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JohnM

Legally binding climate change agreement

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We need better nuclear. Its really the only way forward.

Now that is a complete reversal of opinion from when I wuz younger.  Nuclear was nothing short of a disaster because of the waste and the risk of meltdown.  I hate the thought of us relying on nuclear energy especially in an atmosphere of spontaneous terrorist activity as we have seen lately.  Imagine ISIS getting into a nuclear facility.  That's us dead or at least very sick for a very long time.

Edited by Saintslass

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I remember talk about the hole in the ozone layer.  Has that shut itself up now?  It's just that we haven't heard anything about it in years!  But the phrase 'global warming' and discussion about man-made climate change definitely wasn't part of my school science experience and nor was it a topic I remember seeing discussed on the news (which I watched daily) or in newspapers.  Today people appear somewhat obsessed by it!  Yet no mention of the hole in the ozone layer.

 

I'm sorry, but you are talking nonsense as usual. I was at secondary school from 1977 to 1982 and we definitely talked about the hole in the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect AND global warming. We had an ecology club that talked about nothing else.

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Anyway, what if the "tree huggers" are right.  What if this really is the last chance for us to save the planet for humanity as a whole?  Surely it's better that we sacrifice the profit margins of a few companies who only care about this financial year's results than have a planet that's largely uninhabitable by humans in 50 years.  I notice that the deniers simply point and laugh but have nothing beyond "you can't prove it 100%" when the academics say that they're 97-99% sure it's human related.

The problem in convincing doubters - and I'm one of those myself to a degree - is that anyone with even a cursory reading of history knows that climate change has always occurred, sometimes quite dramatically, and with little or no input from human beings.  Why are human beings now somehow solely responsible?  Climate changed when there was no industralisation.  Climate is changing now that there is industrialisation. 

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I'm sorry, but you are talking nonsense as usual. I was at secondary school from 1977 to 1982 and we definitely talked about the hole in the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect AND global warming. We had an ecology club that talked about nothing else.

I don't really give a toss what you discussed at school.

 

Contact Rainford High School in St Helens if you want to find out what we discussed in our science lessons.  You'll find that the hole in the ozone layer was about as sexy as it got for us. 

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I remember talk about the hole in the ozone layer. Has that shut itself up now? It's just that we haven't heard anything about it in years! But the phrase 'global warming' and discussion about man-made climate change definitely wasn't part of my school science experience and nor was it a topic I remember seeing discussed on the news (which I watched daily) or in newspapers. Today people appear somewhat obsessed by it! Yet no mention of the hole in the ozone layer.

I was listening to a piece on this just last month. The ozone layer is starting to heal you'll be glad to know.

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The problem in convincing doubters - and I'm one of those myself to a degree - is that anyone with even a cursory reading of history knows that climate change has always occurred, sometimes quite dramatically, and with little or no input from human beings.  Why are human beings now somehow solely responsible?  Climate changed when there was no industralisation.  Climate is changing now that there is industrialisation. 

Climate has changed over the earth's history, usually measured in thousands of years.  What we're seeing is only evident in the last 50 with it ramping up massively over the last couple of decades.  GeordieSaint is quite right that fossil fuel usage is plays a second fiddle to the sheer number of humans on the planet now but that one isn't going to be fixed anywhere near short of a global thermonuclear war or mutant zombie plague, that leaves us with the things we can fix.

 

Also, on the ozone layer, that one was believed by people because it was easier to prove.  The world largely stopped using the ozone layer destroying items containing CFCs and it's slowly recovering.  Yay for when humanity doesn't try to shaft itself.

 

Nice to see the government doing its bit to keep the motoring industry safe from pesky environmental concerns though

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Anyway, what would happen if you're wrong and the manmade climate change proposers are right?  Surely it's better to be safe than sorry.

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Now that is a complete reversal of opinion from when I wuz younger. Nuclear was nothing short of a disaster because of the waste and the risk of meltdown. I hate the thought of us relying on nuclear energy especially in an atmosphere of spontaneous terrorist activity as we have seen lately. Imagine ISIS getting into a nuclear facility. That's us dead or at least very sick for a very long time.

The reactors I mentioned, MSR's or molten salts reactors, cannot go critical, their design includes a fail safe which would require a change to the laws of physics to allow it (it's a subcritical reaction). Also as I mentioned you can't really make bombs with the waste materials so I wouldn't be worried about ISIS getting hold of it.

Sadly most environmentalists refuse to look at nuclear as anything other than what it is now. The current generation of light water reactors is only one branch of the science, encouraged and brough on by our need for plutonium. Their blindness to this is something that they need to address by following the actual science.

