductor Online, where she quadrupled traffic and established the site as a leading information provider for the industry. She left Semiconductor Online in 2001 to found Thin Film Manufacturing. "


Thanks for the reminder that I need to update that page to reflect my work on solar stuff.

For those who care, my involvement in the solar industry began in 2003, when I wrote a market study on organic semiconductors, including organic solar cells. Since then, I've covered both organic and inorganic cells at some length and, as I said, done quite a bit of work under NDA for companies in the space.

Katherine

kewms
03-30-2011, 01:11 PM
Well, so much of the argument presupposes that we have to meet all the "demand" for power when a tremendous amount of it is wasted and unnecessary usage.

Again, cut the demand for power in half and you still have a very substantial gap. But I haven't seen any realistic proposals that would cut demand in half.

Katherine

Keith Larman
03-30-2011, 01:15 PM
Don:

Yeah, I've been following the debates for a long time. That's one hazard of being born into a family a scientists. I put my money where my mouth is by investing in companies like lightbridge. We retrofit our house with gas filled double paned windows, added insulation to the attic, replaced the crappy entry door with a triple insulated door, and installed solar powered attic fans to exhaust air in the hot Southern California summers. Once we'd finished with all that it turned out that our average monthly electricity bill was about $60 (we use nat gas for heating). We'd be a bit higher in the summer due to AC, but if we are smart about things we often don't even have to use the AC as the house is so thermally efficient now. Just open up at night to get the house cool. I might be installing another active roof fan this year but not solar -- the idea is to exhaust the space between the roof and ceiling at night when the air is cool -- my solar fans kick out before it cools down completely.

Anyway, I called a couple solar companies. The companies who are doing the "leased" model really don't want to talk with us because we just don't use enough electricity for their model.

WRT buying a system outright we might go for it once we get the money together to fix our roof up completely (we need a reroofing due to leaks -- better to do that before installing). FWIW in California given current tax breaks (federal and state) we could install a 1.5 kw system on our roof for about 7.5K when all is said and done (incentives pay almost half). That would cover about half our use on average. The good thing is that on the hottest, sunniest days our system would be at full gonzo "make electricity" mode and that's when we tend to use the most power as our central AC is probably the biggest power gulper we have.

If we finance the thing over 30 years we would be paying more each month for a while, but eventually (assuming energy prices continue with inflation) would start getting cheaper than not having it. So it would "pay for itself" over time. But it is coming up with between 7 and 8 thousand USD. Or getting financing and yet another obligation. It would increase the resale value of the house, but we have no intention of ever moving. So... Don't know. Need money. Hmmm, lotto ticket.

Of course a grid-tied system that could handle 100% of our usage plus extra just in case for future stuff (i.e., 4 KW) would run about 43 thousand usd, or about 21 thousand after all the federal/state incentives.

If I take a step back, however, look at that 43 thousand dollar figure that would cover our full usage as a family. I current pay 60 a month on average. At that rate (ignoring inflation and all that jazz) it would take me 60 years to pay 43,000 for electricity. Wow. The fact that there are incentives really means someone else is paying my bill for me -- i.e., everyone else in the US who is taxed. Someone *still* pays. That doesn't make much sense to me in the bigger picture realm. Okay, in terms of building demand, funding the industry, getting more out there, reducing the load on the utilities, it's all good. But it is still totally insane from purely a cost point of view. It is *very* expensive electricity.

So... Last year I taught my daughter about some of this stuff. We cobbled together a couple old discarded solar panels, wired them up, and now have about 20 watts of generation charging a couple old deep cycle batteries in my workshop. We use that to charge phones, ipods, sometimes my netbook computer, and a small LED light I have in there for at night. I taught her how to make a solar oven last year and we had a lot of fun cooking stuff for lunch last summer using nothing but the sun, aluminum foil and old shipping boxes. This summer we're building a model car that runs on a small fuel cell. And what little I have in retirement money is invested in companies like Lightbridge and another couple solar companies.

The reality is that nothing right now can compete with the existing coal fired plants, nuclear plants, etc. Nothing. I have invested in places looking at alternatives. In all seriousness I think the next 20-30 years we will see further improvements in efficiencies in solar and especially in production cost in particular. Lots of good research going on there. But I doubt it will even come close to replacing much of anything as the demand for energy simply continues to grow. The future, IMHO, is we will *have* to move to more modern (and vastly safer) nuclear technologies such as thorium and nuclear batteries in the interim. Small, local power generation addresses a lot of problems including transmission loss, etc. These will be supplanted by solar (thank you local early adopters) and other things to some extent. But they simply will not do the whole job. Eventually the experiments in fusion will likely be the thing that takes us the next step.

Nuclear is our future. But it isn't the nuclear of the 1970's. There is no doubt we need to continue to invest in a wide spectrum of technologies. Many will fail to produce. Some will.

Do we have any other choice? I'm all for energy efficiency, but that doesn't come cheap either. And realistically what can we accomplish on a wide scale basis? I try to do my part. But in a sense I have the luxury of being able to do that. Many do not. I wish I could afford more. And maybe someday I will and I'll install that 2kw system I dream about. Or better yet -- 4 kw -- I don't mind sharing. But it is *very* costly. And if I did that it would be me investing in my planet, my country, my neighborhood, my family, and ultimately my daughter's future.

Complicated issues... No easy answers. We have a chance *right now* to move this whole thing forward. Rising oil costs due to unrest in the middle east. A reminder that there are vastly better ways *now* to do nuclear hence we should be re-evaluating our objections to future approaches.

Okay, I've kicked the soapbox out. Someone else get up now... :)

kewms
03-30-2011, 01:16 PM
But no one can prevent my using solar heat, solar food production, solar cooling, solar light. A big part of the slander of solar power is that it has to be converted to electricity to be useful. It does not.

It is 49 degrees and raining outside my office as I write this. In Montana, where my brother lives, spring planting is likely to be a month late because there are still several feet of snow on the ground. In northwestern Pennsylvania, where my mother lives, it's 38 degrees and snow is likely overnight.

There's some solar light and heat in those places right now, but not a whole lot of it, and no solar food production at all. (Incidentally, essentially all food production anywhere on earth depends on sunlight, so I'm not sure why you're treating solar food production as an untapped resource.)

Meanwhile, I'm using electricity to power the computer I use to write this, not to mention the network link out to the world, the servers that host aikiweb, etc.

Katherine

Keith Larman
03-30-2011, 01:33 PM
As a side-note... One neat thing in building the small solar array with my daughter is that by the time we were done she realized that it really didn't put out much energy at all. 10 watts? 20 watts? A single old "low wattage" incandescent light needs 60.

I pointed out to my daughter that if we assume a (expensive) full-sized panel is 240 watts, we'd need about 15 of them to generate the power we use in a day on the average given our location, orientation, etc.

Or to put it in other terms, the tiny system we built to generate 20 watts would have to be 200 times larger. It gives one an appreciation of the scale (and inefficiencies) of things.

I do, however, understand that there are a number of advances hopefully coming soon. Ms. Derbyshire here probably knows quite a bit about those things as some of the exciting things are going on in thin-film solar and other areas. But still... Doubling efficiency, halving cost and it will still be expensive comparatively. It is good stuff, it is useful stuff, it is part of the solution no doubt. But... It will be very unlikely to be the full solution.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 01:50 PM
However, the problem here is the shrill level of debate. Thorium tends to get lumped in to all things nuclear which itself means mushroom clouds, big booms, holes to China, vast devastation, mutant ants and lizards, etc. to many. We cannot move forward until we can have intelligent, focused, fair discussion. Too much knee jerking and a lot of babies are getting tossed with the bathwater...

Keith, I hope you've noticed my many positive comments about thorium. Clearly, it's not same as uranium. It may not be perfect, but the differences are so stark that it seems to me to be night and day. I think it's worth a lot of consideration and research. Good going on your part.

I wonder how many people die or are horribly disfigured each year in car fires when the gasoline ignites... But no, that's background noise because that has been our world for a long time. Along with the pollution. Along with the accidents. How many people were basically vaporized when the BP rig exploded? How many have died on rigs just drilling? How many die transporting gasoline in tankers?

It all has costs.

Yes, it does, but uranium nuclear plants clearly have a drastically higher cost and far greater risks than anything related.

I'd rank them as 1) nuclear; 2) oil; 3) coal as the big three serious threats to human life on earth. Add in hyraulic fracking for natural gas...

And of course each of those areas has multiple areas. In oil, offshore drilling should be a clear danger to anyone with at least as much sense as a monkey. Anyone with more sense than a monkey should be firmly against offshore drilling, especially in areas like the gulf of Mexico. Next, protected natural lands should simply be removed from the discussion. I have more respect for wolves and moose than for Sarah Palin's right to gun her snowmobile in the wild and for people to drive their Suburbans and H2s at 90mph down the freeway just because they think it's cool. The idea that "If I can afford it, then you have no right to tell me I can't have it" is just baloney. We do that with all kinds of things. Lots of people "can afford" methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, but we restrict those. It's time we realize as a society that oil and gasoline are our biggest vulnerabilities, along with wasteful demand for electricity and air conditioning. A thing that's killing you cannot also be a "necessity".

Best to you.

David

David Orange
03-30-2011, 01:56 PM
Again, cut the demand for power in half and you still have a very substantial gap. But I haven't seen any realistic proposals that would cut demand in half.

"Demand?"

People "demand" heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, whiskey, vodka, bigger cars, more electric lights, etc., etc., etc., every day. That doesn't mean that any of that is "necessary".

It's time to shift our priorities from "demand" to "necessity" and cover only the bases that must be covered. We waste far more than half of the energy that's consumed in this country. Take a tour of any city and you'll see vast parking lots of car dealerships lit up brightly all night long, every night of the year. We see giant signs lit up all night for thousands of businesses that aren't even open. Maybe you like it that way. Maybe the business owner loves it, but don't tell me we have to have nuclear plants because most of the "demand" in our country is exactly that kind of pure waste.

There's nothing that says we have to satisfy all the demand for anything. And when satisfying wasteful demand requires exposing everyone to the dangers and the costs of uranium-based nuclear generation plants, the stupidity is clear.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 02:07 PM
11 I believe...someone check my math please...and 11 is already a lot, if you belong to their families or knew them.

I've been in pretty much the same shoes, myself. I was a coal miner, briefly, 1,300 feet underground. We had three fires and some cave-ins while I was there.

I was a steel worker for several months in 1979, exposed to molten steel in various places, as well as fire, CO gas and various mineral dusts.

I've worked in a pulp plant, putting abrasive ceramic onto the debarker machine. I've been a vacuum cleaner demonstrator, a modern dancer (winning the 1987 Panoply of the Arts in Huntsville, Alabama and performing around the state). I've been an English teacher, a bank detective, a technical writer, an interviewer in cancer research, an airplane paint-stripper....a painter...a carpenter...you name it, I may have done it for a living.

The difference with the guys on the oil rig is that they chose to be there. A lot of the people around Fukushima were against the plant, protested when it was approved and had no choice but to live there when it was built. Most of them probably had a good bit of solar capacity in their homes and would have been happy to do without a nuclear plant nearby. They had no choice.

That's a big difference.

Has the radiation from Fukushima reached your area yet? Yesterday in Huntsville, Alabama, a monitor detected a reading of 150 (of whatever unit they use) when the alert level is 100. We certainly didn't choose to receive this fall-out from Tokyo Electric Power Company.

At least the workers knew they were taking a risk and they were getting paid to be there by choice. Are you going to get any money from TEPCO?

Let me know where to apply if you do.

David

kewms
03-30-2011, 02:09 PM
It's time to shift our priorities from "demand" to "necessity" and cover only the bases that must be covered.

Okay, then let's talk about the billions of people living without refrigeration, or the hospitals where doctors operate by candlelight. Or the places where "electricity" means the truckload of car batteries that someone hauls back and forth to the nearest town with a generator. What's your answer for those people?

The US consumes obscene amounts of energy per capita. No argument there. But my point is that even if you substantially reduce that -- which I have so far seen very little political will to do -- you *still* have developing countries doing everything they can to achieve a comparable standard of living. Even if they do it in the most efficient way possible, and even if they do it without US-style overconsumption, you *still* have an enormous amount of, yes, *demand* that simply isn't going to be met by renewables alone.

Katherine

David Orange
03-30-2011, 02:21 PM
David Orange seems to think that if it has the word nuclear in it then it can only lead to vast devastation and explosions.

Wrong, Don, and badly played. I have suggested thorium. But I doubt we'll see it because effectively, the word "nuclear" does mean uranium in today's economy, ruled by the uranium interests. And that almost guarantees explosions and devastations.

Look even at his description of fusion. The laughable concept that if we could figure out a way to have stable fusion we would kill us with some kind of mini sun.

Hold it right there, Don. Quote it or take it back. I haven't even mentione fusion. Find the quote or apologize, bud.

It's just a flawed representation of how these things work. I can't take anything else seriously when comments like that are made.

Quote the comment, Don, or admit that you were at best wrong, and at worst you have badly misrepresented me. State your case, but don't lie to bolster a weak position.

With mindsets like these there will be no progress and our society will stagnate and be unable to keep up with it's own growth.

With continued construction of uranium nuclear plants, especially in countries like China, we'll have worse than stagnation. So what mindset are you talking about? Quote it, or apologize.

Further more there seems to be some kind of mental block that makes people think that cancer causing radiation is somehow worse then cancer causing pollutants from oil, coal etc.

Okay. Then you'll accept living in a house with asbestos insulation? It's no worse than radiation? It's not a matter of which is worse. It's a matter that only a fool would accept any of it if there's a choice around it.

This becomes even sillier when you see how easy it is to control the dangerous substances with nuclear power as apposed to coal and oil where you have no choice but to release it into the air.

Tell that to the people of Fukushima and Tokyo, Don. Did they have a choice? Obviously, it isn't nearly as easy to control as you make it out. Who's paying you to broadcast this kind of false "information"?

I'd say the deep water accident was way more damaging to this planet then this nuclear accident can ever be even if the plant does somehow find a way to explode (which is impossible based on the known physics of the universe).

Yet, you still have to qualify your statement, don't you: "IF the plant does somehow...explode..." Which it has already done quite well enough to have sent radiation into Alabama. You're just saying it can't get worse (which it is doing day by day) when the last guy telling me this said that it couldn't happen at all. You're both very seriously wrong.

How many people are going to die from eating the byproducts of the chemicals dumped into the ocean to fix that problem? How many people have lost their home and livelihoods because their entire source of income for generations was destroyed?

Yeah. Since the Gulf is already ruined, let's just crack all the reactors open. It won't be as bad as an oil spill?

It's clear to me that japan has some work ahead of it, but it doesn't look anywhere near ominous yet.

Open your eyes, Don. It is ominous. I think I waited maybe 18 months since the last guy told me that a nuclear plant "cannot explode". Come back and tell us how ominous it's not in another 18 days. I think you'll have to backpedal quite a bit by then.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 02:24 PM
No, the more modern designs are being built in countries other than the US.

OK. So all US plants are of the same generation as the Fukushima plant (which was designed by GE. That's not helping your arguments for the general safety of the industry.

Also, because the approval cycle in the US is so long, I would expect that reactor designs are updated along the way.

You might expect it. I seriously doubt it due to the profit motive. Cut every cost, including safety.

If I were the nuclear industry shill you accuse me of being, I might have a definitive answer to that question. Since I'm not, I don't.

Don't worry. I don't expect it.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 02:27 PM
Again, cut the demand for power in half and you still have a very substantial gap. But I haven't seen any realistic proposals that would cut demand in half.

The only reason the proposals aren't realistic is that the man with the money makes the rules and the rule, in general is "If I can afford it, you can't tell me I can't do it."

So all of us have to pay for the car dealer to light up his gigantic lot all night. All of us have to pay for the lights in Wal Mart's thousands of parking lots all night, every night.

Cut the waste and you're getting realistic.

Marc Abrams
03-30-2011, 02:33 PM
For those of us who remember the energy crisis of the 1970's, it was a remarkable period for what has turned out to be a wasted, wake-up call. Imagine if we set 20, 30, 40, 50 year mandates so that today, all new home and business construction in sunbelt areas had mandated solar panels and northern latitudes all had geothermal systems. Wind farms in certain areas, research in water-current generators,etc...

The lack of political will has been bought and paid for by you know who.....

Marc Abrams

kewms
03-30-2011, 02:35 PM
OK. So all US plants are of the same generation as the Fukushima plant (which was designed by GE. That's not helping your arguments for the general safety of the industry..

Actually, a plant that was begun in 1974 would have substantially newer technology than one that was *finished* in 1974, as the Fukushima reactors were.

