New York Times on Cooling Gore's "Hype"

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New York Times science journalist William Broad reports in his article, "From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype," that some climate scientists are concerned that Al Gore is overselling global warming as an imminent catastrophe. To wit:

But part of his scientific audience is uneasy. In talks, articles and blog entries that have appeared since his film and accompanying book came out last year, these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore's central points are exaggerated and erroneous. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism.

"I don't want to pick on Al Gore," Don J. Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, told hundreds of experts at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. "But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data." …

Criticisms of Mr. Gore have come not only from conservative groups and prominent skeptics of catastrophic warming, but also from rank-and-file scientists like Dr. Easterbook, who told his peers that he had no political ax to grind. A few see natural variation as more central to global warming than heat-trapping gases. Many appear to occupy a middle ground in the climate debate, seeing human activity as a serious threat but challenging what they call the extremism of both skeptics and zealots.

Kevin Vranes, a climatologist at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, said he sensed a growing backlash against exaggeration. While praising Mr. Gore for "getting the message out," Dr. Vranes questioned whether his presentations were "overselling our certainty about knowing the future."

Typically, the concern is not over the existence of climate change, or the idea that the human production of heat-trapping gases is partly or largely to blame for the globe's recent warming. The question is whether Mr. Gore has gone beyond the scientific evidence.

The New York Times piece mirrors in many ways my review of An Inconvenient Truth back in June 2006.

The Times article closes with a quotation from former chief scientist for the activist group Environmental Defense and now Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer:

"On balance, he did quite well β€” a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject. For that, he deserves a lot of credit. If you rake him over the coals, you're going to find people who disagree. But in terms of the big picture, he got it right."

Similarly, but less fulsomely, my review concluded:

On balance Gore gets it more right than wrong on the science, but he undercuts his message by becoming the opposite of a global warming denier. He's a global warming exaggerator.

I realize that some people think that because I turned out to be wrong about where the scientific evidence was pointing with regard to man-made global warming that I should withdraw into decorous silence (or more colloquially put–why don't I just shut up?). Jim Henley in a H&R blog comment reasonably asked me why I keep linking to items by scientists who stress uncertainty in the data with regard to global warming? The chief reason is to show to readers that scientific evidence is not all pointing one way to ultimate inevitable catastrophe and that it is still possible for smart honest people to disagree on how bad man-made warming is likely to be. A point that the New York Times article is now making too.

I have made it perfectly clear that in my own judgement that man-made warming is a fact. I am still trying to figure out by further reading of the relevant scientific and policy literature and by talking to various sides in the climate debate just how bad warming is likely to be and what the best policies for addressing it might be. Keep in mind that the Summary for Policymakers of the Fourth Assessment Report by the IPCC offers one relatively mild scenario in which average global temperatures might rise by between 1.1 and 2.9 degrees Celsius. If future evidence shows that scenario to be more likely that has huge policy implications for how intensely and expensively humanity must address man-made climate change. Furthermore, whatever the scientific evidence says about future climate, that does not tell us what the proper mix of policies–mitigation and adaptation–should be. That's ethics, economics and politics. Libertarians (perhaps even I) will have lots of value to say in those debates.

Disclosure: I have never had anything to hide with regard to my reporting. Just read my Reason bio and if you want an alternative view look at Greenpeace's Exxonsecrets site.

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  1. Money quote:

    “On balance, he did quite well – a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject. For that, he deserves a lot of credit. If you rake him over the coals, you’re going to find people who disagree. But in terms of the big picture, he got it right.”

    Credit and coals in the same passage πŸ™‚

    Disclosure: I think I bought a shot of Scotch for a NYT editor at some time in my life, so they are now shilling for me. Unfortunatly, crap like this is not doing my struggling Carbon Credit Program any good.

  2. Disclosure: I have never had anything to hide with regard to my reporting.

    I guess for me as a critical reader, the question for me is:

    What would the management of Reason do if you took a position that substantial precautionary action was the appropriate response to man-made global warming?

    I can’t help, but think that they would fire you and you know it.

    What would really help your credibility at this point is a clear statement from the management of Reason that you have the freedom to opine against your perceived biases, and still keep your job there.

    Without that assurance it is going to be tough to win converts to your new position of measured skepticism. cause it looks from here that you write what you need to write in order to keep your (highly desirable) job.

  3. Like an Enzyte ad, Baileyan disclaimers now have more content than his central thesis.

  4. I guess the only way to really know if Gore is accurate, exaggerating, or even understating his claims is to…wait and see.

  5. Too modest , Ron- you are an ornament to the biotech writing profession ,and there’s nothing wrong with focusing on your metier now that you have found it.

    The problem is where to find a film producer of Guggenheim’s polemic talent , and an interdisciplinary teamof honest to gosh scientists as opposed to K-Street retreads to do a high budget ,line-by-line fisking of the truthiness disconnect between the icons on the screen and the words coming out of Al’s mouth.

    I can’t quite see anybody , or foundation, inside the beltway , pulling it off.

  6. Dave W.

    Why do you think Reason would let him off with just a firing? A couple years back when an editor went all squishy on welfare reform, he died in a hunting accident when his bow accidentally went off and put three arrows through his head. And that time Cathy Young didn’t write a balanced article on a controversial issue? Woke up the next day with a horse head in her bed.

  7. I think a good libertarian case could be made that anything that happens steadily over several decades is the sort of thing that markets are ideally suited to adapt to.

    And in a few blog posts over at Jim Henley’s place I suggested that sane energy policy might be good from a libertarian perspective as well as from a global warming perspective.

    Finally, I know that doubting the science is popular among some of the commenters (I’m not talking about you, Ron), but there’s nothing in libertarian philosophy or economic theory that says anything about whether a substance that efficiently absorbs solar radiation will produce a temperature increase. As a group, libertarians have no particular expertise to offer on that question. However, libertarians have many valuable things to say about policy, economics, and society. (As Ron points out.) Opining on policy and economics is a way that libertarians can exercise their comparative advantage. Opining on heat transport? Eh, not so much.

    Just some things to keep in mind…

  8. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism.

    Noooooo! You think?????

    “On balance, he did quite well – a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject. For that, he deserves a lot of credit. If you rake him over the coals, you’re going to find people who disagree. But in terms of the big picture, he got it right.”

