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Comments 151 to 200:

  1. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Michael Sweet and Macquigg :-

       if you have time, please briefly educate me on the SMR choice of helium as a cooling medium.  Helium is expensive and finite in supply.  And so there must presumably be a good technical reason for its choice (as opposed to using the cheap and abundant noble gas Argon).

    Is it that the large size of the argon nucleus absorbs too much of the fissionable fuel's neutron flux, and thus reduces the SMR's fuel efficiency?  Or does the neutron flux convert the argon into undesirable radioactive potassium . . . or cause the argon to fission into other undesirable elements?  Or some other reason exists?

    (The mandatory 3-minute googling has failed me ! )

  2. michael sweet at 08:19 AM on 12 June 2022
    What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Macquigg:

    Krall et al have responded to NuScales' letter  (at the end of the article).  It appears that NuScales' letter is completely without merit.  I guess the reviewers at PNAS know more about nuclear reactor analysis than Nuscale does.  I am not surprised.

    You state somewhere that you want to post "what scientists think" and not nuclear propaganda.  It seems to me that you consider anything that shows nuclear weaknesses to be propaganda and accept false claims from industry as what scientists think. 

    I do not have time to respond on other forums to baseless complaints that scientists are biased against nuclear power.

    "What scientists think" is documented in the peer reviewed literature.  If you want to discuss nuclear rationally you need to consider and post what the peer reviewed literature says.  Krall et al 2022 is state of the art scientific thought. 

    Lyman 2021 is a 135 page, very well referenced report that summarizes what many scientists think about small modular reactors.  It is grim reading.  I suggest that you read it entirely, as I did, so that you know more about what you hope to moderate.  At least it should be linked prominently on your pages.

    On page 96 Lyman discusses MSR's that do not require reprocessing.  On page 97 he discusses the Thor Con MSR reactor which also does not require reprocessing.  Anyone who discredits Lyman with claims Lyman says MSR's require reprocessing is wrong.

    On page 91 Lyman discusses the accumulation of 137Cs in the noble gas stream of molten salt reactors.  Cite his discussion on your pages.  Lyman claims that there is too much radioactive noble gas to trap and store it as Thor Con claims they will do.  I will have to see peer reviewed calculations (the NRC is ok) that show it is possible to trap all the noble gasses before I will believe Thor Con.  I note that Thor Con keeps this data secret and refuses to say what they will do with the 137Cs that will accumulate in the noble gas waste stream.

    Abbott 2012 should be prominently discussed on your pages.  People who discount Abbott using claims that hafnium is not used in commerical reactors are wrong.

    Good luck in your efforts.  

     

    There is not enough uranium (and other rare elements) to build out a significant amount of nuclear power and the reactors are too expensive.  I note Eclectic's concern about helium.

  3. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Macquigg @ 19 , thank you also for the info on those Chinese demonstration SMR's coming online later this year (2022).  A pair of SMR's of (electrical generation) approx 100 MW output each.  Not quite sure whether I would class them as Small MR or Medium MR size.

    I kind of take back my "Vaporware" comment ~ if I had written more slowly & thoughtfully, perhaps I might have found a more precise term.  Still, we must await the case when SMR/MMR's are coming off the production lines and are "hitting the streets" in the necessary large numbers, and at a commercially viable cost.  Remembering that the world's present electrical generation is roughly 3,000,000 MegaWatts and will need to increase about eight-fold by year 2050.  (Would a quarter of that have to be from SMR's ?)

    The Chinese reactors are described as using helium.  So they are not quite the low-tech / low material cost type that I was expecting.  Helium availablity & cost could be a big problem.

  4. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Eclectic, I'm still waiting for a response from ThorCon on Michael's questions, and I will hold off until I get more substantive answers.  Meanwhile, we can discuss the timetable for SMRs.  They are definitely not vaporware.  China has one already on their grid. powermag.com/china-starts-up-first-fourth-generation-nuclear-reactor/

    My understanding of the urgency of global warming and the status of the nuclear and renewable rollout is that both can now proceed at full speed while we wait for a solution to the storage problem for wind and solar and for the finishing touches on advanced reactor designs. The limit now is economic - how quickly can the world build more of each to upgrade the fossil fuel plants we have now.  China is taking the lead, and will probably dominate this multi-trillion dollar market.  The USA, Germany, Australia and a few others will lag behind due to intense anti-nuclear sentiment in those countries, but the impact on progress against global warming will be small, because the demand for zero-carbon power will stay ahead of supply for many years.  If you are worried about production rate on existing SMR designs, take a look at ThorCon's plans. "The scale up rate will not be limited by shipyard capacity, but by the rate at which the turbogenerators can be built."

  5. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Macquigg @17 , thank you for your "groups.google"  link.  It was rather a short discussion between you and your antagonist, in 2017.  Your antagonist was severely irrational & ill-informed, and showed a stiff-necked hubris, typical of the crackpot type of science denier.  But at least it all had a modicum of politeness !   And I must add that your antagonist produced nothing of value for the exceedingly erudite and rational readers here at SkS.     ;-)

    Returning on-topic . . . it seems to me that it is rather too early to spend much time debating the usefulness of Small Modular Reactors.  At present they are Vaporware.   Perhaps in a decade there might be a small number up-and-running ~ but there are many impediments to their becoming available in sufficient numbers to make a timely difference to the global warming problem of this century.

  6. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Michael Sweet,

    My time is limited and I share your desire to avoid unproductive debate. I am an editor working with two warring camps, looking to find the best obtainable version of the truth. I am not a nuclear engineer, but I do have a lifetime of experience working against junk science in industry, academia, in Federal court, and in politics. I have even used this site as a resource in a debate with a sophisticated climate science denier
    groups.google.com/g/az-2-forum  Everyone could see he had lost the debate when all he could do is call the basic science on this site “propaganda”. Let’s not call these nuclear engineers liars, but instead focus on the issues and get to the facts.

    I’m still working on point number 2, waiting for a response from an expert who has actual experience working with irradiated steel from nuclear reactors. I will then add that to our Q&A on non-fuel waste.

    I have added your comments on Cs-137 to the section on Radioactive Gases and on Beryllium to the section on LImited Material Resources. Let me know if you want to change the wording and avoid any ambiguity. We are trying to distill the best possible pro and con statements on each issue from all the blather on the Internet.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Thank you for sticking to the issues.