But you don't have to take my word for it.

Complete list of operating US reactors, with technology used:
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf41ai_US_operating_nuclear_reactors.html

Complete list of operating Japanese reactors, with technology used:
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf79.html

The rest of your post attributes to Don some things that I actually wrote. As you recently demanded that Don produce quotes from your posts, I suggest you pay a little more attention to your own attributions.

Katherine

David Orange
03-30-2011, 02:37 PM
(Incidentally, essentially all food production anywhere on earth depends on sunlight, so I'm not sure why you're treating solar food production as an untapped resource.)

The reason is that it is untapped for the most part. Sure, most all food is grown with sunlight, but if I grow it in my back yard, I avoid all the oil that would be used to transport it from some distant source. I save the energy of going to the store to buy it and bring it home. I don't use the store's resources to keep it.

Again, the big falacy is to measure all "solar power" by conversion to electricity. Buckminster Fuller could trace almost anything back to a source at the sun. It's also possible to trace almost anything forward from the sun to our daily use. It just takes a little creative thinking and realizing that electricity does not have to be involved in everything, even though, these days, it is.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 02:47 PM
Okay, then let's talk about the billions of people living without refrigeration, or the hospitals where doctors operate by candlelight. Or the places where "electricity" means the truckload of car batteries that someone hauls back and forth to the nearest town with a generator. What's your answer for those people?

Obviously, for those people, getting by on almost zero electricity, solar electricity can vastly multiply their electricity, can't it? It can double, triple, quadruple their supply. It can provide all their current usage and more. The key is for them not to fall into the situation you describe below. All your arguments so far have been based on the idea that we must supply all the obscene demand for electricity in the US. For the societies you mention, the key is to not be the kinds of fools we have been in the US and not develop obscene energy habits: stay close to nature and work in ways that don't require generated elelctricity--as humanity was able to do for thousands of years before Ben Franklin.

The US consumes obscene amounts of energy per capita. No argument there. But my point is that even if you substantially reduce that -- which I have so far seen very little political will to do -- you *still* have developing countries doing everything they can to achieve a comparable standard of living.

A comparable standard of obscenity, you mean? Obviously, that's a big mistake. So we shouldn't even consider trying to support that around the world.

Even if they do it in the most efficient way possible, and even if they do it without US-style overconsumption, you *still* have an enormous amount of, yes, *demand* that simply isn't going to be met by renewables alone.


Again, however, with the same kinds of investments in renewables (including a more intelligent conceptualization of the very nature of energy and renewable energy sources), they could. The US' obscene consumption is not a golden state to be sught after but a cancer to be avoided. What we have has long since passed beyond quality of life to a serious sickness. Putting nuclear plants all over the map is just a kind of convulsion from a very sick mind.

kewms
03-30-2011, 02:50 PM
The only reason the proposals aren't realistic is that the man with the money makes the rules and the rule, in general is "If I can afford it, you can't tell me I can't do it."

So all of us have to pay for the car dealer to light up his gigantic lot all night. All of us have to pay for the lights in Wal Mart's thousands of parking lots all night, every night.

Cut the waste and you're getting realistic.

And your concrete proposal for changing this situation is?

A dramatic increase in electricity cost would be a good start, perhaps beginning with a carbon tax that would favor electricity from renewable sources. Alabama's congressmen are listed here:
http://www.contactingthecongress.org/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi?site=ctc2011&state=al

Perhaps you could do us all the favor of finding out where they stand on carbon taxes?

Sorry, but I'm really sick of seeing proposals (not just from you) that suggest conservation as the ultimate solution to all our energy woes. Yes, conservation would certainly help. But how do you get there? You need a carbon tax. You need decent schools in urban areas so that people are willing to live there instead of commuting from 20 miles out. You need zoning that favors high density instead of urban sprawl. You need sidewalks, bike lanes, and effective public transit to serve that higher density. You need electricity regulations that favor net metering and demand-based pricing, plus the technological upgrades to the grid that would support those regulations. And so on and so on. Some steps can be taken at the local level, and are being taken in some communities. Some require state or national-level action. To *really* have a global effect, you need to make such steps part of the infrastructure, so that developing economies work that way, too. But none of them are going to happen overnight, and none of them are going to be achieved by essentially telling people to sit at home in the dark.

And so you can't wave a magic wand and cut energy consumption in half. And because you can't, you *still* have to figure out where all that energy is going to come from, and renewables *still* aren't enough to fill the gap.

Katherine

kewms
03-30-2011, 02:52 PM
The reason is that it is untapped for the most part. Sure, most all food is grown with sunlight, but if I grow it in my back yard, I avoid all the oil that would be used to transport it from some distant source. I save the energy of going to the store to buy it and bring it home. I don't use the store's resources to keep it.

And food self-sufficiency is feasible for what fraction of the US population?

Katherine

kewms
03-30-2011, 02:55 PM
A comparable standard of obscenity, you mean? Obviously, that's a big mistake. So we shouldn't even consider trying to support that around the world.

Sorry, but "we" here in the US don't have a choice. China is building a megawatt-scale coal-fired generation plant every *week,* whether we like it or not.

Katherine

Ron Tisdale
03-30-2011, 03:02 PM
Ok, David, don't hate me for this but...

While i feel a certain sentimental attachment to your arguements, they ONLY way I see all of these things coming together is to live under a one world government where CHOICE is an obscene word.

Ok, now, SEE!!!! I really am getting paranoid!

Best,
Ron (hastily looking over my shoulder, and closing my blinds to keep out the dark helicopter)

kewms
03-30-2011, 03:03 PM
Obviously, for those people, getting by on almost zero electricity, solar electricity can vastly multiply their electricity, can't it? It can double, triple, quadruple their supply. It can provide all their current usage and more. The key is for them not to fall into the situation you describe below. All your arguments so far have been based on the idea that we must supply all the obscene demand for electricity in the US. For the societies you mention, the key is to not be the kinds of fools we have been in the US and not develop obscene energy habits: stay close to nature and work in ways that don't require generated elelctricity--as humanity was able to do for thousands of years before Ben Franklin.

So you'll be canceling your phone line, your cell service, and your internet access?

Sorry, asking the rest of the world to pass on "luxuries" like electric lights and telephones is not a viable option. Number one, they won't do it. And number two, IMO it's immoral for the developed world to ask them to.

Think about it: I can earn a decent living without breaking my back in the fields all day, because I can sell electronically-generated "products" into the information economy. But you, developing world farmer, should continue to stay close to nature, and burn wood and cow dung for light and to stay warm (both of which are horrendously polluting), and bounce along on a donkey-drawn cart for days when you need to take your products to the market or see a doctor (who may not be there because you didn't have a phone to call ahead), because you shouldn't aspire to my hideously wasteful standard of living. Now *that's* obscene.

Katherine

kewms
03-30-2011, 03:12 PM
Has the radiation from Fukushima reached your area yet? Yesterday in Huntsville, Alabama, a monitor detected a reading of 150 (of whatever unit they use) when the alert level is 100. We certainly didn't choose to receive this fall-out from Tokyo Electric Power Company.


If you don't even know what units are used to define the "alert" level, you really shouldn't claim to be knowledgeable about nuclear risks.

In many cases, the monitors that are going off were intended to detect things like clandestine nuclear weapons tests. They're designed to spot very small needles in very big haystacks.

Katherine

David Orange
03-30-2011, 03:39 PM
And your concrete proposal for changing this situation is?

I have none except to spread the recognition. Thoughts are things. The most important part of any design is the invisible structure of the thought that precedes the design. I work in that realm where such large matters as these are concerned. That, and doing what I can to reduce my own demand for electricity and oil, living seven miles from my workplace, washing my dishes by hand rather than using a dishwasher (which we have), keeping the heat low in the winter, A/C low in the summer. We keep our thermostat around 80 degrees in the summer...in Alabama.

A dramatic increase in electricity cost would be a good start, perhaps beginning with a carbon tax that would favor electricity from renewable sources. Alabama's congressmen are listed here:
http://www.contactingthecongress.org/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi?site=ctc2011&state=al

Perhaps you could do us all the favor of finding out where they stand on carbon taxes?

Are you kidding? Most of our people are Republicans. So you already know their position.

Sorry, but I'm really sick of seeing proposals (not just from you) that suggest conservation as the ultimate solution to all our energy woes.

Who said "ultimate"? It must be a mix of conservation, building design, solar, wind, water, geothermal and things like switching from corn for biofuel to serious non-food renewables like hemp. There is no one "ultimate" solution to this mess. Nuclear is what comes from trying to solve everything with a single "ultimate" response. Real life is a network of many small things in combination.

Yes, conservation would certainly help. But how do you get there? You need a carbon tax. You need decent schools in urban areas so that people are willing to live there instead of commuting from 20 miles out. You need zoning that favors high density instead of urban sprawl. You need sidewalks, bike lanes, and effective public transit to serve that higher density. You need electricity regulations that favor net metering and demand-based pricing, plus the technological upgrades to the grid that would support those regulations. And so on and so on.

Now you're seeing the essence of what I've been saying all along. I wouldn't even mind thorium-based nuclear plants if they really work and are as safe as the claims.

Some steps can be taken at the local level, and are being taken in some communities. Some require state or national-level action. To *really* have a global effect, you need to make such steps part of the infrastructure, so that developing economies work that way, too. But none of them are going to happen overnight, and none of them are going to be achieved by essentially telling people to sit at home in the dark.

Well, you don't have to tell them if we have a few more Fukushima-style accidents. We'll all be camping out far from the nuclear plants, eating berries, not knowing if they're radioactive or not.

kewms
03-30-2011, 03:49 PM
IThat, and doing what I can to reduce my own demand for electricity and oil, living seven miles from my workplace, washing my dishes by hand rather than using a dishwasher (which we have), keeping the heat low in the winter, A/C low in the summer.

If you have a newish dishwasher, it's probably more efficient. More electricity, but less water, and therefore less energy to heat the water.


Are you kidding? Most of our people are Republicans. So you already know their position.


That's my point. I didn't vote for them, your fellow Alabamians did. You probably have more control over Alabama's political decisions than over Japan's or China's.

Katherine

David Orange
03-30-2011, 03:52 PM
And food self-sufficiency is feasible for what fraction of the US population?


I doubt it's feasible for anyone. Not for me. But I can produce a lot that I can use through the summer and save for the winter and thereby reduce my demand for energy. And I think that's feasible for almost any homeowner. For apartment dwellers, there are community gardening programs. The idea is to piece together a new approach because there is no single-element system that can cover everything.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 04:08 PM
Sorry, but "we" here in the US don't have a choice. China is building a megawatt-scale coal-fired generation plant every *week,* whether we like it or not.

As much as I hate coal, I still prefer it to nuclear, especially in the hands of the people who gave us melamine in baby milk, the Three Rivers Gorge dam and all the other pollution such as you mention in their approach to solar cell manufacturing. You talk as if that's unavoidable in solar cell manufacture, but the problem there is China's lax handling of all kinds of toxic wastes. The by-products of solar cell manufacture need not emerge as pollution.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 04:12 PM
Ok, David, don't hate me for this but...

While i feel a certain sentimental attachment to your arguements, they ONLY way I see all of these things coming together is to live under a one world government where CHOICE is an obscene word.

Ok, now, SEE!!!! I really am getting paranoid!

Best,
Ron (hastily looking over my shoulder, and closing my blinds to keep out the dark helicopter)

First, choice is fine as long as it only affects oneself. We have plenty of domestic laws limiting our choices. As for what other countries do, we have less ability to influence that, but there are the UN and other means of enticing good behavior and discouraging bad behavior. If they're all trying to get our "lifestyle" (what fools!) and we build a better system, then they'll all want to do that, too.

Second, is it still "paranoia" if you know they're out to get you, but you just don't care?:)

Best to you.

David

kewms
03-30-2011, 04:13 PM
As much as I hate coal, I still prefer it to nuclear, especially in the hands of the people who gave us melamine in baby milk, the Three Rivers Gorge dam and all the other pollution such as you mention in their approach to solar cell manufacturing. You talk as if that's unavoidable in solar cell manufacture, but the problem there is China's lax handling of all kinds of toxic wastes. The by-products of solar cell manufacture need not emerge as pollution.

Absolutely agree. So how do we persuade China to be a good global citizen on environmental matters?

Katherine

David Orange
03-30-2011, 04:21 PM
So you'll be canceling your phone line, your cell service, and your internet access?

No, but I'll be turning off all non-essential equipment whenever possible.

Sorry, asking the rest of the world to pass on "luxuries" like electric lights and telephones is not a viable option. Number one, they won't do it. And number two, IMO it's immoral for the developed world to ask them to.

Those are basics, Katherine. I don't think it's "immoral" to help them realize how stupid it is to light up parking lots for closed businesses all night, every night. I don't think it's immoral to lead by example in not producing massive amounts of energy just so that we can waste it.

Think about it: I can earn a decent living without breaking my back in the fields all day...but you, developing world farmer, should continue to stay close to nature, and burn wood and cow dung for light and to stay warm (both of which are horrendously polluting), and bounce along on a donkey-drawn cart for days when you need to take your products to the market or see a doctor (who may not be there because you didn't have a phone to call ahead), because you shouldn't aspire to my hideously wasteful standard of living. Now *that's* obscene.

It's an obscene distortion to conflate our massively wasteful consumption with the basic living needs of a society. Of course, they need those things, and they can have them without nuclear power plants built just to power vast oceans of waste.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 04:26 PM
If you don't even know what units are used to define the "alert" level, you really shouldn't claim to be knowledgeable about nuclear risks.

As Henry Ford once said, "I don't know how many troops the British sent to fight the colonists in America, but I know it was a sight more than ever went back."

I do know that, whatever units they're using, the reading in Huntsville, Alabama, was 50% over the alert level, due strictly to the exploding nuclear plant in Japan. I know that it's 50% over the danger level. I can look up whatever the word is for the units they use, but you can't change the fact that Japan's nuclear event is causing dangerous levels fo radiation here. I said nuclear plants can blow up. An expert on the subject told me that shows that I don't understand nuclear plants. Now we see another nuclear plant blow up. It looks like I know enough to have an opinion.

In many cases, the monitors that are going off were intended to detect things like clandestine nuclear weapons tests. They're designed to spot very small needles in very big haystacks.

Well, they spotted it. If a nuclear plant couldn't "blow up," the radiation from Fukushima would never have registered in Huntsville, Alabama.

phitruong
03-30-2011, 04:30 PM
Absolutely agree. So how do we persuade China to be a good global citizen on environmental matters?

Katherine

you can't. the automatic response would be "it's an internal security matter. go away!" it's the aged old cry of the oppressor. besides, China already owned the western half of the US starting from the Mississippi river out to the Pacific. the eastern side owned by the OPEC. :)

you realize that based on human history, we don't change unless something drastic happened, right? like some sort of global catastrophe (involved at least two continents). we don't do things just because it's good, but because it's a life and death thing, and we are absolutely sucked at long term planning.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 04:30 PM
If you have a newish dishwasher, it's probably more efficient. More electricity, but less water, and therefore less energy to heat the water.

No. We have to pre-wash or the dishes come out with food on them. I prewash every dish, every night. So now, instead, I just wash them a little more thoroughly and they're cleaner than the dishwasher gets them. So it saves energy.

That's my point. I didn't vote for them, your fellow Alabamians did. You probably have more control over Alabama's political decisions than over Japan's or China's.

Believe me, I didn't vote for them, either. They are elected by poor people who have been indoctrinated to vote against their own best interests, like so many Americans.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 04:32 PM
Absolutely agree. So how do we persuade China to be a good global citizen on environmental matters?

I think we have to lead by example.

kewms
03-30-2011, 04:52 PM
I do know that, whatever units they're using, the reading in Huntsville, Alabama, was 50% over the alert level, due strictly to the exploding nuclear plant in Japan. I know that it's 50% over the danger level.

No, you know it's 50% over the alert level. You don't know what, if any, relationship there is between "alert" and "danger."

Katherine

kewms
03-30-2011, 05:06 PM
It's an obscene distortion to conflate our massively wasteful consumption with the basic living needs of a society. Of course, they need those things, and they can have them without nuclear power plants built just to power vast oceans of waste.

How?

That's the fundamental question that you keep ducking. If the entire population of India and China consumes, per capita, the same amount of energy as the most efficient developed society in the world, where is that energy going to come from?

(FWIW, the most efficient developed economies in the world appear to be Hong Kong and Israel. Israel because they've had to live with an oil embargo, I'm sure, and Hong Kong because it's so dense. Note that both are geographically tiny, so don't have to deal with things like long distance transportation. But go ahead and pick one that you think is worth emulating. Ireland and Switzerland do really well in terms of energy use per unit of GDP, for example.)

