Comments by Lewis Perelman Subscribe

On The Fundamental Limitations of Renewable Energy

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January 14, 2016    View Comment    

On The Fundamental Limitations of Renewable Energy

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January 14, 2016    View Comment    

On The Fundamental Limitations of Renewable Energy

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January 14, 2016    View Comment    

On The Fundamental Limitations of Renewable Energy

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January 14, 2016    View Comment    

On The Fundamental Limitations of Renewable Energy

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January 14, 2016    View Comment    

On The Fundamental Limitations of Renewable Energy

Good points, Willem.

Expanding the grid to accommodate renewable sources is particularly troublesome. See:

Fernandez, SJ, Toole GL, Salazar ML.  Tradeoffs of Water and Power: Analysis of the Evolution of the Electric Grid under Water Substitution Drivers, Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green – A PERI  Symposium. 2008 Online.

January 14, 2016    View Comment    

On Reducing Climate Injustice to the Poor Is Within Our Reach

Thanks, Rick. Well said.

Some years ago, I learned that there are over 20,000 different Chistian churches in the US, with varying doctrines and practices.

It also was mentioned yesterday that the Roman Catholic Church has been losing some 3 million followers a year.

The title of Max Weber's classic work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism tells you that there are many Christians with a rather different view of capitalism and entrepreneurship than Francis has.

Francis is much admired, for understandable reasons. But he clearly does not speak for everyone. No one does.

September 25, 2015    View Comment    

On Reducing Climate Injustice to the Poor Is Within Our Reach

Unfortunately, despite deeply detailed arguments and undoubtedly good intentions, the pope’s missive was flawed in several ways likely to make it not only ineffective but possibly counterproductive:

  • The essay’s collectivist ethos is illogical and unrealistic.
  • By preaching to the converted the pope is unlikely to resolve political conflicts but may aggravate them.
  • Despite continually invoking concern for the poor, Francis’ pervasive disdain for both technology and capitalism rejects the engines most likely to alleviate the scourge of poverty, improve human health, and nurture the environment.

For a more detailed explanation, see:

https://medium.com/@LewisJPerelman/the-pope-s-flawed-encyclical-c779be0dad55

September 25, 2015    View Comment    

On Nuclear Retirements Would Sabotage Clean Power Plan Carbon Reductions

Bob, nuclear power is not "zero-carbon." Its lifecycle carbon emissions are lower than many other energy sources, but not zero: http://j.mp/1XdQAP0.

Most of a nuclear plant's overall carbon emissions are incurred in the construction of the plant itself, bound up in the creation of its concrete, steel, and other materials. Because those emissions are not zero (and not trivial), that seems to bolster the case in Jesse's conclusion: "Keeping existing reactors running longer is likely to be one of the most cost-effective tools the United States has to help drive down power sector carbon emissions."

There are many advantages in newer generations of nuclear power technology. But for those concerned about carbon emissions -- in line with Jesse's argument here -- it makes more sense to add new nuclear capacity than to just replace old, but still useful plants with newer ones. (What makes even less sense, as this article makes clear, is to replace nuclear planst with fossil-fueled ones.)

September 2, 2015    View Comment    

On Will the Iranian Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty become a Threat to U.S. Energy Security?

Certainly a plausible argument, John. 

You just might want to edit the piece to correct the references to NPT 2015, to make it clear what you are talking about.

August 29, 2015    View Comment    

On Will the Iranian Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty become a Threat to U.S. Energy Security?

John, you may be right about the untoward impacts on US energy security of the Iran agreement. But the predicate of your argument is a bit off the mark:

"Congress is reviewing the 2015 Iranian Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) negotiated by the Obama Administration."

The Non-Proliferation Treaty dates to 1968. There is no 2015 Iranian version. What you probably are referring to is the  Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The latter is the outcome of the recent agreement negotiated between the so-called P5+1 nations and Iran. While the intent of the JCPOA may be to bolster Iran's compliance with the NPT (of which it is a signatory), the JCPOA is not a treaty. The distinction is significant because a treaty, to bind the United States, would have to be consented to by the US Senate. That requirement does not apply to the Iran 'deal' which is in the nature of an "executive agreement."

The president did agree to legislation passed in May that allows the Congress to review the deal and either approve or disapprove. The politics of the situation are more than a bit byzantine. But the president has the option to veto whatever the Congress passes, and few analysts think there are enough votes to overturn a veto. Technically, the law does not empower the Congress to approve or block the JCPOA per se (the White House would not agree to that) but rather the president's authority to lift sanctions on Iran.

But the sanctions are the crux of the matter. The JCPOA hinges on lifting sanctions in return for Iran complying with specific measures aimed at curtailing its ability to create nuclear weapons. To the extent Congress blocks lifting sanctions, or even creates new ones, that would impair or even void the JCPOA.

Exactly what the consequences would be in either case is, of course, a matter of considerable controversy.

But again, the JCPOA is not a new NPT. Actually, at least one analyst argues that ad hoc agreements like the JCPOA may reflect a weakening or a transformation of the NPT.

 

August 27, 2015    View Comment    

On A Small, Modular, Efficient Fusion Plant

Nathan, that seems to suggest that fusion reactors could be used to support a weapons program. Is that so?

If that is not so, fusion power could help solve the conundrum of, say, Iran's expressed desire to have nuclear power and the worries about nuclear weapons proliferation.

But if fusion can be used for weapons too, it doesn't help resolve the power/proliferation conflict.

August 13, 2015    View Comment