In his recent column, Harold Raley critiques Dave Bary’s earlier piece regarding the threats of climate change, and suggests climate change might be good ("Climate change might not be as bad as some predict," The Daily News, July 8). Raley states, in challenging Bary’s commentary, that “to exaggerate the facts is always to diminish the truth.”

I agree. Raley claims, “Many experts, perhaps a majority,” accept the existence of climate change, but that “the evidence for human involvement is … questionable, and the scientific community remains divided.”

A study published in the November 2016 issue of “Theoretical and Applied Climatology” notes that 97 percent of published papers taking a position on human-caused climate change endorse that position, while 2 percent rejected it. The study then tried to replicate the findings reported by that minority, and found significant flaws in their methodology.

It might be interesting to know whether fossil fuel interests funded that research.

Did Raley exaggerate the facts?

Raley also asserts more atmospheric carbon dioxide is beneficial, as oxygen-producing plants need it to grow. But plants aren’t keeping up; carbon dioxide levels continue to increase, while oxygen levels fall. We can thank the rate of carbon dioxide we produce, along with deforestation and similar human activities, for that.

Jack Evins

Galveston

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(70) comments

Richard Illyes

The way out of this is to move to the new generation of nuclear and let fossil based fuel use naturally decline. That should also cause a move to much smaller grids which would reduce exposure to catastrophe if another Carrington Event or some hostile act took down a large part of the grid. The endless posturing over this issue is not getting us anywhere. There are lots of things to use oil for other than burning it. We need to implement the new safe nuclear technology as rapidly as possible.

Bailey Jones

We are getting somewhere. Texas now gets 1/6th of its power from wind, with more coming on line every day. The cost of solar has dropped 90% in the last decade. Whole house batteries are now available for about the same cost as a new AC unit. We're on the cusp of a new clean energy age. I've got nothing against a new generation of nuclear, but it think it will be eclipsed by inexhaustible wind, tide and solar.

Carlos Ponce

There's a problem with wind farms asides from killing bats and birds. They are built to withstand a Category 3 Hurricane. Wind farms on the dirty side of Harvey were forced to shut down. From Bloomberg: https://about.bnef.com/blog/harvey-pushed-this-texas-wind-farm-all-the-way-to-the-max/ "Too much wind — usually above 55 miles per hour — means turbines must be shut down......Maximum production typically happens when wind speeds reach between 26 and 30 miles an hour." Hurricanes are more than that. But after the winds died they were back online. In the meantime, those on the grid were supplied energy from natural gas generators.

Bailey Jones

Well, aside from the fact that our wind power comes mainly from west Texas, https://www.businessreport.com/newsletters/gulf-oil-platforms-shut-down-before-storm The beauty of batteries is that they can get you through a day or two of intermittent power. You know - like we have with every hurricane when the fossil fuel powered power lines get blown down. Solar, on the other hand, works as long as the sun is available, and since it's on your roof, gets you through any issues with the power grid. And as I've posted before, cats kill orders of magnitude more birds than windmills do.

Gary Miller

Carlos. A gas, oil or coal fired power plant with equal capacity to the wind or solar farm must be running on standby. The more wind or solar is installed the more fossil fueled power is required. Hard to think of this as "progress".

Jim Forsythe

"Wind farms on the dirty side of Harvey were forced to shut down" just as other types of power providers shut down. After the storm has pass. they start back up. What percent of wind farms are located in areas that Hurricane's will be a problems?---- All wind turbines are designed for a maximum wind speed, called the survival speed, above which they will be damaged. The survival speed of commercial wind turbines is in the range 89 MPH to 161 MPH. This depends on the type , some are designed for higher wind speeds. All type of Power plants will have damage in high winds, not just wind turbines. When a few are shut down for high wind speeds others in the system are still working. When the anemometer registers wind speeds higher than 55 mph (cut-out speed varies by turbine), it triggers the wind turbine to automatically shut off. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What type of power production kills the most birds?---------------- Solar: about 28,000 birds a year, Wind: about 328,000 birds a year, Nuclear: About 330,000 birds, Oil and Gas: An estimated 500,000 to 1 million birds a year are killed in oil fields, Coal: roughly 7.9 million, fossil-fuelled power plants 14.5 million, Power Lines: Between 12 and 64 million birds a year, Even higher than the above: cats, which are estimated to kill 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds every year.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Advantages of Wind Power. Wind power is cost-effective. Land-based utility-scale wind is one of the lowest-priced energy sources available today, costing between two and six cents per kilowatt-hour