The reason why I keep hammering on this point is not that I'm anti-renewables. I'm not. It's because most people don't really understand just how mind-bogglingly huge the world's energy consumption is, and therefore propose solutions that don't really come close to matching the scope of the problem.

Katherine

Keith Larman
03-30-2011, 05:56 PM
just how mind-bogglingly huge the world's energy consumption is...

Yup. It is really astounding. And using my foray into solar as an example, even if I purchased everything I needed to generate roughly my average amount of electricity in a year (and we're very energy conscious having done a lot to lower our usage), it would still be a very expensive system *and* it has to be piggy-backed on something like the conventional electrical grid to provide electricity when I'm not generating (night, overcast, etc). So while my dial might be running backwards at a dizzying rate at 3pm on a summer day, once the sun goes down I have to take back from the grid.

And then don't get me started on the concept of batteries. The number of batteries, the costs, the toxic materials, etc. to have on-site energy storage, even for a night, is another mess of problems.

It is really hard to get off the grid. The only real way is to turn off the lights, the TV's, the computers, the ipods, ... And I seriously doubt any of those things are going to happen any time soon.

I really liked Bill Gates' lecture on the TED website. Not to push his particular investment in nuclear, but because of his observations on the very nature of energy consumption.

David Orange
03-30-2011, 06:27 PM
Today, they had smoke coming from a second plant--Fukushima Daini:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/30/japan.daini/?hpt=T2#

At best, this is far from over.

At worst, it could get a whole lot worse.

I won't have time for this thread for awhile. But I predict, as I did in the other thread that generated the name for this one, that it will get worse before it's over.

David

Anthony Loeppert
03-31-2011, 02:12 AM
Sorry, but "we" here in the US don't have a choice. China is building a megawatt-scale coal-fired generation plant every *week,* whether we like it or not.

Katherine

Which is exactly why the world can not afford every person on the planet living the "american dream". What we're doing collectively (yes I know this is an international website, but the context of the quote is US centric) is not sustainable, so when other economies (especially what will become THE dominate economy) with many more people emulate our example - well the results will not be good... and they will accelerate the seemingly inevitable disastrous conclusion to the human experiment.

Tenyu
03-31-2011, 08:10 AM
Okay. Then please tell us precisely what sort of explosions occurred at Fukushima vs. Chernobyl and what the consequences of those explosions are. I don't see a gaseous hydrogen ignition by an ordinary spark as comparable to a graphite fire ignited by an uncontrolled nuclear reaction, so please explain why I am mistaken.

Katherine

Minor correction:

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/chernobyl/inf07.html

Although most reports on the Chernobyl accident refer to a number of graphite fires, it is highly unlikely that the graphite itself burned. According to the General Atomics website (http://gt-mhr.ga.com/safety.php): "It is often incorrectly assumed that the combustion behavior of graphite is similar to that of charcoal and coal. Numerous tests and calculations have shown that it is virtually impossible to burn high-purity, nuclear-grade graphites." On Chernobyl, the same source states: "Graphite played little or no role in the progression or consequences of the accident. The red glow observed during the Chernobyl accident was the expected color of luminescence for graphite at 700°C and not a large-scale graphite fire, as some have incorrectly assumed."

A 2006 Electric Power Research Institute Technical Report2 states that the International Atomic Energy Agency's INSAG-1 report is
...potentially misleading through the use of imprecise words in relation to graphite behaviour. The report discusses the fire-fighting activities and repeatedly refers to "burning graphite blocks" and "the graphite fire". Most of the actual fires involving graphite which were approached by fire-fighters involved ejected material on bitumen-covered roofs, and the fires also involved the bitumen. It is stated: "The fire teams experienced no unusual problems in using their fire-fighting techniques, except that it took a considerable time to extinguish the graphite fire." These descriptions are not consistent with the later considered opinions of senior Russian specialists... There is however no question that extremely hot graphite was ejected from the core and at a temperature sufficient to ignite adjacent combustible materials.

There are also several referrals to a graphite fire occurring during the October 1957 accident at Windscale Pile No. 1 in the UK. However, images obtained from inside the Pile several decades after the accident showed that the graphite was relatively undamaged.

Tenyu
03-31-2011, 08:16 AM
"Japan has finally conceded defeat in the battle to contain radiation at four of its crippled reactors and they will be closed down. Details of how this will be done are yet to be revealed, but officials said it would mean switching off all power and abandoning attempts to keep the nuclear fuel rods cool. The final move would involve pouring tonnes of concrete on the reactors to seal them in tombs and ensure radiation does not leak out."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1371793/Fukushima-nuclear-plant-entombed-concrete-Japan-admits-battle-crippled-reactors-lost.html

Worse than Chernobyl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFRXHEeUUPQ&feature=feedu

DonMagee
03-31-2011, 08:25 AM
Wrong, Don, and badly played. I have suggested thorium. But I doubt we'll see it because effectively, the word "nuclear" does mean uranium in today's economy, ruled by the uranium interests. And that almost guarantees explosions and devastations.


Almost guarantees. How many power plants have exploded in the history of this form of energy? Almost guaranteed....laughable.


Hold it right there, Don. Quote it or take it back. I haven't even mentione fusion. Find the quote or apologize, bud.

You are right, I somehow attached your name to Ron Ragusa
's comments. I will admit I was wrong. My point however, even though it does not reflect on you still holds true.


With continued construction of uranium nuclear plants, especially in countries like China, we'll have worse than stagnation. So what mindset are you talking about? Quote it, or apologize.

So you are saying you are ok with building nuclear power plants as long as they do not use uranium?


Okay. Then you'll accept living in a house with asbestos insulation? It's no worse than radiation? It's not a matter of which is worse. It's a matter that only a fool would accept any of it if there's a choice around it.

Asbestos, while dangerous to work with proved safe for many generations when applied properly. There is however no reason to continue to use it because there are more efficient insulations. Unlike our power conversation where this is no superior solution. I've stated we need to continue to improve and design better power solutions and that nuclear is the best of what we have now. I'm sorry, I don't see my position as being weak or assailable.


Tell that to the people of Fukushima and Tokyo, Don. Did they have a choice? Obviously, it isn't nearly as easy to control as you make it out. Who's paying you to broadcast this kind of false "information"?

I'm payed to voice this opinion by the US government and the CIA. It's my job to quiet those who really know the truth. Our expressed goal is to make the planet uninhabitable and terraform mars so we can move the rich elite there while letting you pesants work our mines. For my part in this, I get unlimited internet access and a toyota corolla. Oh and as many cheese frys as I can eat.


Yet, you still have to qualify your statement, don't you: "IF the plant does somehow...explode..." Which it has already done quite well enough to have sent radiation into Alabama. You're just saying it can't get worse (which it is doing day by day) when the last guy telling me this said that it couldn't happen at all. You're both very seriously wrong.

Prove it exploded? There has not been a nuclear explosion at the plant. There was a hydrogen explosion. The reactor is not going to explode. I'd hope I don't need to explain how and why hydrogen explosion happens.


Yeah. Since the Gulf is already ruined, let's just crack all the reactors open. It won't be as bad as an oil spill?

Never said that. I simply implied it strange that this nuclear danger is somehow more immediate and less damaging. I also was intending to imply that the technologies we need to use to eliminate this ominous and "almost guarantees explosions and devastations" (quoted you properly this time) technology is just as bad (and in my opinion worse).


Open your eyes, Don. It is ominous. I think I waited maybe 18 months since the last guy told me that a nuclear plant "cannot explode". Come back and tell us how ominous it's not in another 18 days. I think you'll have to backpedal quite a bit by then.

First, to have a more meaningful conversation. I suggest you research and study radiation level measurements, the kinds of radiation, the kinds of chemicals being released and their associated half-life. At this point, all those evacuations have been as a precaution due to rising radiation levels. It would actually be safe for people to go home and gather up their belongings. The most recent readings I can find show about 2 mSv per day in the areas around the plant that have been evacuated. That is often reported at 2 times the level the EPA allows one of us to receive in a year! Scary right? Well not so scary when you actually look at getting a CT scan, which is 5 mSv or the max yearly dose the EPA let's power plant workers receive which is 50 mSv. On the extreme side a full body CT can can be as much as 720 mSv! 2 mSv doesn't seem so ominous now...

Levels at this point that have mostly been rising (from what I've been reading) due to iodine 124 and 131 which both have short half-lives. Iodine 134 having a half-life of 53 minutes and iodine 131 with a half-life of 8 days. That means within months those will be of no concern to us. There are other substances that last much longer (cesium-137 is around 30 years), but when we talk about the dangers of drinking milk, we are talking about iodine.

I'm a man of science, reason, and logic. To change my mind I simply require facts, statistics, education, and alternatives. Otherwise we are just having a "no you didn't, yes I did" conversation. Not really worthy of all the electricity we are wasting keeping our computers up and this forum running. :D

Tenyu
03-31-2011, 08:34 AM
"So now that Japan is suffering the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl - if not of all time - is the government riding to the rescue to help fix the problem, or at least to provide accurate information to its citizens so they can make informed decisions?

Of course not!

The EPA is closing ranks with the nuclear power industry:

EPA officials, however, refused to answer questions or make staff members available to explain the exact location and number of monitors, or the levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at existing monitors in California. Margot Perez-Sullivan, a spokeswoman at the EPA's regional headquarters in San Francisco, said the agency's written statement would stand on its own.

Critics said the public needs more information.

"It's disappointing," said Bill Magavern, director of Sierra Club California. "I have a strong suspicion that EPA is being silenced by those in the federal government who don't want anything to stand in the way of a nuclear power expansion in this country, heavily subsidized by taxpayer money."
The EPA has pulled 8 of its 18 radiation monitors in California, Oregon and Washington because (by implication) they are giving readings which seem too high.

Remember, for the sake of context, that the government has covered up nuclear meltdowns for fifty years to protect the nuclear power industry.

And now, the EPA is considering drastically raising the amount of allowable radiation in food, water and the environment.

As Michael Kane writes:

In the wake of the continuing nuclear tragedy in Japan, the United States government is still moving quickly to increase the amounts of radiation the population can "safely" absorb by raising the safe zone for exposure to levels designed to protect the government and nuclear industry more than human life. It's all about cutting costs now as the infinite-growth paradigm sputters and moves towards extinction. As has been demonstrated by government conduct in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of Deepwater Horizon and in Japan, life has taken a back seat to cost-cutting and public relations posturing.

The game plan now appears to be to protect government and the nuclear industry from "excessive costs"… at any cost.

***

In 1992, the EPA produced a PAGs manual that answers many of these questions. But now an update to the 1992 manual is being planned, and if the "Dr. Strangelove" wing of the EPA has its way, here is what it means (brace yourself for these ludicrous increases):
A nearly 1000-fold increase for exposure to strontium-90;
A 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for exposure to iodine-131; and
An almost 25,000 rise for exposure to radioactive nickel-63.
The new radiation guidelines would also allow long-term cleanup thresholds thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever judged safe in the past.
And see this.

Indeed, some government scientists and media shills are now "reexamining" old studies that show that radioactive substances like plutonium cause cancer to argue that prevent cancer.

It is not just bubbleheads like Ann Coulter saying this. Government scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories and pro-nuclear hacks like Lawrence Solomon are saying this.

In other words, this is a concerted propaganda campaign to cover up the severity of a major nuclear accident by raising acceptable levels of radiation and saying that a little radiation is good for us."

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/government-responds-nuclear-accident-trying-raise-acceptable-radiation-levels-and-pretending

Tenyu
03-31-2011, 08:50 AM
2) The status of the reactors, fuel pools and dispersion of radioactive materials continues to get worse, not better.
3) There are perhaps 7 or 8 reactor loads of fuel in play compared with a single load at Chernobyl and 4 or 5 of those are outside of containment in badly damaged spent fuel pools.
4) This report suggests that daily release of radioactive 131I and 137Cs is running at around 73% and 60% of Chernobyl respectively.
5) The Chernobyl fire burned for 8 to 10 days whilst Fukushima Dai-ichi has been emitting radioactive material for around 15 days with no end in sight.



TOD link (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7722)

Tenyu
03-31-2011, 09:01 AM
Specifically, in 1959, there was a meltdown of one-third of the nuclear reactors at the Santa Susana field laboratory operated by Rocketdyne, releasing - according to some scientists' estimates - 240 times as much radiation as Three Mile Island.

Link with Chernobyl documentary. (http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/03/governments-have-been-covering-up.html)

lbb
03-31-2011, 09:08 AM
"Japan has finally conceded defeat in the battle to contain radiation at four of its crippled reactors and they will be closed down. Details of how this will be done are yet to be revealed, but officials said it would mean switching off all power and abandoning attempts to keep the nuclear fuel rods cool. The final move would involve pouring tonnes of concrete on the reactors to seal them in tombs and ensure radiation does not leak out."

Yep, that's the latest all right. What a mess.

Tenyu
03-31-2011, 09:35 AM
http://www.fairewinds.com/multimedia

kewms
03-31-2011, 06:35 PM
Respectfully suggest that anyone reading or participating in this thread read:
http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/04/01/fukushima-daiichi-april-1/#more-4344
http://mitnse.com/2011/03/30/news-updates/
http://mitnse.com/2011/03/30/323/

As well as pretty much everything else from both sites. Both have very good, readable, explanations of the physics of what's going on here.

Feel free to dismiss both as pro-nuclear apologists if you like: one is the MIT Nuclear Science department, the other is the pro-nuclear Director of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide. But both have a rather more robust grasp of the science than the headline-grabbing alarmists featured in most of the mainstream media coverage.

Katherine

kewms
03-31-2011, 06:39 PM
There is however no question that extremely hot graphite was ejected from the core and at a temperature sufficient to ignite adjacent combustible materials.

Which did not happen at Fukushima, and will not happen at any modern commercial reactor. Such reactors use water, not graphite. While there's debate about how easy it is to burn graphite, there's no such debate about water.

Katherine

David Orange
03-31-2011, 07:28 PM
Tenyu Hamaki wrote:
There is however no question that extremely hot graphite was ejected from the core and at a temperature sufficient to ignite adjacent combustible materials.

Which did not happen at Fukushima, and will not happen at any modern commercial reactor. Such reactors use water, not graphite. While there's debate about how easy it is to burn graphite, there's no such debate about water.

Still, it's clear that Chernobyl was not a graphite fire. So....it seems you don't really understand this as well as you would have us believe....and you're trying to slip a superior appearance past us for some reason....

So I'm wondering if you really understand this issue well enough to be lecturing us on it.

And Tenyu has shown extensive documentation that (as I've seriously suspected all along) there have not been three nuclear incidents (or four, counting Brown's Ferry) but several, some with serious melt-downs. And all very nicely covered up.

Why have the various radiation monitors, icluding the one in Huntsville shut down?

And regardless of how minor the radiation and harmless the ejected materials, how would you like to be in the position of some of the honest home-owners around Fukushima? How long are you willing to live in a gymnasium because a plant is spewing "harmless" radiation?

Clearly, even a "harmless" accident at very best, is a very bad situation.

Today I read that not only Fukushima Daiichi and Daini plants have emitted radiation and smoke, but also Onagawa, owned by Tohoku Electric, further up the coast from Fukushima.

Lecture us all you like, but nuclear plants are NOT safe in inhabited areas.

kewms
03-31-2011, 11:48 PM
Still, it's clear that Chernobyl was not a graphite fire. So....it seems you don't really understand this as well as you would have us believe....and you're trying to slip a superior appearance past us for some reason....

My bio is readily available and has already been posted to this thread once.

Katherine

Tenyu
04-01-2011, 12:12 AM
Less than two weeks ago 20,000 gallons of radioactive water from the spent fuel pools at the Pickering plant 22 miles east of Toronto was leaked into Lake Ontario. Of course the radioactivity is all "negligible" for the millions of people whose drinking water comes from the lake.

Toronto News (http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110317/pickering-nuclear-leak-lake-ontario-110317/20110317/?hub=TorontoNewHome)

Tenyu
04-01-2011, 12:19 AM
Radioactive Iodine-131 in rainwater sample near San Francisco was 18,100% above federal drinking water standard

"but safe to drink" :)

link (http://enenews.com/radioactive-iodine-131-in-rainwater-sample-near-san-francisco-is-18100-above-federal-drinking-water-standard)

David Orange
04-01-2011, 12:39 AM
My bio is readily available and has already been posted to this thread once.


But you belittled my comparison of Fukushima to Chernobyl because the Chernobyl plant was a graphite fire, while Fukushima was not....and now we see that Chernobyl was not a graphite fire, either.

