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Friday, February 23, 2018

I've decided on the Chevy Bolt

Tesla Model 3

I wrote an article last year titled Which Electric Car Would you buy, Bolt, 2018 Leaf, Model 3, Model S, or Model X? and received some really excellent advice in the comment field. It's decision time because I'll soon be commuting to a location just out of round-trip range of my 2011 Leaf and I don't want to hit a fast charger as part of that commute.

The Tesla Model 3 is (in theory) the Bolt's only competitor, but I couldn't get my hands on one of those in time for this commute if I wanted to, which isn't a problem because I wouldn't buy one if available (for the same price as a Bolt).


Tesla may yet go the way of the DeLorean (popularized in the movie Back to the Future).

Friday, February 16, 2018

Breaking the Cycle of Anti-nuclear Indoctrination--the "Nuclear is a mature industry" argument

Back in the day, Senator Bernie Sanders was using Grist Magazine to lobby against government assistance for nuclear energy on the grounds that it's a mature industry. I might agree with him if it really were a mature industry and if renewables really could carry the day without it. But it isn't, and renewables can't. Always irritates me to watch ignorant politicians screw with my children's futures.

By Rob Shenk from Great Falls, VA, USA - F-22 Raptor, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Sopwith Camel

Nuclear energy has been around for about half of a century. Aircraft technology has been around for about a century. By Senator Sander’s reasoning, a Sopwith Camel is the equivalent of an F-22 Raptor. There would be no F-22 raptor without government funding.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Breaking the Cycle of Anti-nuclear Indoctrination--The "Nuclear power stations will be disabled by a lack of water, warming water, rising sea levels, storms, and on and on" arguments

In their zeal to attack nuclear energy, the anti-nuclear crowd reached argument overkill (or one of its many synonyms) long ago. As is the case with climate skeptics, for every anti-nuclear argument put to rest, like in a game of whack-a-mole, another springs forth to replace it. Use of nuclear power is untenable because of:
  • High water
  • Low water
  • NRC water temperature limits
  • EPA water temperature limits
  • Increasing air temperatures
  • Water availability
  • ...and on, and on
Anti-nuclearists typically promote intermittent (weather dependent, non-dispatchable) wind and solar, rarely defending the dispatchable energy sources normally considered to be renewable (hydro, geothermal, biomass, biogas). Even Jacobson's flawed study relied heavily on hydro. Without adequate hydro, his energy strategy became a two-legged stool.

High water

Some comments by an anti-nuclear indoctrination victim recently seen on Twitter who, like most of the others, has also been convinced that 100% wind, solar, and hydro is the goal instead of 100% decarbonization:

"Always wondered how we are going to cope with the existing nuclear plants on the coast as Sea levels rise and storms become more intense. How do you see that playing out?"

Figure 1: Storm Damaged Turbines Flickr Creative Commons via Western Area Power

Don't see it as a problem. Dikes can be very effective. Ask the Dutch. As for storms, see Figure 1.
"The dutch recognize that dykes will not protect them from the rising Sea levels. It says so in the article. They are to the expects. You should not ignore there conclusion. There is going to be a huge problem with existing nuclear stations on the coasts n in land as they are on the Banks of rivers. Miami is a good eg. You can't dykes Florida."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Breaking the Cycle of Anti-nuclear Indoctrination

From a comment under one of my articles:  
"It's pretty obvious that tons of people have gotten duped on nuclear energy. Do you (or anyone else) have an idea why that is?"
 My reply:
Start by listing all of your favorite nuclear war apocalypse science-fiction novels and movies.
  • Conflate nuclear weapons with nuclear power stations.
  • Terrorize the public with false claims like "Nuclear power stations are nuclear bombs just waiting to go off"--Helen Caldicott
  • Capitalize on that fear by claiming your organization is trying to protect you from those nuclear power stations.
  • Pour gas on this misinformation with a for-profit, sensationalist-driven, innumerate, lay press.
  • Let it cook for a generation or so before the arrival of the internet to shine a light on the misinformation.
VoilĂ ! A generation of indoctrinated aging hippies and a new generation that may yet be informed given enough effort.
From a comment under an Environmental Progress article:
They are lying to us!
The question is why? Presumably environmentalists at Greenpeace are good people who want the best for us and for nature. But why then do they lie about nuclear energy, scaring us half to death? (Or *actually* to death, if you consider the people killed in Fukushima as a result of the panic!)
My reply:
The question is why?

Indoctrination. Most think they're telling the truth at this point. They are indoctrination victims (Google synonym of victim). Those that realize the truth are ousted from the organization or just leave (think atheist evolutionary biologist in a creationist church). And then there is the comfort and anxiety relief (endorphin dumps) provided by being a member of a tribe. Human nature ...
Michael has explained how the snowball got rolling. It's been rolling downhill for a long time but there may be an inflection point ahead.

This post will serve as a place-holder for articles I've already written and for more I'll be writing that critique various anti-nuclear energy arguments. I hope that people will bookmark this article to copy and paste links from the list below as part of a rebuttal to these arguments when seen in comment fields, blogs, or our for-profit, sensationalist-driven, innumerate, lay press. They're not in any particular order.

Also, note that I sometimes sprinkle my posts with random nature photos I've taken over the years as a reminder that the sixth extinction event was recognized by science before climate change reared its ugly head.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Breaking the Cycle of Anti-nuclear Indoctrination--The "80% renewables" argument

I highly recommend this excellent presentation by Jesse Jenkins explaining why (assuming it's possible) an 80% wind and solar grid is not likely a good idea. From a Tweet by Joris van Dorp:

I first encountered this argument in an article last year by the anti-nuclear David Roberts writing for Vox. My response:
Above, Dave puts a pair of sentences back-to-back to give you the impression that the dispute is over using nuclear to decarbonize that last 10 to 20 percent. But that isn't really what the dispute comes down to. The idea that the world can reduce emissions 80% with renewables for electrical and especially for all energy use is an untested hypothesis, let alone getting to 100%. The dispute is over how much nuclear and how much wind and solar is going to be needed from start to finish.
Take a few minutes to digest the following two graphics where I tried to summarize the gist of Jenkins' presentation with markups of his original material (keeping in mind that these are my interpretations of his presentation).
Figure 1