Carlos Ponce

"Nuclear: About 330,000 birds" That information comes from Benjamin K. Sovacool. He "claims" the bird deaths come from THE MINING OF URANIUM, not from the actual power plants."The most dominant contribution to Sovacool’s analysis of nuclear power impacts comes from uranium mining and milling operations which he claims 'can poison and kill hundreds of birds per facility per year'. In his first report, he supports this by focusing on two “uranium mining” operations 'in Wyoming' where he charges that bird deaths are caused by abandoned open pits. The first is the Canon City Uranium Mine in Colorado (not Wyoming), a mine that operated from 1958 to 1979, and only intermittently since. The owners of the mine were ordered to pay a $40,000 fine when a kerosene spill killed 40 geese in 2008. The spill was a one time occurrence and the operators were required to take steps to prevent further spills. Sovacool assumes the death of 40 geese is a routine occurrence, assumes it happens annually at every operating uranium mine, then based on estimates of the peak uranium production (8.4t of enriched uranium when the mine was operating), and using a conversion of 792 GWh produced per ton of enriched uranium, he concludes the rate associated with the Canon City mine is 0.006 deaths per GWh. Not a very big number, but taking this one incident and leveraging it to represent half of all the uranium mines in the world (as is implied in his averaging of results) is … let’s just say it’s not very good science." He's writing about things that happened DECADES ago. It's NOT ON GOING. "But they are strongly regulated today and current operations give a great deal of attention both to health effects and effects on the surrounding ecology." "But Sovacool does even worse. His second example does not even involve a uranium mine, it is an old abandoned copper mine in Montana. And it is the data from this example that dominates his conclusions both for the 2009 study and the later 2012 one." "Nuclear: About 330,000 birds" - Nothing real nor scientific about that figure. How many bird deaths at the South Texas Nuclear Power Plant - NONE.

Gary Miller

Bailey. Whole house batteries are getting cheaper. Comparable in price to a whole house AC with one big fault. They don't last as long and disposable is expensive. If AC had to be replaced so often it wouldn't be as popular.

Gary Miller

Bailey. What would the real price of wind or solar be without the tax funded subsidies? Both would be quickly bankrupt if ALL subsidies were eliminated. Some question why conservatives oppose renewal energy. We oppose the subsidies that must end at some time. Then consumers will be stuck with the real cost.

Bailey Jones

This idea that renewable energy is subsidized while fossil fuels are not is just another myth. According to the US Energy Information Administration, of the $15B we spent on direct energy subsidies in 2016 , fossil fuels received $1.3B, renewables $6.7B, nuclear $0.3B, with the rest being spent on the grid, conservation and end use projects. And this doesn't include indirect costs - like the $5 trillion we've wasted in the middle east in the past 15 years, in part to protect oil production. Straight of Hormuz ring a bell? Since the US subsidizes fossil fuels and you don't oppose oil and gas, I ask again - why do conservatives oppose renewable energy?

Carlos Ponce

The subsidies for wind and solar increased under Obama. Remember Solyndra?

Bailey Jones

But to answer your question, Gary, from the US EIA 2016 report, wind generated 2038 trillion BTU (597 billion Kw-hr) in 2016, solar was 533 trillion BTU (156 billion KW-hr). Direct subsidies for wind were $1.266B, and for solar, $2.231B. Doing the math, subsidies account for a 0.2 cents per KW-h for wind, and 14 cents per KW-h for solar. So, neglible for wind, maybe 2X the cost of fossil fuels for solar. https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf

Gary Miller

Richard. You may be more right than you thought. Oil, natural gas and coal can be used as raw material for most of the manufactured products making life better. Nearly all can be recycled. The 16% of oil burned is gone forever, ditto nat gas. Small and safe nuclear power generators have been available for several decades but unused due to "anti Nuke" lobbying. If all office, government and military buildings had their own nuke generator the grid would be much less vuneralable to attack or accident.

Bailey Jones

I'm genuinely curious, all partisanship aside, why so many conservatives are opposed to "renewable" energy - wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, etc. Conservatives are pro jobs - wind power techs and solar installers are two of the fastest growing job markets in the US (wind is #1 in Texas). Conservatives are pro manufacturing - both wind and solar are manufacturing intensive. The task of converting our grid from oil and gas to renewable is the greatest economic opportunity since the personal computer and the Internet, if not since America's original electrification a century ago. Not to mention the manufacture of electric cars. It can't be feasibility, wind and solar are being installed all around the world. Clean energy out produced coal in the US for the first time last April, that trend is only going to increase. Wind and solar are both becoming cost competitive with oil and gas, and will get even cheaper over time. It's easy to understand this trend just by looking at the supply chain. With oil and gas - it gets pumped from the ground, transported in trucks, or barges, or pipelines, or tankers, to a refining facility, and then transported again to a generating facility, and then you get electricity. With wind - the wind blows and electricity comes out. With solar - the sun shines and electricity comes out. There's the issue of intermittent. Like oil and gas, wind and solar both require storage. Unlike oil and gas, storage for wind and solar can be small and local - a battery system in your garage or your car. These are available now. Reliability? The wind is almost always blowing somewhere in Texas, and the sun rises every day, and the tides always roll. I keep hearing about fears of a huge government take over of American's freedoms, or some such thing. But what is the actual government involvement here? Oil and gas are pumped from government licensed wells - often government leases, transported over government licensed pipelines, or through international waters protected at great cost by the US military, to refining facilities licensed and regulated by state and federal governments. With solar - I have panels on my roof and a battery in my garage. No government required. It seems like a sovereign citizen's dream to me. Yes, obviously wind and solar isn't appropriate for every case. Long distance air travel comes to mind. And we will likely always need some back up capacity from oil and gas. That's no argument against it. Current generating capacity in Texas from wind is 22,637 MW. That's 1/6th of ERCOT's total. There's no reason why this can't double, triple, or quadruple. So, what is it, conservatives?