So you really don't understand this matter any better than I, even with your bio.

My question is why you feel compelled to pass yourself off as a nuclear expert as well as a thin-film expert. I'm sure I'd take your opinion on thin film solar with a good bit of weight. But on nuclear power, you just seem to have some opinions based largely on misinformation.

So why not admit that the Fukushima situation is a major disaster? And that nuclear plants do "blow up"?

David Orange
04-01-2011, 12:41 AM
"but safe to drink" :)

link (http://enenews.com/radioactive-iodine-131-in-rainwater-sample-near-san-francisco-is-18100-above-federal-drinking-water-standard)

I have to hand it to you, Tenyu. You've made some excellent contributions to this thread. Your earlier documentation of the many nuclear disasters we've already faced, in the UK, US, Russia and Canada, have advanced the conversation in a powerful way.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/03/governments-have-been-covering-up.html

The clip on the Rocketdyne sodium meltdown was really an eye-opener.

Nice going.

David

David Orange
04-01-2011, 01:04 AM
My question is why you feel compelled to pass yourself off as a nuclear expert as well as a thin-film expert. I'm sure I'd take your opinion on thin film solar with a good bit of weight. But on nuclear power, you just seem to have some opinions based largely on misinformation.

"When I asked the academician, Alexandrov, he told me the reactor was absolutely safe. It could even be set up on Red Square. It wouldn't be any dfferent than a samovar, like putting a kettle on Red Square." Mikhail Gorbachev on Chernobyl.

Now the "experts" (:rolleyes: ) are telling us similar things about Fukushima.

Why not just admit that you know jack about the true conditions at Fukushima or the long-term implications of this disaster? True, it's not obviously up to the level of Chernobyl, but it's really foolish to brush this off as a simple thing that will soon be "back to normal".

Tenyu
04-01-2011, 09:22 AM
David,

Are you familiar with the Kyshtym disaster?

The Kyshtym disaster was a radiation contamination incident that occurred on 29 September 1957 at Mayak, a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Russia (then a part of the Soviet Union). It measured as a Level 6 disaster on the International Nuclear Event Scale, making it the second most serious nuclear accident ever recorded (after the Chernobyl disaster). The event occurred in the town of Ozyorsk, a closed city built around the Mayak plant. Since Ozyorsk/Mayak (also known as Chelyabinsk-40 and Chelyabinsk-65) was not marked on maps, the disaster was named after Kyshtym, the nearest known town.

Initially Mayak was dumping high-level radioactive waste into a nearby river, which was taking waste to the river Ob, flowing farther down to the Arctic Ocean. Later on, Lake Karachay was used for open-air storage.

In September 1957 the cooling system in one of the tanks containing about 70--80 tons of liquid radioactive waste failed and was not repaired. The temperature in it started to rise, resulting in evaporation and a chemical explosion of the dried waste, consisting mainly of ammonium nitrate and acetates (see ammonium nitrate bomb). The explosion, estimated to have a force of about 70--100 tons of TNT threw the concrete lid, weighing 160 tons, into the air. There were no immediate casualties as a result of the explosion, which released an estimated 2 to 50 MCi (74 to 1850 PBq) of radioactivity. In the next 10 to 11 hours the radioactive cloud moved towards the northeast, reaching 300--350 kilometers from the accident. The fallout of the cloud resulted in a long-term contamination of an area of more than 800 square kilometers, primarily with caesium-137 and strontium-90. This area is usually referred to as the East-Ural Radioactive Trace (EURT).

Because of the secrecy surrounding Mayak, the populations of affected areas were not initially informed of the accident. A week later (on 6 October) an operation for evacuating 10,000 people from the affected area started, still without giving an explanation of the reasons for evacuation. People "grew hysterical with fear with the incidence of unknown 'mysterious' diseases breaking out. Victims were seen with skin 'sloughing off' their faces, hands and other exposed parts of their bodies." It was Zhores Medvedev who revealed the nature and extent of the disaster to the world. To reduce the spread of radioactive contamination after the accident, contaminated soil was excavated and stockpiled in fenced enclosures that were called "graveyards of the earth". The Soviet government in 1968 disguised the EURT area by creating the East-Ural Nature Reserve, which prohibited any unauthorised access to the affected area. Rumours of a nuclear mishap somewhere in the vicinity of Chelyabinsk had long been circulating in the West. That there had been a serious nuclear accident east of the Urals was eventually inferred from research on the effects of radioactivity on plants, animals, and ecosystems, published by Professor Leo Tumerman, former head of the Biophysics Laboratory at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow, and associates. According to Gyorgy, who invoked the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to the relevant Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) files, the CIA knew of the 1957 Mayak accident all along, but kept it secret to prevent adverse consequences for the fledgling American nuclear industry. Only in 1990 did the Soviet government declassify documents pertaining to the disaster.

The level of radiation in Ozyorsk itself is claimed to be safe for humans, but the area of EURT is still heavily contaminated with radioactivity.

You can read more history of non-classified nuclear accidents here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents)

Tenyu
04-01-2011, 09:43 AM
Gunderson has good updates:

Vimeo Link (http://vimeo.com/21789121)

Tenyu
04-01-2011, 10:11 AM
Katherine & anyone living in North America,

You might be interested in learning about the Petkau Effect. (http://doctorapsley.com/RadiationTherapy.aspx)

Tenyu
04-01-2011, 06:34 PM
http://i.imgur.com/7MYkR.jpg

Tenyu
04-01-2011, 06:56 PM
The IAEA (a UN agency which reports to the Security Council) is mandated to "to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world". It is in fact a lobby, industrial and military, which should have no role to play in public health policy-making or research.

The IAEA has vetoed conferences planned by WHO on radioactivity and health and, in turn, the WHO has endorsed the nuclear lobby's grotesque statistics on mortality and morbidity relating to the Chernobyl accident -- 56 dead and 4,000 thyroid cancers.

Denial of disease inevitably implies denial of health care. Nine million people live in areas with very high levels of radioactivity; for 21 years now these populations have had no choice but to consume contaminated food, with devastating effects on their health

For the nuclear lobby, any research indicating harm from ionizing radiation represents a commercial threat that must at all costs be averted. Research on damage to the human genome (one of the most serious consequences of the contamination) was not part of the international project requested of the WHO in 1991 by the health ministers of Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian Federation. Yet dental caries was made a research priority.

Hundreds of epidemiological studies in Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian Federation have established that there has been a significant rise in all types of cancer causing thousands of deaths, an increase in infant and perinatal mortality, a large number of spontaneous abortions, a growing number of deformities and genetic anomalies, disturbance and retardation of mental development, neuropsychological illness, blindness, and diseases of the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, urogenital and endocrine systems

Four months after the meltdown Morris Rosen, the IAEA's director of nuclear safety, said: "Even if there were an accident of this type every year, I would still regard nuclear power as a valuable source of energy"

link (http://mondediplo.com/2008/04/14who)

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 02:34 AM
http://i56.tinypic.com/28a21x4.jpg

Japanese government not evacuating areas with extreme radiation.

link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3eBMiJKit0)

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 09:49 AM
http://images.businessweek.com/mz/11/15/popup_mz_1115_58energynewhat.jpg

The new - hat - is almost twice as tall as the largest sports stadium in the world.

Link (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_15/b4223057775248.htm)

David Orange
04-02-2011, 10:33 AM
David Orange wrote: "the word "nuclear" does mean uranium in today's economy, ruled by the uranium interests. And that almost guarantees explosions and devastations."

Almost guarantees. How many power plants have exploded in the history of this form of energy? Almost guaranteed....laughable.

It would be laughable if not for the deadly consequences. I hope you've checked out Tenyu's many links on serious nuclear accidents by now. MANY plants have effectively "exploded" in that they have released massive radiation into the environment--two in Russia, where vast tracts of land were sealed off and remain uninhabitable after decades and several (less extreme, but still poisonous) in the US, UK and Canada that the general public still doesn't know about. What's laughable is that anyone can continue to pretend they know so much about this stuff that they can really control it and make it safe. Uranium-based nuclear power is not and never will be safe.

David Orange wrote:
Hold it right there, Don. Quote it or take it back. I haven't even mentione fusion. Find the quote or apologize, bud.

You are right, I somehow attached your name to Ron Ragusa's comments. I will admit I was wrong. My point however, even though it does not reflect on you still holds true.

I hear you say it, but I seriously doubt it. You show far too much trust for people with a long history of lying to us about very deadly dangers. I doubt you'd accept this kind of lying related to your income or investments. Why you accept it in something like nuclear accidents is beyond me, unless that's exactly it: it's beyond you. You don't see it. It's not in your backyard. You can't do anything about it, so you just shrug it off and dismiss it as not very important. We can't continue to do that.

David Orange wrote:
Okay. Then you'll accept living in a house with asbestos insulation? It's no worse than radiation? It's not a matter of which is worse. It's a matter that only a fool would accept any of it if there's a choice around it.

Asbestos, while dangerous to work with proved safe for many generations when applied properly.

I'm afraid you're wrong there, Don. I've studied this through work records of major corporations, going back decades. I don't believe there is any proper way to use asbestos that doesn't expose people to terrible health risks.

There is however no reason to continue to use it because there are more efficient insulations.

No, Don. Even with nothing better than paper, there is no excuse to introduce asbestos into any environment with breathing creatures. It is deadly.

Unlike our power conversation where this is no superior solution. I've stated we need to continue to improve and design better power solutions and that nuclear is the best of what we have now. I'm sorry, I don't see my position as being weak or assailable.

Sorry, Don. It's as weak and assailable and blind as George Bush's drive into Baghdad for all the phony reasons he gave.

David Orange wrote:
Obviously, it isn't nearly as easy to control as you make it out. Who's paying you to broadcast this kind of false "information"?

I'm payed to voice this opinion by the US government and the CIA.

I already knew that, Don. I was the guy who recruited you--the newspaper? The park bench? The sunglasses?

That was me. I'm also the guy you send those messages to on that little radio we gave you. Codename "ROGUE". I'm so passionate about this because I'm a rebel and I know my time is limited.

It's my job to quiet those who really know the truth.

That's not what we assigned you to do and you know it. You're only supposed to make those people look foolish with your "reasonable" arguments and superior dismissals.

Our expressed goal is to make the planet uninhabitable and terraform mars so we can move the rich elite there while letting you pesants work our mines. For my part in this, I get unlimited internet access and a toyota corolla. Oh and as many cheese frys as I can eat.

And I know that, as well. But I will tell you something about those cheese fries: they're to set you up for the fall if you should ever go rogue like me. The only reason they haven't already activated mine is because I quit eating them. I started using a clever mustard-mayonnaise mixture with a touch of yellow food coloring that looks good on surveillance cameras but doesn't contain the nano-bots. Remember the nano-bots if you ever think about "leaving".

David Orange wrote:
Yet, you still have to qualify your statement, don't you: "IF the plant does somehow...explode..." Which it has already done quite well enough to have sent radiation into Alabama. You're just saying it can't get worse (which it is doing day by day) when the last guy telling me this said that it couldn't happen at all. You're both very seriously wrong.

Prove it exploded? There has not been a nuclear explosion at the plant. There was a hydrogen explosion.

Even if it wasn't direct nuclear explosion like Chernobyl, Don, the plant exploded. Several times. Which was the point I made in the first thread.

But where did the hydrogen come from, Don?

It was caused by a core meltdown. That hydrogen wasn't just sitting around and it doesn't occur in normal operations of a nuclear plant. It was caused by a core meltdown. The explosion came from venting the hydrogen into the air--not by a spark as Katherine misinformed us. I mean, argue what you can or what you believe, but don't interject pure baloney into the facts. And the plant is, Fukushima Dai Ichi exploded. And non-normal emissions have also come from Fukushima Dai Ni and the Onagawa plant, run by Tohoku Electric, a good distance up the coast.

The reactor is not going to explode. I'd hope I don't need to explain how and why hydrogen explosion happens.

It sounds like you don't know. And what about the consequences of that explosion? There is evidence that the original hydrogen explosion at Dai Ichi actually cracked open the reactor core containment vessel--which means that reactor may well explode, regardless of your assertion that "the reactor is not going to explode." You seriously do not know that.

David Orange wrote:
Yeah. Since the Gulf is already ruined, let's just crack all the reactors open. It won't be as bad as an oil spill?

Never said that. I simply implied it strange that this nuclear danger is somehow more immediate and less damaging.

But it is not "less damaging," Don. I don't have to eat seafood from the Gulf, but I have to breathe the air in Alabama, where they shut down the radiation monitoring system so that no one would know how high the fall out is getting all the way over here--so that no one will realize how bad it is all the way over there.

I also was intending to imply that the technologies we need to use to eliminate this ominous and "almost guarantees explosions and devastations" (quoted you properly this time) technology is just as bad (and in my opinion worse).

As we "repaired" the dastardly situation in Iraq by plunging that whole nation into chaos, screwing our own efforts in Afghanistan and ruining our own economy (for all but the super-wealthy, who got far richer from the debacle). Coal power is bad. Nuclear power is hell on earth.

First, to have a more meaningful conversation. I suggest you research and study radiation level measurements, the kinds of radiation, the kinds of chemicals being released and their associated half-life. At this point, all those evacuations have been as a precaution due to rising radiation levels. It would actually be safe for people to go home and gather up their belongings. The most recent readings I can find show about 2 mSv per day in the areas around the plant that have been evacuated. That is often reported at 2 times the level the EPA allows one of us to receive in a year! Scary right? Well not so scary when you actually look at getting a CT scan, which is 5 mSv or the max yearly dose the EPA let's power plant workers receive which is 50 mSv. On the extreme side a full body CT can can be as much as 720 mSv! 2 mSv doesn't seem so ominous now...

Well, you posted this about two days ago. The situation appears much worse, now, which is only because more factual information has leaked out--but still not as much of that as the radiation....

Levels at this point that have mostly been rising (from what I've been reading) due to iodine 124 and 131 which both have short half-lives. Iodine 134 having a half-life of 53 minutes and iodine 131 with a half-life of 8 days. That means within months those will be of no concern to us.

The weak point in your statement s "from what I've been reading." We've had to rely on information from TEPCO, which has a history of covering up the real situations at their plants, the real facts of their negligent "accidents". Also, from the Japanese government which is more concerned with their economy than with the lives of common citizens.

There are other substances that last much longer (cesium-137 is around 30 years), but when we talk about the dangers of drinking milk, we are talking about iodine.

Wild boars in Germany are still radioactive and unsafe to eat because of the Cesium-137 fall-out from Chernobyl, 25 years ago. Mushrooms in the region are unsafe to eat. Why do you brush off the release of Cesium 137 and jump back to the iodine? Your clothes are on fire, but you're concerned about your milk mustache?

I'm a man of science, reason, and logic. To change my mind I simply require facts, statistics, education, and alternatives. Otherwise we are just having a "no you didn't, yes I did" conversation. Not really worthy of all the electricity we are wasting keeping our computers up and this forum running. :D

Sadly, this kind of thing is one of the most appropriate uses of electricity and computers. You have far more than enough facts and statistics to prove that we are in grave danger now. People like Tenyu and I must hammer the real and important information just to keep "cooler heads" (buried in the sand) from dismissing it.

But would you like to wager on how long the citizens from the Fukushima "exclusion zone" will be kept away from their homes? How long would you consider "reasonable" to be kept at least 25 miles from your own home? Two weeks? Two months? Two decades?

I'm confident at this point that none of those people will be allowed to return permanently to their homes in less than a year. Want to bet?

David

David Orange
04-02-2011, 10:38 AM
Another silly idea is that "We have nothing better a yet, so we have to continue using nuclear power."

That's the same argument the Aghan poppy farmers use to justify their continued production of the base ingredients for heroin.

And "jobs" are used to justify Americans' shipping death by the ton of tobacco in many parts of the country.

It's a foolish excuse and nothing but an excuse to profit from exposing human beings to deadly risk.

David

RonRagusa
04-02-2011, 11:27 AM
don't know if you have seen this or not http://www.iter.org/ it will be in 20 years.

Well Phi, let's check back in 20 years and see if it's still 20 years off. For the record I hope you're right.

Best,

Ron

kewms
04-02-2011, 11:40 AM
It was caused by a core meltdown. That hydrogen wasn't just sitting around and it doesn't occur in normal operations of a nuclear plant. It was caused by a core meltdown. The explosion came from venting the hydrogen into the air--not by a spark as Katherine misinformed us.