  9. Abdul – I doubt that Stevo would like being called a horse. Remember the last meeting? We agreed that it was hung like one. Not one. But hung.

    We’ll go ahead and get you a copy of the memo.

    JasonL: “Similin’ Ron”? mercy.

  10. What would the management of Reason do if you took a position that substantial precautionary action was the appropriate response to man-made global warming?

    I suspect that Mr. Weigel would start publishing the embarassing photos he has of Ron from Reason gatherings as retaliation for getting into his turf on this topic πŸ™‚

  11. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism.

    Noooooo! You think?????

    “On balance, he did quite well – a credible and entertaining job on a difficult subject. For that, he deserves a lot of credit. If you rake him over the coals, you’re going to find people who disagree. But in terms of the big picture, he got it right.”

    So, basically, exaggerating ad nauseam the threath of something that may NOT even BE a threat, is considered a “good job”. Talk about doing a Joseph Goebbels.

    In another, related issue – have you seen how many commentators and cartoonists are attacking the people that pointed out Mr. Gore’s inability to live, himself, a “green” lifestyle? Seems to me that leftists (socialists) and rightists (fascists) point out the obvious double-standards at each other, we see their equivalent of M.A.D. (Mutualy Assured Defamation)

  12. Abdul:

    well, that bow had been gently bumped, so it probably was an accident that it went off.

  13. Dave W. If for some odd reason I came to believe in the precautionary principle, I would quit and get a nice job with Greenpeace. The precautionary principle has nothing to do with science. My views here and here.

  14. However, libertarians have many valuable things to say about policy, economics, and society. (As Ron points out.)

    Like that time Mr. Doherty linked to the Drudge thingee about Al Gore’s mansion?

  15. So, the New York Times is now part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?

    I look forward to their investigative series on Vince Foster’s “suicide”.

  16. It’s a shame that Radley Balko couldn’t stay the course.

  17. Like that time Mr. Doherty linked to the Drudge thingee about Al Gore’s mansion?

    Ah, that is why you were away for a few days. Finally over that case of the vapors?

  18. And, T., I know you haven’t forgotten the time they told us SUVs were good for the environment. That wasn’t so long ago!

  19. To clarify, I agree with Ron’s thesis here. I just hope at some point we can abbreviate the same disclaimers and the same attacks.

    Posters could just type “Bigoilshill” and Ron could end every article with “Warmingisrealbut”

  20. Ronald Bailey,

    I really don’t think that you have anything to apologize for (at least in this instance). Honestly, I think that is pretty stand-up for you to say “I was wrong about X” and people ought to move on from that.

  21. Ron,

    I finally found the most advanced climate change model in use today. Have you seen it before?

  22. 1. If I had meant “Precautionary Principle” I would have said “Precautionary Principle.” Frankly, I think that whole “Precautionary Principle” thing gives rise to a false dichotomy in considering environmental issues, so I choose my words carefully to avoid advocating for it.

    2. As far as whether I am over the vapors: whoever was fake posting as “Dave W.” seems to have stopped, so: problem solved. Want to especially thank T. for taking a strong stance against fake posting. I think we all learned something that day.

  23. In another, related issue – have you seen how many commentators and cartoonists are attacking the people that pointed out Mr. Gore’s inability to live, himself, a “green” lifestyle? Seems to me that leftists (socialists) and rightists (fascists) point out the obvious double-standards at each other, we see their equivalent of M.A.D. (Mutualy Assured Defamation)

    I’d say they deserve to be attacked for making a bunch of stuff up.

  24. Some writers I know are damn devils
    For them I say don’t believe the hype

  25. Yo Chuck, they must be on the pipe, right?

  26. Bailey will continue, as will all other Reason writers, shilling (? John, 2006) the party line or incur our wrath, the likes of which makes mere mortals tremble at the thought. All their writing are belong to us. They are but pawns in our master plan to capture the highly coveted libertarian policy publication niche and reap the vast, untold wealth that awaits. Gillespie? He hates leather! Weigel? He’s voted the straight Republican ticket in every election since 1982! Balko? Big law & order guy! Sullum? Works part time as a nark. Howley? A Muslim convert, wears a burka to the office. And Bailey? A charter member of the Al Gore fan club!

    Their own opinions mean nothing to us. We dictate every word they write. They are all in thrall to us, lured at first by the exorbitant salaries and the unlimited expense accounts and held by irresistible addiction to the enormous power they yield to sway public opinion and set the national agenda.

    P.S. — We never admitted any of this and you never read it.

  27. Ron,

    I second what Grotius said.

  28. “I think a good libertarian case could be made that anything that happens steadily over several decades is the sort of thing that markets are ideally suited to adapt to.”

    That’s true, but if you make that argument after years of arguing that there was no global warming problem at all, by that point the public is up in arms and hysterical and politicians have no choice but to “do something”. Which, in a best-case scenario, would be subsidizing research into alt energy sources, something I personally wouldn’t mind.

  29. Their own opinions mean nothing to us. We dictate every word they write.

    Well, then — make sure to keep me in mind for next time someone goes LAT on ya. Will relocate. Salary negotiable.

  30. Worth reading.

    http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2007/03/the_new_scientist.php

    “”There’s a big gap between what is understood by the scientists at the forefront of the research, and what is known by the people who need to know,” he says. “And that’s partly because of this technical language, and limitations on what scientists are willing to say.” In an essay for the New York Review of Books, Hansen put it bluntly: “Scientists present the facts about climate change clinically, failing to stress that business-as-usual will transform the planet.”

  31. would be subsidizing research into alt energy sources, something I personally wouldn’t mind.

    So why aren’t you purchasing my carbon credits so that I can dontinue development on my hybrid, alternative fueled, organically powered fleet of exquisite MOPAR vehicles?

  32. Their own opinions mean nothing to us. We dictate every word they write. They are all in thrall to us, lured at first by the exorbitant salaries and the unlimited expense accounts and held by irresistible addiction to the enormous power they yield to sway public opinion and set the national agenda.

    I knew it! They were just too balanced, too rational, too sane to be real liberatarians.

    PS: Are you the “Smoking Man”?

  33. Gore has to be more and more extremist. He’s painted himself into a corner. If he’s wrong – he’s going to be a laughingstock, and everyone knows that pride kills an ego that size.

  34. That’s true, but if you make that argument after years of arguing that there was no global warming problem at all, by that point the public is up in arms and hysterical and politicians have no choice but to “do something”.