Gary Miller

Bailey? After a hurricane how long will you be without power waiting for insurance to replace your roof? I'll be back on the grid long before that.

Bailey Jones

That's a valid concern, Gary. But I'd still be connected to the grid, just like you, burning that clean cool West Texas wind power.

Gary Miller

Bailey. Conservatives are in favor of renewable energy that is price competitive. Tax Subsidised energy is subsirised because it can't compete with conventional energy and would become far too costly if the subsidies were removed. WE prefer free and fair competition, not competing with government.

Gary Miller

The global mapping satilites show there is no deforestation. Fact is global forestation has increased 20 % in the recent 20 years. Using fossil fuels for heating/cooking instead of trees is thought to be one reason forests are increasing. Increased CO2 could be a reason cut forests regenerate faster. The tree huggers belief that every cut tree is a permanent loss is false. Trees are a fast renewable resource.

Dan Freeman

What is the source Mr. Miller's claim that "A gas, oil or coal fired power plant with equal capacity to the wind or solar farm must be running on standby?"

Bailey Jones

It's based on the outdated idea that there is no way to store energy created by wind or solar. So, at night, or when the wind stops, you have to fire up the fossil fuels. But, of course, we have whole house batteries now, and the 100 MW battery farm that Elon Musk recently installed in Australia, and the whole town battery that recently went on line in Presidio, Texas (due to frequent power outages from their unreliable conventional power grid). But Gary's argument can be played the other way. The oil and gas capacity we currently have is ALREADY available as the "standby backup" for enough wind and solar energy to power all of Texas.

Carlos Ponce

Power storage batteries - very environmentally safe - NOT! "Batteries Impose Hidden Environmental Costs for Wind and Solar Power" https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2017/08/17/batteries-impose-hidden-environmental-costs-for-wind-and-solar-power/#52a5c26db4e1 "Advocates for wind and solar power often tell us that we should overlook these shortcomings because next-generation batteries, large enough and efficient enough to store wind and solar power for on-demand usage, are just around the corner. Such an assertion is highly questionable for many reasons. But even if significant breakthroughs for battery technology are imminent, is battery-dependent wind and solar power actually good for the environment?"

Bailey Jones

"But even if significant breakthroughs for battery technology are imminent, is battery-dependent wind and solar power actually good for the environment?" Compared to what, I guess, is the question. There is no perfect solution for supplying any of the needs of 7 billion humans. Anything, and everything, we do has an impact on the planet - usually negative. If you believe that any activity that degrades the environment is morally indefensible, then you can't have energy production at all, (or food production, or mineral extraction, etc.) and I know conservatives don't believe that. The question here (for environmentalists, if not for conservatives) is, what is the environmental impact of switching to renewable energy vs the environmental impact of continuing to burn fossil fuels? If you believe that CO2 is an existential threat to humanity and the rest of life on this planet, then you might be willing to accept - in the short term - the nasty side effects of manufacturing and disposing of batteries and solar cells. I have not known many conservatives to put environmental concerns ahead of economic concerns, so again I ask the question - what is the conservative objection to renewable energy?

Carlos Ponce

That's the problem that proponents of wind and solar rarely address - the incidental environmental impact of those power sources. Not as "green" as they want you to believe. But they're ready to include EVERYTHING when it comes to nuclear, coal and natural gas power generation. The bird death from nuclear power generation is bogus, tossing in incidences that have nothing to do with uranium mining, etc.

Jim Forsythe

Power plants are polluting day after day at a high levels. The daily amount from wind and batteries sources is low. Some want to keep using fossil fuels when we have the alternate ways of producing electricity, without using fossil fuels.----------- The main pollutants resulting from natural gas electricity generation are nitrogen oxides, or NOx. Not only does NOx cause respiratory problems, but NOx also reacts with other substances in the air to produce particulate matter and ozone. Particulate matter and ozone cause the extensive list of adverse health outcomes you hear at the end of a prescription drug commercial – shortness of breath, heart attacks, premature death; the list goes on. In short, NOx is bad news for human health. Mercury is released during coal combustion: In general, power plants emit 50 percent of the mercury released into the air, and 75 percent of the acid gases released. That accounts for 40 to 52 tons of it per year------------------------------------------------------------------ An uncontrolled coal plant releases many harmful pollutants: These include about 114 pounds of lead, traces of uranium, and 720 tons of carbon monoxide. Also, 220 tons of hydrocarbons are released, which trigger reactions that form ozone at low altitudes. A plant also releases 225 pounds of arsenic in a year, a carcinogenic compound that affects drinking water.---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Power plants discharge polluted water: Many power plants are placed along bodies of water, where they can draw it in for cooling. Billions of gallons may be used daily. The water is then delivered back to the river or sea, creating warm plumes, which can starve aquatic life of oxygen in summer and trap species in ice-free areas during the winter. Discharge waters may also contain chlorine and heavy metals.----------------------------------------- Mercury is a metallic pollutant released from coal combustion. Coal-burning power plants are the largest human-caused source of mercury emissions to the air in U.S., responsible for more than 40 % of mercury emissions (40-52 tons of mercury released every year in US). Burning of coal releases SO2 and NOx.,Oxidation of SO2 and NOx in air forms H2SO4 and HNO3, strong mineral acids.These acids then dissolve in water droplets in clouds and acidic rain results.This "wet deposition" reduces the concentration of sulfur and nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere but causes many problems on land and surface water---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- When the mercury vapor finds its way into bodies of water, it is converted by bacteria into the more toxic compound, methyl mercury. This is a known neurotoxin. It causes mental retardation, seizures, cerebral palsy and death----------------------------------------------------------------Power plants emit more pollution than cars

Carlos Ponce

Jim, nuclear requires no pollution especially the modern ones. As far as nuclear "waste" -modern plants take care of that. I always wondered that if they still produce radiation then why can't they still be used. The idea was brought up in my high school physics class in 1973. Glasd they finallt have the tech for that idea.