  7. michael sweet at 05:24 AM on 10 June 2022
    What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Macquigg,

    In general, nuclear discussions on the web often degrade into repetitive posts with no conclusion.  It seems to me that this discussion has reached that point.  The comments policy of SkS is to refrain from repeating yourself once you have made your point.  I will address your numbered points above.

    1) As I have described in post 14 above, you are mistaken about what the abstract of Krall et al 2022 says.  Please reread post 14.  Krall et al say that the total radioactive waste from modular reactors is greater than current reactors, not the fission products only, like Thor Con claim.

    2) Krall et al 2022 tell us that the issue of non fuel waste is a big problem.  They also tell us that the developers have hidden this problem from public view. 

    In order to address this problem the developers of the reactors must release a complete analysis of their nuclear waste production including a complete discription of how they did the calculation.   A new press release or email to the internet is not satisfactory.  Why would a press release mean anything when we already know that they have hidden this problem from us for years?

    3) Nuclear developers have lied about costs since 1950.  Why would you think that I will believe them now?  Why are you so trusting of people who have lied to us for your entire life and more?  The reactors currently being built in Georgia were projected to cost $14 billion.  They are now projected to cost $34 billlion and customers have paid additional billions of interest.  Tell me more about cheap nuclear reactors.  I note that 15 years ago all the small modular reactor developers said they would have designs by 2020, where are those plans?

    4) Reactor developers must provide tabulations of all rare materials used in their construction.  This data is currently kept secret.  I noticed the beryllium issue.  

    Apparently nuclear supporters on the internet say hafnium is not used in current reactors and discredit Abbott 2012 because of this issue.  The nuclear supporters are wrong here, not the peer reviewers of Abbott 2012.  Hafnium is used in the control rods of most or all current reactors. 

    Nuclear supporters have not accurately quantified the amounts of rare materials used in reactor construction so it is not possible to determine which materials will be the first to run out.  Supporters of renewable energy proved that the materials to build out an entirely renewable system exist after nuclear supporters claimed the materials did not exist.  Nuclear supporters cannot prove the materials exist since nuclear developers keep secret the materials they use.  Your claim that hundreds of years of uranium exist (on another site) is incorrect, read Abbott 2012 again until you understand the issue.

    Criticizing peer review makes you look very bad on a scientific site like Skeptical Science.  Especially since I have shown you to be incorrect on your issues where you criticized peer review.  I suggest that you stop with this argument since it makes you look like you don't know what you are talking about.

    5) Lyman only says reprocessing is required if the reactors want to reach the fuel efficiency that they claim.  You are wrong.  Since Lyman is a white paper it was not formally peer reviewed, although I am sure it was informally reviewed.  When you critize peer review you look like you do not know what you are talking about. 

    If you want to claim that Lyman says all MSR's require reprocessing state the page number where the claim is made.  I reread the entire section on MSR's and did not see the claim you suggest.

    In post 8 you say you do not understand neutron leakage.  That means that you do not know much about nuclear reactor design.  Then you criticize peer review by people who have devoted their entire lives to reactor design.  Does that really make sense? 

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Please try to tone it down a bit.

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 10:59 AM on 9 June 2022
    Grim 2022 drought outlook for Western US offers warnings for the future as climate change brings a hotter, thirstier atmosphere

    Thanks for re-posting this article.

    I have read several articles about this. But this article includes details that were not in the other articles, particularly the presentation of the anomaly of evapotranspiration over the past 40 years.

    I have, however, noticed that the scale of the anomaly did not get copied across in the repost. In the original article the scale shows that the lows of 1980's was 4 inches less than the 60.5 inch average. And the high recent values were about 5 inches above the average.

  9. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Michael Sweet, thank you for your detailed response. I understand your reluctance to debate "the entire Internet", and I am OK working with you in this forum.  I will even put up with your personal attacks, if there is enough substance to your criticism to make it worth my time.  Your comment above is a mixed bag, but allow me to deal with one issue at a time, and we can come back to the others later.

    1) On the issue of fuel waste, we seem to be in agreement that all reactors have the same amount of fission products generated per unit of thermal energy. That seemed to me the main criticism, which I quoted from the abstract of the paper. Unless I got this wrong, let's move on to the next issue.

    2) On the issue of non-fuel waste, I've spent several hours trying to get a clear concise answer to the general question, and what we have is too much generality, not addressing the question head-on for this particular reactor.  I will relay your comments above to ThorCon, and to others on Quora.com, where I got the other answers I posted. I will ask ThorCon specifically - What happens to the "343 tonnes of irradiated steel (one of the 4 "cans") shipped out for refurbishment" stated in their article under the heading "Average per year for a 500 MW plant:" I don't think they are being evasive.  More likely, they just didn't see it as a big problem.

    3) On the issue of cost, again I think this issue can be left for buyers and sellers to resolve.  If ThorCon says they can deliver a complete plant at $1200 per kW, don't argue with them.  Place an order.  Don't talk about the cost of old PWR designs, and don't assume that other countries will have the same regulatory burdens as the USA. Don't compare costs to wind and solar without storage.

    4) On the issue of materials resources, specifically beryllium, I will ask ThorCon.  I did read a discussion on this forum about a point in Abbott 2012, on the supply of hafnium.  Most reactors, even the old PWRs don't need hafnium. That should have been caught by the reviewers of Abbott's paper.

    5) On Lyman's major point that all MSRs require online processing (thereby posing a proliferation risk) what happened here?  Either the MSR designers have made a major error, or Lyman's paper is another example of failed peer review.  Elysium says their FNR can go 40 years without reprocessing (fast neutrons are amazing).

    Skeptical Science has been an excellent forum on climate change, the best in my opinion.  I hope it will be the same on nuclear energy.  Put aside politics. Get to the facts.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please refrain from personalizing things and from false claims of ad hominems.  The moderators review every comment here, perhaps not always in real-time, but inexorably, like gravity.

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 03:08 AM on 9 June 2022
    Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    My comment at 5 only compares the energy efficiency of vehicles. The NRC search tool value of Le (Litres equivalent for electricity to be compared to gasoline) is simply based on the energy in 1 litre of gasoline being equivalent to the energy in 8.9 kWh of electricity.

