Sign up | Login with →

Comments by Rod Adams Subscribe

On Oil Limits and the Economy: One Story, Not Two

@Bill Hannahan

Your comment almost sounds like eugenics.

There is a big difference between the population of a creature like deer and that of the human species. Deer don't have the ability to make plans for the future or to recognize what is happening around them and adapt before they are forced to do so,

Humans, on the other hand, can each plan, make choices, and adjust before having to wait for what you call "natural mechanisms." Take a good look at the population trends in areas where there are plenty of resources, low childhood mortality, and plenty of education.

I'm not worried about "overpopulation" because human society has feedback mechanisms that do not require any kind forced selection process. We can each make up our mind and make choices that allow our population to achieve a relatively stable level. We also have the ability and the energy resources required to provide for whatever level seems desirable.

 

March 24, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Bas

Being "chairman or director" of an organization that sounds impressive has little to do with scientific credentials.

If you want to know something about M. I. Balonov's scientific credentials, you might want to see what he has published and take a good look at the variety of collaborators on his many publications - 48 of which are listed at the link below.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Balonov%20MI%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=8244716

March 23, 2014    View Comment    

On Oil Limits and the Economy: One Story, Not Two

@Bill

I'd say you were half right. It is an energy problem. We have an abundant source of materials with such a high energy density that they can enable all of the world's current and predicted population to live lives with as much access to energy as modern day Americans for hundreds to thousands of years. Amazingly enough, those materials - uranium and thorium - release their incredible energy density without releasing any CO2.

I don't believe human society will grow to an outrageous size due to that abundance, however. History tells me that population growth slows to mere replacement levels (or even a bit lower) in societies that are industrialized and urbanized with access to plenty of energy. Today, population is only growing rapidly in those places where subsistence farming is common. In subsistence agricultural areas, people have lots of babies because children can become assets rather quickly by putting them to work.

In more modern societies, raising children is an expensive, time consuming endeavor. It's worthwhile, mind you, but most people chose smaller rather than larger families.

My solution is fission and human ingenuity. 

March 23, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Paul O

The headline you quoted is misleading. Coal ash is far LESS radioactive that nuclear waste (aka used nuclear fuel). It is true that the fly ash emitted from a coal power plant carries more radiation into the environment, but that is only because the fuel rods, spent fuel pools and dry storage casks contain the radioactivity and do not release it into the environment.

In a coal plant, most of the fly ash is not contained; it gets released into the environment either through the smoke stack or in the lightly controlled slurry ponds.

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Bas

People who selectively believe documents and statements that support what they want to believe while ignoring every possible piece of evidence that contradicts their belief are generally said to be suffering from "confirmation bias" or self-delusion.

Please feel free to continue engaging in that practice, but keep your phobias to yourself. You wrote:

A week ago a documentary regarding the area around Chernobyl was on Dutch TV. Physicians told that now ~27 years thereafter ~90% of all children have chronic illness (one or more).  
Those are not considered in the stastistics of IAEA/WHO...

 So I suppose you are claiming a giant, worldwide conspiracy of silence and denial among all of the members of the responsible international bodies, while your favored documentarians and fantasy writers like Yablokov are persecuted and suppressed.

Get a life.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Bobbi O

Dr. Lapp was a giant in his field.

By the way, though I am flattered by the honorific, my highest degree is an MS. I am not a Dr.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

Yablokov's book is fiction partially based on incorrect interpretations of sensationalistic media pieces. It was not reviewed or selected by the NYAS; it was printed by their in-house press because an editor, who is no longer with the organization, decided to print it.

I've written a number of pieces and published other guest commentary about the sad affair on Atomic Insights. If you are interested in learning some of the history and finding out how the NYAS responded to the embarassment of having one of their longest serving and most distinguished members fighting to force it to recant, please visit http://atomicinsights.com/?s=yablokov

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Healthy Doses of Radiation

@Bas

As usual, your argumentative style is to post a comment longer than the original post and full of unsubstantiated assertions that are not worth responding to on a point by point basis. However, I will challenge your last statement:

So care for next generations imply that any extra radiation >0.1mSv/year should be avoided (~7,000 times less than pro-nuclear Rod suggest here to be safe). 
Unless people have no problem with the increased risk on serious birth defects, which doubles with 1mSv/year extra.


Do you thus advocate that we evacuate the Rocky Mountain states, tear down Grand Central Station, destroy the Capitol Building, and ground all aircraft? Your assertion, in a world where background radiation levels vary by several orders of magnitude and average somewhere around 2.4 mSv/year (closer to 6 mSv/year if medical exposures are included) is patently absurd.

By the way, you're darned right that I am pro-nuclear. It is far superior to unreliable energy sources and to continued abject dependence on burning coal, oil and natural gas for the power that enables humans to prosper.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Wonder How the Next Generation Wants to Drive Sustainability? Check out These "Future Influencers" from Siemens

@Bas

You wrote:

Germany's decision in 2000 for the Energiewende with first priority nuclear out, did not lead to bigger share for fossil.


