The two-faced ‘reality’ of a clean energy future

by Judith Curry

Michael Liebrich has written an extremely insightful (not to mention clever) article  entitled It’s a new year and time to face reality.

I’m reproducing this in its entirety, since you have to read the whole thing, and then read it backwards.

The world will never shift to a clean energy future.
We need to stop listening to so-called experts who say
We can avoid catastrophic climate change by eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
Engineers are smart and love solving problems.
But here’s the thing:
We still need electricity when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.
It’s time to accept the obvious fact:
That more renewable energy will cause the grid to collapse.
So please abandon your hopes
Wind and solar can produce some of the cheapest power in the world.
But only if you ignore their subsidies and hidden costs.
Coal and oil are by far the best way to provide reliable power and spread wealth.
Nuclear power is inherently dangerous.
We need to ignore the advocates who claim that
New nuclear technologies offer passive safety and solutions to waste and proliferation.
Electric vehicles will remain a niche technology.
You have to be in denial to believe
There will be game-changing reductions in battery costs and charging times.
Progress on energy efficiency just leads to increased energy demand.
There is no credible data to suggest that
We can actually reduce overall global energy consumption.
We’ll still be dependent on coal and oil in 50 years.
And there’s no way
The world is shifting to a clean energy future.
It’s a new year and time to face reality.
But wait, isn’t that all backwards? Now read in reverse and see what you think…

JC reflections

This essay brilliantly reflects the dual realities of the energy debate.  Both versions have elements that are convincing.

In the new year, with a rapidly shifting political climate, perhaps we can identify a solution space that intersects both of these ‘realities’, so that we can set ourselves on the path of an energy future with energy that abundant, clean and friendly to the environment, secure, and economical

148 responses to “The two-faced ‘reality’ of a clean energy future

  1. Curious George

    A nice article. But it makes the same mistake as “clean” energy proponents: It does not consider a scientific and technological progress.

    • The article exaggerates a bit when it says we will never progress to a clean energy future. However, the rel blunder is this:

      Nuclear power is inherently dangerous.

      That is just plane ignorance. Nuclear power is the safest way to generate electricity. This is demonstrated by 60 years of supplying reliable electricity at lower deaths/TWh supplied than any other technology.

      • New nuclear technologies offer passive safety and solutions to waste and proliferation.
        We need to ignore the advocates who claim that
        Nuclear power is inherently dangerous.

      • “This is demonstrated by 60 years of supplying reliable electricity at lower deaths/TWh supplied”
        It’s hard to measure deaths from distributed radiation. But Fukushima led to 150000 people having to leave their homes, and over five years later most have not been able to return. Chernobyl led to a 30 km exclusion zone, in a highly populated area, about 120,000.

        But for the long term – PU-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years. We’ve made hundreds of tons of the stuff. It will be there in the next glacial.

      • Nick Stokes,

        You’ve haven’t a clue what your talking about. The Fukushima radiation leaks killed no one and probably never will. Emissions from coal fired generators in the USA kill 15,000 – 35,000 people per year according to EPA; Nuclear none!! The evacuation was a result of the fear engendered by 60 years of misinformation by anti-nukes. If we followed the reason of the anti-nuke zealots – that you perhaps unwittingly seem to believe – we’d have to evacuate the planet if we want any energy at all. That’s how ridiculous these anti-nuke arguments are.

      • Who killed Hamako-Watanabe

        An individual example of the death and destruction caused by the anti-nuke fear-mongers.

      • [i]Who killed Hamako-Watanabe[/i]

        The stress related deaths from Fukushima have far exceeded any potential deaths from radiation..

        The fear-mongering anti-nukers should be held legally liable with criminal and civil sanctions for their fear-mongering. They are simply lying.and it is killing people.

      • @nick stokes

        “It’s hard to measure deaths from distributed radiation.”

        You are right, it’s very hard… and that’s because such deaths are so few that even using the most sophisticated statistical tools in epidemiology, they are almost impossible to discern from the natural background (‘natural’ meaning all other causes other than radiation).

        Modern radioprotection, nuclear medicine, and epidemiological studies tell us that even assuming the validity of the Linear No-Threshold model (LNT), which is certainly wrong at very low doses, the probability of developing a mortal cancer within 70 years after receiving a dose of radiation increases by 5% for each Sievert (Sv).
        In Fukushima the average additional dose due to the accident, for the general population, has been “a few” milli-Sievert (mSv).
        At 2 mSv/person, this means that 1 million Japanese people living in the Fukushima department and getting 2 mSv on average will develop randomly 0.05*2/1000*1000000=100 extra deadly cancers within 70 years of getting the 2 mSv.

        At the same time, population data for Japan tell us that about 30% of the Japanese deaths are attributable to cancer… i.e. 300thousand people will die of cancer in the same time. The 100 additional cases are just an increase of 100/300000=0.033%… and that’s why they will be basically impossible to spot within general mortality stats.
        Peter Lang is absolutely right: nuclear is the safest form of baseload electricity generation.

        This paper explains a bit more with data and references:

      • All power generation has risks, no exception. There are inherent dangers with nuclear power, but the degree of risk is also determined by the type of nuclear power generation. The principle type of nuclear generation in use in the USA, UK and most of Europe are inherently dangerous but its mainly inter-generational. A good documentary on this was the BBC’s program “Britain’s Nuclear Secret: Inside Sellafield”

      • @Rob Johnson Taylor

        “A good documentary on this was the BBC’s program “Britain’s Nuclear Secret: Inside Sellafield””

        Most of the stuff stored inside Sellafield has absolutely NOTHING to do with power generation, it is remnants of the military applications.

      • The UK was the first country to start commercial nuclear power, we not only created our own mess from commercial nuclear power we took it in from elsewhere. Nuclear reprocessing was born in this country the first nuclear accident involving commercial power station was here. It tell you all this in the film, it’s worth watching even with the irritating adverts

  2. Pingback: The two-faced ‘reality’ of a clean energy future – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  3. Darn. Incentives to buy an electric car are just not enough since the battery would be drained before reaching my cottage. Oh the ignominy of sitting and waiting for several hours to charge the battery when my gas guzzling friends and relatives’ cars whiz by. I would need to make another set of cottage keys as they will arrive first. Hmmm. I hope they don’t drink up all my Scotch while I am waiting. Yes, I am waiting and waiting…kinda like Ferlinghetti.

  4. There can be a debate about the future impact of wind, solar and batteries. There can be no debate that their impact so far has been negligible.

    As for why, well, in part because they only affect electricity, which is only 30-40% of CO2 emissions (electric cars could affect the 20-30% of emissions coming from road transport but their state is even more embryonic than that of wind and solar). And in part, I suspect, because the countries that have gone all-out for renewable energy have had slower GDP growth – thus overall there have been few changes in the rate of decarbonization.

  5. Yeah, yeah. I do not disagree! It’s not all bad except when it is, or not.

    Meiosis, liotes, auxesis. Tomato, tomatoe, to-my-toe.

    It’s a matter of one’s own perspective when climate and policy meet (or don’t).

  6. Clever. Makes a lot more sense bottom to top. Top to bottom is just a denial of reality and disbelief in progress.

    • And therein lies your problem Jim D, and the majority of the alarmist community.

      As far as you guys are concerned, there is no compromise, it’s your way or the highway which destroys any common ground there may lie between you and us sceptics.

      Windmills are good, in the right place, at the right time. Solar is good, in the right place at the right time.

      Nuclear is good, right place, right time, Coal is good, right place right time, Gas, oil etc. etc. but you guys just wholesale condemn any mix of technologies in a blind rush to satisfy your selfish desire for ‘clean’ energy, irrespective of cost.

      Whilst much of China, India, Brazil and many other developing countries need cheap energy to drag themselves from poverty, you would happily deny the poor and destitute the opportunity to live a meaningful and productive life because your kids and grandkids will suffer. Meanwhile, millions of kids and grandkids are dying NOW in developing countries.