    But there is more to be aware of when evaluating electric vs. fossil fuel powered vehicles. The CO2 emissions from gasoline are about 2.3 kg per litre (many sources present that value). And, based on the EIA answer to "How much carbon dioxide is produced per kilowatthour of U.S. electricity generation?" (other sources present similar numbers):

    • CO2 emissions from coal generation of electricity, without verified carbon capture and permanent locking away, is about 1 kg per kWh. That means coal based electricity without CCS produces 8.9 kg of CO2 for a Le of electricity (8.9 kWh).
    • CO2 emissions from natural gas generation of electricity without CCS is about 3.6 kg per 8.9 kWh. That is better than coal but still significant.

    The emissions from an electric vehicle with efficiency of 2 Le/100 km powered by coal electricity without CCS would be 17.8 kg / 100 km. That compares unfavorably to a hybrid having an efficiency of 5 L/ 100 km which would produce 11.5 kg / 100 km.

    The Statista "Greenhouse gas emissions generation intensity in Canada as of 2015, by province" shows a wide range of emissions from electricity generation in Canada in 2015. In 2015 the average in Cnada was 0.14 kg per kWh. But the highest level of emissions per kWh was Alberta at 0.79 kg per kWh. The emissions from an electric vehicle with efficiency of 2 Le/100 km using 2015 Alberta electricity generation would have been about 13.4 kg / 100 km. That compares unfavorably to a hybrid having an efficiency of 5 L/ 100 km which would produce 11.5 kg / 100 km.

    All regions in Canada have reduced their emissions since 2015. In 2019 the Alberta emissions were down to 0.62 kg per kWh. That would be 11.0 kg /100 for an electric vehicle with an Le of 2 L / 100 km. That is slightly better than a hybrid with 5 l/100 km. But it is not as good as a hybrid with 4 l/100 km.

    A final note is that paying a premium to 'get low emissions electricity' to power up an electric vehicle does not magically create additional low emissions electricity generation in a region. The region's electricity generation mix remains what it is, with the person trying to be less harmful paying a premium that most likely does not reduce the harm done by regional electricity generation.

  11. michael sweet at 02:02 AM on 9 June 2022
    What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Macquigg,

    I applied to Citizendium but they have not sent me anything after a week.  On mature reflection, I do not have time to explain reactor safety to the entire internet.  I try to respond to people who post obviously false information on this website.  

    I have already stated above that Thor Cons' response to radioactivity in the paper is deliberately false.  Obviously you do not understand the facts of the case.

    In the abstarct of Krall et al 2022 it says:

    ""the intrinsically higher neutron leakage associated with SMRs suggests that most designs are inferior to LWRs with respect to the generation, management, and final disposal of key radionuclides in nuclear waste." (my bold)

    This means all the radionuclides in the reactor i.e. the fission products and the reactor components rendered radioactive by neutron bombardment from high neutron leakage.  The paper states clearly that reactor developers have not reported the amount of reactor components that become radioactive.  The paper then claims that the reactor components are a major part of the waste chain and must be calculated.  Obviously all radioactive waste has to be disposed of.

    This calculation should have been done by reactor designers but they have been negligent and not provided this data.  Why have the designers hidden this damaging information?

    According to you, Thor Cons' response is "All fission reactors produce essentially the same amount of fission products" (my bold). Thor Con deliberately ignors the entire point of the PNAS paper.  The extra waste is the irradiated steel and other reactor components.  Where I was raised that is deliberate falsifacation.  It is not my problem that you do not understand the quotes you post.

    In your discussion on Citizendum poster Lyle Elhaney posts a long comment claiming that iron does not become radioactive under neutron bombardment.  He concludes:

    "Other materials - some do become radioactive when drenched with neutrons for an extended time. One would need to know what materials to analyze what happens."

    Krall et al 2022 now tell us.  The other materials cause a great deal of problems.  For one example, 58Ni is present in large amounts in the 316 steel and is converted into radioactive 59Ni.  There are other problematic isotopes formed.  Analyizing the iron alone deliberately minimizes the problem.  The comment should be updated to reflect that peer reviewed scientists think this is a big problem.

    Roger Bloomquist states:

    "There are small concentrations of activated structural elements like cobalt. These typically have half-lives of years, not multiple decades"

    The 59Ni mentioned above as one of the major isotopes formed in the irradiated 316 steel has a half life of 72,000 years.  Since it will have to be isolated for over 10 half lifes to decay that is over a million years. Where I live that is way more than "years".   Bloomquists post is false and should be deleted.  A new post stating that the radioactive steel will have to be stored for over a million years should be put in its place.

    Nuclear designers have been claiming since 1950 that nuclear power will be cheap and safe.  They have failed to produce on their promises.  You are obviously new to this conversation.  I suggest that you carefully read Abbott 2012 (referenced on citizendium) which gives 15 reasons why nuclear power can never produce more than 5% of all power and Lyman 2021 "Advanced" isn't always better (white paper from the Union of Concerned Scientists).  I spent two weeks reading Lyman and several hours reviewing it for these posts so I am unsympathetic to your using an hour reading Krall et al. 2022.

    Neither you nor Thor Con has addressed my point that there is not enough beryllium to build out more than a few Thor Con reactors.  I would like to see how they calculate that a disposable reactor that only lasts 4 years can compete on price with a wind generator or solar farm.  I note that they claim only that they can produce electricity as cheaply as coal while wind and solar today are cheaper than coal.

    Nuclear power is uneconomic and the materials to build the reactors do not exist.

  12. Pollution's Staggering Death-toll

    Climate change is about the planets temp. rise, and pollution is only vaguely related. Not less important.

  13. Planetary Dieticians

    Great analogy, well presented.

    The footnote/moral makes it sound like Bob can eat as many donuts as he wants without hurting his health, as long as he exercises enough. He can't. 

    IOW, offsets aren't the same as emission reductions. If Bob weighs 280 and is still gaining weight, it's time for him to stop eating donuts, eat only as much of everything as he needs, with a healthy mix of nutrients, and still exercise enough to lose weight.

    The world has to stop emitting carbon now. It has to stop burning fossil fuels and replace them with efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe cheap renewable energy as fast as humanly possible. It needs to replace chemical-industrial agriculture with small-scale low-meat organic permaculture; transform industry to ecological forms. No amount of offsets can make up for not doing all of that now, but we need to offset massive amounts of carbon by planting and nurturing forests, undisturbed wild grasslands, and mangroves. 