Jim Forsythe

Please expand on what you are trying to say. Not sure what incidental environmental impact of those power sources you are talking about. What power sources do you consider the one that produces the lowest amount of pollution? Even leaves on trees produce ozone. How many tons of bad stuff does wind and solar put in the air and water? How many tons of bad stuff does coal and natural gas put in the air and water? Bird death from nuclear power generation, is how many?

Carlos Ponce

"What power sources do you consider the one that produces the lowest amount of pollution?" I believe I stated NUCLEAR. We don't have Chernobyl style reactors in this country. And 3 mile Island reactors have been replaced by modern reactors. The US Navy has a fleet of nuclear powered vessels. A nuclear ship was just dismantled in Galveston with no ill effects.

Jim Forsythe

We do not have to use just one of the methods to produce power. Some may make more since then others, as we are moving away from fossil fuels. We have also not talked about hydro power. If we are going to use nuclear,Small modular reactors are the way to go. ------------------- Nuclear reactors have a life span which after that time will have to be decommissioned. The cost of this will not be cheap. We are coming to the time when we will have to address this.-------------------------------------------------- In the United States, licenses of almost half of the operating nuclear reactors have been extended to 60 years. The U.S. NRC and the U.S. Department of Energy have initiated research into Light water reactor sustainability which is hoped will lead to allowing extensions of reactor licenses beyond 60 years, provided that safety can be maintained, to increase energy security and preserve low-carbon generation sources.------------------------------------------------------------ Nuclear power's share of global electricity production has fallen from 16.5% in 1997 to about 10% in 2017, in large part because the economics of nuclear power have become more difficult. As far as cost, solar and wind are the lowest cost. Internationally the price of nuclear plants rose 15% annually in 1970–1990. With PWR stations, having total costs in 2012 of about $96 per megawatt hour (MWh), most of which involves capital construction costs, compared with (in 2018) solar power at $36–44 per MWh, (in 2018) onshore wind at $29–56 per MWH and natural gas at the low end at $64 per MWh.------------------------------------------------- If we have a nuclear disaster, it can have effects on everyone. Chernobyl left a trail that was not contained just in Russia. If a wind turbine or solar unit has problems, it will be contained to that area. If you are talking about Small modular reactors then that's different story.-------------------------------------------------------- The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, is expected to increase the costs of operating and new LWR power stations, due to increased requirements for on-site spent fuel management and elevated design basis threats Some serious nuclear and radiation accidents have occurred. The severity of nuclear accidents is generally classified using the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) introduced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The scale ranks anomalous events or accidents on a scale from 0 (a deviation from normal operation that poses no safety risk) to 7 (a major accident with widespread effects). There have been 3 accidents of level 5 or higher in the civilian nuclear power industry, two of which, the Chernobyl accident and the Fukushima accident, are ranked at level 7. The Chernobyl accident in 1986 caused approximately 50 deaths from direct and indirect effects, and some temporary serious injuries.The future predicted mortality from cancer increases, is usually estimated at some 4000 in the decades to come. A higher number of the routinely treatable Thyroid cancer, set to be the only type of causal cancer, will likely be seen in future large studies. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident was caused by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The accident has not caused any radiation related deaths, but resulted in radioactive contamination of surrounding areas. The difficult Fukushima disaster cleanup will take 40 or more years, and is expected to cost tens of billions of dollars. The Three Mile Island accident in 1979 was a smaller scale accident, rated at INES level 5. There were no direct or indirect deaths caused by the accident.

Carlos Ponce

"Nuclear power's share of global electricity production has fallen.... in large part because the economics of nuclear power have become more difficult." Not the cost but the unsubstantiated fear. " As far as cost, solar and wind are the lowest cost." Due to government subsidies which increased during the Obama administration. See "Wind and Solar Require Massive Subsidies" https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/06/wind_and_solar_require_massive_subsidies.html And " On a total dollar basis, wind has received the greatest amount of federal subsidies. Solar is second. Wind and solar together get more than all other energy sources combined." https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/05/30/why-do-federal-subsidies-make-renewable-energy-so-costly/#58fdeb4b128c And "Wind Subsidies Should End" https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/wind/wind-subsidies-end/ And "Solar energy can't survive without massive subsidies" https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/302900-solar-energy-cant-survive-without-massive-subsidies