    Well, I personally question the strange assumption a lot of people make that libertarians have any real public impact in this debate. However…

    I prefer skepticism of activists and politicans, even at the risk of being proven wrong and having to acknowledge that, and the honest demand that we try to make decisions based on what we know and not on fearful predictions. Jumping on fearful predictions back in 2003 hasn’t seemed to do so well for the US.

    I’m all for market-based solutions to climate change and other problems. However, who here seriously thinks that if we (and even the conservatives who made up the bulk of this side of the argument) said, “Yeah, sure, whatever you say, global apocalypse and we end up living on boats along with mutant fish-men, but the market can address it!” that we would be in any better position now?

  35. Well Ron once an apostate always an apostate. To the global warming community you will always be like a converted Jew or Muslim in Christian Spain, never quite trustworthy.

    There are pretty simple sollutions; nuclear energy and electric cars. Something like 15% of all manmade greenhouse gases are produced by coal fired power plants in the U.S. In addition, coal mining is a nasty dangerous industry that does untold environmental damage. If the U.S. wanted to, it could replace all of its coal plants with nuclear in a decade. The only reason the U.S. is not all nuclear is the devil’s combination of irrational fear, environmental luddites and entrenched interests in the energy industry who have no desire to see the lucrative coal market replaced by cheap operating nuclear plants.

    As far as electric cars go, 10 years ago GM produced the EV1, a car which its owners loved. The car mysteriously disappeared never to be replaced. I firmly believe that the automakers and the oil industry are killing electric cars. Since electric motors require so many fewer moving parts, they run much longer and require much less maintenence and are less profitable than gas powered cars. The price and profitabilty of gas would plummet if people started owning electric cars to commute with. Neither the car makers or the oil industry have any interest in producing an electric car despite their advantages.

    I don’t see any reason why the U.S. shouldn’t go nuclear and force the automakers to produce an affordable electric car. Provide people with cheap electricity and affordable electric cars and you make some serious progress in reducing greenhouse emmissions and increase efficiency while doing so.

  36. Price of pushing global warming hysteria = Oscar’s, Hollywood starlets, Billions & Billions of unaccountable dollars, fame and glory for caring.

    Price of questioning global warming = called a Nazi, loss of grants, loss of face, loss of credentials and future employment.

    I would think when something becomes 95% political and 5% scientific that it might be time to stop calling it a catastrophe and start calling the coming global socialist plan to command and control all aspects of energy and business through caps, regulations and carbon trading just a bad idea.

  37. “Gore has to be more and more extremist. He’s painted himself into a corner. If he’s wrong – he’s going to be a laughingstock, and everyone knows that pride kills an ego that size.”

    That is the beauty of Gore’s position, the apocolypse is always tommorow not today. No matter what happens, Gore can always claim “just you wait and see, you will pay for your evil capitalist ways”. By the time it becomes obvious that he was a crank and a fraud, he will be dead and gone. In the meantime, he gets to win Oscars and fly around in his Gulfstream playing environmental Casandra. I can’t say that I blame him. Being the environmental movement’s Elmer Gantry sounds a whole lot more fun than working at some K Street lobbying firm or bloviating at the Kennedy School, which is the fate of most other failed politicians.

  38. who here seriously thinks that if we (and even the conservatives who made up the bulk of this side of the argument) said, “Yeah, sure, whatever you say, global apocalypse and we end up living on boats along with mutant fish-men, but the market can address it!” that we would be in any better position now?

    Point taken, but I think sane energy policy can go a long way. And to the extent that regulation is part of the mix, we have ideas that can lead to minimalist approaches rather than a command economy approach.

  39. 10 years ago GM produced the EV1, a car which its owners loved. The car mysteriously disappeared never to be replaced. I firmly believe that the automakers and the oil industry are killing electric cars.

    There were no owners of EV1’s (except for GM), only lessees. If the lessees liked a car that could only go 100 miles (less in cold weather)before being re-charged for 8 hours they deserved to have their product line killed and should have been subject to the same treatment as a Reason staffer who develops a fondness for government regulation.

  40. If there was any science in global warming hysteria your replacing of coal with nuclear makes sense. So doesn’t it bother you that the same people who are selling global warming are the ones that essentially outlawed any further nuclear development in this counrty, removed noble prize winning DDT from use in Africa killing tens of millions of people and awho banned GM crops in Europe and through out much of the world futher adding hunger and misery.

    These are the people who embrace socialism and communism as a truly caring governmental model.

    Yet now they so care about the world that they want to save it.

    I am an educated person but I could have figured this out when I was a busboy working my way through college:

    Follow the Money.

  41. “Point taken, but I think sane energy policy can go a long way. And to the extent that regulation is part of the mix, we have ideas that can lead to minimalist approaches rather than a command economy approach.”

    Yeah but what the hell does that really mean Thoreau? What exactly is a minimalist approach? Further, the U.S. regulates the crap out of the energy industry right now. That sounds nice and all but really doesn’t say anything. If you buy into man made global warming, which I don’t but for the sake of argument I will pretend I do, greenhouse gases are the ultimate externality. They completly mix into the atmostphere. Unlike ordinary air pollutants, local regulation doesn’t have any effect on the local climate or beyond reducing the world agregate. That is a pretty tough thing for the market to account for.

  42. “If the lessees liked a car that could only go 100 miles (less in cold weather)before being re-charged for 8 hours they deserved to have their product line killed and should have been subject to the same treatment as a Reason staffer who develops a fondness for government regulation.”

    I drive about 24 miles a day to and from work. If you could give me a car that I could recharge overnight like a cell phone and drive back and forth to work without using any gas, I would pay a considerable premium for it. I would imagine I am not alone in my willingness. Further, that was 10 years ago. Battery power has advanced greatly since then. A modern electric car could be bigger, safer and go much farther on a charge than the EV1.

    Art,

    I totally hear you. I don’t buy into global warming either, but if I did, nuclear would be my sollution. Yes, you are exactly right in describing most greens. They are not greens, they are watermelons; green on the outside red on the inside. The environmental movement has regretably become a post cold war home for wayward socialists.

  43. Realclimate.org

    “The first rule when crticising popular science presentations for inaccuracies should be to double check any ‘facts’ you use. It is rather ironic then that William Broad’s latest piece on Al Gore plays just as loose with them as he accuses Gore of doing.