  14. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Michael Sweet, I understand that you are busy, and not enough time to thoroughly research these issues.  Me too. I know that the "propagandists" who are designing the new reactors are even busier than us, and I don't want to bother them with this debate.

    Let me suggest that we avoid a long debate with lots of ad hominem, argument from authority, etc., and just focus on a few of the most important questions.  I will get expert responses to any issues you care to pursue.  What I need from you is a short statement on each issue, exactly the way you want it to appear on one of our Discussion pages. I will give you the same control over your statement that the "propagandists" have on the content of the articles on their own reactors.  You will also have the opportuntity to modify your statement after you see their response. We need a short point-counterpoint on any unresolved issues.

    On the issue of increased nuclear waste from the ThorCon reactor, I understand you think the company's response is "deliberately evasive". It looks to me like they responded perfectly to the issue as stated. I quoted the criticism directly from the abstract of the Krall paper.

    Perhaps you would like to restate the issue, emphasizing what you think they are evading.  If you are worried about non-fuel waste, that is a separate question, already addressed on the Discussion page.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Hotlinked URL.  Please learn to do this yourself.

  15. michael sweet at 12:56 PM on 8 June 2022
    What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Macquigg,

    I am too busy to write a full reply to your posts right now.

    A paper printed in the PNAS has much more wieght than propaganda released by nuclear plant companies.  Who cares what paid shills say compared to nuclear reactor designers with decades of experience.

    The issue with Thor Cons whining is that the paper clearly says that one of the major problems with small reactors is the high neutron leakage.  In post 8 you say you do not understand this problem and that it is endlessly discussed on facebook.  We have an clear answer to the facebook arguments: scientists think neutron leakage is a major problem.  The fact that you  do not understand it does not mean that it is not a problem.

    ThorCons answer that you quote is deliberately evasive.  Yes, the amount of fission products is about the same.  The high neutron leakage of their design results in the rest of the reactor becoming much more radioactive than happens in larger reactors wiith low neutron leakage.  The final result is much more radioactive waste that has to be permanently disposed of.  Thor Con ignores the claims made in the paper and argues using an answer that everyone who is informed already knows.  The ThorCon argument has no merit.

     Where I come from that is deliberate deception.

    I note that no process exists to treat the leftover salt mix in the Thor Con reactor. 

    In addition, ThorCon has 12 mol% Beryllium in its salt mix.  There is only one large Breyllium mine in the entire world.  From ThorCons' numbers I calculate that a single 1,000 MW  plant would use approximately 2.5 tons of Beryllium to start up.   Since total world production of beryllium is about 260 tons/year and ThorCons have to be replaced every 4 years, 400 1,000 MW ThorCons (approximately current world nuclear reactors) would use up the entire world supply.  You forgot to include in your summary that there are many elements that do not exist in sufficient supply to build out more than an insignificant amount of nuclear power. (always take calculations that have not been peer reviewed with a large grain of salt.  You could do the calculation yourself to check my numbers, if you know how.)

    ThorCons 137Cs claims also do not stand up to scrutiny.  Much 137Cs is carried out of the salt in the noble gas stream.  They have to say what they plan to do with the 137Cs that is mixed with their radioactive noble gasses.  If it remains in the salt they have to explain how that occurs.

    I suggest that you find someone who understands nuclear reactor design to moderate your thread if you want to correctly deal with the nuclear industry propaganda.

    If the bleeting from the nuclear designers has any merit they can write a letter to the editor of PNAS and it will be answered in time.  Until their letter is published we have to figure that the paper is correct.  

    I note that the rest of the responses that you have linked did not address the issue of increased radioactive waste even though that was what the headline in the newspaper was.

    It is difficult to discuss nuclear power on line since the proponents of nuclear consistently make false claims.

    Nuclear power is too expensive and the elements to build out the reactors does not exist.

  16. One Planet Only Forever at 10:50 AM on 8 June 2022
    Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    Doug, Bob and peppers,

    Natural Resources Canada has developed a tool for searching and comparing the fuel efficiency of personal vehicles sold in Canada.

    NRC Fuel consumption ratings search tool

    Setting the search "vehicle type" to be "battery-electric" finds 81 vehicle models, including 4 pickup truck models showing the following comparisons:

    • The most efficient vehicles (3 of the 81 models) are 1.8 le/100 km. And they are sedan style vehicles. (le is litres equivalent - see Note at end of comment).
    • The next most efficient models (4 models) are 1.9 le/100 km including the most efficient SUVs.
    • The next set (9 models) are 2.0 le/100 km and includes several SUVs.
    • The most efficient battery-electric truck is 3.3 le/100 km which is better than the least efficient SUV (3.6 le/100 km). And it is slightly better than the least efficient sedan which is 3.4 le/100 km.

    And setting the search to only be conventional (ICE)/hybrid vehicles finds that the most efficient hybrid is 4.0 l/100 km (not as good as the least efficient battery-electric)

    Note: The search can be set for "miles/gallon". But there are 2 choices because the antiquated imperial system has 2 different gallon size: "imperial (the Canadian gallon before the switch to metric in 1979)" and "US (the smaller one the US created and still uses)".

  17. Doug Bostrom at 08:33 AM on 8 June 2022
    Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    As a hint about voting w/wallets and heavier vehicles, Ford's "F-150 Lightning" (now being delivered into customer hands) has generated about 200,000 reservation orders, with Ford needing close to order availabilty and add manufacturing capacity. Ford is being forced to consider cutting dealers out of the equation on selling these vehicles, because dealers are successfully extracting absurd markups from customers willing to pay.

    Granted, these are early adopters but it remains the case that such empirical evidence as we have suggests that the love affair for "heavy" doesn't axiomatically require that heavy vehicles be farting thrashers (IC powered). 

    Meanwhile, the same efficiency gains that make carrying a 900+ pound battery in a sedan a productive decision apply to heavier vehicles as well. The pertinent equation after all is not K.E. = 1/2 m2 v2

     

  18. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    knaugle @2,

    I would not myself say that UAH TLTv5.6 "showed reasonably close agreement" with anything other than HadCRUT4 which itself showed less warming than other SAT records like GISTEMP.