*sigh*

If you take a cylinder of pure hydrogen gas, set it in the middle of a field, and crack the valve open, it will not explode. It will just quietly dissipate into the air. An explosion will only occur if you have a sufficiently high concentration of hydrogen (and oxygen!) in the presence of an ignition source: that source could be an electrical spark, it could be a spark from flint on steel, or it could be contact with a sufficiently hot surface or an open flame.

I've actually been in the room with a hydrogen explosion: science museums conduct them all the time. Except for the speed of the reaction, it's no different than any other kind of combustion. Cleaner than most, since the combustion product is water.

(To be clear, I am referring to the rapid combustion of hydrogen:
2H2 + O2 -> 2H2O I don't know what sort of "explosion" David has in mind.)

No one -- not even Tepco -- is denying that a partial core meltdown has occurred at Fukushima. The debate is about what the consequences of that are.

Katherine

kewms
04-02-2011, 11:45 AM
Sadly, this kind of thing is one of the most appropriate uses of electricity and computers. You have far more than enough facts and statistics to prove that we are in grave danger now. People like Tenyu and I must hammer the real and important information just to keep "cooler heads" (buried in the sand) from dismissing it.

Given the sources Tenyu has been relying on, I wouldn't be quite so quick to take his side...

Katherine

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 11:58 AM
There's no proof a nuclear explosion happened at Chernobyl either. It was most likely a hydrogen explosion just like Fukushima as stated in the same link dismissing the 'graphite' fires.

Video of Fukushima explosion. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_N-wNFSGyQ)

There are 2500 tons of fuel at Fukushima, only 180 tons were/are at Chernobyl. Fukushima is MUCH worse than Chernobyl, the only reason it's not being reported that way because most of the fallout's going over and into the ocean.

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 12:01 PM
Given the sources Tenyu has been relying on, I wouldn't be quite so quick to take his side...

Katherine

Which sources don't you like? Would you prefer me to site university researchers who receive their funding from the military industry?

kewms
04-02-2011, 12:23 PM
There's no proof a nuclear explosion happened at Chernobyl either. It was most likely a hydrogen explosion just like Fukushima as stated in the same link dismissing the 'graphite' fires.

Actually, I think the IAEA concluded that a criticality incident occurred at Chernobyl, and that's what ignited the subsequent fires.

Since the hydrogen at Fukushima came from the breakdown of water in the reactor, and the Chernobyl reactor was moderated by graphite, it's not clear where any hydrogen at Chernobyl would have come from. Chernobyl used water to produce steam, but it wouldn't have been in contact with the core until *after* the initial explosion had already occurred, bursting the pipes.

As a side note, this whole conversation has been tossing terms like "explosion" around with wild abandon, and I think at least some of the confusion may result because different people are using them in different ways.

Technically speaking, an explosion is simply the rapid release of energy, from any source. Increase the pressure in a steam boiler beyond its design limits, and it will explode. Controlled explosions are what make internal combustion engines work. So I don't view an "an explosion at Fukushima" as necessarily any more hazardous to human health than "an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon." Suppose, for example, that one of the fuel tanks for the backup generators had blown up: well clear of the reactor vessel, and therefore not in itself a terribly big deal. And yes, I suppose that a fuel tank explosion would technically meet David's claim that a "nuclear plant can blow up," but I think we all know that wasn't what he had in mind.

The scary stuff starts to happen if the rapid release of energy takes place *inside* the reactor vessel. That's what happened at Chernobyl, and that's what shot highly radioactive material all over the place. But there is no evidence that such a situation has occurred -- or could occur -- at Fukushima.

Katherine

kewms
04-02-2011, 12:29 PM
Which sources don't you like? Would you prefer me to site university researchers who receive their funding from the military industry?

At least those researchers have probably actually studied nuclear physics. At least those researchers have a professional stake in making sure their public statements are scientifically accurate.

Katherine

RonRagusa
04-02-2011, 12:49 PM
The latest news from Fukushima is of radioactive water leaking into the ocean from a breached maintenance pit. We get these little tidbits interspersed between the stories about how things are looking up, super pumps being brought in that can pump concrete as well as water etc. Still, the salient fact is that the plant continues to leak radiation.

mathewjgano
04-02-2011, 05:07 PM
I'm left pretty much where I began with this topic. I sift through my second and third-hand data and the only thing I've gained is reinforcement for the idea that radio-active materials (and their subsequent businesses) are dangerous and that people/businesses aren't to be trusted. This still doesn't suggest to me that fission or fusion energy efforts are too dangerous to work toward...only that the hoi polloi better focus more on education and direct participation in civic issues. Most of us are too busy wondering how we're going to swing that newest iPhone or find a job that pays a lot than with investigating the deeper ramifications of, well, damn near anything else.
...Not sure how this adds to the conversation exactly, but that's what my mind has to say about it...for whatever it's worth.
Thank you folks for such an information rich conversation. I've enjoyed reading it so much that it's prompted me to revisit the topic anew (I studied some of this stuff in high school and college).
Take care,
Matt

kewms
04-02-2011, 05:51 PM
This still doesn't suggest to me that fission or fusion energy efforts are too dangerous to work toward...only that the hoi polloi better focus more on education and direct participation in civic issues. Most of us are too busy wondering how we're going to swing that newest iPhone or find a job that pays a lot than with investigating the deeper ramifications of, well, damn near anything else.

The lack of an informed public is a huge problem with many issues. The average citizen knows nothing and cares less--until there's a crisis-- and most of the real experts have ties to organizations with a vested interest. That leaves a lot of room for conspiracy theories and fear-mongering that may or may not have any basis in fact.

Consider the autism vaccine scare: the doctor who started it falsified his studies and has since lost his medical license, but meanwhile the conspiracy theory has taken on a life of its own, and lots of kids have had to suffer through entirely avoidable measles episodes. (Don't read too much into this example: I picked it because it's sufficiently old news to be easier to see objectively.)

Katherine

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 06:39 PM
Actually, I think the IAEA concluded that a criticality incident occurred at Chernobyl, and that's what ignited the subsequent fires.

Since the hydrogen at Fukushima came from the breakdown of water in the reactor, and the Chernobyl reactor was moderated by graphite, it's not clear where any hydrogen at Chernobyl would have come from. Chernobyl used water to produce steam, but it wouldn't have been in contact with the core until *after* the initial explosion had already occurred, bursting the pipes.

As a side note, this whole conversation has been tossing terms like "explosion" around with wild abandon, and I think at least some of the confusion may result because different people are using them in different ways.

Technically speaking, an explosion is simply the rapid release of energy, from any source. Increase the pressure in a steam boiler beyond its design limits, and it will explode. Controlled explosions are what make internal combustion engines work. So I don't view an "an explosion at Fukushima" as necessarily any more hazardous to human health than "an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon." Suppose, for example, that one of the fuel tanks for the backup generators had blown up: well clear of the reactor vessel, and therefore not in itself a terribly big deal. And yes, I suppose that a fuel tank explosion would technically meet David's claim that a "nuclear plant can blow up," but I think we all know that wasn't what he had in mind.

The scary stuff starts to happen if the rapid release of energy takes place *inside* the reactor vessel. That's what happened at Chernobyl, and that's what shot highly radioactive material all over the place. But there is no evidence that such a situation has occurred -- or could occur -- at Fukushima.

Katherine

Fission, what criticality refers to, has been going on this whole time at Fukushima. That's what the blue flashes of neutron beams are - concentrated moments of very lethal localized criticality. You didn't address 2500 tons vs 180 tons.

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 06:44 PM
At least those researchers have probably actually studied nuclear physics. At least those researchers have a professional stake in making sure their public statements are scientifically accurate.

Katherine

You must have missed all the reports of nuclear physicists and engineers, hired by the reactor manufacturers, who either quit or were fired for raising safety concerns throughout the past five decades. Since you didn't address my other question here's Gunderson's credentials:

http://www.fairewinds.com/content/who-we-are

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 06:47 PM
The lack of an informed public is a huge problem with many issues. The average citizen knows nothing and cares less--until there's a crisis-- and most of the real experts have ties to organizations with a vested interest. That leaves a lot of room for conspiracy theories and fear-mongering that may or may not have any basis in fact.

Consider the autism vaccine scare: the doctor who started it falsified his studies and has since lost his medical license, but meanwhile the conspiracy theory has taken on a life of its own, and lots of kids have had to suffer through entirely avoidable measles episodes. (Don't read too much into this example: I picked it because it's sufficiently old news to be easier to see objectively.)

Katherine

Which doctor are you referring to? Are you claiming ethyl mercury or thimerosal is safe in any quantity to be injected in babies, children, and adults?

kewms
04-02-2011, 07:32 PM
Which doctor are you referring to? Are you claiming ethyl mercury or thimerosal is safe in any quantity to be injected in babies, children, and adults?

I'm referring to Andrew Wakefield:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield

I take no position on the safety of any particular vaccine formulation. If I had children, I'd vaccinate them, but that's off topic for this thread anyway.

Katherine

kewms
04-02-2011, 07:49 PM
Fission, what criticality refers to, has been going on this whole time at Fukushima. That's what the blue flashes of neutron beams are - concentrated moments of very lethal localized criticality. You didn't address 2500 tons vs 180 tons.

Actually, "criticality" specifically refers to the presence of a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. That condition has not been present at Fukushima since the emergency shutoffs kicked in after the earthquake. "Fission" is simply the normal decay process that occurs in unstable isotopes.

Which is why your "2500 ton vs 180 ton" comparison is meaningless. An active reactor core is isotopically different from the contents of a spent fuel pond. The spent fuel is going to be much more stable: that's why it's "spent."

Katherine

kewms
04-02-2011, 08:00 PM
You must have missed all the reports of nuclear physicists and engineers, hired by the reactor manufacturers, who either quit or were fired for raising safety concerns throughout the past five decades. Since you didn't address my other question here's Gunderson's credentials:

http://www.fairewinds.com/content/who-we-are

You posted a link from the Daily Mail, a tabloid scandal sheet. You posted a link from a guy who thinks people can cure advanced cancer through "re-mineralization." You posted a map superimposing the Chernobyl fallout pattern over Japan, despite the total lack of evidence that Japan has anywhere near that level of contamination. (You linked to Greenpeace, but even their own data doesn't support that claim.)

Somewhere in there I quit bothering to check your sources, so I guess I missed the one person with some actual knowledge. Although he specializes in environmental litigation, so he has at least as strong an interest in showing that nuclear plants are dangerous as the nuclear industry has in showing they are safe.

Katherine

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 08:02 PM
Actually, "criticality" specifically refers to the presence of a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. That condition has not been present at Fukushima since the emergency shutoffs kicked in after the earthquake. "Fission" is simply the normal decay process that occurs in unstable isotopes.

Which is why your "2500 ton vs 180 ton" comparison is meaningless. An active reactor core is isotopically different from the contents of a spent fuel pond. The spent fuel is going to be much more stable: that's why it's "spent."

Katherine

Try posting this at theoildrum and you would simply be ignored for being too rubbish to reply to. The spent fuel pools, without water, are undergoing fission and that's where most of the radiation's been coming from. If you've been paying attention you would know one or more of the pools was loaded last December, making it very fresh spent fuel.

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 08:09 PM
You posted a link from the Daily Mail, a tabloid scandal sheet. You posted a link from a guy who thinks people can cure advanced cancer through "re-mineralization." You posted a map superimposing the Chernobyl fallout pattern over Japan, despite the total lack of evidence that Japan has anywhere near that level of contamination. (You linked to Greenpeace, but even their own data doesn't support that claim.)

Somewhere in there I quit bothering to check your sources, so I guess I missed the one person with some actual knowledge. Although he specializes in environmental litigation, so he has at least as strong an interest in showing that nuclear plants are dangerous as the nuclear industry has in showing they are safe.

Katherine

Deriding the potential for holistic medicine shows how ignorant you are of quantum physics and the powerful traditions of Native Americans. You only provided a couple links in this thread one being the aptly named BraveNewClimate.

kewms
04-02-2011, 08:09 PM
Try posting this at theoildrum and you would simply be ignored for being too rubbish to reply to. The spent fuel pools, without water, are undergoing fission and that's where most of the radiation's been coming from. If you've been paying attention you would know one or more of the pools was loaded last December, making it very fresh spent fuel.

Yes, I know the spent fuel pools are undergoing fission. Yes, I know that creates radiation. If you have a granite countertop, there's a good chance that it has uranium inclusions that are undergoing fission and emitting radiation, too. Your point?

Katherine

kewms
04-02-2011, 08:11 PM
Deriding the potential for holistic medicine shows how ignorant you are of quantum physics and the powerful traditions of Native Americans. You only provided a couple links in this thread one being the aptly named BraveNewClimate.

Did you actually read the links I provided? In particular, I might suggest this one, on fission and fission products: http://mitnse.com/2011/03/20/fission-products-and-radiation/

Katherine

Tenyu
04-02-2011, 08:14 PM
I take no position on the safety of any particular vaccine formulation.

If I had children, I'd vaccinate them.

Katherine

Unless you don't care about endangering your hypothetical children, then you are taking a position on vaccines. If your mind weren't closed, you would learn a lot from Dr Ayoub's hour and half video presentation.

kewms
04-02-2011, 08:17 PM
Deriding the potential for holistic medicine shows how ignorant you are of quantum physics and the powerful traditions of Native Americans. You only provided a couple links in this thread one being the aptly named BraveNewClimate.

*shrug* The guy who taught me quantum physics won a Nobel Prize a few years ago. I don't claim to know everything he knows, but I'm pretty confident in my understanding.

Katherine

RonRagusa
04-02-2011, 10:25 PM
From a story in the NY Times published 4/2/11 written by William J. Broad:

"For example, an analysis by a French energy company revealed far more about the condition of the plant’s reactors than the Japanese have ever described: water levels at the reactor cores dropping by as much as three-quarters, and temperatures in those cores soaring to nearly 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to burn and melt the zirconium casings that protect the fuel rods."

and

"Now, as a result of the crisis in Japan, the atomic simulations suggest that the number of serious accidents has suddenly doubled, with three of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi complex in some stage of meltdown. Even so, the public authorities have sought to avoid grim technical details that might trigger alarm or even panic.

“They don’t want to go there,” said Robert Alvarez, a nuclear expert who, from 1993 to 1999, was a policy adviser to the secretary of energy. “The spin is all about reassurance.”"

Here's a link to the whole article

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/03/science/03meltdown.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

David Orange
04-02-2011, 10:53 PM
*sigh*

I'd be "sighing" too, if I were trying to defend the claim that Fukushima Dai Ichi didn't "blow up".

...I don't know what sort of "explosion" David has in mind.

I have in mind the kind of "explosion" that reduces an industrial building to a mass of rubble. Like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_N-wNFSGyQ

What kind do you have in mind? Apparently not that kind of "explosion," huh? I don't think you'd be around to tell us about it.

Obviously, if you were in a room with a hydrogen combustion, it wasn't the kind of "combustion" that occurred at Fukushima. That one was an "explosion." It fairly destroyed the building.

No one -- not even Tepco -- is denying that a partial core meltdown has occurred at Fukushima. The debate is about what the consequences of that are.

Well, one of the consequences was the release of hydrogen, the "explosion" of which destroyed the building. It's theorized that this "explosion" also breeched the reactor containment vessel, exposing the reactor core to the environment. I'm scientific enough that I don't claim this actually happened, though I think it did. I just won't say that it definitely did. I think it "probably" did. A little time will tell.

Katherine[/QUOTE]

David Orange
04-02-2011, 11:22 PM
As a side note, this whole conversation has been tossing terms like "explosion" around with wild abandon, and I think at least some of the confusion may result because different people are using them in different ways.

Look at the the title of the thread, Katherine. This conversation comes from an ealier thread on nuclear accidents in which I said that a nuclear plant can explode. Someone told me "The fact that you believe that a nuclear plant can explode shows just how little you understand about the subject."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_N-wNFSGyQ

THAT is what I meant by saying a nuclear plant can explode. And it seems that that explosion produced just what I feared it would: a cracked containment vessel.

I made clear in the first thread as well as in this thread that I didn't mean that a nuclear plant would blow up like a nuclear bomb. What about the explosion at Fukushima do you fail to understand as an explosion? Strings of technical jargon cannot obfuscate the fact that Fukushima Dai Ichi exploded. There's no way you can explain that away.

I suppose that a fuel tank explosion would technically meet David's claim that a "nuclear plant can blow up," but I think we all know that wasn't what he had in mind.

No, what i had in mind was some kind of explosion, either inside or outside the reactor containment vessel that could cause the core to be exposed. And I was told that that could not happen. But, again, it apparently has. In any case, even if it didn't breech the reactor vessel, they were storing nuclear material on the roof of the plant and that pretty certainly melted down and released nuclear material into the environment. And mark my word, the release is far worse than the for-profit corporation responsible has admitted.

