Renewable Energy not the answer says Time Magazine Hero of the Environment, go Nuclear

bob3344

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His essential message is not one his old comrades would want you to hear. His thesis is that rabid Green alarmism is creating a raft of dangerous myths about climate change and blinding the public to real solutions that could address far more pressing global problems. Having once campaigned for them, Shellenberger now believes that most forms of renewable energy such as solar and wind power are simply impractical for large scale use in much of the world. They’re also damaging because they require huge amounts of land and harm wildlife.

Meanwhile, hysterical Green doom-mongers — he singles out Britain’s Extinction Rebellion group and 17-year-old Swedish eco-warrior Greta Thunberg — must stop saying the world is about to end due to climate change. It isn’t even close, he says.


‘Environmentalists got it exactly wrong’, Shellenberger told me this week. Motivated by left-wing, anti-capitalist, anti-growth ideas, they have pushed for a low energy, low consumption world — essentially ‘a return to Elizabethan England’, he says — when what is needed is the opposite. Industrialisation in the Third World (where carbon emissions are rising the fastest) may cause a short-term rise in carbon emissions, he argues, but in the long term it benefits the environment as it pushes people out of the countryside and into cities. Farmland can revert to nature and people get richer, allowing them to switch to cleaner forms of energy.

A critical way of saving the environment, says Shellenberger, is to produce more food, particularly meat, on less land. He also argues Western banks and governments should stop forcing renewable energy technology such as batteries and solar panels on developing countries and let them build hydroelectric dams and efficient fossil fuel power stations. Rich nations are trying to make poverty ‘sustainable’ rather than ‘history’ in the Third World, he says damningly.


 


PAGE61

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Great source..the Daily Mail .

I dont get the going veggie is pointless remark in it either
 

bob3344

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Great source..the Daily Mail .

I dont get the going veggie is pointless remark in it either

FFS, He doesn't work for the daily mail, just included that so people could get a gist of what he's saying

Is Ted Talks ok ?

Basic argument - Renewables aren't reliable or even green, way to reduce climate change is industrialise the 3rd world, promote poor rural people moving to cities, use nuclear power, stop wood burning, encroachment on natural habitat

 

EU Insider

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Nuclear tech is better than it was, and with investment in R&D could be better again... but the same can be said about renewable tech too and we have seen evidence of that already.
The problem with Nuclear is the balance of risk and reward. When it goes wrong it goes very very wrong. We can reduce the risk of that but not eliminate it. It also produces waste products which comes with their own heavy price tag.
 

owedtojoy

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Schellenberger is Bjorn Lomborg II.

He has and will get some good gigs consulting to mega-corporations, so he is pretty well on a secure income for the coming few years.

Otherwise, he passed his moment of relevance, along with climate change denial, about a decade ago.


At least, climate change deniers seem to have given up on fossil fuels, so I suppose that is something.

Time Magazine? FFS, give us a break from the bullshyte.
 

EU Insider

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Schellenberger is Bjorn Lomborg II.

He has and will get some good gigs consulting to mega-corporations, so he is pretty well on a secure income for the coming few years.

Otherwise, he passed his moment of relevance, along with climate change denial, about a decade ago.


At least, climate change deniers seem to have given up on fossil fuels, so I suppose that is something.

Time Magazine? FFS, give us a break from the bullshyte.
I see him as a silky tongued provocateur. He's and exercise in formulating responses to the more ardent opponents of renewable and alternative energy production.
 

bob3344

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I see him as a silky tongued provocateur. He's and exercise in formulating responses to the more ardent opponents of renewable and alternative energy production.
Hardly a provocateur, he was a climate change activist all his life, got that award from Time magazine 10 years ago

Now he's singing a different tune, he's a money grabbing provocateur ?
 

EU Insider

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This guy makes the point that there is no plan for disposing of the solar panels once they're 30 years old
Sure, but the level of waste and the damage that waste causes isn't close to nuclear. Plus solar tech has changes so much from old 1st gen technology.

Despite the various technologies used for nuclear generation we're still left with varying degrees of nuclear waste the only viable solution to which we've found is burying it in a very deep hole. If we move from other sources to nuclear in a meaningful way we'll have to dig a much bigger hole.
 

Ardillaun

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Isn't the cost of solar and wind power coming down more rapidly than nuclear?
 

farnaby

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Despite the various technologies used for nuclear generation we're still left with varying degrees of nuclear waste the only viable solution to which we've found is burying it in a very deep hole. If we move from other sources to nuclear in a meaningful way we'll have to dig a much bigger hole.
Not to mention the fact that the substances essential to nuclear power are rare, dangerous and require intensive mining. The whole world competing for nuclear material would not bode well for the environment or world peace.
 

farnaby

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Sounds like this guy's articles are exaggerated book promotion material that will be taken up in the wrong way by the wrong people.


The environmentalist's apology: how Michael Shellenberger unsettled some of his prominent supporters

Veteran climate scientist Prof Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide, was asked by Shellenberger to read his book and gave it a glowing review.

But...“I think that Michael has gone a little too far and he will have to defend this article for many years and, in the meantime, some damage will be done as his words may be misrepresented by people who don’t believe in human-caused global warming,” Wigley said.
...
Ben Heard, founder of Australian environmental group Bright New World, which also advocates for nuclear energy, has known Shellenberger for a decade.