    And while RSS TLTv3.3 showed lower warming than all others back in the day, RSS TLTv4.0 is now showing more warming than UAHv5.6 did.

    A comparison between HadCRUT4, UAH TLTv5.6 & v6.0 and RSS TLTv4.0 is plotted in this WoodForTrees presentation. Note how UAH v6.0 diverges over a short period 2000-12 which is symptomatic of a satellite calibration issue, something the UAH folk themselves accuse other satellite records of ignoring.

  19. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    It would be interesting to see the corrections applied to subsequent versions.  I know UAH 5.6 showed reasonably close agreement with the surface datasets (and with RSS TLT v. 4).  Then it was replaced by UAH 6.0 and it immediately diverged to lower warming relative to all the other sets I follow. 

  20. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    From ThorCon: 

    "All fission reactors produce essentially the same amount of fission products per thermal energy produced. This is immutable physics. Designs with higher thermal efficiency produce less fission products per kWh electricity produced, but this difference is less than a factor of two from the clunkiest LWR to the fanciest paper HTGR."

    I am not a nuclear engineer, and I did not spend more than an hour trying to understand Krall's article, but it seems like the whole thing fails on this one point.  What is wrong with the peer review at NAS?

  21. Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    peppers:

    The blog post does address the issue of the recent spike in gas prices as a comparison. Note that it says (emphasis mine):

    Clearly, making these comparisons using high gas prices will reflect a big savings for EVs. But you’d have to go back to 2002 to find a time when the price of gasoline was consistently below the $1.41 per gallon price of driving an EV.

    As for heavier vehicles being inefficent: do you have a reference for that? In general, my understanding is that vehicles with electric drive are much more efficient that IC engines at low speeds, starting, etc. Electric motors can generate high torque at low speeds - a range where IC engines are very inefficient. For truck used for many short, local trips, the advantage of an electric drive could be substantial, even if range is limited. Long hauls, not so much.

  22. Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    I'd like to see this run up against real activity, instead of the apples for apples comparing sedans. SUV's and pickups have increased in sales the last 6 years so that they overtook sedans in 2020, and now are 2 to 1. And there are not electric SUV's/pickups for the larger vehicles as they are so inefficient to EV those weights, so I understand why that comparison is not there. But thats where people are buying. Worldwide. And this comparison is using temporary gas prices as gas/oil is not worth that much and will change. In terms of climate change this is off topic except highlighting how people, well before hitting any relevance of this article, are not caring. I mean voting with their wallets not caring. And that is an important take away here. And neither this article nor I can answer that at this moment.

  23. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    BaerbelW at 9

    So am I to take it that these collections of NEWS roundups are not to be considered "topics" and therefore not to be discussed here? If so, I do need to be directed to the portion of your site that tell me what "stuff" is "on topic". For example, One Planet's comments (above) are being allowed, but I'm not making the connection of his essay on harm to a particular topic in the many cites above. 

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] More complaints deleted.

     

  24. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    @Aeyles

    As clearly stated at the top of each of these weekly News roundups, these are simply collections of articles we shared on our Facebook page during the week. They cover a somewhat wider range of topics than what we usually post on our website.

  25. One Planet Only Forever at 12:45 PM on 7 June 2022
    2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    Recent posts at SkS, including this week’s News Roundup, provide great information and examples of the need for a broad integrated (systemic) perspective when learning about climate science and the challenges of getting the collective of humanity to collaborative converge to learn to achieve the required rapid changes to limit harm done by developed and developing human activity and help those who need assistance now and in the future.

    I will start with the SkS re-post of the Yale Climate Connections article Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline. The article provides a detailed presentation of the cost advantage of electric personal vehicles. But, because of its focus on only a small part of the bigger picture, it does not mention the more important consideration that even electric vehicle use needs to be limited to limit the power demand. Because all power demand causes harm (as the deniers of the need to stop burning fossil fuels constantly point out regarding renewable energy production and use). People should be “dramatically reducing non-essential personal vehicle use”. By all means switch to electric vehicles. But limit personal vehicle use, including taxi or other ‘personal ride services, to essential travel. And make changes to limit “essential travel”. Note that even using public transit consumes energy. And consuming energy, even renewable electricity, is not harm free.

    Another example of the narrow perspective problem (a problem highlighted in the ‘convergent’ set of articles opening this week’s Recent Research), is the recent BBC News story Drought-stricken US warned of looming 'dead pool'. This article is narrowly focused on the water shortage and electricity generation limits due to the water shortage in the SW US. The article mentions the ‘temporary’ water use restriction measures. And the recommended actions include building new dams and building household roof-top solar powered machines that will extract water from the air. What is missed is the need to fundamentally change how people live to reduce power and water demand. People should not grow things in yards that need ‘extra water - more than naturally would occur’. They should stop non-essential water use. That would maximize water to be used efficiently to grow food (far more essential than water used to have pretty yard plants). Another consideration is that reservoirs behind dams result in loss of water through evaporation. In warm dry climates, water stored for later use or power generation should be kept in ways that minimize evaporation losses (not is sprawling lakes).

    A different example of the difficult of narrow focused articles or, more correctly, the problem of people reading items in isolation with a narrow focus is the Guardian article We cannot adapt our way out of climate crisis, warns leading scientist (Katharine Hayhoe). This article mentions that harmfully misleading narrow-minded claim by pseudo-economists like HSBC’s Stewart Kirk that future problems caused by people benefiting from unsustainable harmful pursuits can and should be discounted (marginalized, ignored) because future generations can deal with it (and more importantly the harmed people of the future can’t vote today and would have a hard time suing those who harmed them). The morally rational understanding is that the people who benefit from a harmful action should be the only ones to suffer the harm of the harmful action (the classic medical harm done to patients, or risk of harm, to best help patients). So if there is required future adaptation due to climate changes the current generation needs to build sustainable adaptations that will protect future generations from the future potential harm (it is unjust to leave it to future generations to adapt, if they can).