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, what type of nuclear power plants are you talking about? If you are talking about a Small modular reactors ,some of the below text does not apply .=========== Government subsidies to the nuclear power industry over the past fifty years have been so large in proportion to the value of the energy produced that in some cases it would have cost taxpayers less to simply buy kilowatts on the open market and give them away.----------------------------------------------------------- . Illinois, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, and New York state have approved as much as $10 billion in subsidies to keep several money-losing nuclear plants open over the next decade. Several other states with financially distressed nuclear plants — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey — are also considering subsidies.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Nuclear subsidies exist as: 1) huge loan guarantees from government, approximately $8.3 billion for the Vogtle plant alone. The four US reactors presently under construction are in jeopardy from the designer’s bankruptcy 2) government legal relief from radiation liability, under the Price-Anderson Act, 3) regulation that no lawsuits during construction will be allowed (with a minor exception), 4) regulation to raise electricity prices during construction to avoid interest costs on construction loans; 5) operating and safety regulations that are routinely relaxed to allow nuclear plants to not spend money to comply. 6) Regulation reform to subsidize nuclear plants operating – although they lose money otherwise – on the basis of “carbon-free” power. 7) New nuclear plants receive 2.3 cents per kWh generated for the first 10 years of operation. For a 1000 MW plant operating 100 percent (as nuclear advocates claim they do), that is $201 million per year. After ten years, that is $2 billion. 8) The ability to charge customers for the costs of decommissioning a nuclear plant, when the already-collected funds prove insufficient for the lengthy and costly task. See e.g. Omaha, Nebraska and the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant.---------------------------- The language of the Price-Anderson Act states: “Congress passed the Price-Anderson Act in 1957 to ensure that adequate funds would be available to compensate victims of a nuclear accident. It also recognized that the risk of extraordinary liability that companies would incur if a nuclear accident were to happen would render insurance costs prohibitively high, and thwart the development of nuclear energy.. .------------------------- . The Price-Anderson Act requires owners of commercial reactors to assume all liability for damages to the public resulting from an ‘extraordinary nuclear occurrence’ and to waive most legal defenses The cleanup of the damaged nuclear reactor system at Three Mile Island 2 took nearly 12 years and cost approximately US$973 million. The cleanup was uniquely challenging technically and radiologically. Plant surfaces had to be decontaminated. Water used and stored during the cleanup had to be processed. And about 100 tons of damaged uranium fuel had to be removed from the reactor vessel — all without hazard to cleanup workers or the public. Carlos, what type of nuclear power plants are you talking about? If you are talking about a Small modular reactors ,some of the below text does not apply .=========== Government subsidies to the nuclear power industry over the past fifty years have been so large in proportion to the value of the energy produced that in some cases it would have cost taxpayers less to simply buy kilowatts on the open market and give them away.----------------------------------------------------------- . Illinois, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, and New York state have approved as much as $10 billion in subsidies to keep several money-losing nuclear plants open over the next decade. Several other states with financially distressed nuclear plants — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey — are also considering subsidies.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Nuclear subsidies exist as: 1) huge loan guarantees from government, approximately $8.3 billion for the Vogtle plant alone. The four US reactors presently under construction are in jeopardy from the designer’s bankruptcy 2) government legal relief from radiation liability, under the Price-Anderson Act, 3) regulation that no lawsuits during construction will be allowed (with a minor exception), 4) regulation to raise electricity prices during construction to avoid interest costs on construction loans; 5) operating and safety regulations that are routinely relaxed to allow nuclear plants to not spend money to comply. 6) Regulation reform to subsidize nuclear plants operating – although they lose money otherwise – on the basis of “carbon-free” power. 7) New nuclear plants receive 2.3 cents per kWh generated for the first 10 years of operation. For a 1000 MW plant operating 100 percent (as nuclear advocates claim they do), that is $201 million per year. After ten years, that is $2 billion. 8) The ability to charge customers for the costs of decommissioning a nuclear plant, when the already-collected funds prove insufficient for the lengthy and costly task. See e.g. Omaha, Nebraska and the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant.---------------------------- The language of the Price-Anderson Act states: “Congress passed the Price-Anderson Act in 1957 to ensure that adequate funds would be available to compensate victims of a nuclear accident. It also recognized that the risk of extraordinary liability that companies would incur if a nuclear accident were to happen would render insurance costs prohibitively high, and thwart the development of nuclear energy.. .------------------------- . The Price-Anderson Act requires owners of commercial reactors to assume all liability for damages to the public resulting from an ‘extraordinary nuclear occurrence’ and to waive most legal defenses The cleanup of the damaged nuclear reactor system at Three Mile Island 2 took nearly 12 years and cost approximately US$973 million. The cleanup was uniquely challenging technically and radiologically. Plant surfaces had to be decontaminated. Water used and stored during the cleanup had to be processed. And about 100 tons of damaged uranium fuel had to be removed from the reactor vessel — all without hazard to cleanup workers or the public.

Carlos Ponce

Government - National, state, local) should not take sides by subsidizing any source of electricity. Let market forces prevail.