    We criticized William Broad previously (Broadly Misleading) for a piece that misrepresented the scientific understanding of the factors that drive climate change over millions of years, systematically understating the scientifically-established role of greenhouse gases, and over-stating the role of natural factors including those as speculative as cosmic rays (see our recent discussion here). In this piece, Broad attempts to discredit Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” by exaggerating the legitimate, but minor, criticisms of his treatment of the science by experts on climate science, and presenting specious or unsubstantiated criticisms by a small number of the usual, well-known contrarians who wouldn’t agree even if Gore read aloud from the latest IPCC report.”

    From John

    “If the U.S. wanted to, it could replace all of its coal plants with nuclear in a decade.”

    Things are never quite that straight forward…
    Here is Scientific American
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=0000137A-C4BF-14E5-84BF83414B7F0000&pageNumber=1&catID=2

    The union of Concerned Scientists
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/nuclear-power-and-climate.html

    And an alternate view (a bit hyperbolic, but many of the facts are right).

    http://www.net.org/proactive/newsroom/release.vtml?id=18534

    I am not against Nuclear Power, but the problem ain’t a straight forward as John claims.

  44. WHY THE HELL DID YOU UNBAN DAVE W, BALKO? DAMN YOUR EYES! DAMN YOUR EYES!

    The rest of you is still cool, it’s just the eyes that are being damned. I know you’ll probably miss them, and it’s going to be an adjustment, but it’s unavoidable. I’m sorry, but you brought this on your eyes.

  45. As far as electric cars go, 10 years ago GM produced the EV1, a car which its owners loved. The car mysteriously disappeared never to be replaced. I firmly believe that the automakers and the oil industry are killing electric cars. Since electric motors require so many fewer moving parts, they run much longer and require much less maintenence and are less profitable than gas powered cars. The price and profitabilty of gas would plummet if people started owning electric cars to commute with. Neither the car makers or the oil industry have any interest in producing an electric car despite their advantages.

    The EV1 failed because GM could not produce the car cheaply enough to make money at a price people would pay. You also overlook lifecycle costs, because somebody has to do something with a honking big pile of batteries every 5 years or so. Electric cars aren’t ready for prime time, no matter what anyone wants you to think.

    GM could give a rat’s ass whether it sells electric cars, hydrogen cars, or nuclear cars as long as it can make money doing so. Given GM’s current problems at making money, you can see why they’re not into speculative investments in technology that may or may not pay off. Likewise, trust me when I tell you the oil industry can find something to with petroleum other than make it into gasoline. If we all quit burning gasoline tomorrow, ExxonMobil would still pump oil to use for other stuff.

  46. The union of concerned scientists state,

    “These catastrophic events include a massive release of radiation due to a power plant meltdown or terrorist attack, or the death of tens of thousands due to the detonation of a nuclear weapon made with materials obtained from a civilian-most likely non-U.S.-nuclear power system. Expansion of nuclear power would also produce large amounts of radioactive waste that would pose a serious hazard as long as there remain no facilities for safe long-term disposal.”

    That is just bullshit.

    The new slow reacting reactors are basically impossible to melt down. The old Soviet Chernoble type reactors are what melt down. Those would never be built. Reactor designs are getting more advanced and safer all of the time.

    As far as long term storage goes, we have long term storage at Yucca mountain, but can’t operate it because it the very same environmental groups who scream about global warming want to ensure that nuclear plants don’t get built and are hard to operate.

  47. “The EV1 failed because GM could not produce the car cheaply enough to make money at a price people would pay. You also overlook lifecycle costs, because somebody has to do something with a honking big pile of batteries every 5 years or so. Electric cars aren’t ready for prime time, no matter what anyone wants you to think.”

    If that is true, why did GM only lease the things and then take them back and destroy all of the models even though the people who owned them liked them and wanted to keep them? I gaurentee you GM gives a rats ass about selling cars that breakdown enough to keep their parts selling business. That sounds crazy, but it is GM and that is the mentality. Further, the oil companies could still make money off of oil but without gas powered cars they wouldn’t make much.

  48. John:
    I hear you too but were does the electric come from to fuel electric cars? I would have to guess coal fired electric plants. That and the fact that the electric grid here in NYC could not possibly handle the load and there is no excess capacity to produce it.
    And has anyone wondered what happens to the batteries? There are a toxic waste source and if they are anything like my cell phone, have to be replaced every two years.

    Yucca mountain is a crime. As john said they very people who are crying about the dangers of nuclear waste at the plants themselves are stopping this facility from opening.

    Having lived in Nevada for almost 8 years I can honestly say that no one even knew where Yucca mountain was and considering the fallout still remaining at the Nevada test site next to Las Vegas it seems a little screwy that they would be concerned about Yucca which is in the least populated area of the state unless this move was driven by the environmentalists.

  49. John,

    Drink a glass of water (if that does not violate your beliefs) and take a few deep breaths.

    I drive about 24 miles a day to and from work. If you could give me a car that I could recharge overnight like a cell phone and drive back and forth to work without using any gas, I would pay a considerable premium for it. I would imagine I am not alone in my willingness. Further, that was 10 years ago. Battery power has advanced greatly since then. A modern electric car could be bigger, safer and go much farther on a charge than the EV1.

    Just how much of a premium are you willing to pay? I can build one a month all by myself for you and I live in a condo in Northern VA. Are you that unskilled that you have to pay someone else for this trivial custom job?

    How fast do you want it to go? I can fix up a nice all electric rail dragster for you, just like the ones featured in Wired about 10 years ago or so. Can also build one up for you that is a lot more “mainstream”, like a regular sedan.

    Hurry and start generating Carbon Credits instead of buying them!

    Disclaimer: customer assumes all maintinance responsibility after their own inspection of each stage of the build process. Not warranty is offered or implied. The builder may be contacted for further modifications and maintenence, at a negotiated fee, at any time after acceptance by the buyer.

  50. John,

    Just presenting the other side.

    The bigger issue for me is the fact that when you attempt to scale nuclear up to take care of our energy needs, it doesn’t quite cut it. The fuel extraction, construction costs, and other factors make nuclear have less bang for the buck than many other solutions.

    It should be part of the picture, but is not the silver bullet you make it out to be.

