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Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 9:49 AM

NASA's top climate scientist, James Hansen, has essentially declared, that if Canada's tar sands are tapped and exploited, it will be the end of planet earth.

The Keystone pipeline decision has been kicked up until 2013, which would pipe crude from Canada to the refineries in Texas. Canada's attitude toward this decision is basically, "F" you, we'll build a pipeline to the west coast and send our oil to Asia.

http://understory.ran.org/2011/08/29/photo-of-the-day-james-hansen-arrested-for-protesting-keystone-xl-tar-sands-pipeline/

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20110826/james-hansen-nasa-climate-change-scientist-keystone-xl-oil-sands-pipeline-protests-mckibben-white-house

What about US shale oil........................will that be shut down too?

http://dailyreckoning.com/oil-shale-reserves/

The problem I have with the environmentalists, is that they readily admit that we don't have any viable alternatives to fossil fuel right now, but we must stop using it anyway. How is that going to work out?

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#1

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 10:01 AM

"we don't have any viable alternatives to fossil fuel right now"

Yes we do, Nuclear power, buys us enough time to develop hydrogen...

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#2
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 10:29 AM

I agree, but it's not likely to happen. Yucca mountain has turned into another massive government boondoggle.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/Worldwide-wrapup/

http://www.progressive.org/mpkrieger042011.html

The Canadian oil is going to burned somewhere, regardless. There are plenty of valid arguments against the pipeline. It makes me nervous when a, (supposedly), top US scientist starts painting 'end of the planet' scenarios.

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#15
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 2:12 PM

This is why we should be reprocessing the waste here in the US...Not just stockpiling it, we're creating our own problem where one should not exist...I can only wonder who is benefitting from this backward thinking....

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#17
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 2:43 PM

Yes, the technology exists to reuse spent fuel rods. I think the French are doing it quite successfully. It's another thing that I can't comprehend us not doing.

We're shuttering coal plants....................and exporting coal to China.

We're anti fossil fuel, while the rest of the planet burns it up.

We're not saving the planet from anything. It seems like we're just bent on removing ourselves from the equation. It might feel good, but I don't see any magic energy bullets coming in the near future. Subjecting ourselves to rules that no one else is playing by, will accomplish nothing.

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#18
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 3:34 PM

As a capitalist society we must find a way to make a sustainable energy policy a profitable undertaking.. When we do this, and we will, we will sell it to the rest of the world, thereby securing a global leadership position, and averting worldwide disaster...

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#21
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 4:32 PM

That will not happen simply because government (ours and others) will never relinquish control over energy because it is a source of political power and is used to maintain a balance of power.

Such an undertaking would surely upset global powers. An example would be Russia, which economically relies on its energy exports (Russia has the largest natural gas reserves in the world, the second largest coal reserves in the world, and is number 8 with the largest oil reserves).

Without those exports Russia would be pushed to the point of collapse and a well armed country that is desperate is going to be like a wounded and cornered animal - nothing to lose.

As you can see, geopolitics runs deeper than the deepest oil wells.

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#22
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 5:43 PM

Your reasoning is several decades behind, imo, Russia, has been on the brink and over the brink for decades...Who would they attack and for what, and to what end?

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#24
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 8:06 PM

It is no secret that Russia could be on a dead-end track right now, but if you are paying any attention to the news at all you must see that Russia has been carefully situating itself as a major exporter of energy to Europe and a major geopolitical force in the Balkans and Europe. This is happening right now as Moscow is trying to make sweet deals with Germany since they have vowed to relinquish nuclear power. It is also happening regionally as Moscow muscles its way back into the politics of its former soviet block.

However, all that aside, the real issue is not the current state of Russia as much as the bigger picture, which is how states that heavily rely on energy as an export and a mechanism for regional power will react when those resources are neutralized by another nation.

I assume you had world history classes in school and there have been many historical battles fought over resources and their control. It would be totally naive to believe that history would not repeat itself if those circumstances reemerge.

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#25
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 11:31 PM

Well I think things are handled differently now....In any case the demand is not going to collapse overnight...There will be someone willing to pay the price for a long time to come...Here in the US, even if we are leading the pack, we're talking 20 years...And by leading the pack I mean largest consumer of oil to convert...

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#30
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 8:08 AM

Actually, things are handled remarkably the same. We just use more sophisticated weapons and other forms of arm twisting. We haven't really changed much (if at all) since the time of the spear.

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#8
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 1:20 PM

Ever checked on what happens when you propose a new nuclear plant in the US?

Every environmental group gets in line to sue you for anything they can think of.

Every type of energy plant has historically ended with one or more environmental groups going after it.

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#55
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 3:17 AM

I'm not so enthousiastic on the simple solution you propose.

Nuclear is indeed towards green house effects a clean energy. If you would make the complete picture towards our environment the cleanlyness is not so bright anymore. And you have to add accidents and natural influences.

But hydrogen is only an energy carrier/storage: you need to produce the energy you want to be stored inside first.

The conversion Energy - Hydrogen - Energy is one of the worst known in storage world. (big chance compressed air does better)

Add to this the fact that till now hydrogen can't be stored in large quantities as it is a too small molecule: it slips through the christal structure of metals which are way more dense than polymer layers to enclose it. Other techniques are known but not applicable due to limits in release and adsorbtion speed.

The wheight of a simple container, containing as much energy as a normal small gas tank is enormous, pressures inside go over 300bar. Imagine a road crash.

The real solution to the energy usage is battery powered electric cars as the last conversion towards energy used to propell the vehicle is efficient up to 80%, wich pushes down the total energy storage requirement.

The Chevrolet Volt is released in Europe this fall. I looked into the specifications.

The energy required to drive 100km is 16.9 kWh.

A liter of gas contains 35 MJ = 9.7kWh

Compared the Volt uses 1.75 liter per 100km. (paper comparison)

So far the comparison: the energy used in hydrogen of battery storage will come from the same source.

In case of hydrogen you will have to pass by the "gas" station, battery powered cars will charge overnight, enabling the electricity company to top of production when required by charging batteries ready for storage.

Hense you see where the push towards hydrogen comes from: the same old companies who stil want you to pass some of your money to them.

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#57
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 5:39 AM

If there's a buck in it (going "green") then it will happen.

That is where the focus needs to be. If you satisfy the requirements of greed then anything is possible.

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#63
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 8:43 AM

I am not taking sides in the nuclear debate, but it is interesting to note that for all the fear mongering about nuclear power there is little or no evidence to substantiate that fear.

I found this link with some interesting data on deaths per terawatt of power:

Coal - world average 161 (26% of world energy, 50% of electricity)

Coal - China 278

Coal - USA 15

Oil 36 (36% of world energy)

Natural Gas 4 (21% of world energy)

Biofuel/Biomass 12

Peat 12

Solar (rooftop) 0.44 (less than 0.1% of world energy)

Wind 0.15 (less than 1% of world energy)

Hydro 0.10 (europe death rate, 2.2% of world energy)

Hydro - world including Banqiao) 1.4 (about 2500 TWh/yr and 171,000 Banqiao dead)

Nuclear 0.04 (5.9% of world energy)

I suspect a similar study comparing the cost of mishaps between nuclear and oil would show a large disparity for costs as well, but I have not performed such a study.