The scary stuff starts to happen if the rapid release of energy takes place *inside* the reactor vessel.

Er....unless the nuclear material is stored on the roof of the building that explodes....Or... if the explosion breeches the containment of the core, which then melts down, which also apparently happened at Fukushima.

That's what happened at Chernobyl, and that's what shot highly radioactive material all over the place. But there is no evidence that such a situation has occurred -- or could occur -- at Fukushima.

But you can't deny that Fukushima did explode and released plutonium and cesium 137. And the containment vessel was likely ruptured and the core has likely been exposed and has at least partially melted down. If that's not "scary" to you, then I will buy you a ticket to go there and live inisde the "exclusion zone." You'll have your pick of the nicest houses to live in and you can retire on the wonderful book you can write while you live your quiet and peaceful life in perfect safety.

David Orange
04-02-2011, 11:24 PM
The latest news from Fukushima is of radioactive water leaking into the ocean from a breached maintenance pit. We get these little tidbits interspersed between the stories about how things are looking up, super pumps being brought in that can pump concrete as well as water etc. Still, the salient fact is that the plant continues to leak radiation.

Don't worry about it, Ron. Katherine Derbyshire is selling radiation-shielding explanations. Just wrap those around you and filter your food and water through them. Safe and sound!!!!:D

David

David Orange
04-02-2011, 11:28 PM
Consider the autism vaccine scare: the doctor who started it falsified his studies ...

So comparing this to the topic at hand....the nuclear industry and the governments behind them have shoveled tons of false information onto the public. And another nuclear plant has blown up and we're supposed to protect ourselves with flimsy explanations that are clearly false.

David Orange
04-02-2011, 11:32 PM
Given the sources Tenyu has been relying on, I wouldn't be quite so quick to take his side...


He provided some very credible documentaries that detailed the actual incidents at Chernobyl and other reactors. And you've made a number of statements that have panned out false and misleading. It's not your area of expertise. I've no doubt you're highly qualified in your field but you seem to be relying pretty much on wishful thinking where nuclear power is concerned.

RonRagusa
04-03-2011, 08:44 AM
More news:

"TOKYO, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Sunday that efforts to stem the flow of radioactive water leaking from the troubled No. 2 reactor building of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean have as yet been unsuccessful.
Earlier Sunday engineers injected 80 kilograms of a polymer- based powder into pipes leading to a pit connected to the plant's No. 2 reactor's building, where a 20-centimeter crack has been found to be leaking radioactive water.

The polymeric powder is water absorbent and can soak up 50- times its own volume in liquid and was used in conjunction with 60 kilograms of sawdust and three bags of shredded newspaper, the agency said.

But the flow of contaminated water continues to exude from the seafront pit, the agency said, although the rate of leakage has remained the same and the concoction of absorbent materials have not been flushed into the sea, the agency said.

Earlier moves to stem the flow including attempts to encase the cracked pipe in concrete also failed leaving the agency to now wait until Monday until the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) can provide new data to check if Sunday's efforts to prevent radioactive substances flowing freely into the ocean have had any effect at all."

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-04/03/c_13811984.htm

graham christian
04-03-2011, 10:27 AM
Hi peolple.

Interesting thread. I do like the debate. I'd just like to add my ten pence worth be it of any use or not.

I do think that more people than you realize do see the dangers and ramifications of nuclear or radiation, even down to their mobile phones. However, I prefer to take on the challenge mentally of looking for the best solution or ideas towards that end.

It's easy to just be against and gather data to back up an argument and be right but unfortunately proving you're right doesn't lead to much good necessarily. It usually leads to 'we're right so get rid of' logic.

The topic of the dangers of nuclear I think most of the public already agree with without even knowing much data at all. The fact that invested interests will lie and spin to get you to believe otherwise I think most of the public sees also. So we go back to what is the real problem here? (Not, I hasten to add what is the real fear here.)

The problem as I see it is a lack of wisdom and responsibility.

Responsibility: The 'responsibility' the vested interests have is to protect themselves through whatever means. This is negative or false responsibility.

The 'responsibility' of those agaist is to expose and get rid of, punish, etc. again a false responsibility. (once again by any means)

The solution is therefore to do with a wise, responsible solution.

First you would have to want one rather than just stick to your own fixed views.

So the situation actually is to do not with money but in truth it's to do with wise policy. Wise policy is missing.

The scene we live in is called democracy.

Therefore the first policy to do with a matter of nuclear plants, a thing that brings about extreme fears in the population would be to to have a referendom as to whether to have them in the first place. That would be the policy number one.

After much debate etc. and if the result was in favour the it would be time for wise policy number two.

Still taking the major fears into consideration you would have to come up with a policy to allay such.

So the policy would be a nuclear plant could only be built in an area where the local community were in favour. by vote, of having one in their area. (This would then bring them into the equasion rather than being dismissed)

Third policy would be that all monitoring and policing of the plant would be done by a body made up of people outside of vested interest and thus would include over 50% of local public people. This would therefore be a situation of the people ensuring the safe running of industrial plant from the view of health and safety.

This is my preliminary thinking on the matter and offered as food for thought.

I hope it is taken as such and hopefully leads to others coming up with 'better ways' of dealing with the problem.

My basic premise is this: If you come up with a truly wise and harmonious solution then you can present it and move mountains.

Regards.G.

David Orange
04-03-2011, 12:38 PM
So the policy would be a nuclear plant could only be built in an area where the local community were in favour. by vote, of having one in their area. (This would then bring them into the equasion rather than being dismissed)

What's a "local area" where nuclear plants are concerned?

We're getting radiation from Fukushima here in Alabama. France and Germany were radiated (and are still contaminated) by fall-out from Chernobyl.

Where nuclear plants are concerned, there is no such thing as a "local area." We're all in the "local area".

Unfortunately.

David

graham christian
04-03-2011, 05:11 PM
What's a "local area" where nuclear plants are concerned?

We're getting radiation from Fukushima here in Alabama. France and Germany were radiated (and are still contaminated) by fall-out from Chernobyl.

Where nuclear plants are concerned, there is no such thing as a "local area." We're all in the "local area".

Unfortunately.

David

Granted David. However that is after the event. If you think my idea through and put people like yourself on the body in charge of making as sure as possible that no leaks or catastrophes would happen then possibly that is the wy foreward.

So I ask you to stop on your 'crusade' for just a minute or two and see what such a board would lead to. With peiple like yourself and others on this thread I'm sure you would come up with all the various necessary actions such a place would have to conform to.

By connecting with others from vaeious fields, as would be your job, the direction would be to safer and safer.

Remember, this is all based on if they are to be kept or built.

Remember also that I believe 99% of all industrial 'accidents' are down to bad maintainence. This being due to short term economic considerations and the belief that maintainence is a 'cost' and therefore non profitable. Precisely what the body would make happen instead.

Who knows, maybe such a body would come up with rule that no nuclear plant can operate unless they discover a solution to radiation. Or even they could force the government to set up and fund research to such an end.

I remember seeing a video on the net once about a group of people in the U.S. who have built a whole industrial complex that can handle all waste known to man. I wonder if anyone knows of this here for I forgot what it was called.

The technology used was a super heat technology, like laser, I'm sure you or someone would have the correct terminology. Anyway to my understanding it thus melted or turned to gas all physical waste and then all the different gasses and liquids were thus redirected and syphoned off into gas cylinders etc ready for use.

99% green and world waste problem solved. Apparently they were pushing congress but bumping into vested interests.

I don't know if radiation can be used for anything useful or even changed into something useful. Everyone believes it can't but has there ever been a scientist who said it could?

Anyway, more thoughts only.

Regards.G.

David Orange
04-03-2011, 05:18 PM
I don't know if radiation can be used for anything useful or even changed into something useful. Everyone believes it can't but has there ever been a scientist who said it could?

The technology is already here, Graham.

It's called "solar energy." It results from hydrogen fusion 193,000,000 miles from here.

It converts radiation from the big reactor in the sky into electricity, through "photovoltaic" cells. It converts solar radiation into heat to warm water, air, food and other things. It can melt steel and it can cook food.

Through careful combination of exposure to and blocking of solar radiation, we can heat, cool, light and charge all manner of things. Once our buildings are created with full consciousness of manipulation of solar energy, this balance can be maintained with almost no moving parts and virtually no waste.

Thank you.

David

graham christian
04-03-2011, 05:31 PM
The technology is already here, Graham.

It's called "solar energy."

It converts radiation from the big reactor in the sky into electricity, through "photovoltaic" cells. It converts solar radiation into heat to warm water, air, food and other things. It can melt steel and it can cook food.

That's the only kind of radiation we should be using on earth.

Thank you.

David

Thanks for the reply.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhNqL-1VrcE

The video here is to do with what I was talking about. My writing inspired me to remember the technology which is plasma technology. (I know it has nothing to do with radiation)

Is solar energy radiation? (excuse my ignorance) If so doesn't that lead to the thought that if we or indeed plants can use it and transform it the the technology is somewhere there staring us in the face?

Given from an open minded yet unaware scientifically me.

Regards.G.

David Orange
04-03-2011, 05:39 PM
Granted David. However that is after the event. If you think my idea through and put people like yourself on the body in charge of making as sure as possible that no leaks or catastrophes would happen then possibly that is the wy foreward.

And the only way of making as sure as possible that no leaks or catastrophes would happen is to not build nuclear power plants in the first place.

I was a bit optimistic about sodium fast reactors, but from what I've seen on the sodium reactor experiment at Santa Susana Field Laboratory, sodium presents serious problems as well.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/03/governments-have-been-covering-up.html

Accidents and explosions can occur in almost any industrial setting. When uranium shares that setting, the dangers are exponentially greater.

David

Tenyu
04-03-2011, 06:14 PM
The scene we live in is called democracy.

Graham,

I know you mean well but that statement is so far removed from reality it's mind-boggling. It's hard to imagine such a disconnected bubble of perception can exist today. If you want to learn the basic meat and potatoes of global politics and economics I suggest you start with Bill Still's three and a half hour documentary on the history of banking. I was lucky to have had some great teachers in public high school who taught me what's in that documentary before the Internet age.


My basic premise is this: If you come up with a truly wise and harmonious solution then you can present it and move mountains.

Regards.G.

True optimism can only be born when the utter despair of our present reality is fully embraced. Charles Eisenstein offers real solutions in Ascent Of Humanity based in and with respect to reality - true Aikido.

graham christian
04-03-2011, 06:23 PM
And the only way of making as sure as possible that no leaks or catastrophes would happen is to not build nuclear power plants in the first place.

I was a bit optimistic about sodium fast reactors, but from what I've seen on the sodium reactor experiment at Santa Susana Field Laboratory, sodium presents serious problems as well.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/03/governments-have-been-covering-up.html

Accidents and explosions can occur in almost any industrial setting. When uranium shares that setting, the dangers are exponentially greater.

David

David. What do you think about the plasma technology?

Back to the topic at hand. I may conclude along with you and others that there is only one solution and that is for there to be no nuclear plants at all.

The videos and data about what has happened and what has been covered up and the effects of such is useful information. Being into wholistic medicine I tend to notice certain trends and increases in various illnesses which fit with what these people are saying.

As an aside here I'm sure I read somewhere in one of the references on this thread how one effect of radiation is the introduction of free radicals into the body which may even take ten years to then cause a dramatic loss of health.(anytime up to) I mention this as I feel you may be interested therefore in it from a nutritional point of view. Nutritionally speaking a substance used for many years to handle free radicals in the body as well as being a good antioxidant is a substance called s.o.d.(superoxide dismutase) You may like to look it up.

Anyway, back to topic. Agreeing with you is not a problem. However taking human kind into account and the economic world and selfish mindset of humanity on the whole then getting rid of I see as almost impossible as finding a better solution to.

Can you imagine the powers that be getting rid of nuclear bombs and losing all that 'power'? Held in delusions of power by their own fear of what others might do to them and thus apparently trapped by their own ignorance. No, reality tells me they will not get rid of but there is an urgent need to come up with better solutions which are acceptable to all.

Just and only focussing on what is wrong is not enough.

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-03-2011, 06:35 PM
What do you think about the plasma technology?
Regards.G.

Graham,

Star Trek will not eliminate all the toxic junk we've made out of fossil fuels. It's hubristic to think technology can dominate and control nature at will. That's why we're in this mess, people thought they were separate and better than nature.

Here's a solution based in nature(reality):

Paul Stamets (http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html)

graham christian
04-03-2011, 06:44 PM
Graham,

I know you mean well but that statement is so far removed from reality it's mind-boggling. It's hard to imagine such a disconnected bubble of perception can exist today. If you want to learn the basic meat and potatoes of global politics and economics I suggest you start with Bill Still's three and a half hour documentary on the history of banking. I was lucky to have had some great teachers in public high school who taught me what's in that documentary before the Internet age.

True optimism can only be born when the utter despair of our present reality is fully embraced. Charles Eisenstein offers real solutions in Ascent Of Humanity based in and with respect to reality - true Aikido.

Tenyu. We do live in a structure where the people can, if inspired, get together on topic of concern and vote for only those polititions who agree to make it policy. It is no bubble. It is not democracy that is at fault here, although it could be vastly improved, it is peoples view that they give up and believe there is nothing they can do and thus resort to raging and violence.

Blame spin, blame corruption, blame ignorance, but by blaming democracy even in its current form is self destructive.

You bring Aikido into the equasion? O.K. Then so will I. Aikido is Harmony with the universe. It is therefore all powerful of itself. True wisdom is the same.

The problem with us as human beings is that unless we become enlightened or at least much more aware we will keep coming up with crazy solutions which we justify as logical.

There is always a solution to all problems that is both harmonious and perfect for all concerned. The fact we cannot see it is only a measure of our own lack of wisdom. There is no blame in wisdom only eurika!

Aikido in the field of thought.

Regards.G.

graham christian
04-03-2011, 06:58 PM
Graham,

Star Trek will not eliminate all the toxic junk we've made out of fossil fuels. It's hubristic to think technology can dominate and control nature at will. That's why we're in this mess, people thought they were separate and better than nature.

Here's a solution based in nature(reality):

Paul Stamets (http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html)

Tenyu. You need to stop putting your projections on others. I do not advocate dominating and controlling nature. Working with it is from where my I come.

I just looked at the beginning of that video and will return to it as it looks very informative and interesting. You probably have many interesting sources of information and I suggest many folks may well like them and learn from them if you can work on your presentation.

For you, for others on this forum, I have only admiration for that is part of Aikido.

Regards.G.

lbb
04-03-2011, 07:06 PM
What's "nature"?

Tenyu
04-03-2011, 07:14 PM
What's "nature"?

This question is thoroughly answered throughout the book Ascent Of Humanity. You and Graham would enjoy reading it.

graham christian
04-03-2011, 07:48 PM
This question is thoroughly answered throughout the book Ascent Of Humanity. You and Graham would enjoy reading it.

Tenyu.
Thanks for the book reference, I just had aquick scan of the contents and decided that will be interesting reading.

I did actually choose a part of it also just to see the style of writing and to get a flavour. I saw you use it at part of your way of thinking after reading the first few lines. The part was from affluence to anxiety.

Interesting except I wouldn't say I agree with the boredom/anxiety relationship. I would call it rather apathy/anxiety for boredom in fact is a much higher emotion or wavelength. In fact let me tell you a little secret. Do you know what happens when you move someone out of apathy?

They get angry.

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-03-2011, 09:53 PM
Graham,

I don't know what you're referring to with apathy but maybe it's a semantic issue. If you actually do read the book, I recommend reading it in order because he refers back to earlier topics which may not be understood out of context. The book is so important for Aikido I've made it the first one in Aikibodo's curriculum.

RonRagusa
04-04-2011, 06:18 AM
Japan Nuclear Plant to Release Contaminated Water Into Ocean

Full text of the article here:

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/east-pacific/Japan-Nuclear-Plant-to-Release-Contaminated-Water-Into-Ocean-119169659.html

lbb
04-04-2011, 07:52 AM
This question is thoroughly answered throughout the book Ascent Of Humanity. You and Graham would enjoy reading it.

Having perused a few chapters online, I don't think I would, in fact -- but that's beside the point. If the term "nature" is being bandied about in conversation, those doing the bandying should be able to provide a concise definition of it.

Tenyu
04-04-2011, 09:05 AM
Having perused a few chapters online, I don't think I would, in fact -- but that's beside the point. If the term "nature" is being bandied about in conversation, those doing the bandying should be able to provide a concise definition of it.

You know what nature is. What don’t you like about what you’ve read so far?

Walter Martindale
04-04-2011, 09:37 AM
You know what nature is. What don't you like about what you've read so far?