    Another view

    “RMI’s position on nuclear power is that:

    * It’s too expensive. Nuclear power has proved much more costly than projected-and more to the point, more costly than most other ways of generating or saving electricity. If utilities and governments are serious about markets, rather than propping up pet technologies at the expense of ratepayers, they should pursue the best buys first.
    * Nuclear power plants are not only expensive, they’re also financially extremely risky because of their long lead times, cost overruns, and open-ended liabilities.
    * Contrary to an argument nuclear apologists have recently taken to making, nuclear power isn’t a good way to curb climate change. True, nukes don’t produce carbon dioxide-but the power they produce is so expensive that the same money invested in efficiency or even natural-gas-fired power plants would offset much more climate change.”

    http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid305.php

  51. Why spend money and energy trying to exert control over a complex and chaotic system like the Earth’s climate when there are more effective ways to alleviate human suffering? Imagine what could be achieved if something we know how to prevent, like Malaria, was as much a cause celebre as global warming.

  52. Imagine what could be achieved if something we know how to prevent, like Malaria, was as much a cause celebre as global warming.

    Because DDT has a worse reputation than CO2 with the “people who care”?

  53. Broad Irony – the response today to William Broad’s article from the climate scientists at RealClimate.

  54. In Gore’s defense, he was right about manbearpig.

    (sorry… had to do it. forgive me.)

  55. From SciAm..

    “A terawatt–one million megawatts–of “carbon-free” power is the scale needed to make a significant dent in projected carbon dioxide emissions at midcentury. In the terms used by Socolow and Pacala, that contribution would correspond to one to two of the seven required “stabilization wedges.” Reaching a terawatt of nuclear power by 2050 is certainly challenging, requiring deployment of about 2,000 megawatts a month. A capital investment of $2 trillion over several decades is called for, and power plant cost reduction, nuclear waste management and a proliferation-resistant international fuel cycle regime must all be addressed aggressively over the next decade or so. A critical determinant will be the degree to which carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel use are priced, both in the industrial world and in the large emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil.”

    That’s 2 Trillion dollars to fund your plan John.

  56. Skeptico,

    Keep up. Already posted on this thread.

  57. Because DDT has a worse reputation than CO2 with the “people who care”?

    So let’s R&D DDT alternatives rather than alternative fuels and electric cars.

    I understand I’m just pissing into the wind here. It’s hard to build an ego aggrandizing lifestyle around fighting Malaria.

  58. Guy Montag,

    What’s your point? Funny that T said the problem with the EV1 was that it was too expensive, now you’re saying any idiot could rig one up!

    FWIW, I personally know one of the lessee’s of the EV1 and he absoutely loved it. Couldn’t wait to take folks on a spin and show ’em how quiet it was and how smoothly it got up to speed. Basically, it ran like a charm! Sure he had to charge it every night, but once back in a normal car he found looking for gas stations a lot more nerve wracking in certain situations. That stuff’s just a matter of what you get used to.

    I don’t claim to know what GM motivations were in scrapping it. I would certainly agree that I can’t imagine why making something better wouldn’t make them more money, at least in the long run. The oil companies are a different matter. Sure, as T says, “If we all quit burning gasoline tomorrow, ExxonMobil would still pump oil to use for other stuff.” But they wouldn’t pump nearly as much oil. Businesses don’t just want revenues, they want as many revenues as possible! And less oil use means less revenue. Oil companies would still be around, but a widespread alternative to petroleum for running cars would not be good for their stock prices. Now, whether fear of losing oil revenues had something to do with the scrapping of the EV1, I sure don’t claim to know. I’ll leave that to people with better imaginations than I! πŸ™‚ Just addressing some of the things being said here.

  59. If the “people who care” just weren’t always on the side of controlling peoples lives, destroying businesses and the free market I would possibly give them some credibility.

    But they always live comfortable lives themselves and just never get it right when it comes to anyone else.

  60. Point taken, but I think sane energy policy can go a long way. And to the extent that regulation is part of the mix, we have ideas that can lead to minimalist approaches rather than a command economy approach.

    Maybe, but you know the saying – if you had some ham, you could make a ham sandwich…if you had some bread.

    I can’t take seriously the idea that because folks like Ron Bailey had questioned global warming (and presumably, we didn’t tar and feather him) that we’ve somehow ruled ourselves our of participating in a debate we only had the most marginal presence in.

  61. Matt J.

    DDT is still used widely, just not for agricultural spraying. Don’t believe the Guy. He is misinformed on the issue.

    Go here for a high profile campaign to reduce malaria funded by the largest charitable organization in the world.

    http://www.gatesfoundation.org/StoryGallery/GlobalHealth/SGGHMalariaMVI-011019.htm

  62. Grr. That should be, “that we’ve somehow ruled ourselves out of participating”.

  63. Funny that T said the problem with the EV1 was that it was too expensive, now you’re saying any idiot could rig one up!

    Who are you calling a what Eisenstein?

    Now, if you go back and read what I wrote you will see who the idiot is here.

  64. Neu Mejican,

    That’s great. I know DDT is still in use and not as dangerous as most believe. I never argued that people aren’t making an effort to eradicate Malaria. I pulled it out of my ass an example of something we know how to fix as opposed to something we think we might need to fix, but aren’t really sure; and if we are sure don’t really know if we can do a damn thing about it.

  65. BTW, one of the best, non-chemical defenses against malaria is evil, greenhouse gas emitting, air conditioning.

  66. Guy Montag,

    Well I obviously didn’t call YOU an idiot as you imply, though I’ll gladly call you one now for implying that. πŸ˜‰

    But you sure do seem to say that someone with even minimal skills could build an electric car when you say: “Are you that unskilled that you have to pay someone else for this trivial custom job?”

  67. But you sure do seem to say that someone with even minimal skills could build an electric car when you say: “Are you that unskilled that you have to pay someone else for this trivial custom job?”

    Yes. Even a Business degreed, military background person like myself can build one. I suspect that the people wanting to force car companies into doing it are just into forcing others to do things for them.

    So, here I am volunteering, out of compassion for one of my whiny fellow-men, to build a car for him and he would pay a considerable premium for , from whatever car he deems safe enough for his wants.

    Actually, one can find plans and instructions pretty easily on the interwebs for this. Some of them actually work!

    Step 1, get a car.

    Step 2, remove all of the stuff that makes it go under petrol (caution, do NOT remove stuff that makes it stop)

    etc.