“That’s not the article I would write,” he told Guardian Australia. “Michael is getting a number of extremely important truths out there, although they may have been expressed only partially and that can be a problem.
 

silverharp

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4th generation is a huge improvement, zero meltdown risk , modular, smaller scale. Anyone who is against nuclear doesn't care about global warming
 

bob3344

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Isn't the cost of solar and wind power coming down more rapidly than nuclear?
I thought so, but if you watch the vid it seems renewables is never going to work, its much more expensive than nuclear, less reliable, pollutes more, its more of a religion than a science

Hence the hysteria shown by Extinction Rebellion, Greta etc

And when you consider the amount of land needed for solar farms, the construction & disposal of the panels, the unreliability of the weather conditions, its not actually a green solution.

This guy seems to know what he's talking about, the vid is worth a watch

Main thing is to get the expanding 3rd world away from burning wood & encroaching on wildlife habitats - industrialise & move towards urban living
 

bob3344

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This is from his article which was cancelled by Forbes

Here are some facts few people know:

Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”

Climate change is not making natural disasters worse

Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003

The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska

The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California

Carbon emissions have been declining in rich nations for decades and peaked in Britain, Germany and France in the mid-seventies

Adapting to life below sea level made the Netherlands rich not poor

We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change

Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels

Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia. I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions
Someone with that track record can't just be dismissed as a corporate stooge imo, deserves a listen at least
 

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Not to mention the fact that the substances essential to nuclear power are rare, dangerous and require intensive mining. The whole world competing for nuclear material would not bode well for the environment or world peace.
I heard a long time ago we had 40-80 years worth of supply left. I am sure reactors would become more efficient, but currently only 10-15% of our energy needs are met by nuclear. Even factoring in efficiencies, replacing that additional 90% would clearly deplete those remaining resources far more quickly.
 

Finbar10

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There are serious problems with both renewables and nuclear.

Up to a point, for renewables like wind, there's a sweet spot where they can supplement an existing primarily fossil-fuel based grid (with moderate financial subsidies). Ireland is a good example; close to one-third of our electricity is from renewables (mostly wind). Beyond a certain point though, that becomes more problematic.

Only about a third of our energy usage is electricity anyway. If we had some hypothetical perfectly efficient energy storage technology, we still would need to increase the amount of wind turbines we have by about a factor of 9 over what we have currently to cover all our energy needs. And such a storage system does not exist. Probably the most viable long-term storage system currently is power-to-gas where excess renewable energy is used to generate methane, which can be easily stored in tanks for long periods (and can be burned in conventional gas turbine electricity stations). However, the best practical efficiency for that at the moment is around 40%, i.e. after renewable electricity is converted to gas and the gas is reconverted back to electricity, 40% of the original energy is left. Therefore, realistically, if we wanted to be completely energy self-sufficient using wind energy, we'd need around 20 times the number of wind turbines we have currently. That's probably just about feasible (we are a sparsely populated country with lots of wind) but the energy would not be cheap. This approach just wouldn't be practical for some far more densely population continental country. I've also seen estimates of how much land area would have to be covered in the Sahara by solar panels to power Europe (200km by 200km of solar panels to supply just electricity with perhaps several square kilometres worth of batteries to smooth out daily supply intermittency and vast cables to bring it across to Europe).

Building several conventional nuclear power plants in Ireland would be more practical. There is the waste issue of course. Another big downside would be if all countries decided to supply all of their energy (not just electricity) via nuclear. That would put a serious dent into uranium reserves. There is a potential solution to that: breeder nuclear reactors. These can potentially get 50-100 times more energy from the same uranium and mostly get rid of the waste issue (these reactors work by feeding reprocessed nuclear waste back into the reactor, eventually breaking down most of the nasty waste products). Such plants though are technically complex and the energy would be somewhat more expensive. And there hasn't been a lot of work on such reactors in recent decades (there has been scaling back in nuclear programmes in general). Practical fusion always seems to be 20 years away. On the other hand, overcoming some of the technical challenges for breeder reactors is probably far more doable.

So, on one hand, I'm not sure people really realize the sheer scale of infrastructure that would be needed for modern society to fully run on renewables. On the other hand, practical large-scale usage of nuclear probably requires technology that isn't really very developed or mature and has quite a few issues to iron out.
 

Clipper

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Nuclear tech is better than it was, and with investment in R&D could be better again... but the same can be said about renewable tech too and we have seen evidence of that already.
The problem with Nuclear is the balance of risk and reward. When it goes wrong it goes very very wrong. We can reduce the risk of that but not eliminate it. It also produces waste products which comes with their own heavy price tag.

When they crack Fusion, then and only then will it become a credible alternative.
 

bob3344

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So, on one hand, I'm not sure people really realize the sheer scale of infrastructure that would be needed for modern society to fully run on renewables.
50% of all land would be required apparently

Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress

The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land

The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium

100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50%

We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities

Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%

Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did

“Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions

Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon
 

EU Insider

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50% of all land would be required apparently
50%? That seems excessive!
According to a 2008 analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, supplying all of the United States’ electricity needs with photovoltaic solar energy would require roughly 0.6 percent of America's total land area or 1,948 square feet per person.
.
 


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