Jim Forsythe

One of the best things that happened in the past, was the Dam projects which helped bring flood control, water and electricity too areas in need. Its too late for the government not too subsidize electrical projects as we have a history of doing so. Just in Hydro power, we have done a lot of subsidizing . Because of these projects, many other benefits also happened for the USA.. ------------------ This is just one project of many at Niagara Falls. On New Years day 1917, voters approved the construction of the Queenston-Chippawa power project. Construction began in May and continued for the next four and a half years. ------------------------------------ Grand Coulee Dam--President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who took office in March, 1933, supported the dam because of its irrigation potential and the power it would provide, He provided $63 million in federal funding, while Washington State provided $377,000.In 1933, Washington governor Clarence Martin set up the Columbia Basin Commission to oversee the dam project.------------------------------------------------------- The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter on May 18, 1933 --------------------------------------------------------- Hoover Dam--On December 21, 1928, President Coolidge signed the bill authorizing the dam. The Boulder Canyon Project Act appropriated $165 million for the Hoover Dam along with the downstream Imperial Dam and All-American Canal

Gary Miller

Dan. State and federal law requires it. Consider what would happen if there weren't any backup.

Dan Freeman

Mr. Miller they do not. That is why we have the grid. When any power plant goes down other plants provide energy. For example in Texas we rely on ERCOT: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Interconnection. I suggest you learn more about energy distribution.

Jim Forsythe

Standby, can be the use of batteries. No need for power plants to be used for standby.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No longer will power not be available because of no wind or lack of sunshine. What is happening, the producers of power are using battery farm's. This will also reduce the cost of power.----------------------------------------- The South Australian Government notes that for the first time, clean wind energy can be siphoned to the grid 24/7 improving the system’s reliability, whether the wind is blowing or not. The 100MW battery farm has enough storage capacity to power more than 30,000 homes. The 100MW battery will provide the region with 129 megawatt-hours of energy to be paired with Neoen’s 99-turbine wind farm at Hornsdale, near Jamestown, South Australia.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Batteries have advantages ,they’re faster to build. A natural gas plant takes three to five years, while Elon Musk promised South Australia he would build them the world’s largest battery bank in 100 days or it would be free — and he delivered. It will be linked up to French renewable energy company Neoen's Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia.

Bailey Jones

And, of course, chemical batteries are only one possible solution. Long ago when I was a tot in college, we designed and built a pilot solar plant for the good people of Crosbyton. It was decidedly low tech - a parabolic mirror heated cottonseed oil which was then used to produce steam to drive a turbine generator. The super heated oil was stored underground to provide steam at night. Easy peasy. https://swco-ir.tdl.org/handle/10605/417

Gary Scoggin

Bailey.... I remember that project! It was cutting edge for its day.

Bailey Jones

Fun fact - the EE department ran simulations on a 1964 era Control Data 1604 computer. It was huge and slow, but had a 48 bit word size, large enough for precision science. I loved that machine, and learned Fortran on it. We all loved it. The DOE in those days funded research into alternative energy solutions - and the Crosbyton project was one that was fully viable. But they lost funding when Reagan came into office.

Gary Scoggin

Did you have to go to the Computer Center with your stack of punchcards? Drop them off and come back later to see if your program ran?

Bailey Jones

Gary, I only had to use the computer center once - I forget which class. It had an IBM, IIRC. We used punch cards and paper tape, but ran the 1604 ourselves - overseen by watchful grad students. It was a young engineers dream machine.

Carlos Ponce

"Bipartisan Panel of Scientists Confirms Humans are not Responsible for Past 20,000 Years of Global Warming - July 11, 2019 Press Release Washington, DC— Thursday, in a House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing on climate change, under questioning by Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05), four members of a bipartisan panel of climate science experts all admitted that humans are NOT responsible for the Earth’s global warming that has occurred over the past 20,000 years (since the Earth’s last glacial maximum). By way of background, during the last glacial maximum of roughly 20,000 years ago: Average global temperatures were roughly 11 degrees Fahrenheit COLDER than they are today (per Zurich University of Applied Science). Stated differently, global temperatures have risen, on average, roughly 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit per century over the past 20,000 years. Sea levels were roughly 410 feet LOWER 20,000 years ago than they are today (per the United States Geological Survey). Stated differently, sea levels have risen, on average, roughly two feet per century over the past 20,000 years (roughly double the global warming enthusiasts’ claimed average sea level rise rate of one foot per century since 1993). Almost all of Canada, Northern Europe, and America (north of the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, east to New York City) was under glacial ice and uninhabitable. The gist of the experts’ opinions is that the earth was too lightly populated by humans to make humanity responsible for the Earth’s global warming that began 20,000 years ago." See partial text of Congressional hearing at : https://brooks.house.gov/media-center/news-releases/congressman-brooks-bipartisan-panel-scientists-confirms-humans-are-not See full video at: https://science.house.gov/hearings/earths-thermometers-glacial-and-ice-sheet-melt-in-a-changing-climate Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) takes the Liberal view.

Dan Freeman

As usual Mr. Ponce misrepresented the presentation. Here is Dr. Pfeffer’s clarification: The problem here is with people. How do we respond to an environmental change? ….It is what people do. And if this had happened, you know, a long time ago, when the population of the Earth was a few hundred million, it probably wouldn’t have mattered either because we could have just gotten out of the way. But as it is today— with the number of people that we have and the infrastructure— we are very sensitive to changes of this kind. We do not handle change very well. For example, suppose that the conditions for growing crops that exist today in California, picked up and moved to North Dakota for a couple of hundred years, they are variations like that in the fairly recent geologic past that occurred. How do we deal with them? It is an entirely different world than what we were not here to experience, but we know about 20,000 years ago. We’re much more sensitive. We don’t deal well with change and to deal with it we need to know a lot about it. Brooks: Dr. Pfeffer, thank you for that additional insight.