    There, that part was free. Figure out the rest or hire me πŸ™‚

  68. 2 trillion over 10 years is only $200 billion a year. We have something like a 13 trillion dollar economy. Further, if you buy into global warming, the costs of global warming are going to be a lot higher than $200 billion a year. Further, the nuclear power plants in operation are immensly profitable. The only thing preventing more of them from being built is government red tape. Eliminate the red tape or at least the bulk of it, tax the hell out of coal fired plants and subsidize nuclear plants, and you can relace coal in a pretty short time.

  69. Guy Montag,

    If your point is merely that we shouldn’t force auto companies to make electric cars, you won’t find much controversy here.

    Though I do wonder what John means when he says electric cars would be part of a sane energy policy.

  70. John,

    Like I said, I agree it is part of the solution.

    Notice that the MIT study SciAm uses as a source uses this figure but thinks it will take until 2050 to get done. Not 10 years. To do it in 10 year would require more money and effort. It isn’t just government regs that are stopping this. It would require significant expansion of government subsidies (already nuclear is heavily subsidized), a major R&D push and other factors to magically align as well.

    Like I said. Your view is overly rosey. Not a silver bullet.

  71. Just the hell is your position Guy? If you can rig up an electric car so easily, why don’t you start a business? I would think a lot of people in the Northern VA region commuting in from Fredicksburg and Harpers Ferry would be very interested in your modifications. If it is so easy, why haven’t the people who make cars for a living done it?

    I agree with you that an electric car is really a pretty simple modification and not even 21st Century technology. Battery tech has gone way up in even the last ten years. Further, a electric motor just works better than a gasoline powered one. There is a reason why your ceiling fan that is expected to run continuously for years on end is powered by an electric motor not a gas one. In an ideal world, I would have an electric car to commute to work with that I carged up over night and a really nice gas powered car to take long trips in, or if I am bit poorer, I just rent a gas powered car when I need one. I can’t see how a car with a hundred mile range would not be very useful in daily life.

  72. Fyodor,

    Why not subsidze electric cars? Why not do what the government did with the airospace industry and give out grants to companies that want to produce them? I don’t think we have to force companies to make electics either. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t prime the pump a little bit.

  73. Notice that the MIT study SciAm uses as a source uses this figure but thinks it will take until 2050 to get done. Not 10 years. To do it in 10 year would require more money and effort. It isn’t just government regs that are stopping this. It would require significant expansion of government subsidies (already nuclear is heavily subsidized), a major R&D push and other factors to magically align as well.”

    Why would we need a major R&D flush? It is 1960s technology for God’s sake. We have lots of nukes that have been running safely all over the world for years. So what if it costs money? Money we have, but if you believe in global warming, time we don’t have.

  74. Disclaimer: customer assumes all maintinance responsibility after their own inspection of each stage of the build process. Not warranty is offered or implied.

    I don’t get it. If it is so trivial to build an electric car, then why no warranty?

    This sounds like a “fly by night” operation.

  75. On Nuclear profits

    “The result of all the Cambridge number-crunching: Nuclear is less profitable and more financially risky than natural gas. Investors in power plants in a deregulated market will not choose nuclear based solely on profitability.”

    http://www.electricitypolicy.org.uk/

  76. “The result of all the Cambridge number-crunching: Nuclear is less profitable and more financially risky than natural gas. Investors in power plants in a deregulated market will not choose nuclear based solely on profitability.”

    1. Why are any of them being built.

    2. How much of that risk has to do with the risk of the plant being outlawed at a latter date when the political tide turns against nuclear power.

    3. The economic calculation currently do not take into account the externality of global warming. If you take into account the costs of the greenhouse emmissions associated with gas or coal plants, the economic calculation changes. Again, if you believe in global warming, Nuclear is the option.

  77. John

    “Why would we need a major R&D flush?”

    Read the SciAm article.

    Why would we build 1960’s style plants now?

    To do what you propose involves many complications that you are ignoring.

    There are solutions out there that have a much bigger bang for the buck than nuclear that are also renewable. Diversity of energy sources will be a key to solving the problem.

  78. “3. The economic calculation currently do not take into account the externality of global warming. If you take into account the costs of the greenhouse emmissions associated with gas or coal plants, the economic calculation changes. Again, if you believe in global warming, Nuclear is the option.”

    That’s just uniformed. It was indeed taken into account.

  79. Why would we build 1960’s style plants now?

    Because they work and they are safe. Why buy Porsche when of VW will do the.

    To do what you propose involves many complications that you are ignoring?

    Like what other than money?

    “That’s just uniformed. It was indeed taken into account.”

    By how much using what model? Taking into account is a very broad term. If you buy the doomsday scenerios it is difficult to imagine $200 billion a year not being worth it.

  80. Of course, William Broad could have reported that the people he sources for his story are known for not telling the truth and spreading misinformation.

    Read this.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200703130003

  81. John,

    Just the hell is your position Guy? If you can rig up an electric car so easily, why don’t you start a business? I would think a lot of people in the Northern VA region commuting in from Fredicksburg and Harpers Ferry would be very interested in your modifications. If it is so easy, why haven’t the people who make cars for a living done it?

    For one thing, I am only interested in cars as a hobby. I prefer Defense Contracting as a career.

    Secondly, I really do not think that all of these big-mouth enviroids will actually pay a few thousand dollars more for a car that is all electric and will jack up there home electric bill worse than forgetting to turn off the hot tub. I seriously think that you are not serious either.

    It is not an issue of difficulty at all. Lots of people do it themselves and there do not appear to be a lot of others beating their doors down.

    As for that warranty thing from another commenter: See the beginning of my response, plus I am not a contract lawyer, plus I am offering my services at a lower amount than if I had included a warranty, plus I am already leery of this fellow and what he might do with a car and blame on me.

  82. This sounds like a “fly by night” operation.

    Actually, when I was current, I could fly day, night, weather and under goggles. These new guys have better gear than we had, but I doubt I could just pick it up and use it all without a little instruction πŸ™‚

  83. Actually, when I was current, I could fly day, night, weather and under goggles.

    Did you ever fly a plane that did not have a warranty?

  84. “Secondly, I really do not think that all of these big-mouth enviroids will actually pay a few thousand dollars more for a car that is all electric and will jack up there home electric bill worse than forgetting to turn off the hot tub. I seriously think that you are not serious either.”