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The reactors I mentioned, MSR's or molten salts reactors, cannot go critical, their design includes a fail safe which would require a change to the laws of physics to allow it (it's a subcritical reaction). Also as I mentioned you can't really make bombs with the waste materials so I wouldn't be worried about ISIS getting hold of it.

Sadly most environmentalists refuse to look at nuclear as anything other than what it is now. The current generation of light water reactors is only one branch of the science, encouraged and brough on by our need for plutonium. Their blindness to this is something that they need to address by following the actual science.

A MSR nuclear-based power solution as part of a multi-faceted power generation system could easily free us from fossil fuel based power generation.  On the other systems, we could easily create a huge wind based solution that feeds into large batteries, such as this system, across the EU, protecting ourselves from the inevitable calms.  Then you have the equatorial desert countries that could "buy" themselves into the scheme using their near continuous 12 hour strong daylight for massive solar farms.

 

But that would require serious long-term thought and investment from a bunch of governments who are used to instant gratification from their "lobbyists" and voters.

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Indeed, sadly foresight and the current government don't go hand in hand. As I suggested a couple of months ago, we're going to struggle from an energy perspective next winter once Eggborough and Ferrybridge next year.

We do need a diverse portfolio of generators for the next generation

Edited by RidingPie

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I was listening to a piece on this just last month. The ozone layer is starting to heal you'll be glad to know.

I haven't heard a thing about the ozone hole in years.  Glad to know there has been an update!  Its existence was spoken of in apocalyptic terms back in the day.

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Climate has changed over the earth's history, usually measured in thousands of years.  What we're seeing is only evident in the last 50 with it ramping up massively over the last couple of decades.  GeordieSaint is quite right that fossil fuel usage is plays a second fiddle to the sheer number of humans on the planet now but that one isn't going to be fixed anywhere near short of a global thermonuclear war or mutant zombie plague, that leaves us with the things we can fix.

Again, the difficulty with this is that we haven't had reliable records for long enough to know that climate change occurred in measures of 'thousands of years'.  What are we basing such assumptions upon?  How long have we had the technology to measure climatic changes reliably?  And how much data do we have available?  Such questions, and others besides, are never addressed in these discussions either on forums or on TV or in the press or basically wherever they take place! 

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The reactors I mentioned, MSR's or molten salts reactors, cannot go critical, their design includes a fail safe which would require a change to the laws of physics to allow it (it's a subcritical reaction).

The reactors you mention were - so far as I'm aware - not in existence back in the day (that I referred to in my previous post!).  So our discussions about nuclear power were about meltdown and waste that wouldn't degrade for thousands of years (where will it be stored and what if it leaked?).  I can't let those concerns go because they are ingrained in me and I do wish previous governments had started to address our energy needs with more enthusiasm.

 

 

Also as I mentioned you can't really make bombs with the waste materials so I wouldn't be worried about ISIS getting hold of it.

I wasn't thinking of bombs.  I was thinking of them releasing the stuff into the atmosphere.

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Again, the difficulty with this is that we haven't had reliable records for long enough to know that climate change occurred in measures of 'thousands of years'.  What are we basing such assumptions upon?  How long have we had the technology to measure climatic changes reliably?  And how much data do we have available?  Such questions, and others besides, are never addressed in these discussions either on forums or on TV or in the press or basically wherever they take place! 

 

Reliable data goes back 100 - 200 years.  Satellite data around 30ish.

 

We do however have 100's of proxies, from ice cores, tree rings, fossils, historical records, etc.  We have a pretty good idea of the long term trends (not down to day to day, or week levels, but decadal at least).

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I haven't heard a thing about the ozone hole in years. Glad to know there has been an update! Its existence was spoken of in apocalyptic terms back in the day.

Depends on where you live. Real issues in the Southern Hemisphere; weak/non-existent Ozone above the Falklands causes real issues even for blokes wearing issued sun cream despite it being the thickest substance in the planet!

Edited by GeordieSaint

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Reliable data goes back 100 - 200 years.  Satellite data around 30ish.

 

We do however have 100's of proxies, from ice cores, tree rings, fossils, historical records, etc.  We have a pretty good idea of the long term trends (not down to day to day, or week levels, but decadal at least).

Trying to remember what I did for my degree but we took ice core samples in Iceland back in 2002 and also studied diatoms in various locations across the UK to understand previous climates and how they changed.