      The west’s obsession, and irresponsible desire, to ‘save the world’ is laudable but laughable.

      Perhaps now is the opportunity to look at a globally balanced energy policy where nuclear is once again considered a viable option, where it can be afforded, and fossil fuels where it can’t be.

      We are hopefully only a few short decades from fusion reactors at which point our energy problems are over. Shouldn’t we be spending the Trillions we spend on a wild pursuit of wind, and solar, to accelerate the research into fusion?

      Lockheed Martin’s Skunkworks predict they will have a modular fusion reactor that can be transported on a trailer, operable within the next 20 years. It will have the ability to power an entire small town

      There are other programmes going on as well across the globe

      None of this is good enough for the ignorant liberal left green movement who expect everyone to live on a handful of lentils and consign the developing world to poverty and misery, for a worthless, western ideology.

      It is up to every intelligent, science loving individual on the planet to reject and oppose these lunatics and demonstrate that the technology they have enjoyed for the last 100 years is making life better, not worse.

      The planet’s climate is emerging from flirting with catastrophe, not entering one. We have endured one of the coldest periods in the planet’s history, with CO2 levels, vital to the single thing that sustains every living thing on the planet, plant life, at their lowest ever levels. Indeed, the planet was within 130ppm Co2 from certain human extinction.

      The semantics as to what caused global cooling, global warming or climate change are ones that should be reserved by science, not hijacked by the media, we ignorant commentators, or even more ignorant, manipulative politicians.

      Will GW represent a humanitarian catastrophe? Possibly, but then possibly not. The fact is we don’t know, humans are new to all this. Should we mitigate or adapt? We do well with adaption, we do badly with planning.

      In human history, when man is faced with problems, conventional planning for the unknown has usually been met with dismal failure. Even planning for known events has been only moderately successful. The west has planned peace in the Middle East for 60 years now (of my lifetime) and none of it has worked, in fact, it has probably got worse thanks to the west’s planning.

      If we can’t solve a ‘simple’ problem like the middle east, how can anyone imagine we can solve the infinitely more complex changing climate.

      I’m sorry, but the arrogance and blind stupidity of the alarmists astonishes me. To even imagine we have any control of one of billions, upon billions of specks in the universe, hurtling at unimaginable speed, to who knows where; makes me chuckle at the futility of our over inflated, collective opinion of ourselves.

      • Actually the UN comes at the climate change problem from the perspective of those poor countries you seem to care a lot about. Check out the goals of the UNDP and UNEP programs. It is the most serious problem facing those countries and only compounds other problems they already have with fundamentals like water and agriculture. As for fusion, it has been twenty years away for the past forty years. It would be great to have and there is a lot of research, but there are also a lot of technological problems with containing a fusion reaction at 100 million Kelvin. Until then we have fission and can work on energy storage to even out production and delivery from renewables, while phasing out dirty fuels in favor of clean ones, and improving energy efficiency. These things are happening anyway because they make sense.

      • Jim D

        My late Father In Law was a senior official with the UN. Whilst he would agree there are efforts made to improve the developing world, he was also the first to admit the organisation was a lumbering behemoth, well behind the technologies and values of the 21st Century.

        His remit was agriculture, and to a man, he and his colleagues despised the green movement for their meddling, self-promoting, ignorant interference with scientific and humanitarian progress. Long before Partick Moore described them as a danger to humanity, he described them such. Nor was he some kind of academic with his head up his a*se, he was also a highly decorated soldier.

        The UN talks a good game and has almost unlimited international resources to market itself, with little risk of criticism. To do so brands the critic as anti-humanitarian. It is awash with money and invents departments to spend it.

        As for fusion?

        It is only over the last 40 or 50 years or so the world has begun to harness technology to any meaningful degree. Accessible computer processing has only been in our hands for the last 20 years or so. Radical new material processing has only been commercially available for 20 or 30 years, materials technology is one of the most important areas of science because it touches every aspect of our lives.

        And whilst you cynically condemn fusion as being “twenty years away for the past forty years”, 40 years ago we hardly knew what carbon fibre was and what it could do, 20 years ago we barely had the internet; 100 years ago the best aeroplanes we had were Biplanes, within the next 50 years aeroplanes were breaking the sound barrier. 100 years ago, nuclear fission was barely conceivable but within 30 years the technology was harnessed as a weapon and less than 20 years later, commercially utilised as a source of clean energy.

        FFS, who had central heating in 1916, far less a grid connected, fully electrified house with TV and (now almost redundant already) household telephone? It was only 25 years ago that the Human Genome Project was launched and completed in 2003. An astonishing feat of technology only achievable with the help of computers merely 50 years or so after the discovery of the double helix.

        70 years ago Germans harnessed rocket power to launch weapons against London. Within 25 years we had harnessed that technology to send men to the moon, within the next 20 years satellites were commonplace and within another 20 years or so we had mobile satellite telephones and handheld GPS devices.

        Dismissing fusion power on the basis of your short window of experience is the uttering of a Luddite.

        But you would rather wallow in your fatalistic view that we are all doomed unless we go back to energy sources we abandoned well over a century ago. Windmills and hydropower were around for centuries before fossil fuels arrived, thereafter, nuclear power, ‘clean, green’ energy is a utopian backwater.

        I used to think I was a bit of a pessimist, but man, when I encountered the green movement I realised I’m a raging optimist. I believe in technology, the ambition and abilities of man, his drive and adaptability, his hope and vision. All I get from you miserable greens is defeatism.

        Nor did you address the issue of humanity emerging from an atmospheric catastrophe, but focussed on the ‘infallible’ UN, and, as yet unachieved fusion power, in support of your fatalistic condemnation of anything positive.

      • I am saying not to rest your hopes on fusion becoming anything widespread in twenty years. It would be great if it happens, but it is not a reliable thing to base any planning on.
        The UN approaches climate change as a major problem for the poor countries, and these countries actually have a large influence in their policy recommendations because they are the most affected while also being the least capable of doing anything about it. This is why it is a global problem and something the UN has to deal with via international policy. If each country only looked out for its own interests, emissions would not decline. This is why Paris was so necessary, as are ongoing agreements over the next decades. The UN counters the natural shortsightedness where countries don’t see impacts of what they do beyond their own borders or beyond their election cycle. If the UN doesn’t take the broad view on climate change, no one will.

      • Jim D wrote, “Actually the UN comes at the climate change problem from the perspective of those poor countries you seem to care a lot about. Check out the goals of the UNDP and UNEP programs.”

        Goals are written on scraps of paper. Show us effective action. Successes. Achievements.

      • Jim D.

        Without wanting to appear rude, you have an extraordinarily naive concept of the UN. Again, from first-hand accounts, the left hand of the UN doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

        In the meantime, it bases many of its contemporary policies on the fallacy of AGW whilst mobilising its archaic processes to deal with a subject their processes are wholly incapable of dealing with.

        The UN is no longer about collective support by wealthy countries, for poor countries. It has unintentionally morphed into its own global political entity. Now whilst that could actually be a very good thing (because it is potentially an independent political entity) it obviously has a western bias, because that’s where the money comes from and thanks to its political nature, that’s who calls the shots.

        So whilst the rest of the world doesn’t care about AGW/CC call it what you want ( [16 subjects, nearly 10M votes, CC last behind internet access]) the UN promotes something the west cares about, but the rest of the world doesn’t, nor in fact is it clear from a cursory examination if the west isn’t included in that poll.

        So what is the west doing? Are they doing what people want, or are they promoting a dogma they care about but no one else does? And whatever anyone says, whether you are right or not on GW, to jam it down people’s throats when they don’t want it is wrong, especially when it’s to satisfy your agenda.