The point is that nuclear power is publicly considered a black sheep and generates huge waves of hysteria based on unfounded beliefs. Even the Japanese disaster has shown that their mishap could have been readily averted with minimal effort by fortifying their backup generators.

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#3

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 10:58 AM

James Hansen and our current President seem to have a somewhat curious and parallel agenda. Since the oil WILL be burned, what is there to gain by allowing it to go elsewhere.

I have a couple of observations:

1. The proposed pipeline is actually shovel ready and will put 20,000 people to work immediately. Obama says he wants jobs but does not allow the pipeline to be built.

2. The pipeline project is being funded (and owned) by other than Government. That means it is a capitalist project.......for profit.

3. The redistribution of wealth (environmental movement) agenda of Progressives would be slapped in the face by this project.

Now there I go again, wearing my love for freedom on my vest.

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#5
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 11:15 AM

This thread idea came from an article that I'm reading in Rolling Stone magazine.....................I got a free subscription with some concert tickets that I bought. Interesting reading. Apparently Rolling Stone has decided to enter the political fray.

Apparently the State Dept gave the project a green light, but the EPA stepped in and challenged the environmental impact studies.....................................so now I guess taxpayers are paying separate government agencies to battle each other. Of course the EPA won and convinced the President that this is a bad idea. We're talking about a 4' wide trench with a pipe in it.

It seems to me that the EPA has become an arm of the Sierra Club.

Yes, this oil will be utilized, somewhere.

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#9
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 1:23 PM

You wrote, "Apparently Rolling Stone has decided to enter the political fray."

They never left it to begin with!

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#11
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 1:35 PM

I had never read the magazine in my life until I got this subscription.

If people are reading stuff like this, (which they are), to get their information, it's no wonder we have so many kooks on the loose.

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#13
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 1:43 PM

A number of years ago my mom subscribed me to a years worth of Mother Earth News. After barely stomaching reading through the first two issues of it I just tossed the rest in the trash as soon as they came.

Since then I have thought it should be renamed Environmental politics/scientific quackery and BS News.

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#16
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 2:26 PM

Aren't they tapping shale oil out by you? How are they getting it to the refineries?

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#23
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 6:39 PM

Presently its mainly going out by rail and pipeline. At the moment we are also working on getting a brand new oil refinery built in our state now too. Pump it local, process it local, and keep the money local.

(Although we will probably still have the highest average fuel prices in the country anyway.)

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#26
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 11:53 PM

I think that is a better point

why isn't sufficient refining capacity being built in the area?

piping tar 1700 miles to texas seems an odd way to go about it

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#28
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 8:01 AM

Actually, it may not be. First, it would depend on the capacity and compatibility of the existing refineries to handle the crude in question, but if the incoming crude cost is cheap enough it could be substituted for an existing supply at a pre-existing refinery.

Second, building a refinery is a decades long event. Not only is there the complexity of doing the actual construction there is a mountain of government (federal, state, and local) red tape to get through and then you still need to overcome all of the opposing environmental groups which will attempt to lock up the process in the court system for as long as possible to derail the construction.

Third, startup costs for a new refinery will be staggering. This reduces the profitability, particularly if the existing refineries are not being used to capacity.

However, that is not exactly the case here. US existing refineries have dropped about 1/2 in number from the peak in the 1980s. We had just over 300 refineries at one point and now have about 150.

The remaining refineries have actually doubled their efficiency and deliver about 90% of current US demand (based on the multitude of blends required by each different state). The reduction of refineries has helped improve profit margins considerably from about 5% for each gallon produced to somewhere between 10% to 12%.

Lastly, there is the politics of the game. Local and state representatives are eager to lay claim to bringing home the bacon for their representatives during election years. Building a local refinery, even if it does not make fiscal sense, may be a political boon if it is seen as a win for local economies and labor statistics.

The same thing might be said about a pipeline as well, so obviously the situation is highly complex and often irrational.

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#34
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 10:39 AM

the how many & whys of refineries is all EPA's fault right?

the producers will run cheap, not clean if left to their own devices

propose a system that will have balance between the 2 opposing goals

the bar for both will always need to be raised

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#39
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 12:33 PM

You wrote, "the how many & whys of refineries is all EPA's fault right?"

Perhaps you have an axe to grind against oil companies, but nowhere did I lay all of the blame on the EPA or any one entity. So your argument is a bit of a red herring, no?

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#36
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 10:57 AM

Last time I visited an oil refinery, the staff was very worried for their future. It seems that it is cheaper to transport the oil abroad, refine it, and bring back the gasoline or other products to sell in NA.

That is what seems to be happening according to the insiders.

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#40
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 1:13 PM

We are working on it!

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/MHA_ROD080311.pdf

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bakken-diesel-idUSTRE7AK0EC20111121

In South Dakota they are focusing on processing Canada tar sand crude which may be where most of the pipeline from Canada to the US stink may have come from.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2008/06/04/south_dakota_oil_refinery

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#41
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 2:16 PM

Cool! Maybe they'll be able to split the difference and pipe the Canadian oil to your area instead of going all the way to Texas.

Regardless of what happens, I think that due to the sheer volume of oil in these areas, pipelines are going to have to be involved at some point.

I don't think anybody's against finding alternatives to fossil fuel, but until that day comes, we're stuck with it. I'm still not happy with Hansen. We don't need NASA scientists running around predicting doomsday, and getting paid to do it. There's plenty of hysteria already out there to last forever.

Not addressed to you tcm, but just asking............what's up with all of these purported oil leaks in the existing pipe lines? Can we not put together pipe that doesn't leak? If it's true, it definitely adds fuel to the anti pipeline argument.

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#42
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 2:33 PM

of course there can be pipelines that are less likely to leak, but they would cost more money to build, the oil companies, are going to roll the dice & hope for the best [see deep water horizon], until something bad happens, which will yield an outcry & regulation

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#46
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 4:32 PM

That wasn't a pipeline, and the spill was an accident. If the government would permit them to drill closer to shore, they wouldn't be in deep water.

On the other hand, if the oil companies are going to try to cut corners and install cheap piping that is prone to leaking, they deserve whatever they get from the government. I know it's done, but I can't imagine why any industry would do things that they know will invite the government and the EPA to become a regular fixture in their day to day operations. Maybe it boosts profit in the short term, but it's going to cost them way more money in the long term if the feds have to write rules and baby sit them.

Of course, I can't imagine anyone not caring about polluting the environment either, but I guess they're out there.

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#47
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 4:54 PM

you drill where the oil is

Ixtoc was a nearly identical incident, with the same sorts of solutions being tried, they've been punching holes in the gulf for decades, it is littered with abandoned rigs, after all de-commisioning them would cost money...

industries will cut corners for today's profit, the consequences won't happen until , well later or maybe never.

short term thinking abounds

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#43
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 3:09 PM

What they are mostly doing here locally is running miles of smaller crude oil and natural gas lines to main central bulk loading stations for the railroads.