    They have never been given a chance so how can you say that? Further, with gas a nearly $3 a gallon, my electric bill would have to go up an awful lot to make up for the savings in gas.

    “It is not an issue of difficulty at all. Lots of people do it themselves and there do not appear to be a lot of others beating their doors down.”

    Just because a technology is practical and makes sense, doesn’t mean that the economies of scale are such that it would worth it to build one yourself. Your time is worth money and there is an investment in tools an equipment to build one. For example, no way in hell would i build my own gasoline car, but I certainly have and will continue to buy them assembled for me as long as they are the best option avaiable. Just because I am not a popular mechanics geek building crap in my backyard, doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t pay money for someone else to do it for me. Further, the economies of scale of building a car are such that no back yard hand made operation could ever produce a car, electric or gas efficiently. Your example says nothing about the viability of a large electric car maker in the U.S.

  85. “Secondly, I really do not think that all of these big-mouth enviroids will actually pay a few thousand dollars more for a car that is all electric and will jack up there home electric bill worse than forgetting to turn off the hot tub.”

    Is that cost, on average, more than or less than what a person would expect to spend on gasoline?

  86. Guy,

    What did you “drive” back in the day?

  87. Neu Mejican,

    You said

    “There are solutions out there that have a much bigger bang for the buck than nuclear that are also renewable.”

    What are these solutions?

    Thanks,

    TJIT

  88. My guess is that the primary issue with electric cars today is the life-cycle costs to produce and then retire the massive quantities of batteries (which are filled with toxic chemicals) that would be required for anything more than a boutique operation.

    I would love to have a good electric car that I could charge overnight from a wind-generator (I get lots of sustained wind at my house). But since I just turned 50, I am not sure it’s going to happen in my life.

  89. “My guess is that the primary issue with electric cars today is the life-cycle costs to produce and then retire the massive quantities of batteries”

    You could say the same about laptops and cellphones.

  90. John

    “By how much using what model?”

    You can investigate for yourself.
    http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/eprg2.pl?conf_file=eprg.conf&terms=all&terms2=all&series=camdae&criteria=none&boolean=AND&case=Insensitive

    “To do what you propose involves many complications that you are ignoring?

    Like what other than money?”

    I’m done John.

    I have linked to many sources that answer your questions. Stop being so lazy.

  91. The sad thing is that, in a couple hundred years, when the Apocalypse still hasn’t happened, all the alarmists will be long dead. Then again, that’s probably a happy thing.

  92. You could say the same about laptops and cellphones.

    Uh, no, not at all. The primary driver behind the success of laptops and cellphones is the shrinking geometries of integrated circuits which dramatically lower the power consumption of those devices. Improvements in battery technology is not the real driver in this market.

    Cars on the other hand, do not have the same opportunities. It has to be big enough to transport one or more humans and massive enough to protect the humans inside. At some point, the mass of the batteries will become the limiting factor in the ability to lighten up the vehicle.

    Large scale batteries (big enough to physically move people) are not improving at a rate that really makes them viable for transportation purposes.

  93. TJIT

    “What are these solutions?

    Thanks,

    TJIT”

    A good place to start is the Rocky Mountain Institute page…

    http://www.rmi.org/

    Ignore their hydrogen fixation, and the rest is quite good.

    Better yet, read this book
    http://www.natcap.org/

    Another nice example…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_power

  94. “I have linked to many sources that answer your questions. Stop being so lazy.”

    Translation “Stop disagreeing with me an asking questions that make me uncomfortable!!”

  95. …and in one of the scenes, when the two hobbits are supposed to be in the Shire, you can see a car drive through in the background.

    Geeks are geeks, the whole world ’round.

  96. “Large scale batteries (big enough to physically move people) are not improving at a rate that really makes them viable for transportation purposes”

    If that is true, then explain the Tesla Coup? This looks pretty damn practical to me. Yeah it is expensive, but it is a small company making hand made cars. I can’t beleive that GM or Toyota couldn’t do it for half the price if they wanted to. It goes 0 to 60 in like 5 seconds and tops out at over 180 mph.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/index.php?js_enabled=1

  97. . . . the life-cycle costs to produce and then retire the massive quantities of batteries (which are filled with toxic chemicals) that would be required for anything more than a boutique operation.

    Were you unable to understand what I wrote?

    I don’t believe there will be large scale production of economical electric-only vehicles any time in the next 20 to 40 years unless there is some radical development in very large, deep cycle batteries.

  98. “Large scale batteries (big enough to physically move people) are not improving at a rate that really makes them viable for transportation purposes.”

    Haven’t there been some promising developments with using ultra capacitors? There were a few articles about these last year, along with speculation that they could be used instead of batteries.

  99. I always though the size of batteries was limited by the fact that our alphabet beings with “A.”

  100. Did you ever fly a plane that did not have a warranty?

    I think Timon19 was asking the something similar. Both answered here.

    I was a Utility “driver” in a Regimental Air Cavalry Squadron. UH-1H “Huey” Iroquois and all of that. In flight school we started in a TH-55, no longer in use.

    No aircraft I flew had a warranty and all of them were younger than me, even if only by 2 years for several of them.

    As far as ground vehicles go, I was never in a military one with a warranty, that I know of. As far as my personal vehicles go, the 1972 Charger came with no warranty as did my first car, a 1993 Dodge Dart.

  101. By the way, I just googled the Tesla Coup. $90K for a car is what I call a boutique operation.

  102. “. the life-cycle costs to produce and then retire the massive quantities of batteries (which are filled with toxic chemicals) that would be required for anything more than a boutique operation.”

    I do understand what you said. Did you understand what I said? If you can produce a car that is as fast as a Tesla, you can a produce a slower one with smaller batteries. Further, how does having a larger operation make the cost per car of battery disposal any higher? The cost of disposal is passed onto the comsumer just like it is for car batteries now. Is it your position that the cost is so high that no one would buy the car? If that is true, why is the Tesla, a hand made car with none of the advantages of mass production and a high end sports car, still only about $20K higher in price than a mass produced sports car with similiar performance?

  103. By the way, I just googled the Tesla Coup. $90K for a car is what I call a boutique operation

    No shit carrick. Bother to read any of my posts? It is a handmade car, that is why it is so expensive. I guarentee you a large operation could produce it a lot cheaper. That was my point.