        AGW is a mad scientific hypothesis gone badly wrong. It has been hijacked by the greens and infected western society. We all had the best of intentions, save the whales, stop the seal clubbing, all that nice stuff. But when they started lying to us about the Amazon being burned by commercial loggers, with my Father In Laws background, I then sat up and took notice because it was a lie. Unregulated, local commercial loggers may have done the slashing and burning, but regulated loggers treat the Amazon like their farm, replanting as they go. Nor did the UN lift a finger to deal with that particular subject because money poured in to help them ‘deal’ with the problem. MY FIL had been dealing with it for 40 years by putting the unregulated loggers out of business by making regulated loggers efficient and cost effective.

        What he could not stop, and what no one will be able to stop are the unregulated loggers who satisfy the local need for cooking and heating fuel, because there is no access to cheap, fossil fuel energy. Nor am I talking villages here, I’m talking towns and cities, supplied by local loggers who slash and burn because it’s necessary, easy and cheap.

        But those facts just whizz over the head of the AGW crowd. You never ask, you never inquire, you never seek anything beyond what your blind belief, the media and the politicians tell you.

        There is no excuse, there is nowhere to hide, you AGW fanatics are making the world a worse place to live in for innumerable people, rich and poor. And you are actively promoting the dirty burning of timber and cow dung which far outweighs the Co2 output of fossil fuel power stations which are, by and large, pretty efficient. Burning cow sh*t not only pollutes with its toxic emissions, it releases Co2 and nutrients that would otherwise be returned to the soil and people burning it in their mud huts and houses are dying because of fume inhalation. Burning timber isn’t much better either, but it’s also denuding vast areas of vital forest that are needed to keep the soil intact.

        There is nothing good about green policies as they stand. Yes, clean up particulate emissions, but that was being dealt with before the greens got their sticky fingers on everything.

        And after 40 years of scientific research, millions of scientific hours spent, and Billions of £/$’s wasted, how many credible, empirical field researched papers are there which conclusively demonstrate Co2 causes GW, far less anthropogenic Co2? There ought to be hundreds, thousands, in fact. But I can’t find any.

        And if there are none, all the rest of the evidence is merely circumstantial, which proves nothing.

      • OK, you like loggers and don’t like tropical rainforests. I get it. You probably like the way big industry decimates Indonesian forests for palm oil too, or for people to remove the forests of the Pacific Northwest US. Where do you draw that line? Is it between big industries and indigenous peoples who tend to respect and live within the means of their nature rather than destroy it? It looks like you are trying to justify destroying nature somehow, but it is far from clear how you do it. Do you think industrial scale destruction is an issue or not? Should the UN or the public care about what industry does to nature? I think they should.

      • Jim D,

        Once again you respond to points that do not fit your version of the world by making stuff up.

        Indonesian rain forests and palm oil plantations? Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the demand for palm oil the result of policies favoring biofuels?

        Pacific Northwest forests? Majority of harvest is on private land. Come up here and ask what has happened to the logging and timber industry. Not pretty.

        In make believe world you are always right. Unfortunately that doesn’t translate to the real world

      • I left out the indigenous peoples part of your argument.

        There was/is a reason indigenous, subsistence cultures have a rather limited impact on their environment. That is all they are capable of.

        And when I say “rather limited”, I leave out such practices as setting forest fires to clear land or stampeding wildlife over cliffs.

      • Palm oil has many uses, and I am not even sure biofuel is a major one. You want to defend the net loss of rainforests as some locals just doing their thing like Hotscot? I am not even sure how his denigration of the UN figures into that.

      • Jim D,
        Palm oil’s biggest use is as a food product. Cosmetics is another. Biofuel is an increasing source of demand. (short search didn’t provide numbers)

        In other words it is an extremely useful and valuable product that nations with large populations and high percentage of subsistence farmers are naturally interested in taking advantage of. As far as its role in climate change, nothing supports your arguments.
        It’s primary contribution appears to be as an example of how climate related policy decisions are exacerbating an ecological problem.

      • I didn’t bring it up in the context of climate change, but in response to someone favoring deforestation. This is a biodiversity issue.

    • I knew you were gonna day that Jim and accuse the other way of reading it as denial. You don’t dissappoint.
      Check your biases my friend.

      • In this case it denies the possibility of progress in energy production, which is a different, but not entirely distinct, form of denial.


      What is the effect of Wind Farm Turbines for generating electricity on weather? None, you say for it is just wind. No, it isn’t just wind, the term we use to describe flowing air. The flowing air has Kinetic Energy (KE), which is Mass x Velocity² or MV². When the turbines rotate as the flowing air passes over it, a portion of the Kinetic Energy is extracted and transferred to the shaft of the Turbine.

      We shall call the initial Kinetic Energy IKV² and the extracted Kinetic Energy KE. The kinetic energy of the flowing air exiting the turbine we shall call EKV². So, IKV² – KE = EKV². Now as the upstream/downstream mass is constant the only thing that can change to provide the extracted KE is the velocity in EKV².

      The air, of course, is ordinary air with N2, O2, CO2, and lesser gases plus varying concentrations of water vapor. As the velocity of the air has been reduced it will flow a shorter distance and the distribution of water vapor will be affected. A large Wind Turbine Field could have a considerable effect on the downstream weather.

      A huge offshore wind farm is being considered at Morro Bay, California. The wind that passes through the turbines is laden with moisture from the Pacific Ocean and will see a dramatic drop in its velocity. What effect will that have on weather/rainfall as the wind and moisture no longer reach the earlier destinations?

      Have the EPA, NASA, and NOAA considered this for all Wind Farms? Or do they believe that energy may be extracted at zero loss of energy in the wind? The overall efficiency of electricity generated from wind turbines is about 30% or less, considering turbine efficiency, gear, generator, transformer and transmission loss all the way to the light switch. Thus 3.33 watts of energy must be extracted from wind to provide one watt of usable electricity.

      James J. Spears, Jr.
      Chemical Engineer
      6731 Frontier Drive
      Greenwell Springs, LA70739
      Tel: (225) 261-9081 Land (225) 261-5513 Cell

  7. Keep your eye on Brilliant Light Power for a new technology that has the potential to set all of the other energy sources on their ear.

    • In TV that is called a “tease”. Thanks for the information since I had not seen a reference to this new technology.

      What interested me was the story behind the investments in the company. Specifically, i’m curious as to how much due diligence was performed by those who, in one estimate, raised and provided $85 million. A critic said the investment risk was infinite. No, the amount they could lose is finite. When you go short on a stock, that is an infinite risk.

      It may turn out to be a boondoggle but at least someone is trying to push the envelope.

      • Ceresco, wrote about this in The Arts of Truth. Used to be called Blacklight Power. It is a scam that has never produced anything useful, yet has been going on now for about 25 years. Mills GUT-CQM treatise is a mathematical joke–the theory is not Lorentz invariant. His patent should not have issued, a second one was revoked by the patent commissioner after allowance but before issuance and Mills then lost a federal law suit to get it reinstated. The patent relies on mathematically incorrect GUT-CQM and exactly one Mills paper ‘proving’ hydrinos experimentally. That paper was published in a new defunct cold fusion rag, and the experimental method said to be used for the detection–XPS– CANNOT detect hydrogen or helium. (XPS won a Nobel prize in 1981.) Moreover, the schroedinger wave equation for hydrogen can be solved exactly because it is only a two body problem. There is no fractional quantum energy ‘hydrino’ state less than the ground state of hydrogen.

        That said, LENR reactions based on the weak force according to the Widom Larsen theory have been reasonably well established in several ways including local heating and transmutation. The question is whether LENR can be scaled to useful energy. The company trying is Brillouin Energy. So far, no luck. And they have been trying since about 2010.