Given that an average rail tanker holds something like 34,500 gallons and a 100 car train is fairly common that equates to one train transporting roughly 3,450,000 gallons of oil in one load. Thats roughly half of one the modern bulk storage tanks hauled out on one single train and around here the new loading stations have 3 - 6 of these tanks on site and are supposed to be capable of doing near continuous loading of trains.

I don't know if I have the numbers correct but at my last job their was a new rail loading station being set up in Epping ND that had three of the large tanks already being built and was supposed to be able to easily load a rail car about once every 2 minutes or an entire train in less than four hours if I understood it correctly.

If so that would mean that possibly 6 train loads a day or roughly 21,000,000 gallons (500,000 barrels) a day could plausibly go out of one single loading station although realistically I think they plan to do about 1 train a day.

For an interesting read on our oil shipping and related stuff check this out. https://www.dmr.nd.gov/pipeline/assets/Video/03022011/NDPA%20Rail%20Webinar%20Slides%202-28-2011.pdf

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#32
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 10:08 AM

What does John Stewart have to say on the subject?

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#10
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 1:25 PM

You know, presenting your opinions as though they were fact is unanswerable on a non-political forum. I disagree on several of your points but I suspect that you are not prepared to rearrange your prejudices any more than I, and anyway, this is not the place.

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#12
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 1:43 PM

I posted the thread in hopes that some of our members would have some first hand knowledge on what's going on with this.

Hansen saying that this oil will destroy the planet, looks like it's based on if it was all burned at one time. People believe this stuff.

To have a top NASA scientist engaged in what appears to be scare mongering, is concerning to say the least........................and he's profiting from it.

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#4

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 11:03 AM

It's no secret that the forces in the Middle East that currently control much of the world's oil supply feel threatened by the vast amounts of oil in the Canadian oil sands, and that they are willing to spend money to stop the development of this resource.

So it would not surprise me to find out Hansen is being paid to say that, based on this:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/18/dr-james-hansens-growing-financial-scandal-now-over-a-million-dollars-of-outside-income/

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#6
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 11:20 AM

That explains a lot.

Guys like this are shaping US policy decisions and getting rich at the same time.

Scientists are beyond reproach.................my arse!!

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#7

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 12:24 PM

I would think it would be a monumental task to press westward through snow and mountains and would take many years to build. What would happen once it reached the west coast? Would a refinery have to be built or would the crude be shipped as is. Building a pipeline south to the Gulf coast may be the best and only real alternative for Canada and their attitude may change after they realize the immensity of the task.

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#14
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 1:55 PM

I'm not completely up to speed on this story, but it looks like the project has already been started, and they're a little upset that the EPA and US President has stopped it.

I have seen valid arguments against the pipeline, but it's coming from ranchers and other private land owners that don't want it cutting through their property. I don't blame them, but that's a different topic.

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#31
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 9:16 AM

The easiest, simplest, least expensive and least distant route is through to Prince George BC.

go figure

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#53
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 11:52 PM

Hansen is not the best spokesperson for the environment. His hyperbole will only serve to reinforce the climate warm deniers and set their agenda back. The fact is the reliance on fossil fuels will not wane no matter if we install policies of carbon credits or taxation. Short of strictly rationing fossil fuel consumption, these measure do nothing to stop CO2 discharge but may make it more expensive.

In the meantime, we (Canadians and Americans) will buy our oil from whomever will supply it at reasonable cost and be reliable. The geopolitical distribution of oil is complicated and the Canadian tar sands does cause a bit of a headache for the OPEC suppliers.A lot of oil for Eastern Canada comes from OPEC countries and Canada may well be served to build a pipeline east. If the USA does not want our oil I would not underestimate the private money that was about to commit to Keystone to find alternatives. I think Asia would be a good target market and a pipeline to Prince Rupert is a definite possibility. There are megabucks involved and all the players are not going to cancel their committed projects in Alberta if Keystone stops. We Canadians would welcome the construction jobs and engineering challenges. That all said, I do hope that better heads eventually prevail and Keystone proceeds. I am a believer in keeping the project between neighbors. The OPEC countries will still sell the same amount of oil but will sell to Asia and Europe. Likely it will force a drop in price. The more oil available the cheaper the price will become. All of this does nothing to curb the use of fuels that contribute to CO2 atmospheric problems. It is all about supply. We only hope that as we continue to rely on oil and other fossil fuels, our ability to develop much more efficient use of these fuels will also rise. It is my hope that these efficiencies rise very rapidly over the next 5 years or so. I think the environmental movement displayed by our youth will force these economies of efficiencies. The young will inherit our present.

I would invest in uranium stock but fear I don't have enough time to reap any rewards. New nuclear power plants will likely take 20 years to become operational and a user of the fuel. However, if you are young enough and with patience, uranium could be a solid investment. Again, don't trust my judgement as I have invested in futile mining stock in the past.

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#54
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 12:43 AM

"Short of strictly rationing fossil fuel consumption, these measure do nothing to stop CO2 discharge but may make it more expensive." I am curious about the concept of high price not slowing down usage. What planet is that on? Oil is far pricier in Europe and I bet they do not use as much.

We have the cheapest gas and oil in the world (outside opec countries) and we also have the greatest use/waste of oil and gas.

Also if you keep driving down the price of gas and oil, alternatives can never develop. (Bad money drives out good). If we had a proper accounting system, oil companies could pay the cost of loss of fish in the sea, and gas companies could pay for poisoning of ground water from fracking. I think the present generation of humans in the USA and Canada are just too selfish about their happy mobile lifestyle to change their ways. The 2% or 4% or 5% endless growth "economics" that people have crazy faith in is a moronic concept. It cannot happen for more than a few decades. If we cannot live on the energy that the sun provides in our ecosystem, we will go the way of the dodo.

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#74
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 12:49 PM

If you think that we will stop driving our cars, flying in airplanes, or even heating our houses because of oil prices then you haven't lived in Canada where I live. Our prices for gas seem to approach European costs but the traffic is as heavy as ever. Consider the scale of distance in European countries and that may present a better picture of travel expenses. As to home heating, yes it is cold and yes it will take energy to heat that house. I would rather we spend money on insulation and better structured houses than on green energy such as photovoltaic or wind. The insulation is effective and passive.Usually, such measures are carried by the home owner and not the taxpayer but again I would rather the governments spend money in this manner than on some of the energy alternative programs.

The upcoming Durban conference on the environment will not be about protecting the environment but rather redistributing wealth. Coal emissions from China, India, and USA account for more than 40% of global emissions of CO2. China, currently the largest greenhouse gas emitter, generate 80% of all its energy with coal. The second place greenhouse gas emitter USA produces 50% and India in third produces 70%. Neither China nor India have any reduction plans under Kyoto. The US is not included in the Kyoto agreement because it refused to sign on. These three countries have a plan to build 850 new coal fired energy generation plants of which 562 are to be built in China. How does that relate to using oil from the tar sands. All countries will use the energy given to them. Are they all considered equally evil? The energy burnt by all the cars is a moot point in the larger scheme and I say that not to belittle the small efforts. It is just too overwhelming an issue to try to resolve molecule by molecule. Expect more bashing of Canada's tar sands at Durban but don't expect to hear any noise about the much bigger problems with greenhouse gas emissions. Kramarat is correct is saying that we (all humans) will burn oil, coal, gas, while it is available. When scales of efficiencies of operation reach a certain point where the alternatives make sense, then we will move in that direction. If disaster happens as Hansen seems to predict, then we will do whatever humans need to do to survive. Right now, I am not willing to trade my house for the igloo besides it likely to melt too quick. I do encourage passive energy resolutions such as more efficient cars, electric cars (maybe? if it is not generated by fossil fuels), better built homes, smaller homes, and more efficient airplanes. Under the current global context of economies, the use of fossil fuels will likely rise until we find the efficiencies needed to balance the consumption.