    In We cannot adapt our way out of climate crisis, warns leading scientist (Katharine Hayhoe) it is also correctly declared that unless dramatic, but technically feasible, changes happen it is likely that the future of humanity will be irreparably seriously harmed. That relates to the recent BBC News article Why is climate 'doomism' going viral – and who's fighting it?. Katharine Hayhoe correctly declares the massive harm likely to be done unless dramatic changes are made starting today. That can be considered to be a statement that triggers doomism. But the bigger story is to know that ‘doomism’ is a step in learning about important required changes like the need to stop climate change impact harm. This is well presented by Kimberly Nicholas PhD in her 2021 book “Under the Sky We Make”. She lists the stages of learning about climate change What she calls radical climate acceptance) as: Ignorance, Avoidance, Doom, All the feel(ing)s, and Purpose. The feelings that follow the Doom stage include righteous anger at all those who have been harmfully misleading through the past 30 years.

    And that brings things to the wider understanding of the harmful misleading group of characters that is well presented in the SkS re-post of the Yale Climate Connections article Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet. That systemic socioeconomic-political problem is described by Eve Darian-Smith in the following quote:

    • Political and industrial leaders collude to extract wealth from the land and its people, without regard for sustainability.
    • Industries effectively capture and control state agencies assigned to regulate them.
    • Politicians, their parties, and affiliated media use campaign contributions and advertising from these industries to build and maintain messaging operations that dis-inform the public and otherwise obstruct democratic oversight, including free and fair elections.
    • They do this by playing on nationalistic fears and animosities to gain and retain power.
    • This nationalism at home is combined with isolationist foreign policies.
    • Nationalism and isolationism lead to anti-environmentalism out of resistance to global environmental concerns.
    • This combination of ultranationalism, isolationism and anti-environmentalism intensifies systemic environmental racism in these countries.

    That can be understood to be a version of the harmful misleading actions described by the Propaganda Model that Edward S. Herman developed and presented, along with Noam Chomsky, in Manufacturing Consent (Book and documentary from decades ago).

    There is lots for people to learn to be angry about and be motivated to act helpfully contrary to the interests of people who choose to try to evade learning to be less harmful and try to benefit more from being more harmful. And children who learn that leaders among their ancestors tried to keep people from learning to be less harmful and more helpful should be expected to express the most righteous anger.

    Go Greta! Same Go(es) for all the other younger people (and the young at heart with an open curiosity to learn new things like all children are born with) who are justifiably angry (the ones who have learned to move beyond the awareness of their potential Doom due to the lack of concern by elders and a lack of helpfully well-directed narrow laser-like focused anger among elders who should know better - elders who should be focused on limiting the influence and impacts of people who do not care to learn to be less harmful and more helpful).

  26. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    I'm concluding that since your choices of topics/essays are not open for discussion, would that mean that if you chose a "political" post, you would not expect anyone to make it a topic of discussion, and those of us who do, are risking a warning or deletion? Or do you expect us to sense out the "politics" and be wise enough to leave it alone?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] I will leave this moderation complaint intact for now. Clearly you are incapable of reading and understanding a Comments Policy. To quote:

    • No politics. Rants about politics, religion, faith, ideology or one world governments will be deleted. Occasional blogposts on Skeptical Science touch on issues intimately related to politics.  For those posts this rule may be relaxed, but only if explicitly stated at the end of the blogpost.

    While I am at it:

    Moderation complaints are always off topic and will be deleted

    ...and for good measure:

    • No multiple identities.  Posting comments at Skeptical Science should use only one registered screen name. Use of more than one account will result in all accounts being banned.

    You seem to be more intent on arguing with the moderators than with the blog posts or other commenters. This has to stop.

     

     

  27. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    Maybe I have not figured out what off topic means. I was citing the essay above by Zach Budrik. Is that a topic, or do I look in a particular place for the topic? I don't wish to be offensive, but I would like to know if the term eco-fascist has a definition. I am aware of the meaning of Hadley Cell, eutrophication of the oceans, Milankovich Cycles,  AMOC, carbon capture, CFCs, IPCC, and many other terms SKS and similar organization use in discussing climate, but eco-fascism is a stumper for me. Labelling is not considered academic discourse, but is certainly a common characteristic of political commentary. Your rules discourage politics, yet it seems to me that Zach's essay reeks of it. How does this fit into SKS' rules for discourse? What am I missing that leads you to erase my comments?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] More moderation complaints deleted.

    If you cannot keep on topic, we will not spend time trying to edit your comments so that small parts remain and violations of the Comments Policy are edited out. You are the one that needs to sit back, think about what you post, and do your own editing. If you cannot do this, entire comments will be deleted.

     

  28. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    I'm not complaining about "moderator judgement". I'm not complaining about featured topics. I'm asking how it is that SKS, billed by some of my colleagues, as a Science discussion portal also posts articles that take a position that terms, such as eco-fascist, are used to describe a particular point of view. Fascism is a political ideology resting on five central tenets: Control of the means of production and distribution by the State (but not ownership), One party rule, A Monopolistic Propaganda Machine that depends upon the Demonizing of a particular group (an enemy of the state) and an all powerful Leader (dictator) exercising a monopoly on the use of force (a disarmed citizenry).  I came to SKS on a referral from a colleague who maintained that SKS was the place to go to discuss peer reviewed scientific evidence of a crisis in our environment, so I am asking how that is connected to some of the expressions such as "right wing eco-fascism" and similar labels that appear to categorize a line of thinking that "demonizes" a perceived "enemy of the State". ???

    Moderator Response:

    [BL]

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore, particularly when commentators repeatedly submit offensive or off-topic posts. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site.
     
    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion.  If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  29. Doug Bostrom at 02:55 AM on 7 June 2022
    Driving with electricity is much cheaper than with gasoline

    "Price subject to change," indeed.

    Given "Potemkin Markets" for electricity such as that found in Texas it's not a rule, but for many of us living in states that still acknowledge the reality of natural monopolies it's nice that the cost of driving an EV doesn't change from hour to hour as it does with the more primitive and annoyingly flatulent Victorian-era IC alternatives. 

  30. 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

    Several of these articles are clearly "political". As a newby, I'm confused how these fit in to the SKS "rules". What am I missing?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] More moderation complaints snipped. I don't think you are new to this.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

     

  31. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    A buch more responses. NAS not looking good.  neutronbytes.com/2022/05/31/stanfords-questionable-study-on-spent-nuclear-fuel-for-smrs/

  32. EGU2022 - A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

    For anybody interested to know more about Svitlana Krakovska, the head of the Ukranian delegation for the recent IPCC report, please check out this article in Nature which comes in the form of an interview with her. In the article she talks of the terrors of the war in Ukraine and how divesting from fossil fuels will bring humanity onto a safer path towards a sustainable future.