      • I follow the LENR domain as tech-watcher and I’m worried how the worst claims have a tendency to take the lead in media… It looks like some nasty devil is trying to chose the worst claim to ridicule the domain and make people ignore boring established results, and modest struggling startups.
        Same about theories.
        Widom-Larsen-Srivastava-Swain theory is interesting but it seems refuted … Mills theory behind SunCell have fan, but is not supported by physicist either.
        Personally i only support the general sketch proposed by Edmund Storms (LENR is a “slow fusion” happening in a coherent quantum object inside a rare “NAE” anomaly in the metallurgy of the complex surface – Storms, the best reviewer in the domain and one key experimentalist ), but sincerely no theory have supporters beside it’s close circle.

        I hope this year 2017 will see a cleaning of the domain…
        For those who are interested in LENR I advise to read few resources…
        One is the Current Science peer reviewed special section on LENR
        Beside that review, you have the Naturwissenschaften review “Status of Cold fusion 2010” by Storms (there is a preprint on lenr-canr) , many papers, books and booklets by Edmund Storms (the Science of LENR, Cold fusion for dummies, A student guide for Cold Fusion).
        for the most lazy Jed Rothwell designed a small youtube video with a quick synthesis of the state of the domain.
        “Brief Introduction to Cold Fusion – YouTube”
        For the most courageous there are 3 books, I advise:
        “Excess Heat” by Charles Beaudette to understand the history and basis of LENR. For people interested in Climate controversy it is very instructive to understand epistemological tragedies.
        “The science of LENR” by Edmund Storms, which is a good review of techniques, experimental results, and even theories.
        “The explanations of LENR” by Edmund Storms start by a quicker review of results, then a deep review of theories and challenges, and finally propose a conservative theory (that need some complement)… It is good to understand the dozens of good reasons for LENR to be impossible unless you assume very strange situations (leading to his theory).

        You can also get a conference by a team of US navy Spawar (Pam Mosier-Boss), some of ENEA (Violante), many ICCF presentations…

        I prefer to forget Brillant, and don’t even name the Italian of Florida, i’m warming the tar and gathering the feather.
        This domain is so ostracized that good science is ignored, and that parasites are occupying this outlaw territory to sell their scam or their delusion…
        the presence of Tom Darden and his investments in basic research (beside the clown) is refreshing, as is Bill gates funding of Seashore Research in collaboration with Robert Duncan of TTU.
        I trust the boring science, as done in US navy, ENEA, BARC, nasa GRC, CEA, Texas AM, LANL, SRI, Toyota/Technova, MHI, Tohoku University, SKINS, and my only commercial optimism is for Brillouin Energy , yet I’m very skeptical over their theory (as over all other theories).

      • [i]AlainCo | January 3, 2017 at 3:27 am |
        I follow the LENR domain as tech-watcher and I’m worried how the worst claims have a tendency to take the lead in media… [/i]

        If LENR was a as good as its proponents say…

        Someone should be able to assemble a demo system with a small battery that in its ungoverned mode provides a really satisfying explosion or at the very least a huge cloud of steam.

        Hasn’t happened.

      • Always funny to see people who pretend to be scientific ignore experimental results and ask for ready-to-fly applications…
        I can ask you to show me a fusion reactor that works… but nobody is dishonest enough to say hot fusion is not real because you cannot make it work on battery with a positive outcome.

        As I explained there is no definitive theory, which makes improvement totally random. LENR is now enough studied to understand there is deep link with metallurgy and crystallography. like semiconductors in the 1930s, it is a hell.
        ENEA work since few years focus on understanding the metallurgical subtleties of that replicated but elusive phenomenon.
        see this older presentation

        It remind me the words of Wolfgang Pauli

        “One shouldn’t work on semiconductors, that is a filthy mess; who knows if they really exist!”
        “God created the solids, the devil their surfaces.”

        If you follows Edmund Storms theory, and not the WLS one, you consider LENR may sit in some cracks in the non-homogeneous near-surface of the material…
        I’ve been trained for semiconductors, so I immediately recognized that Hell in the description of LENR elusiveness. Experts in nanotechnology I talk to were not so surprised when reading papers on LENR…

        What is funny is how when the supporters of a consensus defend their thesis, they can use tactics usually used by creationists or politicized economists.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Dang, Steven, you beat me to it. Best of the New Years to you, amigo.


      • You will believe that a Hydrogen electron can exist meaningfully below its ground state? Anything is possible, but some things are more likely than others.

    • Did anyone believe Einstien?

      Good luck to them, I hope they prove all the doubters wrong. So what if a few wealthy folk want a tax write off.

  8. I seldom follow directions, but this time I actually did read it top to bottom and then bottom to top.

  9. Very clever. It is likely that what is considered clean today will not be considered clean in the future, and so the cycle will continue.

  10. 2 Jan 17

    Good morning all.

    The dispatch below the line of xxxxxxxxxx supports what I’ve been saying for some years now and will have occasion to repeat in the future I am sure:

    1. Concerning AGW (Anthropologic Global Warming): Never in human history has so big a hoax as AGW been played upon so many by so few.

    2. A corrected version of AGW is Anthropologic Global Wrecking, which we clearly and provably are doing and must somehow learn to stop doing, but not by reducing CO2.

    3. CO2 is a vital element of all life on Earth, including us, and we could use more of it.

    4. Climate is assuredly changing because it is always changing and there is little, if anything, we can do about it.

    5. The AGW hysteria will increasingly cost trillions of dollars per year transferred from the developed countries that earned it to the developing countries that didn’t. Much of this trillions will be consumed in corruption.

    6. AGW is not scientific. We must return to science to help us study and evaluate our environment.

    7. The material herein must not be mistakenly politicized as my being for or against President-elect Trump, which is another subject entirely.

    Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.
    Professional Engineer
    Burlington, Ontario


    Subject: Skeptical scientists at UN climate summit hope Trump will Make Science Great Again

    Finally someone with his head in the fresh air and sunshine!

    On Friday, November 25, 2016, David Davis < wrote:

    Skeptical scientists crash UN climate summit, praise Trump for ‘bringing science back again’

    Skeptical scientists at UN climate summit hope Trump will Make Science Great Again

    Norwegian Astrophysicist Prof. Jan-Erik Solheim of University of Tromso: ‘Trump’s victory is very promising. We can get real science back in the field.’

    Prominent Swedish Geologist Dr. Nils Axel Morner of Stockholm University: ‘We have a benefit from Trump’s victory: We scientists may see a liberation from this unscientific closing of journals.

    Agro-Biologist Dr. Albrecht Glatzle of Paraguay: ‘I have very much hope that Trump's election will be the initialization of a turnaround in science relating to climate change.’ “Go straight ahead Mr. Trump with your plans to this end the politicized climate agenda and bring the science back again to its place.”

    UK Astrophsycist & Meteorologist Piers Corbyn also declared Trump's views on climate change are 'excellent’.


    MARRAKECH, Morocco — A team of international scientists crashed the UN climate summit in Marrakech and welcomed the election of Donald Trump as a way to bring positive reforms to climate science. The three scientists from Paraguay, Norway and Sweden, were granted a presentation by the UN to present the skeptical climate change view and they praised Trump for rejecting the UN “global warming” claims. The three scientists were also hopeful that Trump’s presidency will help end the politicized UN climate agenda.

    Agro-Biologist Dr. Albrecht Glatzle of Paraguay was especially encouraged by the election of the climate skeptic Trump to the presidency.

    “I have very much hope that his election will be the initialization of a turnaround in science relating to climate change,” Glatzle, the Director científico de INTTAS inParaguay, told Climate Depot at the UN summit.


    Glatzle advice for Trump is simple: “Go straight ahead with your plans to this end the politicized climate agenda and bring the science back again to its place.”

    “If someone like Trump is prepared to cut off the endless climate change funding promoting fear, I am very in favor it,” Glatzle said.

    “I hope Trump withdraws the United States from the UN climate agreement. The UN climate treaty is based on an illusion,” he explained.