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#19

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 3:50 PM

I recently read in an Engineering mag ('The Engineer') that the average oil field only has about 20% of it tapped. We just take the stuff that gushes out and then move on greedilly to the next cheapest well.

Maybe it's about time the companies who have made billions over the last century actually started making some effort to be environmentally responsible rather than just raping good ol' Mother Earth.
Del

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#20
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/03/2011 4:21 PM

You wrote, "Maybe it's about time the companies who have made billions over the last century actually started making some effort to be environmentally responsible rather than just raping good ol' Mother Earth."

Maybe there is some truth to that 20% number and it would be nice if they could simply finish what they started, but...

I'll bet that first 20% comes a lot cheaper than the remaining 80%. I'll also bet that most people are quick to complain about the mess the oil companies might leave, but are adamant about not paying a dime more for their gas and oil.

Can't have it both ways.

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#27
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 5:39 AM

I also read 'The Engineer' article. It did point out that some work is being done on injecting CO2 but the main problem is that large quantities of CO2 are not readily available at the well heads. The first 20% (nominal, varies from well to well) comes out on it's own due to pressure in the well. After that you have to force it out and injecting gas is one way to achieve this. Pumping air in will not work as it reacts with the crude, probably oxidises it but I am no chemist. Refrigeration splitting air into oxygen and nitrogen and pumping the nitrogen down the hole should work in theory. ( note theory proposed by a non-chemist) This leaves you with a load of unused oxygen that at present I can't think of a use for. Any ideas?

As for increasing the cost, taking the next 20-30% out of existing wells with established infrastructure has got to be cheaper than developing new deep offshore wells or operating in very hostile conditions like Alaska north slope.

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#29
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 8:06 AM

You wrote, "This leaves you with a load of unused oxygen that at present I can't think of a use for. Any ideas?"

Ah, how about building an oxygen pipeline to California for their oxygen bars? ;-)

Their state legislators already seem to be suffering from hypoxia.

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#56
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 5:13 AM

Dell & jhassociates

STATOIL, the Norwegian Oil producers are currently pumping CO2 into their wells to combine the two attractions of a) getting more oil out and b) sinking the CO2 into bedrock. The latter being an outcome of many of their operations.

They also have a myriad of pipelines in the Ekofisk area and there must be some spare capacity at times.

They are fortunate in that the rock they are using to pump into has a very good structure for absorbing the CO2.

Sleepy

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#33

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 10:38 AM

We don't need more oil, we need more efficient energy use. An engineering forum like this should be flooded with support for new technology, yet I don't see much. I just see support for relying on a dead-end energy source. Sad.

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#35
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 10:53 AM

People who are doing serious research on developing new energy saving devices or concepts are not very likely to come here for advice or counseling.

We are, after all, just a group of anonymous bloggers. Don't get me wrong, there are some very intelligent people here, but we seem to get more cranks than serious scientists asking for validation of their concepts.

We get 100 HHO crazies, or more, for every Lonnie Doyle.

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#60
In reply to #35

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 8:10 AM

Yes, but innovation comes from hundreds of unsuccesful trials.

The work of these "100 HHO crazies" might inspire an idea to somebody who will be successful at developping a valid technology.

If people want to try "crazy" things, let them do it (as long as they do it safely for others). That is exactly how most technologies started. Example: Early flight.

I encourage and sometimes help anybody who tries to improve something. You never know.

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#37

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 11:41 AM

The problem may lie in the nature of the oil source itself. The source product known as Bitumen comes at significantly higher environmental cost to produce than crude oil...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15889665

A simple summary of the environmental issues as presented by Greenpeace...

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/recent/tarsandsfaq/

The nature of the problems downstream from the oil sands production...

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/witness/2011/06/20116227153978324.html

Last but not least a problem some of you may not be aware of with the processing of shale using the fracturing method...

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/U.S.-Government-Confirms-Link-Between-Earthquakes-and-Hydraulic-Fracturing.html

The environmentalists may not be the enemy!

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#38
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 12:05 PM

the oil reserves & tar sands will be there

we should burn up the rest of the worlds oil 1st

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#44

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 3:31 PM

Wiki has some good info on this...

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

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#45
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 4:05 PM

On June 23, 2010, 50 Members of Congress spoke out against the Keystone XL pipeline. In their letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they warned that "building this pipeline has the potential to undermine America's clean energy future and international leadership on climate change."

We lead the world in useless talk about climate change. It's going to get interesting if the President, Congress, and the EPA are able to continue to shut down oil, coal, nuclear power, etc. with nothing to replace them.

Like was said earlier, that oil is going to go somewhere. And we're going to be buying oil from somewhere. Personally, I'd rather buy it from the Canadians than from some country that hates us.

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#49
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 5:19 PM

"The operational cost of nuclear power - 1.87 ยข/kWh in 2008 - is 68% of electricity cost from coal and a quarter of that from gas"

Forget oil, gas, and coal, we're going nuclear....

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf41.html

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#50
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 6:08 PM

While there are plans for a number of new reactors (see section on Preparing for new build below), the prospect of low natural gas prices continuing for several years has dampened these plans and probably no more than four new units will come on line by 2020.

We need to do better than that. Plus, until we are able to reuse nuclear fuel, or find a safe place to store the spent rods, people will continue to go insane over the prospect of more plants.

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#48

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 5:16 PM

James Hansen is a first class scientist. The problem is that looking into the future is an extrapolation and, as such, fraught with uncertainty. He interprets the results of his work lead to a large window looking out at destruction and a small window leading to survival.

Many people, on hearing that CO2 is a small part of the total of greenhouse gases, are upset and don't understand why, if it is so small a portion can it do that much harm. Some scientists believe that has more of an effect than say humidity, the largest component, but even if that is not true, CO2 is a gas we can control; we can't touch H2O.

That we are getting warmer is not in dispute, as we get warmer, the burning of forests will increase, increasing the supply of CO2. The cold depths of the oceans are a sink for CO2 and it is thought that they will not hang on to present levels with increasing temperature, much like relative humidity.

I have no expertise in this field, but must acknowledge that there appears to be a statistical relationship. My worry is that, looking at the atmosphere of Venus, there is a tipping point, a point of no return where even an immediate stop to our use of CO2 will be useless because the forests are burning and the oceans are warming producing more atmospheric CO2 than we were releasing.

And then we become Venus

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#51
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 6:16 PM

He has no business profiting by inferring that the use of the oil from Canadian oil sands will destroy the planet.