Carlos Ponce

How did I misrepresent? Since the links I provide provide BOTH SIDES of the debate there is NO misrepresentation. My goal? To show there is NO CONSENSUS AMONG SCIENTISTS as to the cause of climate change.

Bailey Jones

You present this hearing as evidence that there NO CONSENSUS AMONG SCIENTISTS as to the cause of climate change? Did you even watch the hearing? Show me where in this video the witnesses disagreed about the cause of climate change. SHOW. ME.

Carlos Ponce

Watch the video, Bailey. The ENTIRE video.

Bailey Jones

"Watch the video, Bailey. The ENTIRE video." I did. There is NO disagreement among these scientists about the cause of climate change. If I'm wrong, show me.

Bailey Jones

Oh my god. Who ever said that humans were responsible for the last 20,000 years of climate change? That's patently absurd. No climate scientist has ever said that. Not ever. Not one. I had no idea this level of stupidity actually held public office in this country. As the witness says in response to Brooks' idiotic question - the earth has natural cycles - these are what have been operating over the past 20,000 years - and still operate today. As she said, according to the natural cycle, we are supposed to be cooling, but because of man made CO2 we are in fact seeing extreme warming. It's pretty obvious, Carlos, that you didn't watch the video, because the testimony presented about anthropogenic climate change since the beginning of the industrial age is conclusive and alarming. How anyone can sit through this and come away with the conclusion that "Bipartisan Panel of Scientists Confirms Humans are not Responsible for Global Warming" is off the scale unbelievable. I am flabbergasted.

Carlos Ponce

Okay, Bailey, HOW MANY YEARS do you hold man accountable for climate change? Remember everyone had a campfire. Hint, Hint: Campfires emit CO2.

Bailey Jones

The answer to your question is obvious when CO2 concentrations are plotted on a graph - https://seos-project.eu/world-of-images/images/faq-2-1-fig-1-thumb.jpg In other words, since about 1800. (Hint, Hint - the industrial use of fossil fuels.)

Carlos Ponce

SEOS- Science Education through Earth Observation for High Schools - Riiiiiight. And the source of their "data"?????????????????????????????

Gary Scoggin

I hate to counter such an amusing point with facts but the human baseline for looking at climate is usually 1750 or so. That's the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when factories started to sprout, many began using steam power, and energy consumption began to take off. Some estimates put the population of the earth at a few million in the late stone age. Of course if you accept the work of James Usher, on October 29, 4004 BC, the population of the Earth was zero. A week later, it stood at two. Whatever the population, it is clear that per capita energy usage has increased over time. We currently have around 6 billion people using an average of over 21,000 KWh per person.

Bailey Jones

"And the source of their "data"? " Gee, Carlos, I don't know. Where do high schools usually get their scientific data? NASA? https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ NOAA? https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ghgs-lawdome-2000yr-CO2-asof2010.svg (Note attribution in description) Or, maybe the European Environment Agency? https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/atmospheric-greenhouse-gas-concentrations-6/assessment Where do you get yours? A Mo Brooks newsletter?

Carlos Ponce

"Gee, Carlos, I don't know." That says it all. I check their "sources" It is NASA but their data set goes back only a few years. The rest is sheer speculation. I believe Noah experienced "climate change" in his experiences.

Bailey Jones

"The rest is sheer speculation. " By which, of course, you mean direct measurements made from Taylor Dome Ice Cores which holds undisturbed samples of the atmosphere going back thousands of years. Still waiting for your answer to my last question. You do have an answer - right, Carlos?

Carlos Ponce

Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol found the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850. "The strength of the new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, is that it rests solely on measurements and statistical data, including historical records extracted from Antarctic ice, and does not rely on computations with complex climate models."

Carlos Ponce

The Source: sciencedaily.com.

Bailey Jones

Re: Wolfgang Knorr - Carlos, we just had this conversation, have you already forgotten? The fraction of CO2 absorbed by natural processes (about 43%) has indeed stayed nearly constant over time. That has nothing to do with the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Just because my tax rate stays the same year after year doesn't mean my income does. Seriously, this is the simplest of math. I'm beginning to wonder if you actually understand things.

Carlos Ponce

Your statement, "That has nothing to do with the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere." is incorrect.

Bailey Jones

"Your statement, "That has nothing to do with the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere." is incorrect." Golly, you're a tedious soul, Carlos. Let's go through this simply. The fraction of CO2 that is absorbed is 43%. It was 43% in 1800. And it's 43% in 2019. Now, based on this information - how much CO2 is there today? Show your work. What's wrong? Not enough information? The whole reason anyone cares about the fraction of CO2 absorbed is because some scientists thought (and some still do) that, as CO2 increases, the natural mechanisms that absorb it may have begun to saturate. That would be bad news. Luckily, it seems that those mechanisms aren't saturated (though there is some dispute about this as it's a complicated calculation based on many assumptions - your continuous objection to climate models although you seem to have no trouble accepting it here.) This is what Knorr's paper is about. Now back to your homework - If C is the amount of CO2 generated, and A is the fraction absorbed, then the amount of CO2 left in the atmosphere = C*(1-A). A is a constant, unchanging; C is the only variable. Therefore the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is determined by C, not A. (If Knorr was wrong and A was changing, then yes, it would also be a determinant of how much CO2 is in the atmosphere.)