  33. EGU2022 - A personal diary from a science enthusiast perspective

    Thanks, for your feedback, Robin!

  34. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    There is a response to the PNAS article from NuScale, one of the reactors featured in the Citizendium series:   https://newsroom.nuscalepower.com/news/

    I think we might get a similar response from the other companies, but before I bother them, lets see how this one pans out.

  35. What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    Michael Sweet, what specifically is "deliberately false"? On Cs-137, did you read their section on safety? "The most troublesome fission products, including iodine-131, strontium-90 and cesium-137, are chemically bound to the salt." 

    I will add the paper you cite to the Bibliography page, but to include it in the Discussion page, we need specific challenges to this design, not general speculations about all MSRs.

    I started to read the article you cite, and it looks to me very similar to other general complaints that lead to endless arguments on FaceBook forums.  I read that there is some problem with neutron leakage, and it makes no sense to me.  Do any of these complaints apply tp this design?  I will then get a response from the company.

    On the question of cost, did you read that section?  It looks to me like they have done a thorough analysis.  They are saying they can deliver a complete nuclear plant, reactor, turbines, generators, switchgear, everything, for $1200 per kW, lower than the cost of a coal plant.  Anyway, it seems like a waste of time to debate cost.  If a vendor offers a product you want, at a price you like, don't tell him he is wrong about his own design, place an order.

  36. One Planet Only Forever at 03:45 AM on 5 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    Having read all 3 I would add the following regarding the required paradigm shifts and systemic changes.

    A major challenge is ensuring that collective wisdom regarding how to limit harm done and help those needing assistance effectively governs and limits the harm done by 'clever humans figuring out how to benefit from harmul actions and related harmful misunderstanding'.

    The popular appeals of the 'freedom to believe and do whatever a person please' and/or the 'perception that certain types of people deserve to be exclusive groups protected from contamination or compromise by Others who aspire to be considered to be equally worthy people' has been harmfully successful at resisting correction of harmful misunderstandings that excuse harmful pursuits of benefit and superiority relative to others.

    Edward S. Herman's "Propaganda Model", as presented in the book and documentary "Manufacturing Consent" is a long established and fairly robust understanding of the problem of Free Speech protections for marketing. Legal restrictions have been developed for economic competition marketing (that people like Elon Musk appear to try to find clever loopholes in). But there are very few legal consequences for harmful misleading marketing by political competitors. Clever political misleading marketing to defend and excuse the harmful status quo can be seen to continue to happen with harmful abandon.

  37. One Planet Only Forever at 07:29 AM on 4 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    Another recommended reading that is aligned with the 3 articles highlighted on this week's New Research is the 2021 book "Under the sky we make" by Kimberly Nicholas PhD. It is a book about the harm of the developed "Exploitation Mindset: thinking that some humans should dominate other humans and that humans in general should dominate nature." It presents the need for a paradigm shift to a Regeneration Mindset which would naturally develop sustainable improvements for all of humanity far onto the future.

    The book includes a summary chapter called TLDR (Too Long Did't Read) which is recommended for people who don't have time to read a complete book (or fully read articles like the ones highlighted this week - I am midway through the second one but I have read all 3 abstracts).

    The TLDR's first point is "It's warming, it's us, we're sure, it's bad, we can fix it." And the 3rd summary point is "We need to clarify our values and shift our mindsets in line with what science tells us is necessary to stop climate and ecological breakdown and preserve humanity."

  38. One Planet Only Forever at 03:19 AM on 4 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    Doug,

    There are indeed bright rays of hope. But, for many people, it will not be extremely easy to learn and adopt helpful habits.

    Another way of presenting the challenge of learning to be less harmful and more helpful to others, learning to correct harmful developed perspectives and related biases, is to say that people simply need to set aside their 'learned shortcut gut-instinct predisposition regarding their evaluations of things' so that they can have the open curiosity of an inquisitive child.

    Growing up in an environment of competition for impressions of superiority relative to others can develop preferences for harmful misunderstanding that need to be recognised and be deliberately set aside in order to be open to learn what is required to be less harmful and more helpful to others.

    A big challenge for many people will be transitioning to the more 'open to diversity' perspective that is required to be an effective member of collaborative diverse group. Shifting away from a more restricted perspective can result in rejection by some members of a group that a person has develop an identity with.

    And, regrettably, many people will struggle to 'leave a group they have developed their identify within' even if they learn that there are significant harmful misunderstandings that the group fight against correcting. Some people will compromise better understanding to remain a member of their developed 'group identity'.

  39. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    (DB)

    My apologies for my question about handling One Planet's political remark, (MAGA, etc) but could you reinsert  my comment to Planet without my comment about "monitor"? 

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] The moderators are not here to provide editing services. Moderation of comments that violate the site's policies will progress through warning snips (such as this one), to complete snips, to deletion of comments in their entirety, to eventual rescinding of posting privileges after repeated violations.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  40. Doug Bostrom at 14:22 PM on 3 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    From One Planet's recommendation:

    "In one set of trials, the advisors were told about this potential reward at the very start of the experiment, before they started considering the different options. While they were ostensibly picking the best choice for the client, they were much more likely to go with the choice that was favourable to themselves.

    In the rest of the trials, however, the advisors were only told of this potential reward after they had been given some time to weigh up the pros and cons of each. This time few chose to let the reward influence their decision; they remained honest to their goal of giving the best advice to the client."

    I say this is a bright ray of hope— being better turns out to be extremely easy. We only need to learn and adopt certain habits. :-)

    The article also conveniently illustrates— commensurate with our featured trifecta— the kind of benefits we might obtain by better operationalizing hard-earned information on human behaviors. 

  41. One Planet Only Forever at 06:31 AM on 3 June 2022
    Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Aeyles,

    I am aware and understand that the US system is slow to act.

    But I am also aware that the slowness to act does not only result in keeping the "... system from going off the rails from passion, bad planning, lust, greed, and downright dangerous, non-deliberative decision making."

    Leadership should be leading the pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding applied to reduce harm done and help those who need assistance. In cases where increased awareness and improved understanding develops outside of leadership pursuits of that objective, leadership, all of its participants, should rapidly learn and catch up to effectively lead the harm reduction - helpful improvements actions.