    “You cannot adjust the climate just by turning the CO2 button. It’s an illusion to believe the UN can adjust the climate to a desired temperature,” he added.

    Glatzle warned that money has corrupted climate science and the agenda.

    “Even in my country of Paraguay, ministers see a lot of money from climate agenda. They are prepared to accept the UN climate claims because they will get money,” he explained.

    “Actually the UN is promoting distorted science. There are plenty of scientists — I know quite a number around the world — that do support a contrary position to what the UN claims,” Glatzle added.

    Prominent Swedish Geologist Dr. Nils Axel Morner is very encouraged by Trump’s presidential victory.

    “Trump is a clever guy. And he has picked up on the fact that something is basically very wrong with the media and the UN’s global warming claims,” Morner, who headed the Department of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics at Stockholm University, told Climate Depot following his scientific presentation at the UN on November 17.

    Morner is hopeful that Trump can free climate science of from only the UN “consensus” view.

    “Studies that don’t agree, they will not publish them. Now with a President Trump, they should not be allowed to go on screening out skeptics and discriminating against scientists who don’t toe the line. We have a benefit from Trump’s victory: We scientists may see a liberation from this unscientific closing of journals.

    Morner explained that the UN’s climate panel is basically a lobbying organization.

    “The UN started wrong. The whole UN IPCC project was to find to prove CO2 is dangerous. But the UN started with the answer and you cannot do that in science. Instead, you must search for something and then you get something, hopefully,” he explained.

    “But the UN began by telling us what the answer should be (CO2 needs to be controlled) and then all the political ideas were pushed to ‘solve the crisis’ and now it is a big industry– it is a huge industry,” Morner said.

    Trump “is completely correct about global warming and he should continue to push back against climate activists,” Morner explained. “CO2 is not something bad, it is a fertilizer, it is not a pollutant and Trump has correctly picked up on this,” he added.

    Morner and the other scientists urged Trump to withdraw from the UN climate treaty. “Of course. There must be a Clexit from that,” Morner said. (Clexit refers to an exit from the UN Paris agreement.)

    “The UN is misleading and totally wrong on carbon dioxide. Enormous amounts of money are just being thrown into the sea,” he added.

    Norwegian Astrophysicist Professor Jan-Erik Solheim, emeritus of the Institute of Physics at the University of Tromso, said a Trump presidency can help free up scientific journals into not censoring studies that go against the UN climate change narrative.

    “We know many skeptical scientists, but many of them are silent and cannot speak out and cannot publish their work undermining” the UN’s climate claims Solheim told Climate Depot.

    “Trump’s victory is very promising. We can get real science back in the field,” he added.

    In addition, another scientist spoke out in favor of Trump while the UN climate summit was being held in Morocco.

    UK astrophsycist & Meteorologist Piers Corbyn declared Trump’s views on climate change are ‘excellent’.

    When speaking on LBC, Corbyn said of “global warming”: “It was Obama’s stupidest achievement,” referring to the UN Paris Climate Agreement.

    Piers also defended Trump’s past tweet about China “inventing” climate change, according to the UK Express.

    Corbyn: “I think what Trump means by that is that the Chinese make a lot of money out of it because they build all those wind farms that were putting up which we’re paying for.”

    “The Chinese are making money hand over fist,” Corbyn added.

    · Antarctic Sea Ice Has Not Shrunk In 100 Years


    • Let there be light.

      The best thing that could be done to have an open and mature discussion about climate change is to have Trump mention the Medieval Warm Period in his inaugural address.

      That would be followed by gasps in hundreds of millions of homes followed by “What the hell is he talking” In those homes followed by hundreds of millions of hits on Google trying to find out what the new Commander in Chief just said.

      That should begin the open and mature
      conversation, just fine. Unless, of course the MSM try to censor the words “Medieval Warm Period ” so the masses don’t get too knowledgeable and uppity and start asking too many questions. After all, who wants that.

    • ” Never in human history has so big a hoax as AGW been played upon so many by so few.”


      • “Um….God.”

        Given time, one will be far easier to disprove than the other. Conversely, one will be far easier to confirm with a high degree of certainty than the other. Tangentially, Pascal’s wager is sounder advice for one more than the other.

  11. Unfortunately, a clever reflection on the nature of the “discussion,” and the “binary mentality” of many discussants, whereby many of the expressed views are reflective of “who you are, not what you know.”

    • Who you are:
      Member of the Flat Earth Society
      Consensus member
      Climate Scientist
      Trump supporter
      Clinton supporter
      Sanders supporter
      Funded by oil companies

      • “Who you are:
        Member of the Flat Earth Society
        Consensus member
        Climate Scientist
        Trump supporter
        Clinton supporter
        Sanders supporter
        Funded by oil companies”

        Who you are: (Continued)

        Simpleton Voters
        Unwashed Masses
        Elitists who care for the Unwashed Masses (wink, wink)
        Uneducated Fools (unindoctrinated fools)
        The Enlightened One’s in a Post Enlightenment Age
        The Truth Tellers in a Post-Truth/Post-Modern Age
        The Big Fat Liars (Exxon shills)

  12. I could not disagree more that both sides have elements that are convincing.
    Only one side does, the one you read first. (With the exception of nuclear power, which is not inherently dangerous, and has a good track record for safety and affordable power). The idea that humanity is dangerous and trashing the earth, and the idea that we have ANY effect on this planet’s climate is a reflection of our ability to feel fear and guilt, and that we need to atone for our “sins”. It’s unfair as well as backward thinking. I believe the underlying drive of the AGW proponants is a subconcious, instinctive fear of other groups of humanity (countries, races) achieving dominance over the peoples of the developed world. It is not racism, but fear of other groups becoming powerful enough to possibly “take-over” and change our way of life, or how we like things to work in the world. Hence it is developed nations driving AGW and CAGW, thwarting developing nations like China and Africa and India and Asia, by attempting to prevent them from using affordable energy (fossil fuels) like developed nations do and will continue to do.
    There are no “experts” in the field of climate science. Our understanding of the immensely complex nature of Earth’s climate is barely scratching the surface at this point in our history, and it will be centuries before we have a reasonable understanding of this planet’s climate systems , drivers, cycles etc. CO2 is simply the vehicle being used, because it means that affordable energy (fossil) are not available to developing nations, thereby keeping their population down, and preventing their growth and influence, while developed nations will continue to use them, because in democratic nations the government will be tossed out if the people feel at risk.

  13. Regarding renewables, I think the stability of the grid is a serious issue that needs to be looked into and while I don’t like to sound like a Malthusian, there’s this:

  14. I read it as suggested and was not fooled by this silly Jedi mind trick.

    My Chevy Volt is a great way for me to consume the surplus energy my 6.7KwH PV array generates so my neighbors don’t benefit from my investment.

    • Seems a bit unfair since your neighbors helped you pay for it.

      • I’m a landlord and I feel the same way when my renter’s kid gets to go to the public schools for free when I have to pay for it with my property taxes.

        Do not assume you know how I paid for my investments.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      jacksmith4tx | January 2, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      My Chevy Volt is a great way for me to consume the surplus energy my 6.7KwH PV array generates so my neighbors don’t benefit from my investment.

      Jack, perhaps you’d be kind enough to tell us

      a) how much your solar system was subsidized,

      b) how much you get paid for feeding electricity back into the grid, and

      c) how much your Volt was subsidized.

      You are living high by taking money from the taxpayer’s pocket, Jack, while pretending to be a rough-and-tumble rugged individualist living off of the sunshine. Your neighbors don’t “benefit from your investment”, they are PAYING FOR “your” investment.

      When you get your hands out of your neighbors wallets you can come back and lecture me on solar.

      Until then … not interested in the slightest. Go impress the rubes somewhere else.