I think that what Mary might be asking is for YOU to state what you understand "nature" to be, briefly, in your words, and in plain English that an average 8-year-old could understand. If you can do that, you demonstrate not only your understanding of your subject, but you demonstrate your ability to teach/explain.

When you provide a citation and require that the other side of a conversation go and invest time and energy in reading something that they would otherwise not have read, what you do is imply your superiority without actually demonstrating it, or you show that you have lots of spare time to spend searching for all these links and arguing your point on an internet forum..

It may require more work from you than plunking a link into your commentary. To explain something complicated in a way that an 8-year-old can understand is a skill that not everyone possesses.

W

lbb
04-04-2011, 10:25 AM
You know what nature is.

Irrelevant. Graham made statements about "nature"; I want to know what he thinks "nature" is.

What don't you like about what you've read so far?

It just doesn't engage me. You love the book, I don't love it...chacun a son gout.

graham christian
04-04-2011, 10:35 AM
Irrelevant. Graham made statements about "nature"; I want to know what he thinks "nature" is.

It just doesn't engage me. You love the book, I don't love it...chacun a son gout.

Mary. Did I? I don't usually use that term.

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-04-2011, 10:45 AM
I think that what Mary might be asking is for YOU to state what you understand "nature" to be, briefly, in your words, and in plain English that an average 8-year-old could understand. If you can do that, you demonstrate not only your understanding of your subject, but you demonstrate your ability to teach/explain.

When you provide a citation and require that the other side of a conversation go and invest time and energy in reading something that they would otherwise not have read, what you do is imply your superiority without actually demonstrating it, or you show that you have lots of spare time to spend searching for all these links and arguing your point on an internet forum..

It may require more work from you than plunking a link into your commentary. To explain something complicated in a way that an 8-year-old can understand is a skill that not everyone possesses.

W

Walter

Mary’s not an 8 year old. She’s an adult capable of learning on her own. I’m giving her the resources to do so if she wants. I’m very willing ‘to teach’ anyone within reason on topics that aren’t available elsewhere, but that’s not the case here. What I have to share that’s unique is my experience with martial arts which I’ve posted quite a bit of already. If you have questions specific to Aikido or Aikibodo technique then feel free to ask me in another thread.

What does superiority have anything to do with experience or knowledge?

graham christian
04-04-2011, 10:52 AM
Graham,

I don't know what you're referring to with apathy but maybe it's a semantic issue. If you actually do read the book, I recommend reading it in order because he refers back to earlier topics which may not be understood out of context. The book is so important for Aikido I've made it the first one in Aikibodo's curriculum.

Tenyu.
Loved the video on 'fungi'. Read a lot of the book and personally didn't find much I don't know already.

As to apathy, well yes it is partly semantics but also due to a study of emotions I did years ago and thus I differenciate between such.

As to the books importance to Aikido? I would say that's your personal view and that's fine by me but for me Aikido it much more than that. What I found is a man who had had a life view changing experience and this has led him to a broader more aware look at things. I think Aikido could help him actually.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-04-2011, 11:02 AM
Mary & Graham,

I've rerouted the side discussion to the proper thread.

graham christian
04-04-2011, 11:06 AM
Japan Nuclear Plant to Release Contaminated Water Into Ocean

Full text of the article here:

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/east-pacific/Japan-Nuclear-Plant-to-Release-Contaminated-Water-Into-Ocean-119169659.html

Ron. Read the article. That doesn't sound good. The fact that they are still searching for the source reminds me of a time when me and a friend were trying to locate a drain. The owner of the house insisted there never was one where we thought one would be and so we spent ages searching. Eventually we drilled down through a concrete patio while he wasn't around and low and behold there it was.

The thing is he knew that all along but didn't want us to discover it as it would make him look stupid. Wow! It would have been so much easier if he had been honest from the start.

Relating this scenario to Fukashima makes me wonder.

Regards.G.

lbb
04-04-2011, 11:17 AM
Walter

Mary's not an 8 year old. She's an adult capable of learning on her own. I'm giving her the resources to do so if she wants. I'm very willing ‘to teach' anyone within reason on topics that aren't available elsewhere, but that's not the case here.

But that argument (or excuse) can be made by many people on Aikiweb who are experts in various fields, and who are asked questions that fall within their domain of expertise -- and yet they seem able to provide at least a synopsis of their point along with their link to what they believe to be a definitive source (I'm thinking of someone like Peter Goldsbury, for example). At the very least, they're able to state why they can't simply answer the question -- they can frame the problem.

lbb
04-04-2011, 11:19 AM
Mary. Did I? I don't usually use that term.

Regards.G.

"Tenyu. You need to stop putting your projections on others. I do not advocate dominating and controlling nature. Working with it is from where my I come."

graham christian
04-04-2011, 11:21 AM
Mary & Graham,

I've rerouted the side discussion to the proper thread.

Tenyu. Which side issue and to what thread?

Anyway. Tenyu, talking of side issues I did watch a video the other day which showed a 'manuscript' of the staff written by O'Sensei and presented to his student. So I see from that that he did have a 'way' of the staff and that person does teach it.

Do you know who I am referring to? When I saw the video I thought of the thread where you were talking about the staff and so wondered if you knew about this.

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-04-2011, 11:38 AM
Tenyu. Which side issue and to what thread?

Anyway. Tenyu, talking of side issues I did watch a video the other day which showed a 'manuscript' of the staff written by O'Sensei and presented to his student. So I see from that that he did have a 'way' of the staff and that person does teach it.

Do you know who I am referring to? When I saw the video I thought of the thread where you were talking about the staff and so wondered if you knew about this.

Regards.G.

Same forum AOH thread.

Which teacher?

graham christian
04-04-2011, 11:39 AM
"Tenyu. You need to stop putting your projections on others. I do not advocate dominating and controlling nature. Working with it is from where my I come."

Mary.
I see what you mean now, thank you. I was referring to his use of the word when he seemed to be accusing me of wanting to dominate and control nature.

As I replied that I prefer working with it then at that point I did use it and thus you are quite correct.

Your asking for my definition is interesting so I will attempt to put it into words.

As I see it there are different areas you can apply it to. Let's take life organisms. The world of plants and animals, including our own bodies of course. Life forms. Then the natural laws that apply to all life forms I would call nature.

Now if you take inanimate things then I would say the natural laws that they all follow is also nature.

Apply it to the universe itself and I would say the same.

Apply it to mathematics and I would say the same.

Hope that clears for you what my use of the term means. As I said, in my general communication I don't usually use it.

Regards and appreciation. G.

Walter Martindale
04-04-2011, 12:51 PM
Walter

Mary's not an 8 year old. She's an adult capable of learning on her own. I'm giving her the resources to do so if she wants. I'm very willing ‘to teach' anyone within reason on topics that aren't available elsewhere, but that's not the case here. What I have to share that's unique is my experience with martial arts which I've posted quite a bit of already. If you have questions specific to Aikido or Aikibodo technique then feel free to ask me in another thread.

What does superiority have anything to do with experience or knowledge?

??:freaky: superiority? Huh?

The point (as Mary has noted, and she definitely doesn't need me defending her) is not that she's an 8-year-old. Rather if YOU explain YOUR definition/concept of "nature" in such a way that any 'normal' eight-year-old could understand, all of us reading this thread could understand what you are using as your concept of nature. I shouldn't really be taking this much time away from my job to blab on about this, but what time I do have to spend here would be better spent if your definition of "nature" were typed out, so we could read it here instead of in some book to which you refer and which I have neither the time nor the inclination to read in search of a reference.

Whether you share that concept with another author is less relevant than whether you can explain, in plain language (on this forum, English) what you are talking about... What you have been doing with respect to your references and citations is saying "I agree with this guy - go read his book" instead of saying "this is what I understand to be (insert topic here), here's my understanding of it (insert explanation here), and here's where I get my background information (insert any number of citations here, and have a list of references at the end of your article)."

Essentially, if you were defending a thesis in university, you would have to be able to explain and define all of your terms, if asked, in such a way that the examining committee chair's eight year old child could understand the terms, and then you'd have to be able to explain all of the work in those same, clear, precise terms. Citations could be "as shown by so and so" but YOU would still have to be able to explain it on the spot.

I have defended a master's thesis - a long time ago now - and any time I used any 'jargon' that I hadn't already defined, I was asked to define the jargon and explain what it actually meant in plain language. And the people asking me to explain knew very well what I meant - they wanted to know that I knew what I was talking about and not just blabbing words that I'd heard someone else use. Sometimes these are "operational" definitions that only apply to the specific work being discussed, but they need to be defined, nonetheless.

That's all that's being asked.
I must bow out of this conversation - having written all this, I find that I care very little about the outcome.

Walter

graham christian
04-04-2011, 12:57 PM
Same forum AOH thread.

Which teacher?

Tenyu.
Thank you, I've now visited that thread.

With regards to the teacher of the staff? I asked if you knew of such a person for I got the impression many folks seemed to think O'Sensei never had a precise way written down.

Maybe I'm wrong there.( excuse the off topic aside)

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-04-2011, 06:36 PM
??:freaky: superiority? Huh?

The point (as Mary has noted, and she definitely doesn't need me defending her) is not that she's an 8-year-old. Rather if YOU explain YOUR definition/concept of "nature" in such a way that any 'normal' eight-year-old could understand, all of us reading this thread could understand what you are using as your concept of nature. I shouldn't really be taking this much time away from my job to blab on about this, but what time I do have to spend here would be better spent if your definition of "nature" were typed out, so we could read it here instead of in some book to which you refer and which I have neither the time nor the inclination to read in search of a reference.

Whether you share that concept with another author is less relevant than whether you can explain, in plain language (on this forum, English) what you are talking about... What you have been doing with respect to your references and citations is saying "I agree with this guy - go read his book" instead of saying "this is what I understand to be (insert topic here), here's my understanding of it (insert explanation here), and here's where I get my background information (insert any number of citations here, and have a list of references at the end of your article)."

Essentially, if you were defending a thesis in university, you would have to be able to explain and define all of your terms, if asked, in such a way that the examining committee chair's eight year old child could understand the terms, and then you'd have to be able to explain all of the work in those same, clear, precise terms. Citations could be "as shown by so and so" but YOU would still have to be able to explain it on the spot.

I have defended a master's thesis - a long time ago now - and any time I used any 'jargon' that I hadn't already defined, I was asked to define the jargon and explain what it actually meant in plain language. And the people asking me to explain knew very well what I meant - they wanted to know that I knew what I was talking about and not just blabbing words that I'd heard someone else use. Sometimes these are "operational" definitions that only apply to the specific work being discussed, but they need to be defined, nonetheless.

That's all that's being asked.
I must bow out of this conversation - having written all this, I find that I care very little about the outcome.

Walter

This is an Aikido forum, not a university class, no one has an obligation to prove anything. If this were a class, and I'm the 'teacher' as you say then it would be the student's responsibility to do the 'required reading' and write the paper anyways. If you read AOH Charles does a very good job explaining why most higher education has little to do with real learning. Graham said he believes we live in a democracy, if he's going to learn history then he has to do so for himself. No one can do the learning for another!

You brought up superiority in your original post.

graham christian
04-04-2011, 07:18 PM
Tenyu.
I thought I had explained that point. By democracy I mean a system where the people can share a common view and vote for a local official who will represent that point of view. That's what I mean, that's the context I used it in.

If you still only see what a book tells you about democracy and cannot differenciate it from how I used the word then you are unaware of a truth of communication.

That truth is that it is the communicators responsibility to say in such a way that the person receiving can understand.

Now I believe you do know what I meant when I used the word and you are just trying to be smart. A shame.

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-04-2011, 07:19 PM
The Meteorological Agency has been calculating its forecasts on the migration once or twice every day since March 11, when the great earthquake hit the Tohoku and Kanto regions.

The agency inputs observation data sent from the IAEA--such as the time when radioactive substances are first released, the duration of the release and how high the substances reach--into the agency's supercomputer, adding the agency's observation data, including wind directions and other data. The supercomputer then calculates the direction in which the radioactive substances will go and how much they will spread.

However, the agency has only been reporting the forecasts to the IAEA and not releasing them to the public at home.

The IAEA analyzes the data from Japan by adding observation data from other countries it similarly asked for cooperation, such as China and Russia, and notifies nuclear authorities of countries, including Japan, of the results.

Whether to announce the IAEA analysis is left to each government's judgment. The Japanese government's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters has so far not released the IAEA analysis.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110404004911.htm

If the Japanese government wanted to, they could put geiger counters or the appropriate monitoring devices anywhere on top of the reactor buildings to get accurate real time reading of the radioactivity spew before the winds disperse it. Obviously the government isn't interested in obtaining or providing such important data though.

Tenyu
04-04-2011, 07:22 PM
Tenyu.
I thought I had explained that point. By democracy I mean a system where the people can share a common view and vote for a local official who will represent that point of view. That's what I mean, that's the context I used it in.

If you still only see what a book tells you about democracy and cannot differenciate it from how I used the word then you are unaware of a truth of communication.

That truth is that it is the communicators responsibility to say in such a way that the person receiving can understand.

Now I believe you do know what I meant when I used the word and you are just trying to be smart. A shame.

Regards.G.

You proposed democratic action to provide proper community-oriented oversight of nuclear plants. Do you really believe that's possible in our political system?

graham christian
04-04-2011, 07:44 PM
You proposed democratic action to provide proper community-oriented oversight of nuclear plants. Do you really believe that's possible in our political system?

I proposed a sequence of policies.

I gave it as an idea.

One of those policies was that there would be a body made up of over 50% public to police and oversee from a health and safety view.

If I am not mistaken, by watching what has been happening in the arab region of the world, well yes I believe it's possible.

As I explained, if you or anyone come up with a good way foreward which resonates with the majority of folk then you can in this society or any other find a way if you are willing to be responsible enough.

So first you would have to have a way foreward that the majority agreed with. Then you use this marvellous technology. You make a facebook page or group or something similar. You build support.
You grow a wave of positive change. etc.

Just another idea.

If you believe you can't then all you can do is carry on finding fault. A waste of time in my opinion.

Regards.G.

mathewjgano
04-04-2011, 07:51 PM
You proposed democratic action to provide proper community-oriented oversight of nuclear plants. Do you really believe that's possible in our political system?

Not to speak for him, of course, but I think it is. The few have and probably always will have ruled through the consent of the masses, whether the consent is active or passive.
If the community organizes and is big enough, then just about anyone would have to operate with that in mind.

Tenyu
04-05-2011, 12:30 AM
I proposed a sequence of policies.

I gave it as an idea.

One of those policies was that there would be a body made up of over 50% public to police and oversee from a health and safety view.

If I am not mistaken, by watching what has been happening in the arab region of the world, well yes I believe it's possible.

As I explained, if you or anyone come up with a good way foreward which resonates with the majority of folk then you can in this society or any other find a way if you are willing to be responsible enough.

So first you would have to have a way foreward that the majority agreed with. Then you use this marvellous technology. You make a facebook page or group or something similar. You build support.
You grow a wave of positive change. etc.

Just another idea.

If you believe you can't then all you can do is carry on finding fault. A waste of time in my opinion.

Regards.G.

My goal isn't to change nuclear policy and I never said it was. I don't blame anyone for the human condition especially the most politically powerful people who have the least free will of all. Really I have just as much compassion for the global oligarchy as I do for anyone else. But using the word democracy, a utopian idea, reinforces the culturally inherited lie we're raised with. That's one of the fundamental problems with our society, it's filled with reality-negating stories and myths. It permeates everything, it has to in order to perpetuate this unconscious path of disconnection and destruction. This multi-millenia Age Of Separation is playing itself out and we're riding its climatic exponential transition. It is up to us how we experience, create, and relate to change. All I'm advocating for is awareness(becoming nage), and that itself is a revolution in a world dominated by uke and the myths of uke.

"Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple."
-Bill Mollison

"We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
-Albert Einstein

graham christian
04-05-2011, 06:08 AM
My goal isn't to change nuclear policy and I never said it was. I don't blame anyone for the human condition especially the most politically powerful people who have the least free will of all. Really I have just as much compassion for the global oligarchy as I do for anyone else. But using the word democracy, a utopian idea, reinforces the culturally inherited lie we're raised with. That's one of the fundamental problems with our society, it's filled with reality-negating stories and myths. It permeates everything, it has to in order to perpetuate this unconscious path of disconnection and destruction. This multi-millenia Age Of Separation is playing itself out and we're riding its climatic exponential transition. It is up to us how we experience, create, and relate to change. All I'm advocating for is awareness(becoming nage), and that itself is a revolution in a world dominated by uke and the myths of uke.

"Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple."
-Bill Mollison

"We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
-Albert Einstein

Tenyu.
I thoroughly agree with that quote by Albert Einstein. i'm glad and don't doubt your compassion. However it means we must also be aware of those factors within ourselves which undermine our own compassion.

For instance: Acceptance. If you were to focus on something and see what you can accept about it and then also see what you would rather not accept about it you will see how non-acceptance is also a way we trap ourselves and individuate and thus destroy our own compassion.

My view is that once you can fully accept something and feel good about it only then can you move to find a better way. Therefore it would be quite a skill to be able to point out facts to people in such a way that they gain understanding without encouraging their unacceptance but rather to lead them to a better solution.

Whatever the solution will be it would have to include the public, or may I say a more aware public involvement. The reality is that there would thus be policy change.

The better future if there is to be one therefore would be more to do with less 'separation' and whether you call that a better form of democracy or you come up with a new term for me is merely a matter of semantics.

I also think that compassion itself leads a person to look for a better solution and thus come up with possible goals at least. So for policies to change, even if the policies are that there will be no nuclear plants I suggest are part of a compassionate view. Denying it in yourself is denying your own compassion.

I don't mean that as a put down of you for denial of such in myself or in anyone else is also a denial of part of our own compassion.

Regards.G.

lbb
04-05-2011, 07:27 AM
Hope that clears for you what my use of the term means. As I said, in my general communication I don't usually use it..

Unfortunately, I think your definition is rather self-referential, using the term to define itself, and it still leaves some important questions unanswered. You can say that it's the nature of rivers to run. It's also the nature of rivers to back up when they are dammed, and when water is released from that dam, it naturally produces energy as it seeks a lower level. So is a dammed river part of "nature" or not? For that matter, nuclear fission also occurs in nature.

My point, if you haven't guessed it, is that "nature" is a friendly-sounding, comforting term...but as we can see with the items on our supermarket shelves, labeling something "natural" doesn't always make it good. Not only can the meaning be distorted, but there are plenty of natural phenomena (syphilis, earthquakes, tsunamis) that do harm.

graham christian
04-05-2011, 08:42 AM
Unfortunately, I think your definition is rather self-referential, using the term to define itself, and it still leaves some important questions unanswered. You can say that it's the nature of rivers to run. It's also the nature of rivers to back up when they are dammed, and when water is released from that dam, it naturally produces energy as it seeks a lower level. So is a dammed river part of "nature" or not? For that matter, nuclear fission also occurs in nature.

My point, if you haven't guessed it, is that "nature" is a friendly-sounding, comforting term...but as we can see with the items on our supermarket shelves, labeling something "natural" doesn't always make it good. Not only can the meaning be distorted, but there are plenty of natural phenomena (syphilis, earthquakes, tsunamis) that do harm.

Get where your coming from. Yes it does sound and can be easily taken that way.

I would expand on my definition this way: Instead of natural laws I could say the underlying natural laws. Therefore in your example of rivers following the laws of nature then it would mean they are bound by and follow the laws of physics.

Once I got into a conversation with someone who insisted something was normal. I said it may be normal but is it natural?

In that particular discussion I was looking at what underlying principles or 'unmanmade' laws it fitted with or went against, this thing called normal.

Just interesting mental exercises, I find anyway.

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-05-2011, 10:29 AM
Graham,

There are many converging catastrophes facing the world right now and nuclear is only one issue, a wild card as we're witnessing with both unknown potential and manifest destruction. Lovelock who named the earth as a single organism Gaia has ironically been a supporter of nuclear energy at least pre-Fukushima. For Gaia to have a future with humans, her problems need to be seen from a holistic perspective. Understanding that Gaia is in full blown stage four cancer, survival will include changes that seem impossible today. Whatever improvements social and political movements have made in the past and present, Gaia's overall health has only deteriorated exponentially. The root cause, our consciousness, may be at a low point along with Gaia's health. Collectively, critically, our consciousness will change or we along with most other of Gaia's complex life forms will go extinct and much faster than most know. How will our consciousness transform? I'm not pretending to know. If civilization(unsustainable consumption/destruction) collapses quickly, that will give us the opportunity for that unknown transformation. I don't believe anything less will be sufficient.

Lovelock article. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange)

Basia Halliop
04-05-2011, 10:50 AM
This is an Aikido forum, not a university class, no one has an obligation to prove anything. If this were a class, and I'm the 'teacher' as you say then it would be the student's responsibility to do the 'required reading' and write the paper anyways.

Well, that's assuming you're the teacher. Which no one here really knows you well enough to assume. In a discussion between peers it's not customary to assign people homework. It either comes off as patronizing and arrogant, or like you don't really know what you think yourself, or it just makes people lose interest. In any case it doesn't make your argument well.

Demetrio Cereijo
04-05-2011, 11:11 AM
This is an Aikido forum, not a university class, no one has an obligation to prove anything.
Food for thought.

graham christian
04-05-2011, 11:14 AM
Graham,

There are many converging catastrophes facing the world right now and nuclear is only one issue, a wild card as we're witnessing with both unknown potential and manifest destruction. Lovelock who named the earth as a single organism Gaia has ironically been a supporter of nuclear energy at least pre-Fukushima. For Gaia to have a future with humans, her problems need to be seen from a holistic perspective. Understanding that Gaia is in full blown stage four cancer, survival will include changes that seem impossible today. Whatever improvements social and political movements have made in the past and present, Gaia's overall health has only deteriorated exponentially. The root cause, our consciousness, may be at a low point along with Gaia's health. Collectively, critically, our consciousness will change or we along with most other of Gaia's complex life forms will go extinct and much faster than most know. How will our consciousness transform? I'm not pretending to know. If civilization(unsustainable consumption/destruction) collapses quickly, that will give us the opportunity for that unknown transformation. I don't believe anything less will be sufficient.

Lovelock article. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange)

Tenyu.
Granted. There are indeed many. I understand where you're coming from and that may well be the case. I can at the moment only give my view and share and listen to others views.

Just because I have a bit of a more 'holistic' view doesn't however mean it is the same as anothers 'holistic' view.

Where my view differs from yours I suspect is when you say if civilization collapses quickly that will give us the opportunity for that unknown transformation. I certainly see how that would lead to a sudden awakening, or mortal shock.

Anyway, the state of mind that leads to this view or conclusion is where I differ. I have seen all this before, in the cold war for example and history is full of examples of peoples facing impending doom. By thinking it must happen in order to wake up I find personally is tantamount to helping it happen.

Now I'm sure others may say that means living with rose tinted glasses on. No. For that is not my view either.

I believe if we want to increase our awareness and want others to, indeed to transcend our current state of being then it is more a matter of learning how to enter and face these situations without fear and yet with 'eyes wide open'. Without blame but with enough wisdom to find a solution. Without being against yet able to harmonize with and even replace. Without force but with such an irresistable flow (be it from the people or individually) that a better scene is created.

I believe in the truth of Aikido. (Excuse my passion.)

I too don't know what the best solution is to many of the situations extant but when I see someone with one then I fully back it.

When handling a fight this past chistmas time I did not wait for the disaster to complete nor did I look through rose tinted glasses at it. I entered it without fear and changed the situation. Why? Because I was there and because I trusted my ability.

We need those in the positions of where they can do something to change things that are heading for catastrophe to have that same attitude. That's my view. Call it an attitude of mind if you will. In my Aikido i encourage people that they can rather than agree with their fears and reactions.

Anyway, maybe I've said enough. Thanks for the discussion.

Regards.G.

Tenyu
04-05-2011, 12:03 PM
Graham,

Civilization(consumption/destruction) must collapse(‘mitigated') not for our consciousness, although that will be a necessary benefit, but because the scientists are saying Gaia will become uninhabitable if we don't. The only disagreement within climatology is how bad it's going to get, how many degrees of global temperature will rise. So far it's gone up 1 deg faren. I forget the actual percentage but the oceans are the greatest sink for CO2, and there's a time lag before it affects the climate. This means we already have another deg guaranteed. There's a possibility the permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is melting and about to release untold amounts of methane.

In the following video, which I posted before, Bill McKibben states the consensus among climatologists - unless we get off fossil fuels with "great speed" the temperatures in this century will go up at least 5 or 6 degrees - TOTAL FUBAR.

Link (http://www.thenation.com/video/158009/bill-mckibben-why-climate-change-most-urgent-challenge-we-face)

graham christian
04-05-2011, 12:37 PM
Graham,

Civilization(consumption/destruction) must collapse(‘mitigated') not for our consciousness, although that will be a necessary benefit, but because the scientists are saying Gaia will become uninhabitable if we don't. The only disagreement within climatology is how bad it's going to get, how many degrees of global temperature will rise. So far it's gone up 1 deg faren. I forget the actual percentage but the oceans are the greatest sink for CO2, and there's a time lag before it affects the climate. This means we already have another deg guaranteed. There's a possibility the permafrost in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is melting and about to release untold amounts of methane.

In the following video, which I posted before, Bill McKibben states the consensus among climatologists - unless we get off fossil fuels with "great speed" the temperatures in this century will go up at least 5 or 6 degrees - TOTAL FUBAR.

Link (http://www.thenation.com/video/158009/bill-mckibben-why-climate-change-most-urgent-challenge-we-face)

Tenyu.
The global warming issue is yet another debate. I would have to check up many sources on both sides of the argument to even get close to a view on it.

Once again I refuse to be led by the merchants of fear. Just because I'm told it will lead to disaster doesn't mean it will or just because I'm told the cause is 'X' doesn't mean it is. Leading people this way is the oldest trick in the book. It does get you to pay for things though.

Once again I am saying be aware of these things when searching for the truth, don't be led by fear.

Personally, without too much inspection I don't believe global warming is man made. Polititions love it though.

Regards.G.

Lorien Lowe
04-05-2011, 04:49 PM
'The scientists' aren't saying anything about Gaia, because Gaia is a religious concept. Tenyu is accurate, however, in that the vast, vast majority of climate scientists are in a total frothing panic about climate change, and the fact that there's even a semblance of a 'debate' about it is testimony to the power and wealth of the fossil fuel industries. Researchers do not have the personalities to advocate their points of view in the emotional ways that win arguments in our current semblance of a national dialog, and most people cannot see the drama and fear inherent in the conclusions of report after report after report by ecologists, climate scientists, epidemiologists, and others. Sometimes, fear is useful; sometimes, telling oneself that one is imagining things and that everything will be ok just leads to a really, really bad outcome.

I was reluctantly pro-nuclear before the tsunami, and based on what I know about the danger of carbon use I am still reluctantly pro-nuclear (with the caveat that we also invest in real long-term solutions like solar and wind, and regulate the hell out of nuclear). It is a question of which options cause the most total pain and suffering; nuclear seems awful right now because the problems come all at once, but very few people look at the total deaths of coal miners, rig workers, and asthma patients caused annually by fossil fuel energy, much less at the death and suffering that will happen with global climate change and/or the problems that will happen if our civilization collapses due to climate change or lack of energy.

As for what is 'natural,' fission of naturally occurring uranium is no more unnatural the conversion of billions of years of stored carbon into gasses that change the entire global climate.

mathewjgano
04-05-2011, 05:17 PM
'The scientists' aren't saying anything about Gaia, because Gaia is a religious concept. Tenyu is accurate, however, in that the vast, vast majority of climate scientists are in a total frothing panic about climate change, and the fact that there's even a semblance of a 'debate' about it is testimony to the power and wealth of the fossil fuel industries. Researchers do not have the personalities to advocate their points of view in the emotional ways that win arguments in our current semblance of a national dialog, and most people cannot see the drama and fear inherent in the conclusions of report after report after report by ecologists, climate scientists, epidemiologists, and others. Sometimes, fear is useful; sometimes, telling oneself that one is imagining things and that everything will be ok just leads to a really, really bad outcome.

I was reluctantly pro-nuclear before the tsunami, and based on what I know about the danger of carbon use I am still reluctantly pro-nuclear (with the caveat that we also invest in real long-term solutions like solar and wind, and regulate the hell out of nuclear). It is a question of which options cause the most total pain and suffering; nuclear seems awful right now because the problems come all at once, but very few people look at the total deaths of coal miners, rig workers, and asthma patients caused annually by fossil fuel energy, much less at the death and suffering that will happen with global climate change and/or the problems that will happen if our civilization collapses due to climate change or lack of energy.

As for what is 'natural,' fission of naturally occurring uranium is no more unnatural the conversion of billions of years of stored carbon into gasses that change the entire global climate.
Nicely put. I think it's easy to make sweeping declarations against things like nuclear power because of how obvious the dangers seem, but when we compare those dangers with other common dangers I think it points more to a need of diligence than for abstinence.

graham christian
04-05-2011, 05:43 PM
Never seen so many generalizations in one paragraph on climate change.

G.

lbb
04-05-2011, 09:31 PM
Never seen so many generalizations in one paragraph on climate change.
What are you referring to, Graham?

Tenyu
04-06-2011, 02:04 AM
'The scientists' aren't saying anything about Gaia, because Gaia is a religious concept. Tenyu is accurate, however, in that the vast, vast majority of climate scientists are in a total frothing panic about climate change, and the fact that there's even a semblance of a 'debate' about it is testimony to the power and wealth of the fossil fuel industries. Researchers do not have the personalities to advocate their points of view in the emotional ways that win arguments in our current semblance of a national dialog, and most people cannot see the drama and fear inherent in the conclusions of report after report after report by ecologists, climate scientists, epidemiologists, and others. Sometimes, fear is useful; sometimes, telling oneself that one is imagining things and that everything will be ok just leads to a really, really bad outcome.

I was reluctantly pro-nuclear before the tsunami, and based on what I know about the danger of carbon use I am still reluctantly pro-nuclear (with the caveat that we also invest in real long-term solutions like solar and wind, and regulate the hell out of nuclear). It is a question of which options cause the most total pain and suffering; nuclear seems awful right now because the problems come all at once, but very few people look at the total deaths of coal miners, rig workers, and asthma patients caused annually by fossil fuel energy, much less at the death and suffering that will happen with global climate change and/or the problems that will happen if our civilization collapses due to climate change or lack of energy.

As for what is 'natural,' fission of naturally occurring uranium is no more unnatural the conversion of billions of years of stored carbon into gasses that change the entire global climate.

Hi Lorien,

Nice to see you here. Oil is still the overwhelming forefront factor of Liebig's Law. Since there's no replacement for the cheap 3.6 billion gallons of oil required to power civilization every day, if we're lucky collapse will happen before new carbon inputs irrevocably impact the dynamic positive feedback already in play. Oil's the biggest industry in the world but contrary to media-induced public opinion, they also have one of the lowest profit margins of any major industry due to declining finite reserves and non-linearly declining EROEI. The oil production plateau is precariously approaching the cliff or series of cliffs. There's good reason Saudi Arabia's true reserves are classified information. What will happen with the hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive nuclear fuel as collapse progresses? What will happen when rolling or permanent blackouts arrive in areas with nuclear reactors? How many Chernobyls and Fukushimas can the world handle of the 443 reactors currently in use? Even if a Yucca mountain were approved, a significant amount of fuel at every plant is too hot to be transported, they're basically stuck in huge pools for years until they're cool enough to be dry casked. How many decades to decommission? The entire life cycle of nuclear energy isn't accounted for in its government subsidized EROEI and safety considerations, nor do I see these issues being addressed by the nuclear lobby or pro-nuclear people.

The media's doing a good public relations job of obfuscating the health risks of Fukushima. Many comparisons to dental x-rays, but they never state that being a one time radiation exposure of a few milliseconds. The fallout from Fukushima both into the atmosphere and the sea consists of radioactive particles that continually release radiation 24/7 for the duration of their half-lives.

Tenyu
04-06-2011, 02:18 AM
Tenyu.
The global warming issue is yet another debate. I would have to check up many sources on both sides of the argument to even get close to a view on it.

Once again I refuse to be led by the merchants of fear. Just because I'm told it will lead to disaster doesn't mean it will or just because I'm told the cause is 'X' doesn't mean it is. Leading people this way is the oldest trick in the book. It does get you to pay for things though.

Once again I am saying be aware of these things when searching for the truth, don't be led by fear.

Personally, without too much inspection I don't believe global warming is man made. Polititions love it though.

Regards.G.

Graham,

How can you believe or not believe in an issue while simultaneously admitting complete ignorance of it? I don't see any politicians addressing AGW. If you had at least read the Lovelock article, you would know Kyoto treaty and carbon offsetting is a business scam. Real mitigation of AGW means the end of business and the global economy as we know it entirely. If you think this is wild you should check out my thread on peak oil in this same forum.