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zFacts-CO2-Temp.gif

 

For all the sceptics on this board (and I'm appalled at the poor grasp of maths and science exhibited by some on here!), this graph shows, since roughly the start of the industrial revolution, the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (ice-core samples) and the global average temperature change. If you cannot see the correlation, you are blind. As to the cause, well, proof is difficult, but check the dates. Fossil fuel burning on a massive scale began about 1850 (the approximate start of the industrial revolution) and carbon dioxide levels began increasing about 1850. Still not a causal link, but a correlation.

 

Now for the science. It won't hurt you, I promise. The causal link is provided by the fact that carbon dioxide, along with methane and water vapour, is a proven greenhouse gas. That means it acts like a blanket around the planet, keeping heat in (it reflects the radiated heat from the Earth's surface back to the Earth's surface). This raises the mean (average) global temperature.

 

Look at the graph. Reflect on it. Consider the alternatives. Then admit you're wrong.

 

Something else:

 

By the way, many natural processes are exponential in nature (unrestricted population growth, nuclear decay, etc.) and that is why they produce a straight-line graph when plotted as log -e. Also, the imaginary number, i, is not an aberrance, it follows directly from the fundamental 1+1=2, as does all other mathematics. It's just that, to get from 1+1=2 to i, takes a long time. And a lot of imagination!

Edited by tonyXIII

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I haven't heard a thing about the ozone hole in years. Glad to know there has been an update! Its existence was spoken of in apocalyptic terms back in the day.

It's only a slight improvement but its measurable. I think it's also a great example of how, as a species, we've spotted an environmental problem that will effect us all (and that we've caused), and taken steps to change things. Not too many times we've done that, but it gives me hope.

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The reactors you mention were - so far as I'm aware - not in existence back in the day (that I referred to in my previous post!). So our discussions about nuclear power were about meltdown and waste that wouldn't degrade for thousands of years (where will it be stored and what if it leaked?). I can't let those concerns go because they are ingrained in me and I do wish previous governments had started to address our energy needs with more enthusiasm.

I wasn't thinking of bombs. I was thinking of them releasing the stuff into the atmosphere.

Actually, and this is my issue with the whole technology, unless you're a LOT older than me (I'll never ask but I'm 40) they were in existence. The prototype MSR was developed at Oak Ridge in the USA, in the 60's. As for your concerns, clearly nothing I can say will change them but I would suggest following the science on the subject and not just listening to the media or the crowd. The science is all documented and surprisingly accessible. Have a Google. I know its nuclear physics but you'll understand more of it than you think you will. I'll bet you understand the majority of it.

As to your other concern, be more concerned that ISIS could get their hands on the waste of a current LWR the waste of which is deadly for hundreds of thousands of years, rather than an MSR, the waste of which is only unstable (radioactive) for a bit over 100 years, and a lot less anyway, and actually produces some useful stuff.

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Actually, and this is my issue with the whole technology, unless you're a LOT older than me (I'll never ask but I'm 40) they were in existence. The prototype MSR was developed at Oak Ridge in the USA, in the 60's.

No, I'm not a lot older than you!  As I said - 'so far as I'm aware'.  I wasn't aware there were other kinds of reactors.  I remember hearing only about fusion as a possible alternative but that didn't appear very possible.

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No, I'm not a lot older than you! As I said - 'so far as I'm aware'. I wasn't aware there were other kinds of reactors. I remember hearing only about fusion as a possible alternative but that didn't appear very possible.

Sorry, I wasn't criticising you,(although reading back I can see why you'd think that) I was criticising the way that usually science struggles to get the message out. I only found found out about MSR's about 5 years ago.

I would say the world misses Carl Sagan, a scientist who spoke so eloquently that he could have been a poet.

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The recent climate change conference will change nothing, in my view, apart from increasing the expense claims from UN time servers and freeloaders.

Nuclear power will, in my view, address the pollution aspects of power generation, as will solar, wind and tide.

However there is still the issue of pumping energy into the environment.

In my view, the recent reduction in the price of oil is lulling us into a false sense of well being. Why invest in the efficient use of energy when it's so cheap? Why mandate low energy living and working and transport when it's so expensive compared with cheap oil?

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I believe John that the recent low in the price of oil has been manufactured by OPEC to stop fracking, not for any environmental purpose but rather to ensure their near monopoly continues. At the current price of oil fracking is not economically viable.

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My point is that unless and until energy prices increase dramatically, there is no incentive to use less. big nuclear fan...but prices should reflect cost of decommissioning, for example. Fuel tax is a cheap method of road pricing to discourage use.

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