      • Willis Eschenbach

        More on the huge subsidy for the Chevy Volt


      • You have a lot of opinions about me that are completely wrong.
        a) Zero solar subsidies, 100% my cash, no tax credits, subsidies or grants and it was made with 100% USA made materials in 2011 for $23k.
        b) 0.142/Kwh for the first 500KwH/mo I put on the grid, same as they charge me + about $15 mo. in fees/connection charges.
        c) don’t know (or care) since I bought it off a lease return. I have owned 16 cars since I got my drivers license and the Volt is the coolest car I have ever owned.

    • What the …. is a 6.7 KwH PV array? Does it stop working after supplying 6,7 “KwH”?

  15. Willis Eschenbach

    OK, Judith, he’s proven that renewable energy sounds good … if you stand on your read and read all the literature upside down and you believe all the usual renewables promises …

    How is this any different from reading the same nonsense right side up?

    Me, I’m more interested in economics than fancy word games. Get back to us when renewables are ECONOMICAL, and until then, could we quit the unicorn-boosting and stick to reality? These flights of fantasy may impress the rubes, but they always end up with someone sticking their hand in my pocket and taking my money for their green fantasies.

    For those of us stuck out here in the cold, reading THIS EXACT SAME TYPE OF LAUDATORY BS ABOUT RENEWABLES ever since Jimmy Carter started shoveling taxpayer money down a renewable rathole, your beautiful tales of a wonderful future to come are getting very, very old.


  16. Global warming research is inherently biased.

    We need to ignore the Western academics who claim that

    Leftist politicians offer credible solutions to world warming and seas rising.

    …or, vice-versa?

  17. It is curious that we have a massive academic and government bureaucracies that produce mountains of nuanced and detailed information
    that is then reduced by the political culture to stark black vs.white / good vs evil opposition.

  18. Harry Twinotter

    Good god. This is supposed to be a scientific blog? It looks like it was written by Exxon.

    • Is Exxon as anti-science as Michael Mann?

      • “Is Exxon as anti-science as Michael Mann?”

        Err, no.
        They are the company whose scientists signalled the threat of AGW well before it became mainstream.
        And of course they only arrived at that conclusion because of their incentive to come up with something their employers would like.

    • “Good god. This is supposed to be a scientific blog? It looks like it was written by Exxon.”

      Good God! The IPCC’s AR5 is supposed to be a scientific assessment report? Chapter 10 looks like it was written (in part) by Exxon…oh, wait…

  19. Its a clever essay, but but the energy devil is in details. Solar PV is up against two natural laws: Shockley-Queissner quantum limit to efficiency, and the experience curve for production cost. Combined, says PV is DOA without subsidies even before accounting for nighttime. Wind confronts the intractible grid storage problem, therefore backup, therefore high system cost. Both ‘clean renewables are pretty much a dead end cul de sac. This becomes ever clearer despite now firmly entranched renewable industry interests. The CAGW ‘forced march’ exemplified by UK CCA and Germany Energiewende has done and will continue to do lasting damage.

    Certainly 4th gen nuclear will eventually arise in some implementation(s); the Transatomic Power white paper is particularly intriguing. That is desireable because then natural gas can be conserved for conversion to liquid fuels via new processes like Siluria Technologies ocm/etl catalysis. Perhaps Fiskers Nanotech LIC is a new solution for vehicle electrification, solving the range anxiety and recharging time problems of LiIon. Where natural gas is abundant and affordable, the newest flexible CCGT is both lower CO2 and cheaper than coal generation. Where not, properly scrubbed USC coal is both affordable and more efficient than conventional old coal.
    But given the long life of most energy investments, change in the overall global mix will be slow and take many decades.

    • There is nothing good about lower CO2, there is no temperature problem in actual data and CO2 makes plants grow better with less water. We need to quit even mentioning if some choice emits lower CO2. As long as we depend on green things that grow, we need to promote higher CO2.

      • ristvan

        Thank you for that. I’m now going to look up your book.

        And from your response, I have learned something I hadn’t thought of, that the physical world is a very different place from what it used to be. The certainties both sides of the argument have about the planet are most certainly, not certain.

        IMO, To base a judgement on the planet’s future on an extraordinarily uncertain past, seems neither scientific nor practical, indeed, it’s almost religious.

        To base the future of the planet on an unproven hypothesis smacks of something rather more sinister. Surely to goodness people in authority are asking the self-same question I asked you, and if not, they are not capable of running a garden fete far less a country.

        My uninformed opinion, simply based on the Geological Timescale is that the planet is emerging from a flirtation with atmospheric catastrophe. We almost certainly can’t get much worse in terms of coincidental Co2 and temperature lows, so fingers crossed, we get some more of both.


      • ristvan

        I just looked up your book(s).

        Boy, do I feel like a twit.

      • hscot,

        You are no twit.

    • ristvan,

      I have asked this many times on many forums, and forgive me if the following sounds rude, it’s not intended; but as one who I suspect I should respect for your evident scientific knowledge (I have no idea who you are and this is an anonymous forum so I have no way of checking your credentials) can you help with the following for me please.

      As far as I can gather, after over 40 years of research, by tens of thousands of scientists, millions of man hours and billions of £/$’s, are there any credible field studies that reliably report that increasing atmospheric Co2 causes global temperature rise, specifically, man generated Co2 (because of course, it’s not man made, just released by man following accidental, natural sequestration). And that being the case, is there any evidence that raised levels of atmospheric Co2 were the cause of catastrophic weather conditions over the past 650M years?

      I would imagine, that after all that well funded scientific study, there would be numerous, hundreds, if not thousands; however, no matter how I search for them, I can’t find any.

      Am I using the wrong search terms?

      • No, there aren’t any that are solid. I looked for both my 2012 ebook The Arts of Truth and for the climate essays in 2014 ebook Blowing Smoke. Here is the essence of why. IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM figure 8.2 specifically says the warming from ~1920-1945 was mostly natural; there simply was not enough change in GHG for that period to be attributed to the GHE. The problem is that the warming from ~1975-2000 is essentially indistinguishable from the earlier period. This introduces the attribution problem. Attributing the second period warming to the GHG is a matter of warmunist faith, not logic or fact or sound science. It is the reason for the paucity of warming attribution papers that is important, not the paucity itself.
        You cannot use paleoclimate to answer the attribution question. Gore goofed. Ice cores say delta CO2 lags delta T by ~800 years. But Henry’s law on millennial time scales does not speak to AGW on centennial time scales. And you certainly cannot use deep geological history because the positions of the continents and the planets biology were both different. For example, the carboniferous period had basically two continents, Laurasia and Gondwana. It began with the evolution of lignin bearing woody plants, and ended about 60 million years later with the evolution of white fungi that feed off lignin.
        You can best use search terms around attribution or GHE fingerprint. You will find lots of stuff, but precious few sound scientific papers. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but its net warming effect is uncertain because of feedbacks, especially from water vapor and clouds. My own estimate is a positive Bode f net feedback of ~0.3 corresponding to observational ECS~ 1.65 compared to CMIP5 median 0.65 corresponding to median model ECS 3.2. So there will likely be some GHE warming. Just not enough for there to ever be any catastrophes.

    • Rud,

      Both ‘clean renewables are pretty much a dead end cul de sac.

      I agree emphatically.

    • Siluria/ocm technology was studied thoroughly in the 80’s-90’s. It can only make sense with a very, very high oil/gas price ratio. Think $250/bbl oil.

      • Bigterguy, ocm was studied in the 1980’s All kinds of problems. Catalytic efficiency, catalytic life… It appears Siluria has solved all those problems in the last four years. They have a test plant now successfully operating for more than a year converting natural gas to ethylene. JV. With Braschem, and the numbers seem to work.They have investment from players like Bechtel and Aramco. Take a look.

      • Rud,

        Couple of proposals to construct plants to produce ethylene from NG. One in Longview WA and another in Tacoma. Latter would have been largest in the world. Shutdown by local resistance. Believe Longview plant still proceeding.