Carlos Ponce

"Climate models" = sheer conjecture. They're making it up. And the members of the Church of man-made Climate Change swallow it whole.

Steve Fouga

Carlos says: "Climate models" = sheer conjecture. They're making it up." I'd love to see you try to prove that one, either with basic logic or by quoting peer-reviewed papers.

Gary Scoggin

I’ve got stuff to add here but since Carlos and others are immune to science they don’t agree with, I’ll not bother.

Carlos Ponce

Let me point out the obvious. A climate model is simply a computer model based on an algorithm. They start out with limited data and make extrapolations based on that data and algorithm. In other words- it's just a guess. Take a look at what happened with the tropical disturbance, tropical storm and hurricane this past week. Each model was based on an algorithm and they were all over the place. Weathermen described the projections as "spaghetti" - different paths, different strengths, different pressure projections, different outcomes. As the time of landfall neared the "spaghetti" tightened up compared to the original models. But even on Friday one strand had it heading for the Galveston-Houston area. Now take the "climate model". Okay for the time-span data was taken but as they expanded that time to decades, centuries and beyond it becomes as unreliable as that "spaghetti" we observed for what became Hurricane Barry. Remember all the rainfall we were supposed to get Saturday and today?

Gary Scoggin

You don’t know much about modeling, do you Carlos?

Carlos Ponce

"You don’t know much about modeling, do you Carlos?" Not about ladies and gents modeling clothing but I DO KNOW about computer modeling and algorithms.

Jim Forsythe

1800 the world population was only around 1 billion people The current world population is 7.7 billion as of May 2019 By 2100, the world’s population is projected to reach approximately 10.9 billion

Ron Shelby

Excellent post Bailey Jones. Combine with Mr Forsyth’s and add some common sense. As for Carlos’s post to let Market Forces handle power and energy production,...that’s plain foolish. Too many national resources around the world have been destroyed/ruined such as Rivers in India that you wouldn’t dare attempt to drink from without risking anywhere from dysentery to death. Typically nothing is done until the damage has already become irreversible and intolerable. Just look at super fund cleanup sites that were stuck with today. Those are the result of unregulated market forces. Thank God for regulations tied to Nuclear plants and their waste...otherwise they could dump it in Carlos’s driveway.

Carlos Ponce

Not foolish at all, Ron. Government should not pick winners and losers in private sector ventures. And we're NOT talking about India - bad example, not comparable to the United States at all. As for your "Superfund cleanup sites" (such as Texas City's Tin Smelter) came about from lack of knowledge. And remember - the US Government built that tin smelter. "Tin was a vital resource for the Allies. With existing sources of tin either under Japanese control or too difficult to transport across dangerous shipping lanes, the U.S. government decided it was crucial to construct a tin smelter on American soil. Col. Hugh Moore, president of the Texas City Terminal Railway Company, donated a 100-acre plot south of the Texas City oil docks to the project, securing Texas City's bid to become the location of the only tin smelter in North America." http://www.texascity-library.org/page/history.wwii.tin_smelter

Bailey Jones

Ron, I see that Carlos has swallowed that old "Government should not pick winners and losers in private sector ventures" trope that Republicans trot out every time federal money is spent on something they don't like. The truth is that the US Government is something like a fifth of the total economy. They pick winners and losers every day. When the US government awards a multi-billion$ contract to Lockheed, they win - Boeing, General Dynamics and Grumman, etc., lose. And it doesn't matter if it's a stealth fighter or toilet paper - federal spending makes and breaks private companies all the time. Remember that time the feds decided that railroads needed to be the winners and gave them millions of acres of land? Or the time Eisenhower decided that highway builders needed to be winners and gave them billions to build the interstate highway system? Or when LBJ decided that Houston needed to be a winner and built Johnson Space Center? How about that time the government decided to peal off a piece of Columbia and call it Panama and build a canal there? - big winners, big losers there. Remember that time the feds decided that hydroelectric power needed to be a winner and built the Hoover Dam and the Tennessee Valley Authority? Remember when the government decided that genetics was where it was at and built the Human Genome Project, funneling millions into corporations and universities? Remember that time when congress decided Texas needed to lead the world in particle research and started work on the Super-Conducting Super Collider, making a whole lot of winners and then changed its mind and turned all the winners into losers (and making CERN in Switzerland the winner)? Picking winners and losers is not only what the government does, it's what the government should do.

Carlos Ponce

"When the US government awards a multi-billion$ contract to Lockheed, they win - Boeing, General Dynamics and Grumman, etc., lose." There are LAWS governing the bidding process, Bailey. If Lockheed wins the contract it means provided everything the government asked for at the right price. Boeing, General Dynamics and Grumman did not. They don't award contracts at whim. If there is a hint that it was due to fraud the culprits will be hauled to court.

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