The use of oil is not going to stop anytime soon. If it spells the end of planet earth............................then that's what will happen. Humans will be burning oil until that day gets here. Cutting the US out of the loop will accomplish nothing.

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#52
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/04/2011 10:37 PM

How is he profiting? He is just a scientist reading the data. All the scientists say the same thing. All the data says the same thing. The earth is warming up fast. And just in case people forget, the oceans are now at the point where the extra acidity caused from absorbing our CO2 is killing fish and shellfish. The scientists are saying that the use of oil has to stop soon. Or our grandkids might not have offspring. There are so many absurdities in the reporting of this disaster. Summer sea ice extent for instance. They are comparing something akin to a hard frost over the arctic ocean to the several meters deep ice that they had a decade ago. Why not report ice volume instead? And THAT statistic is just shocking! Now, nutball politicians are deciding to keep the temperature rise to 2 or 3 degrees. Well, no snow in the Rockies means BRUTAL spring floods and BRUTAL summer heatwaves or droughts. Humanity, even really smart people have a superb capacity to delude themselves and ignore data. Just look at your politicians. Presidents and presidential candidates running around with their pants around their ankles for decades and thinking that nobody would notice.

Maybe the same reasoning applies to those that attack Hansen. You do not see the data because you do not want to. Write it down. Do some of the math. Just the latent heat of fusion for H2O is enough to scare me. It takes the same amount of energy (heat) to convert one ounce of ice at zero degrees C to one ounce of water at zero degrees C as it does to raise one ounce of water from zero to 79 C! This means that melting sea ice Volume is HIDDEN global warming. It can thin all the way to a foot thick and then suddenly, maybe over just one winter that huge buffer (174 degree F per ounce! if it was liquid water) is gone and we are into a different world.

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#58
In reply to #52

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 7:17 AM

See post #4 on the profit angle.

I'm not getting in a global warming argument................it's moot.

The fact of the matter is, that globally, humans are going to be burning fossil fuel until it's gone, period. Good or bad, that's what's going to happen.

Even if the US was able to completely get off of oil, all it would do is lower the price for everyone else and they would use more.

I'm not for destroying the planet any more than anyone, but as long as there is oil and coal in the ground, someone is going to be burning it. It's reality. After 100 years of burning our way to prosperity, it's pure arrogance for the US to think we're going to tell other countries that they need to work with us on getting off of oil. Ain't gonna happen.

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#59
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 7:58 AM

From where does the idea originate that the US is leading the road to sustaining energy production and usage?

The EU and some other countries are working for years to get some things happening.

The industry in west europe already adopted to the Kyoto protocol and worked down the pollution dramatically.

Over here it is not only words and well prepared speeches, millions of PV installations have been installed on rooftops the last 5 years, simply funded by private, money from citizens who decided that they want to add their little grain to the big picture, and not to wait for the big players to do it enforced by laws.

And don't claim that houses in the US are to far to the north to be effective, check where Belgium is compared to the US, still the PV is effective.

That is where it should change: the big lobbies should be dropped and everybody should get the freedom to do the investments for improved energy usage that he want's to do. Those who don't want to do it now will later step in when the alternative is cheaper than the old style, Investment support should be paid by those who decide not to invest through taxes on energy.

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#64
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 8:45 AM

Yes, I understand that the EU is also at work on alternative energy sources.

As the EU and the US continue to shun industry and the use of conventional fossil fuels, our economies continue to decline while others are thriving. There may be a correlation.

There is also what I see as blatant hypocrisy, at least here in the US. We pride ourselves on stopping the construction of coal fired plants here, and yet happily export coal to China to feed their growing industrial machine. The coal is still being burned...........................what's to be proud of?

I still maintain, that as long as there is relatively cheap energy to be had in the form of fossil fuels, humans will continue to use it, profit from it, kill each other over it, etc., until it is gone. If the US and the EU decide to get out of the game, the game will continue without us.....................................not only that, but we will be importing our products from the countries that are still in the fossil fuel economy.

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#65
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 8:56 AM

I have to agree on this: we push the local production towards low environmentally interested countries.

But this is not the only reason for the multinationals to move out of here.

And some of them are already returning as the total picture is not as predicted.

Many companies who did the investment to produce cleaner late rhave to admit that they simply work cheaper now, as the first step nearly alway's was an energy audit that revealed some idiotic energy drains.

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#78
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 9:45 PM

The problem with your argument is there is enough coal and oil to push the C02 levels higher than the cretaceous. According to the star watchers, the sun gives out 1% to 2% more heat now than then.

So we will be cooked long before we use up the coal. And so will the Chinese and Indians and Europeans. I think if we are smart monkeys and think with our heads and not with our guts, it does not need to happen. Unfortunately, people want to belong to the deniers. That is our tribal heritage. Lots of us did not get where we are today by needless thinking. They got there by having muscles and status in a small group.

Extinction watchers have found a bunch of suspected anoxic events from the cretaceous. Thats where the warm ocean loses oxygen and bacteria start bubbling up H2S (deadlier than cyanide) and kill off sea life and some land life too. So if the dinos had to tiptoe through that type of atmosphere, we will be into it way worse. (Because they were not digging for coal and oil to make things worse for themselves and they had a cooler sun).

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#66
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 9:12 AM

You wrote, "Over here it is not only words and well prepared speeches, millions of PV installations have been installed on rooftops the last 5 years, simply funded by private, money from citizens..."

I can't speak for Belgium, but that is clearly not the case for Germany. The German Renewable Energy Act places a Feed-In tariff on all rate payers regardless of whether they own solar systems or not.

While ultimately the funding comes from the people, it is the government that forces that to happen through the form of taxes.

Those that purchase solar systems in Germany do so at below market value because the difference in cost is spread out amongst the population.

We have the same system in Florida where the government (state and federal) subsidizes a substantial portion of the cost of solar power for private homes. However, the money to do that does not come from green trees in the park, but from the aggregate of tax payers and a generous amount of borrowing on the federal level.

The problem with solar is that it is not financially economical. The rate of return on investment is very bad. So to fix that problem our governments have simply chosen to have other people (you and me) pay the difference out of our private income so that a few can enjoy savings.

In germany it is actually worse. The German public has decided to rid itself of the cheapest form of electrical power (nuclear) and substitute that with some of the highest cost per kilowatt-hour they can find.

To add insult to injury they still have a very large energy deficit and are forced to import energy from one of three sources. They can buy electricity from France in the form of nuclear power, which France would delight in doing because it makes Germany even more beholden to France. Germany can buy it from Poland in the form of dirty coal, which Poland would love the business. Or they can buy it from Russia in the form of natural gas, oil, and coal, which Russia would love because it allows Russia a political tool (weapon) to use with Germany. Also note that Germany is pretty much the seat of economic power in the European Union and any inroads that Russia can make in steering policy making there is a very big card in their deck.

While Europe is doing a fine job of following the Kyoto Protocol we are forced to ask at what economic and political price?

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#68
In reply to #66

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 9:27 AM

You seem to know a littlebit of how it works but don't know the complete picture.