  20. Beta Blocker

    Repeating what I said on WUWT several weeks ago about using California as an experiment in the aggressive adoption of wind and solar, let’s note that Pacific Gas & Electric CEO Anthony Early, who is a former chairman of the Edison Electric Institute, has said that PG&E is already halfway there with replacing Diablo Canyon’s output with electricity from renewable energy sources.

    Early has said also that he sees no problem with California reaching 50% renewable generation by 2030. Further, he believes that it might even be possible to reach 70% renewable generation in that state, and to do it without backup from nuclear power.

    A majority of Californians now believe that the renewables can handle the better part of the job and that placing greater reliance on wind and solar backed by grid-scale energy storage will actually reduce their electric bills.

    Speaking as someone who thinks it is impossible to move towards a low-carbon energy future without a strong commitment to nuclear power, I say that no one should stand in the way of the Californians as they do their best to reach 50% renewables by 2030.

    If a serious experiment pushing aggressive adoption of the renewables is to be done successfully, some large group of people living in some large region of the United States needs to step up to the challenge and become the pathfinders for figuring out if a renewable energy future either is, or is not, economically and technically achievable.

    If the Californians want the job, and if they are confident they can get it done, then let’s encourage them to accept the challenge of doing it their way, to do it without subsidies from the rest of us living outside their state borders, and then see what actually happens in their state over the next fifteen to twenty years.

    • I agree, let California follow Germany while Texas follows a better path. Cut the subsidies and tax credits and let the best options win. Fund some research in diverse areas, but mostly let the various areas fund most of their own research.

    • Curious George

      “PG&E also continues to grow its environmentally friendly generation portfolio, with more than 50 percent of its assets having no carbon emissions.” I wonder how many non-performing assets do they have?

    • Roger Knights

      I say that no one should stand in the way of the Californians as they do their best to reach 50% renewables by 2030.

      Along the same lines:

      Let them have everything.
      —Joseph DeMaistre

  21. Tech to watch in the coming year…walk away failsafe…can be retrofitted to existing Ultra super critical coal fired heat exchangers. Game changer.

    Shandong Shidao Bay 200 MWe High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Pebble-Bed Module (HTR-PM) Demonstration Power Plant

    • Curious George

      “The thermal power of a single HTR-PM reactor module is 250 MWth, the helium temperatures at the reactor core inlet/outlet are 250/750 °C, and a steam of 13.25 MPa/567 °C is produced at the steam generator outlet. Two HTR-PM reactor modules are connected to a steam turbine to form a 210 MWe nuclear power plant.”

      Out of 2 x 250 MW thermal they plan to get 210 MW electric. Efficiency: 42%. Game changer?

      • Complete loss of coolant walk away safe.?
        Retrofit-able to existing coal fired ultra super critical heat exchangers?

        42% thermal efficiency for a nuke is pretty good..but nothing to write home about..

    • They installed 2 smr units. Head of company says they will be ready for commercial production within 5 years. Very encouraging news

  22. “Electric vehicles will remain a niche technology.
    You have to be in denial to believe
    There will be game-changing reductions in battery costs and charging times.”

    The writer of this seems to be in “denial” about the advance of technology…

    • Reading top to bottom:

      Electric vehicles will remain a niche technology.
      You have to be in denial to believe
      There will be game-changing reductions in battery costs and charging times.

      Reading the sentences bottom to top:

      There will be game-changing reductions in battery costs and charging times. You have to be in denial to believe electric vehicles will remain a niche technology.

      Mosher says it makes no sense to him, but I believe he once said he sometimes reads scientific papers bottom to top, which actually is a useful tool.


      • Danny Thomas

        Shoot. Maybe Mosher misunderstood the instructions and read: “Times charging and costs battery in reductions changing-game be will there?” Thought it was a question.

      • “Mosher says it makes no sense to him, but I believe he once said he sometimes reads scientific papers bottom to top, which actually is a useful tool.”

        I suspect Mosh was joking and the punchline was that he read it in *reverse* as in “erutuf ygrene naelc a ot tfihs reven dlrow ehT”

        “The world will never shift to a clean energy future.”

      • Steven Mosher

        I read it in reverse… at the letter level… ok bad joke

        Science papers… read back to front

        If pressed I can read mirrored text

        dad was a typesetter.

        I think all dialog has become incommensurable.

      • > I suspect Mosh was joking and the punchline was that he read it in *reverse* as in “erutuf ygrene naelc a ot tfihs reven dlrow ehT”

        That would be reading the concatenation of letters in reverse order, Jean-Paul. I suspect that’s not the “it” in question.

        This trick is good for the introduction.

        Reading the first and last sentences of each paragraphs is also good.

        One reason to read the last sentences of a paper is to see if the research is within the scope you want to study. If what you read ends up short of what you’re looking for, there’s no need to continue. Reading these last sentences may be needed if you can’t detect the study’s limitations in the abstract.

      • I for one don’t doubt your reading skills Steven.

      • Willard,

        Thank you for that. It is truly much appreciated.

    • My experience with high energy capacitors is that when they fail, they fail spectacularly. This may indeed be something that addresses long battery charge times but, like any new technology, it will take a lot of time to perfect and there is of course a chance if will not get past some of the inherrent safety issues associated with capacitors. I hope they do eventually work, or another solution is developed, because I like electric car technology as a car enthusiast, not as a virtue seeker. I’m on the Tesla 3 list, so we will see if I have the same opinion in 2 years.

    • TB, I was curious and tracked your link to ground. Google supercapacitor materials ltd. They developed a new gel electrolyte and are making unfounded claims for it. In a suoercapacitor, charge is stored in a Helmholtz layer between a conducting surface and an electrolyte. The energy density limitation is the surface, not the electrolyte (at molarity > 1.5 for the salt in the solvent). I know, because I hold 5 issued patents that enable the highest charge storage carbon surface yet invented.
      Its university hype whose basis is very unsound. Like said in my comment upthread, the energy devil is always in the details. This fails.

  23. “This essay brilliantly reflects the dual realities of the energy debate.”

    Except that real catastrophic climate change would be from super solar minima and re-glaciation.

  24. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  25. We can have clean energy future at an enormously reduced cost of energy and with virtually unlimited energy. This would give enormous benefits for humanity. All we need to do is get the self-claimed ‘Progressives’ to stop blocking progress. They have been negatively disrupting progress for half a century.

    If not for the disruption to progress nuclear power could be supplying 66% of our electricity by now at round 10% of its current cost. We could be progressing towards unlimited transport fuels (petrol diesel, jet fuels, etc.) from seawater and electric power with no change to infrastructure required. US Navy Research and Audi estimate the costs for these fuels are $3 to $6 per gallon with current commercially available technologies. However, these estimates assume the hydrogen component is made by electrolysis. The hydrogen is responsible for more than half the cost. If hydrogen was produced by high temperature nuclear reactors, the estimated cost could be halved, i.e. to $1.5 to $3 per gallon. If nuclear power was 10% the cost it is now, these estimates would lower still.


      Project the blue line to 497 GW (the cumulative global capacity of construction starts at end of 2015) gives $349/kW. According to the OECD/NEA 2015,, the average OCC for USA was $3,881/kW (converted to 2010$ to be consistent with all other analyses). Therefore, if the nuclear learning rates for OCC had continued with no change in demand (conservative), OCC of nuclear would have been 9% of what it is (if not for the disruption which began around 1968).

    • Peter Lang, please stop the false statements about nuclear power costs. A new nuclear plant’s turbines and generators cost at least 10 percent of the total cost.

      Your other statements are equally absurd.

      • Your comments is absurd and ignorant. You clearly have no understanding of learnng rate. Please stop posting your anti-nuclear rubbish. Your ilk, the anti-nuke protest movement, are responsible for around 9.5 million fatalities since 1976.