Not yet. That is because Germany is still getting about 100 TWhrs per year from its remaining large nuclear power plants. It is also because Germany has a shrinking, aging population.

Renewable growth is reaching a plateau. People are starting to understand the cost of attempting to continue its growth towards an ever larger share of energy production.

Thank you for the correction about when the actual decision was made, but the effort to start reversing course began in 2006; Merkel made her intentions clear during her campaign.

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 17, 2014    View Comment    

On Wonder How the Next Generation Wants to Drive Sustainability? Check out These "Future Influencers" from Siemens

@Jim

Germany's decision to get out of the nuclear business came long before Fukushima. Merkel's 2006 decision to reverse the course selected in the 1990s, many years before her election was proving to be unpopular politically. Fukushima gave her an excuse for a 180 that turned out to be quite popular.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/275240-merkels-about-face-on-nuclear-energy

Of course, one should never confuse popular decisions with correct decisions. There are plenty of people in positions of power that have received great benefits from the attempt to build an energy system based on collecting diffuse, inherently unreliable power from the wind and the sun. There are also plenty of people who are pleased with the resulting continuation of demand for their (should be) obsolete fossil fuels.

By the time that Germany made the critical Energiewende decisions, there was no longer any industrial interests building new nuclear plants; the only powerful people who were actually hurt by the decision are those ever-unpopular electric utilties. The long term harm to the atmosphere or to the common people was not part of the calculus that led to the decision.

Though he was certainly not alone, one prime example of the kind of greed that supported the move to prematurely shut down operating nuclear plants and halt any plans to build more is Gerhard Schroeder. The man of five rings had no compunction about selling out his country's future in return for a high paying job at Gazprom.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/09/AR2005120901755.html

Rod Adams, Publisher, Atomic Insights

March 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Are Natural Gas Suppliers Purposely Overproducing?

@John Miller

I am not sure if you are agreeing or not. Sure, there have been innovations in technology, but people had to decide to deploy those innovations and people had to decide to invest the considerable amount of capital required to finance those deployments.

That capital is not repaid immediately, it will be repaid out of the revenue streams that come from selling the product that is extracted.

I am not sure why you think I have said anything about shorting the market. I am talking about physical volume and production, not financial trading.

The EPA war on coal does not come out of thin air. There has been substantial pressure from outside groups, some of which have received strong financial support from key players in the fracking business. I provided the links to the stories about Chesapeake Energy's investments in the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign and the Mitchell Foundation's investments in groups advocating "sustainable energy."

It should not be surprising to learn that some of the antifracking crowd is being supported by other portions of the coal, oil and gas business that don't like the competition. I suspect that there is support for antifracking actions by people that would love nothing better than to see oil and gas prices shoot up -- leading to higher profits for the remaining suppliers --- and to be able to blame that trend on those "darned Environmentalists" who spoiled our chances for cheap energy.

December 31, 2013    View Comment    

On Cape Wind Scrambling to Meet Deadline to Qualify for $780 Million Taxpayer Gift

@Paul O

You are not wrong, but not quite right either. With very few exceptions, there really is no "nuclear power industry". By that I mean that I can only think of a handful of examples of companies that are focused on making the majority of their income from designing, selling, operating or servicing nuclear power plants. Nearly every company that "does nuclear" actually makes more money selling equipment for coal plants, supporting gas extraction, building wind turbines, or operating a varied fleet of power plants.

I've talked with some of the leaders of those companies and spoken with the leadership at the Nuclear Energy Institute. They have almost invariably said that they cannot and will not market nuclear by comparing it to the alternatives with clear, honest evaluation of the negatives of those alternatives.

In other words, they are not willing to fight by using their most potent weapon, which is to emphasize the superiority of nuclear energy in terms of low emissions, fuel costs that are a tiny fraction of the competition, and inventory security that is unmatched. (What other technology can put several years worth of fuel into storage if they are worried about supply interruptions?)

There is no surprise why "the media" is not interested in telling the positive side of nuclear energy. There is nothing in it for them since there are not any advertisers buying ads that tell the good news. Media companies do not exist to provide free information, they provide information to readers and viewers to attract eyeballs that they can market to advertisers. 

Your recommendation to emphasize "safer, more advanced nuclear power" is a risky and somewhat dishonest strategy. It puts existing investments in current nuclear plants into question, and it sides with the opposition by implying, despite all evidence to the contrary, that there is something uniquely hazardous about our existing light water reactor technology. It may not be absolutely perfect, but its record is pretty darned good compared to all other energy alternatives.

The triple play boogiemen of "TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima" have resulted in about 56 fatalities during the 57 years since the UK's first Magnox reactor entered commercial operations. That is impressive and should not be the subject of handwringing. I am not saying it is not worthwhile to do better, after all, I don't drive a car designed in the 1960s, but it does not make sense to claim there is something terribly wrong with continuing to operate exising plants until they are actually worn out.

Rod Adams

Publisher, Atomic Insights

December 30, 2013    View Comment