Those who own an installation do feed the electricity in their own house and the meter does turn backwards when you produce to much.

At the end you will not get paid if you produce more than what you used, this is a present to the grid owner.

But you get production aid: each produced unit of energy is sold on the green certificates market. This money is for the producer. This system brings back a huge portion of the investment.

The money we get back is not from the government but from those who decided not to invest and simply pay the bill.

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#70
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 9:35 AM

I understand that, but any way you shake it photovoltaic power production is about the most expensive form of energy production on the planet per kilowatt-hour.

It will also cost you geopolitically, however, that is your choice and I respect it. It does appear that most people do not understand the whole price tag and the ticking time bomb that represents.

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#71
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 9:51 AM

You are right as long as the oil comes welling up from the soil at acceptable prices.

PV is indeed a nightmare for grid owners, more than 5 to 8% and you can't handle the fluctuations anymore. The stabilisation cost also goes up.

But industry had the opportunity to set up a system of alternative production systems and they decided not to do it and to stick with traditional methods (they still file requests to build new coal powered power stations)

The government gave in this case some power back to the people and the succes was overwhelming.

The same happens with the depth crisis: there was no real crisis till big organisations decided that they should make more money on the public. (they call it speculation and risk assesment)

Very recently our government decided to get fresh money from the citizens, at a lower rate than the international sytem (4% wrt 5.95%), the respons was overwhelming: sufficient money was found to finance the state for 6 months. Down the drain the idea of the big players to make money on our expenses and gone is some of the cheap saving money they were allowed to play with.

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#73
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 12:10 PM

Unfortunately most of our politicians think PV is the answer to the future of green jobs. Where I live the government is establishing acres of PV and even signed a multibillion dollar agreement with Samsung to build factories to develop PV. It is a big boon doggle and a trap for all taxpayers. We currently allow private individuals to supply energy at a cost of 10 times the alternatives of hydro, nuclear, or gas. It is wrong but I guess the optics are important in politics and more so than pragmatic solutions. These PV units will never be the answer to global warming but they will bankrupt many countries till they realize the folly. This link compares costs for those interested.

I would support PV but only not at taxpayer's expense. If a private individual wants to supplement his energy demands and even get off the grid. Hey, more "power" to them. I would support a payback in dollars for excess power generated this way but at the same rate it is sold on the grid. Samsung even took out ads to support the current government campaign to use PV, which I also consider interference. This boon doggle is happening in a province running in the red.

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#147
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/08/2011 1:57 PM

if one were to dig a little bit farther, it would be interesting on who is invested in stock with the PV industry. But congress can not be held liable of conflict of interest with insider information.

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#61
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 8:13 AM

You wrote, "How is he profiting?"

Dr. Hansen gets money from friendly associations for his speeches and his support for their causes.

Hansen is essentially leveraging his position and credibility at NASA for his personal cause and monetary gain.

If he was part of a private sector job this would not be so much of an issue. However, as a public servant he is possibly violating ethic laws (there are currently legal actions against NASA on this regard) that are intended to prevent capitalizing on his position.

Even if Dr. Hansen is correct on his position regarding climate change, using his current public position to trumpet that message does not make it ethically and legally correct.

Despite your position, the end does not justify the means.

As for the original question of whether Dr. Hansen is a nutcase or a on a power trip, the man is simply a true believer. That means that he is totally convinced in his position and that he feels that he should be shouting that position from every soapbox he can get access to. It also appears that he is willing to do that regardless if it is ethical or legal to do it.

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#62
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 8:28 AM

Look to it from a different pespective: the man is risking his position and well paid job (and later on pension) to shout from every soapbox that the data he is allowed to see is horrifying.

But there is also another perspective in the denial game: the east american coasts are bad protected against higher sea levels, each year this is demonstrated through hurricanes and other natural effects. imagine that the cities and villages + nice beach houses need to move to higher ground. It is better to deny it and wait till disaster strikes .

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#69
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Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 9:30 AM

The end does not justify the means.

If Dr. James Hansen really believes that strongly about that position he should resign his position at NASA and take up his cause privately. I may not agree with his position, but I would clearly respect him for taking the high road.

As for the East Coast, I live in Florida and we are very much subject to hurricanes and floods, so I can speak with some authority on the subject.

First, we have been on a hurricane low for some time (5 years or so). Every year the National Hurricane Center predicts that year will have a very high rate of hurricanes and every year we get virtually none - nada.

Hurricane Irene was about the worse thing we got and that was publicly overrated by the media in a big way. There was nothing overblown about that storm other than the media itself.

This happens every year because shocking the public sells and obviously you have been reading the same headlines that we yawn about here. No doubt we will get a big hurricane someday and thanks to the consistent cry of wolf from the government prediction centers and the media it may unnecessarily cost lives, but most of us down here know how to manage these things anyway.

As for sea level changes we were shocked to find out that we had a rise 2 mm per year higher than the normal trend for the last 2,000 years. However, if you look back even further in history there have been some shocking increases that make that 2 mm rise look like a splash in your family pool. I live 10 miles from the Atlantic ocean and it will be a very, very, very long time before I ever own beach front property at this address.

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#75
In reply to #69

Re: Solid Science Or Nutcase On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 2:40 PM

That's really my biggest beef. He's a NASA astronomer that's jumped on the global warming bandwagon, and he's parlayed his taxpayer funded position into wealth.

Due to the fact that he's taken that money, I also have to question his motives, his passion, and everything else about his stand on global warming. If someone offered me 1.6 million to trumpet the dangers of global warming, I'd be getting started first thing in the morning.

I agree, if he wants to continue with his message he should quit his day job at NASA.

I would also give someone a lot more credence if they were to turn down the big bucks and say something like, "This isn't about me, it's about the planet. I don't want your money".

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#72
In reply to #52

Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/05/2011 12:09 PM

As per usual I see some fatal flaws i the melting ice logic.

The planet as a whole has roughly 5.7 million cubic miles of ice and snow by volume. Whereas the planet as a whole has roughly 332.5 million cubic miles of water by volume.

That makes the total ice volume roughly 1.7% of the total planetary volume of water.

Don't get me started on the geological record proof that this planet can and does from time to time run far warmer and far colder than what we presently see and believe to be normal and acceptable. Same with relative sea level data as well.

Its these incomplete or conveniently left out past records of planetary event data and results and the overwhelmingly one sided interpretations of the present and highly limited and speculative scientific data that is largely why so many people like me refuse to believe or at least highly question what people like you say and predict about the possible future which is clearly based on limited data conveniently manipulated data and out right false reasonings.

Personally I live where its frozen 6 months out of the year and I for one welcome the thought of having every day of the year warmer and continue to try and do my part to bring a warmer planet about even if I am highly skeptical of what the tree huggers and climatologists say causes warming! As far as I am concerned its CO2 to the rescue for me and a bout a billion others who live in the colder regions of the planet!)

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#79
In reply to #72

Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 2:12 AM

Only 1.7% additional water volume if all the ice would be gone.

Thats no problem.

1.7% of the average ocean depth is only 64.4 m

Let's hope not more than 5% of the land ice does indeed melt.

And don't be so sure on the good thing about global warming for the colder regions: they will probably be hit heavily.