      • At Peter Lang:

        I deal in verified facts; you deal in fantasy.

        You bitterly cling to a fantasy world where nuclear power plants can be built at one-tenth the present cost, by removing unspecified regulatory burdens.

        The reality is as I wrote above: the cost for the steam turbines and generator is more than 10 percent of the present cost to build.

        You could look it up.

        Stop the false statements from your fantasy world.

      • Roger Sowell,

        You spread misinformation and disinformation. You are a serial disinformer. You are a lawyers for the anti nukes and pro renewables lobby. You have zero credibility. As I said ion previous comments you have no understanding of to conecept os experience curves and learning rates. if you knew anything relevant about the subject you would understand this – you clearly don’t. If you were intellectually honest you’d go and do some research to educate your self. You’ve demonstrated repeatedly you are not intellectually honest. Stating irrelevant factoids totally out of context is not intellectually honest.

        Stop disinforming. As I said the damage you and your ilk have done by blocking nuclear power for the past half century are responsible for 9.5 million deaths since 1976! It surprises the lack of ethics amongst the lawyers like you.

      • Sowell, you have lost every argument you have had with Lang. He has facts backed up by data from nuclear scientists and engineers. You have disinformation. You have made yourself part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

      • At Peter Lang and Tom Johnson,

        I’ve won every exchange with nuclear nuts who live in their fantasy world.


        that cites data from OECD, Nuclear Energy Agency (2000).

        Nuclear engineers and scientists are the ones I cite in my writings and exposes of the nuclear power industry.

        See my 30 articles on Truth About Nuclear Power, all factual and irrefutable.

        Lang falsely states that I am a lawyer for the anti nukes. I have never advised not represented any client on nuclear issues. So, stop lying, Lang.

        As to nuclear damage, nuclear plants cause leukemia, a form of cancer, in residents in close proximity.

      • I am not lying or misrepresenting. On the other hand you frequently and repeatedly misrepresent what I’ve said, even after you’ve been corrected. I present factoids without correct context. You don’t address what is relevant. Apparently you have negligible understanding of experience curves and learning rates and what they mean. Apparently you are incapable of challenging your beliefs when confronted with facts – such as the disruption to development and deployment of nuclear power from about 1968 in the USA, the causes and the consequences of it (around 9.5 million fatalities for the counterfactual case where the pre-1976 deployment rates had continued). You are frequently disingenuous, you mislead and misrepresent. I despise people who are intellectually dishonest.

      • CORRECTION: I meant to say:
        You present factoids without correct context.

    • Peter, I’ve long been a fan of your pro nuclear work. However I should note that I am a liberal / progressive who is a strong supporter of nuclear power. You might be surprised how many Democrats are pro nuclear.

      Our former Dallas mayor, Ron Kirk, served in Obama’s cabinet. One of several hats he wears now is as a spokesman for the nuclear power industry.

      I would like to be able to refer people to your comments here but when you go on an anti progressive rant you should understand that you risk alienating the very people you need to convince.

      You are one of the most eloquent champions of nuclear power we have and I thank you for that.

      • Tom Johnson,

        Thank you. I’ll take that on board. I agree there are pro- and anti-nuclear, and pro- and anti-renewables, advocates across the political spectrum.

        I’d point out however, that the anti-nuclear power protest movement and the environmental movement (and NGOs) have led the fight against nuclear power. The people who belong to and support these movements are predominantly of “Progressive” ideological persuasion. Democrat Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Obama were predominantly anti-nuclear and did enormous damage to the programs, and ultimately to world deveopment.

        Jimmy Carter:

        During the start of Carter’s presidency, the Clinch River plant project was about 80% complete. Jimmy Carter used the power of the presidency to terminated it. This was payback to the environmentalists who helped get him elected president.

        Bill Clinton:

        As soon as Bill Clinton became president in 1992 he staffed the US Department of Energy (DOE) with environmentalists and placed them in controlling positions. They immediately ordered EBR II shut down and requested that it be destroyed so it could never run again. This too was pay back for supporting Clinton’s election.

        Closing the US breeder reactor program was an enormous mistake which, arguably, has slowed world progress by decades so far.

        President Obama appointed life-long ant-nuke zealot John Holdren to be his Senior Advisor on Science and Technology, and anti-nuke, pro-renewables Steven Chu to be his Secretary of Energy.

        Therefore, I’d suggest while apportion most of the blame to “Progressives” is not incorrect, it is unhelpful and a tactical mistake.

        Taking your comment on board, I’ll try to remember use different wording in future, such as “anti-nukes and environmental movement” instead of “Progressives”, when apportioning most of the blame for retarding the development and deployment of nuclear power progress since around 1968.

        You might be interested in this excellent 1985 report by RAND Corporation:
        Daubert and Moran, 1985, Origins, Goals and Tactics of the US Anti-Nuclear Protest Movement.

  26. The world will never shift to a clean energy future.
    We need to stop listening to so-called experts who say
    We can avoid catastrophic climate change by eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
    Engineers are smart and love solving problems.
    But here’s the thing:

    Reading the above backwards-here are some major hitches.
    -No one is saying the world will “never” shift to a clean energy future. The question is when and how.
    -Engineers are good at solving problems – so maybe we should let them develop the solutions. What s the problem – preventing climate impacts, reducing CO2 emissions, or implementing particular forms of prespecified technology? Something else?
    -Can we avoid catastrophic climate change by eliminating the fossil fuels? Is natural climate change a non-risk on a large time scale, Is there a date on when fossil fuels have to be eliminated by?

  27. Pingback: The two-faced ‘reality’ of a clean energy future | Robbie's Blog

  28. Berényi Péter

    Nuclear power is inherently dangerous. We need to ignore the advocates who claim that new nuclear technologies offer passive safety and solutions to waste and proliferation.


    New nuclear technologies offer passive safety and solutions to waste and proliferation. We need to ignore the advocates who claim that nuclear power is inherently dangerous.


    There is a subtle semantic difference between these two Boolean values.

  29. David Wojick

    Speaking of Exxon, this just in:
    “Fossil Fuels Will Provide Nearly 80% Of The World’s Energy Demand In 2040. Exxon’s 2040 Outlook: Fossil Fuels Aren’t Going Anywhere”

    Sounds about right to me. 1. Fossil fuels are cheap, simple, and clean in modern uses. 2. A lot of countries are emerging from poverty. 3. The global energy system cannot change much in just 23 years.

  30. Roger Knights

    Someone who has Scott Adams’ email should send him a link to this—it’s right up his alley.

  31. Love this! The interesting structure shows both perspectives really well. Definitely a believer in the reverse version though!

  32. “Today, over one billion people around the world—five hundred million of them in sub-Saharan Africa alone—lack access to electricity. Nearly three billion people cook over open fires fueled by wood, dung, coal, or charcoal. This energy poverty presents a significant hurdle to achieving development goals of health, prosperity, and a livable environment.

    The relationship between access to modern energy services and quality of life is well established. Affordable and reliable grid electricity allows factory owners to increase output and hire more workers. Electricity allows hospitals to refrigerate lifesaving vaccines and power medical equipment. It liberates children and women from manual labor. Societies that are able to meet their energy needs become wealthier, more resilient, and better able to navigate social and environmental hazards like climate change and natural disasters.

    Faced with a perceived conflict between expanding global energy access and rapidly reducing greenhouse emissions to prevent climate change, many environmental groups and donor institutions have come to rely on small-scale, decentralized, renewable energy technologies that cannot meet the energy demands of rapidly growing emerging economies and people struggling to escape extreme poverty. The UN’s flagship energy access program, for example, claims that “basic human needs” can be met with enough electricity to power a fan, a couple of light bulbs, and a radio for five hours a day.”

    It is abundantly clear that the UN is not on side with developing countries. COP21 demonstrated yet again that they are not on side with the UN.