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BruceMcF's picture

Sunday Train: Can Nuclear and Renewable Energy Be Friends?

There is an ongoing general discussion in the field of sustainable energy that does not carry the risk of the destruction of our current industrial society and economy about variable renewable energy.

Renewable energy includes a range of low or no carbon sources of energy - but not all renewable energy is sustainable, and not all is low or no carbon. And not all low or no carbon energy sources are from renewable energy resources.

Among the sustainable, no/low carbon renewable energy resources, the most abundant involve the harvest of variable renewable energy, with windpower and solar PV being the most notable. So one obvious strategy for a no-carbon-emitting energy system is to base it on collecting as much of these affordable variable renewables as practicable, and then use other no/low carbon sources to fill in the gaps.

However, in some quarters, this elicits a counter-argument. The most "successfully de-carbonized" economies of the world today are either those with a very high reliance on reservoir hydropower ... which while very useful in the United States offers nowhere near a large enough economic resource to meet any large fraction of our current consumption ... or those with a very high reliance on nuclear power.

Indeed, near the beginning of this month, Stephen Lacy briefly reported on a report from the Breakthrough Institute that raised an alarm that the new Clean Power Plan may in fact oversee a net increase in GHG emissions. The final plan does not include measures to avoid the decommissioning of substantial numbers of nuclear power plants. And the numbers are stark:

  • The 30 nuclear plants at risk by 2030 avoid over 100 MMT of CO2 emissions
  • New non-hydropower renewables are expected to avoid 60 MMT of CO2 emissions by 2030
  • New nuclear plants under construction are expected to avoid under 30 MMT of CO2 by 2030

So where retention of those 30 nuclear power plants would find us over 80 MMT of avoided CO2 ahead, and in a position to accelerate that in the following decade ... their closure could leave us over 10 MMT below where we are now. Read more about Sunday Train: Can Nuclear and Renewable Energy Be Friends?

danps's picture

Determined ignorance: still impervious to facts

Climate change denialism requires more than just not knowing the relevant facts. It also requires a firm resolution to never know them.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read more about Determined ignorance: still impervious to facts

Jill Stein's SOTU Message to Reclaim Our Future

After Obama’s SOTU message on February 12, 2013, Jill Stein, Green Party 2012 presidential candidate, addressed a national video audience with "Our Green State of the Union" assessment -- what Jill Stein herself called the “REAL state of our nation.”

Stein:

We need a real discussion of where we are, so we can set our priorities right and secure the future for our imperiled families, communities, country and planet.

Cujo359's picture

No Climate Change To See Here

While trying to photograph a passing airplane Friday, my camera caught this instead:

You should be seeing blossoms here

Image credit: Cujo359

Read more about No Climate Change To See Here

twig's picture

Return of the Dust Bowl

Could there be a repeat of the 1930s Dust Bowl today? Yes, says Scientific American, citing the heat wave of the past few summers, plus lack of rain and near-empty aquifers in the Great Plains. From the article: Read more about Return of the Dust Bowl

twig's picture

Webinar: Sizing Up Sandy

The Union of Concerned Scientists is offering a free webinar on various aspects of Hurricane Sandy. The webinar takes place on November 27 at 7 pm Eastern Standard Time. You need to register at the UCS website beforehand. Here are the details:

After the largest Atlantic hurricane on record affected U.S. states from southern Florida to northern Maine and as far west as Wisconsin, analysts from the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote a series of blog posts on topics from the relationship between the storm and climate change, to the economic costs and health impacts, to how we can prepare ourselves and our infrastructure to be more resilient.

The webinar will be moderated by UCS climate scientist Brenda Ekwurzel and will feature:

Stein's ‘Climate Change’ Reality & Responsibility Re Sandy

Last night superstorm Sandy’s ferocious winds found Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein at Boston City Hall plaza making remarks at a 350.org vigil during a campaign stop in her own state. How relevant was that! 350.org an organization dedicated to find global climate solutions. Today Dr. Stein is scheduled to go to Texas to support the Keystone XL pipeline Tars Sands Blockade. Another pro-environment activist movement. Read more about Stein's ‘Climate Change’ Reality & Responsibility Re Sandy

twig's picture

Plantidote of the Day 2012-10-05

yellow calla

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Yellow calla

Happy Friday! We've been hoping that Friday's Plantidote would become Petidote. But this seems like a good spot for weekly garden and plant link round up. Grab your reading glasses, today's plate is overflowing .... Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-10-05

twig's picture

Plantidote of the Day 2012-01-31

peach blossoms

Prunus

Flowering peach

A couple days ago, Correntian ydrasl sent me a story about the USDA's new plant hardiness zone map, in which my former Zone 10 has become Zone 9B. First of all, 9B sounds more like a shoe size than a garden zone, so that's not good. Second, if this is all the PTB intend to do about climate weirdness, we are well and truly ..... But wait -- I'm not done! Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2012-01-31

twig's picture

Hurry Up and Die, Asthma Sufferers -- You're Wrecking the Environment!

As of December 31 of this year, people with asthma who use inhalers will no longer be able to buy over-the-counter versions. During the Bush administration, the FDA banned them, because they contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that affect the ozone layer. Or at least that was the excuse.

Now the only option is to get a prescription from a health-care professional for a more environmentally friendly -- and more expensive -- version that uses hydrofluoroalkane (HFA). Read more about Hurry Up and Die, Asthma Sufferers -- You're Wrecking the Environment!

twig's picture

What's Wrong with This Picture: Non Violent Climate Activist Going to Prison

Graduate student and climate activist Tim DeChristopher threw a monkey wrench (figuratively speaking) into a Bush administration scam when he bid on parcels of government-owned land being hastily auctioned off for drilling. As it turns out, the auction itself was determined to be illegal, so DeChristopher's bidding really had no impact on anyone. Read more about What's Wrong with This Picture: Non Violent Climate Activist Going to Prison

Mytwords's picture

In NPR Fantasy Land US and China Are Climate Change Leaders

[cross-posted at NPR Check]

According to Rene Montagne on Christmas Eve morning, "One thing that is clear is that the U.S. and China are no longer observers in the international climate debate, but leaders." How's that for objective reporting? Read more about In NPR Fantasy Land US and China Are Climate Change Leaders

Mytwords's picture

NPR's Junk Science and Junk News on Climate Change

[cross-posted at NPR Check]
Readers of NPR Check busted David Kestenbaum for airing crap about climate change during his coverage of the UN Copenhagen Conference. As "doggydaddy" writes, Read more about NPR's Junk Science and Junk News on Climate Change

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