Just google a bit on permafrost and what is is about when it disappears. I the Alps they already found out that it has some side effects where nobody has thought about.

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#80
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 4:29 AM

Gloom and doom for everyone as usual.

I thought this was a bit of interestinreading. Past shorelines and ocean levels related.

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/21stC/issue-2.3/krumenaker.html

FWIW where I live was permafrost up to around 4000 - 6000 years ago. It turns into great farmland and prairie land once it thaws out and dries for a while!

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#82
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 4:57 AM

What does this tell us?

That the ocean is going up and down already with nature itself.

This does not proof that humanity has no influence at all. (But also not the contrary)

The end of oil is closer than we might think.

In 2012 it is already expected that we will not be able anymore to grow the supply side at the same rate as the demand.

As from 2015 shortage would start to hurt. (Pentagon report, exact ref is not given in the article)

The oil companies did exagerate the content of their new fields.

So the oil consumption problem is solving itself faster than expected.

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#84
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 7:48 AM

Nonsense.

Prior historical records prove nothing for or against anthropogenic change. It simply states that Earth has gone through much more radical changes than we are observing now.

The end of oil is probably not closer. The reason is that there is plenty of oil. The issue is the cost to recover it. Right now we are picking the low lying fruit and when that is done we will reach a little higher up the tree because what was not so profitable today will be in easier reach tomorrow.

At some point price will dictate where we harvest energy next. We have rich supplies of natural gas and there will always be new discoveries as time and needs go on.

Humanity has been predicting doom and gloom as well as the end of the world for thousands and thousands of years. Each prediction has historically failed, yet for some reason doom prophecy seems to sell just as well today as it did millenniums ago.

You would think we would know better, but obviously we haven't.

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#85
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 7:51 AM

anyhow we will pay

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#87
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 8:03 AM

Absolutely, but I would bet the price will be much less than you think. Just wait and see.

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#81
In reply to #72

Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 4:45 AM

The reason why sea level rise is not quoted as a major historic problem is that when it occurred, people moved. There was no infrastructure to leave behind, they just upped sticks and went to higher ground, or migrated south, or north, whatever was appropriate to the changes in climate. The last few hundred years have seen most of our development and population growth centred around rivers or on coastal plains.

When sea level rises, and it may not be in our lifetime, but almost certainly will be in the lifetime of our children or grandchildren. North Dakota will not just have to take in a proportion of the displaced persons from your east coast and the San Francisco Bay area, but also a proportion from the Indian sub-continent and South East Asia. It will have to support them without the tax revenues currently generated by the the areas that will be swamped, and feed them from food grown on the remaining dry land area.

The US may not be vulnerable in terms of the land area lost, but economically it is in a worse position than Bangladesh in terms of how it will affect your lifestyles. You have much further to fall. Americans rant about leading the way, but you did not join in on Kyoto, your CO2 generation per head of population is in the top 5% worldwide, and you are a long way behind the curve when it comes to educating your population about the consequences climate change is going to mean for the average citizen. As soon as someone talks about the true facts, you cry scare mongering and bury your heads firmly in the sand, as shown by much of the response to this blog. If you disagree with what the man has to say, open up a factual debate and disprove it, don't change the argument to attack the speaker for working for the wrong employer or being paid to do his job.

Building dykes and levies is not the answer, as shown by New Orleans. The worlds largest generator of power from geothermal is the US. You have the sites available to produce up to 10% of your power from geothermal, but the big bucks are being spent on fracking and transcontinental pipelines. Develop your geothermal, then sell the expertise you gain to invalidate kramarat's argument about the oil going elsewhere.

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#86
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 8:02 AM

You wrote, "The last few hundred years have seen most of our development and population growth centred around rivers or on coastal plains."

Check your history. It hasn't been in the last few hundred years, but as far back as roots of time. We have always gathered and lived around water and shores.

You should consider that changes happen very slowly and that migration will simply follow suit at that same speed. Most homes are not built to last 100 years and infrastructure always needs upkeep and repair (entropy), so growing inland can and will be a continual process.

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#95
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 12:44 PM

Yes but when the coast line moved, so did the people, with their fields, flocks and houses. Try moving New York

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#96
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 1:31 PM

At roughly 2 mm a year that gives them about 1000 years before it even hits the top of the lowest sea walls, wharfs, and docks assuming in that time they put forth absolutely zero effort toward any sea front improvements or industrial reconstruction in that time.

The realistic time lines involved with an oceanic flooding, even at 2 cm a year, of any sea side city give more than enough time to make the needed social and other urban layout changes. The doomsayers play it out like there is going to be this 2 - 4 degree change one day and 10 hours later the oceans are suddenly going to be tens of feet higher rushing in and killing and drowning millions of unsuspecting people.

Personally in that time I think even I and my next 30+ generations probably could get organized well enough to adjust the building codes and reconstruction work to work around the sea level changes as they come.

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#97
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 2:35 PM

You wrote, "At roughly 2 mm a year that gives them about 1000 years before it even hits the top of the lowest sea walls..."

Well, no time like the present to start panicking. ;-)

On the plus side it gives the city another reason to raise taxes.

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#98
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 4:20 PM

What are you going to do about the H2S blowing in from the ocean? Or the gigantic spring floods coming down the rivers?

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#99
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 6:10 PM

I suggest you panic now and buy a raft and a NBC rated gas mask. ;-)

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#100
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/06/2011 7:21 PM

Where is the H2S going to come from at levels high enough to cause harm?

Spring flooding will go on just as it always has done. Water will go up, politicians back peddle on their past assurances that the present protection standards are good enough, and everyone else who got affected gets to deal with the insurance companies dropping the ball as every scam artist and half wit contractor tries to cash in on the misfortune of others while they can.

Trust me as someone who witnessed the local 500 year flood this last summer I know first hand how politics and keeping the flood control ponds full up so little duckies would keep from dragging their feet next summer before the first snow flake melted out weighed the needs of everyone on the flood plane that had assurances that they wont get flooded some day because these protection measurements are already in place, not used properly or soon enough but where in place.

That and having had ring side seats to watch the contractor jackals and scam artists pick at every poor soul that was affected for every drop of blood money they can get out of them as the politicians pat each other on the back over how well the covered each others asses.

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#102
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 2:53 AM

Have you checked how big the dead zones in the gulf of Mexico are getting? ANY gulfside city with smog and athsmatics will have H2S levels high enough to cause harm. (Smog and SO2 have a nice little multiplier effect going on). You might do well to read up on how your fracked shale gas got formed. Seems lots of it was formed under a very sick ocean full of sulphur bacteria (and not much else) with a high CO2 atmosphere above it. You do need fertilizer for this to happen. No problem, that big river is full of the stuff and oil leaking up from thousands of "capped" oil wells is providing lots more. If the sulfur bacteria get the upper hand in the oceans, they CANNOT be stopped until they run out of food. Try typing in anoxic event in your search engine. Science knows a hell of a lot more about this stuff than you can appreciate. We, (humanity) seem to be walking open mouthed into a death trap because of guys like you and your glib answers.