    However, there are undeniably cases in the US (and other nations), especially regarding the matter of climate science, where the "slow to change" system can be seen to delay leadership actions to limit harm done and help those who need assistance.

    So the US system is indeed slow to change. But that can be Good or Bad, especially Bad when it is slow to learn. Reading the BBC item I refer to, especially the part about Picking Sides, could be helpful.

  42. One Planet Only Forever at 03:31 AM on 3 June 2022
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #22 2022

    Doug and Marc,

    Thank you for finding and highlighting the 3 items regarding systemic understanding and the need for systemic changes to achieve a more successful limiting of the harm being done to the future of humanity.

    I look forward to learning more by reading them, and potentially reading additional items they refer to.

    The following BBC Worklife article "How self-deception allows people to lie" presents related understanding of how humans are tempted to think. It is regarding workplace situations. But it relates to the challenge of improving awareness and increasing understanding of the climate change harms of developed ways of living and thinking. It helps understand why it can be difficult to get people to learn to support important changes to what has developed, especially the systemic changes that are fundamental to better success on the climate change front. And the article concludes with a recommendation for the constant work, "systematic reasoning", required for a person to limit the likelihood that they have allowed their thinking to be harmfully deceived into harmful misunderstanding with a related potentially passionate resistance to learning that it is a harmful misunderstanding.

  43. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    One planet

    Sorry. I can't engage in any debate that blames an interest group for the troubles you allege. As I understand the SKS policy: "no politics", I can, as a college professor of political science, describe how and why the American system is "set up" to work, while leaving behind all color of competing political philosophies that try to discuss the "ought" to be something that the American system is not...or not yet. I would think your post would have already been struck by the monitor for its conspicuous political positioning.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Moderation complaints snipped.  You know better.

  44. One Planet Only Forever at 14:04 PM on 2 June 2022
    Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Aeyles @5 and 6,

    Read the BBC article I refer to @3. Then consider if your beliefs about the US are consistent with all of the evidence. That may involve reading books like "A People's History of the United States", or "How to be Antiracist (which starts with understanding than the root of racism is harmful competition for status)"

    An explanation of the US that is more consistent with the evidence is that the US system was developed and significantly controlled by harmful misleading wealthy and powerful people. And that system powerfully resists learning that many appearances of higher status are due to harmful unsustainable actions and related popularity of harmful misunderstanding. The actions of US leadership on many issues, including climate change, are not aligned with the opinions of the majority of US citizens.

    Admittedly the US today is better than its origin of only land owning males being considered "people" (male landowners were the only voters). All others were to be owned, dominated and exloited. But even today there are some in the US who want to turn back from the present progress and MAGA to be more like those earlier Early Republic times.

  45. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Meanwhile, the "govetnment" is planned and run by professional bureaucrats and diverse interest groups...all vying for influence and power and pushing their separate points of view

  46. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Perhaps the American system is best defined as a Republic with democratic features. Since "we" vote, and majority votes spawn our representatives and since a Republic is a "representative system" where our elected officials are supposed to seek and secure a "majority view" within the parameters of our Constitution (which is the contract between the governed and the government servants)  our system is subject to changes only every few years. We vote for a handful of candidates every two years for some, every four years for some others and every six years for 100 "special representatives" (senators) which keeps our system from going off the rails from passion, bad planning, lust, greed, and downright dangerous, non-deliberative decision making. In effect, slow change prevents an unhinging of the body politic...something James Madison was keenly concerned about in FED 10.

  47. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    I also remember in middle school civics class, learning the difference between a direct democracy and a representative democracy.

    Direct democracies, where everyone votes on every decision, are very rare for anything other than small groups.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/direct_democracy

    Indirect democracies involve electing a smaller number of individuals to act on your behalf:

    A policy under the rule of people acting on the behalf of and, to a lesser extent, in the interests of the voting blocks by which they were elected.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/representative_democracy

    Note the "...to a lesser extent..." clause. If the elected representatives act mostly in the interests of someone other than the people in their district (e.g., in their own interest, or in the interest of a small group of funders or friends, etc.), then democracy is failing.

    Representatives are supposed to represent all their constituents, regardless of whether or not a constituent voted for them. You can't make everyone happy, but you are supposed to at least listen to them and consider their point of view and interests. They are not supposed to be your enemies.

  48. One Planet Only Forever at 10:30 AM on 2 June 2022
    Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    Nigelj,

    There is an imoprtant difference between 'An inclusive equitable democracy' and a Republic. Being inclusive and equitable are core aspects of a democracy. Republics can be exclusive and nationalist. And Republics can be very inequitable, especially if they have core beliefs about being God's chosen with a manifest destiny to dominate others.

    A Republic can unjustly restrict who gets to become a member and unjustly restrict who gets to vote (like the Republicans in the USA have been doing), while allowing competitors for leadership roles plenty of freedom to be harmfully misleading.

    And humans have a nasty tendency to be harmfully misled as is well presented in the recent BBC Worklife article "How self-deception allows people to lie". The BBC article focus is about work situations. But it can easily be seen to apply far beyond "work situations".

  49. Preserving democracy is part of preserving the planet

    For information: “Democracy” vs. “Republic”: Is There A Difference?"

    "A democracy is defined as “government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” A nation with this form of government is also referred to as a democracy....."


    "A republic is defined as “a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. Sound familiar? It should.You see, many of today’s democracies are also republics, and are even referred to as democratic republics. So, the US and France are considered both democracies and republics—both terms point to the fact that the power of governance rests in the people, and the exercise of that power is done through some sort of electoral representation."

    https://www.dictionary.com/e/democracy-vs-republic/

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link activated. (I think  you know how, and forgot.)

  50. michael sweet at 02:08 AM on 2 June 2022
    What role for small modular nuclear reactors in combating climate change?

    macquigg:

    The answers to questions about waste in your discussion section on the ThorCon reactor run the gamut from evasive to deliberately false.  ThorCon presents no plan to deal with 137Cs and says only that they will process most waste offsite.   I expect that you will add the information from the nuclear waste paper cited in comment 6 to your general post on MSR's.

    MSR's are uneconomic and the materials to build out a significant number of reactors do not exist.

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