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#103
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 4:19 AM

So the asthmatics are giving off the dangerous levels of H2S too?

Cut back on their beans and cabbage in their diet and it will help improve their and everyone near thems ability to breath better.

If you live where nature is not nice to you move... It was there first after all.

Glib enough?

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#104
In reply to #102

Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 5:24 AM

Glib is good.

I had a look at "anoxic events". Very interesting, thanks for the lead.

There are long term cycles playing out all the time it seems, and when the perfect storm occurs, it turns to schitt for some and paradise for others very quickly.

Models that link certain human activity to the acceleration of the onset of unfavourable environments are quite alarming.

These huge changes happened before humans were around and will continue to happen when we are gone.

If we are around to witness an event we will adapt. Or not.

Buying time is all....

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#109
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 12:20 PM

Wow. Gaiatechnician you are using a speculative scenario that may have caused the big extinction at the end of the Permian geologic era (bp 250 million years). H2S welling up from the oceans may have been one of the mechanisms. However, you should also look at the continental position then known as Pangea or the super continent. This was and era that saw the start of the breakup of this super continent. There would have been a tremendous amount of plate disruption with volcanic and earthquake activity at a very high level. It is a better speculation to have methane released from the ocean hydrates or clathrates as a result. This methane may have been a bigger problem for the oxygen rich upper zones of the oceans. The disruptions would also see much change in climate as you can well gather. Oxygen in the atmosphere would be lessened and greenhouse problems would increase. And as you can speculate further, this chemical reduction problem would have occurred with or without an increase in CO2. In fact this scenario can or did occur because of the geological activity rather that even biological activity. (But in science bacterial activity is the control and source of initiating higher life). You may want to look up "clathrate gun hypothesis" or even try getting a copy of Ray Pierrehumbert's book on climate. A massive clathrate release may even be a major cause of present day CO2 levels and does not seem to be well incorporated in climate models and that is a major contention of anthropogenic causes. I am not against controlling man made CO2 discharge but the whole climate argument is so speculative it makes it hard to think we can change things or even have major impacts one way or the other. As for H2S welling up from the ocean, not in the next few million years.

In order for us to think we can create a similar problem with raising CO2 (no matter the source) and creating an H2S ocean problem is speculative in the extreme. Wait around for the next Pangea and subsequent breakup ( just a few hundred million years) to duplicate that type of extinction. It is the hyperbole of the climate alarmist that cause the problem with acceptance. Heck if the climate gets too hot we can always create a nuclear winter (another recent speculative scenario). I do read the science and still question the models. If they can show me better climate models with all the balances made and still point at man made CO2 abatement as a target to control climates. I am on a pendulum and will follow the logic. In the meantime I will be a fence sitter.

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#111
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 1:59 PM

I did not mention the permian extinction. There is pretty strong evidence of muliple localized dinosaur extinctions in the Jurassic and Cretaceous (thats when our oil shale was formed) and there seem to have been anoxic events during the Eocene Thermal Maximum too. People have a remarkable capacity to gloat about this stuff. "We will adapt" etc. How do we adapt to loss of the ozone layer? (from H2S). And how do we compete with other humans who want our resources? "O, I am Smarter than the other guy" or "I got more weapons that the other guy". That is just overconfidence. Didn't work that great in history. The hanging gardens got overrun by barbarians, as did genius war machine nventor and uber smart guy Archimedes. (gutted by a soldier) . What makes us immune to a technological reversal like they had in Europe for about 500 years prior to the 1100's? The continents were different during the Cretaceous but not that different in the Eocene. Take a look at how much humans have changed the nitrogen cycle and how much fertilizer we are sending down the rivers and how much carbon dioxide we are putting into the oceans. With a human volcano like this, nobody needs big geological events to cause climate change or anoxic events. We don't have to adapt so much if we don't create an anoxic high carbon future.

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#114
In reply to #111

Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 2:35 PM

There is an alternate theory of the formation of "fossil" fuels and information on the theory can be found by Googling the Ukrainian-Russian theories on the origins of fossil fuels. Regardless of origins the thermal maximums are related to massive geological disturbsions. The modern industrial era human volcano would pale in comparison. What humans are doing to the environment is also disturbing because I do not like using the atmosphere for our waste toilet. Eventually, we must deal with all pollution. I contend that humans can not affect the climate anywhere near the current hyperbole and certainly not anywhere near what occurs when we have massive geological events.

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#115
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Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 3:05 PM

Contend all you like. You are simplly not as smart as a hundred thousand geologists working in the field and getting positive feedback from their theories and their results. Geology is getting better understood all the time and the current theory (not your mystery alternative) is the one that the oil companies use to find the oil and gas in those exact same sedimentary rocks from THAT time. The modern industrial human does not "Pale in comparison", We have doubled the speed of the nitrogen cycle over the pre-industrial human level. How many volcanoes does it take to DOUBLE the speed of the nitrogen cycle? One of the mistakes you make is to compare non selective volcanoes to selective humans. Humans select out potassium and sulphur and phosphorus in exact amounts that accelerate the cycles. Volcanoes don't, they just push out whatever crap happens to be under the volcano and then pile it high mostly near the volcano. We do it different, we grind it fine, make iit water soluable, spread it in moist places and half of it ends up in the sea within a decade.

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#112
In reply to #109

Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 2:06 PM

H2S is the extreme end of the spectrum

if the ph of the oceans continues to drop what will be the result

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

can we slow or reverse the trend?

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#116
In reply to #112

Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 3:28 PM

I am not trying to be a thorn on this whole issue. However, I find the use of the extremes to emphasis a point detrimental to most causes. All scenarios presented are speculative but some moderation of rhetoric is also important. At least present a realistic case....but that may not win grants.

In answer to your questions I guess it is not a good time to be a clam or other carbonate shellfish. On the other side would a lower pH not mean the freeing up of sedimentary carbonate and thus an increase in alkalinity ( a buffer to acidic conditions)? The resultant consequence is likely going to be speculative.

In response to OP's questioning of Hansen's actions, he really is setting back the cause. I am at a loss to the objections of the tar sands development and see the development as really a means of cleaning a local environment. The oil seeping from the tar sands is a natural occurrence but does affect local lakes and streams. This has been reported by very early trappers and explorers. If an agency was asked to clean up an oil spill would we not extract the oil from the environment? The only other objection would stem from developing any fossil fuel anywhere and adding to the available fossil fuel for burning and injection into the atmosphere. Kramarat is correct in stating that man will use the energy available. The tar sands are just another source. We also have major objections to nuclear, wind development, and the much more costly solar green energy. Some day we will have a better source of energy that will be cheap and clean. Radical environmentalist will cry till that day.

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#120
In reply to #116

Re: Solid Science Or Nut case On A Power Trip?

12/07/2011 5:02 PM

You REALLY need to read up a little! Shelfish, clam and FISH. EVERYTHING that humans eat from the sea or lakes or rivers depends on calcium carbonate.

" I am at a loss to the objections of the tar sands development and see the development as really a means of cleaning a local environment". Extraordinary statement. Where once there was forest and lakes now there is mud and giant oil covered lakes. "tailing ponds". That is "cleaning up the environment"?

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