  104. John,

    Holy crap! I will build you an electric car for half of that that does everything in your original specification for half that price!*

    *A/C and radio extra.

  105. My understanding is that while there has been some progress in battery efficiency, we tend to overestimate that progress because of the much greater progress in efficient use of battery power in purely electronic devices. (Think cell phones.) As electric automobiles obviously require electromechanical conversion, whatever efficiencies there have been in the past decade are significantly less impressive.

  106. Let’s see. Toyota sells about half a million camrys each year. When the auto industry as a whole can produce half a million electric-only vehicles that the average guy or gal on the street can afford, then it will cease to be a boutique market.

    I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.

  107. Then go into business Montag. Seriously, why the hell not? The only problem I can see is getting a bank to lend money on a homemade car and getting the state to license it. Other than that, all I would ask is that you wire in a charger for me at my house. I think that time is running out and electric cars will be here sooner rather than later.

  108. “Let’s see. Toyota sells about half a million camrys each year. When the auto industry as a whole can produce half a million electric-only vehicles that the average guy or gal on the street can afford, then it will cease to be a boutique market.”

    Why retool for electrics when you are making a fortune selling gas cars and the oil companies love you for it? That is just my point, the car companies have no incentive to produce them because electric cars, while great for drivers are not so good for car companies.

  109. If you can produce a car that is as fast as a Tesla, you can a produce a slower one with smaller batteries.

    The tesla is a sports car and is not designed to haul around a family. The battery requirements for a normal car will be higher than for a tesla.

    Further, how does having a larger operation make the cost per car of battery disposal any higher?

    Not talking about production capibility of a single manufacturor. I am talking about the entire value stream to produce, install, and then retire (recycle) the batteries required for mass produced cars.

    The cost of disposal is passed onto the comsumer just like it is for car batteries now.

    A typical car will use several batteries over its life-span. You think it’s normal to replace the entire engine of a car 3 or 4 times during normal use?

    Is it your position that the cost is so high that no one would buy the car?

    Duh

    If that is true, why is the Tesla, a hand made car with none of the advantages of mass production and a high end sports car, still only about $20K higher in price than a mass produced sports car with similiar performance?

    You are looking at short-term performane. Can a tesla take me on a cross country trip? Where do I fill up?

    You are mixing apples and oranges in your comparison. A car for someone that wants a high-performance drive during the daily commute is not the same a general-purpose grocery-getter for the man or woman on the street.

  110. I think it’s time to once again say: tax all uses of energy depending on their harm done to others in an inevitable commons and lower other taxes accordingly. Then let God and the free market sort out the rest. This effectively punishes polluting technology and “subsidizes” better (ie, less polluting) technology while still allowing for maximum choice. And choice will make these decisions better than any of us individually would. (BTW, I realize this easier said than done, but it’s still better than anything else.)

  111. UH-1H “Huey” Iroquois . . .
    No aircraft I flew had a warranty

    Oh, that’s right. I forgot that I am used to the private sector (where Bell warrants its helicopters), while you have no clue about that. My bad πŸ™‚

  112. Why retool for electrics when you are making a fortune selling gas cars and the oil companies love you for it?

    Do you really think toyota gives a damn about exxon? If toyota can make a profit on electric-only, they would be making it already. I say that will tremendous respect for toyota.

  113. I think it’s time to once again say: tax all uses of energy depending on their harm done to others in an inevitable commons and lower other taxes accordingly. Then let God and the free market sort out the rest. This effectively punishes polluting technology and “subsidizes” better (ie, less polluting) technology while still allowing for maximum choice. And choice will make these decisions better than any of us individually would. (BTW, I realize this easier said than done, but it’s still better than anything else.)

    Strong agree.

    Disclaimer: I work for a company that makes (and warrants) electric vehicles.

  114. “The tesla is a sports car and is not designed to haul around a family. The battery requirements for a normal car will be higher than for a tesla.”

    The family car doesn’t have to go 180 mph. Like any other car you trade performance for weight and space. There is no reason you couldn’t build a bigger slower car using the same battery tech as the Tesla.

    “Not talking about production capibility of a single manufacturor. I am talking about the entire value stream to produce, install, and then retire (recycle) the batteries required for mass produced cars.”

    The Tesla producers have to absorb that cost on a per car basis. If anything producing more cars would lower the per car price because you could make the system larger and more effient. At worst, it is no more expensive per car than the Tesla which is competetive in price. There is no reason why a four door slower version of the tesla couldn’t be as well.

    “You are looking at short-term performane. Can a tesla take me on a cross country trip? Where do I fill up?”

    God that is sophistry. Just because an electric car can’t fill every need doesn’t mean that it won’t fill some needs and still be marketable. How often do you drive accross country? Not often. Electric cars will never replace gas cars completely for this reason. They can, however, replace your car for every day use. You drive your electric back and forth to work and then rent a car or have a spare gas car for the occasional long trip.

  115. “Do you really think toyota gives a damn about exxon? If toyota can make a profit on electric-only, they would be making it already. I say that will tremendous respect for toyota.”

    Why totally change your method of production when you are already profitable? Why spend the money when you don’t have to? Isn’t it possible, that while electric cars could make a profit, they don’t make enough of a profit to justify Toyota retooling to make them?

  116. John,

    You are the one with the bog keyboard saying you will pay out the rear for an electric car. So now put up big guy!

    I only require half of that $45,000 to begin work.

    Otherwise, go buy another one. Even better, just drive hybrids like me. You can buy hydrogen almost everyplace now.

  117. I’m confused. Didn’t they tell us a month ago that it was already too late?

  118. John

    “Translation “Stop disagreeing with me an asking questions that make me uncomfortable!!”

    Sorry, it actually meant that I was tired of having you ask questions after I had just provided materials covering the answers.

    But whatever makes your ego comfortable…

    You are right. Everything is as simple as you claim. You’re making me uncomfortable with your probing intellect and deep grasp of the issue.

    I will flee your superiority now and get some more work done.

    Fucking twit.

  119. “Otherwise, go buy another one. Even better, just drive hybrids like me. You can buy hydrogen almost everyplace now.”

    Since I don’t keep $45,000 in liquid cash and no bank is going to loan on a Car by Guy, I think the question is moot.

    You can’t seriously think a hybrid is an option? There is no way a hybrid will ever pay for itself. Those are just frauds to keep people demanding electric cars. It is either electric or gas not both.

    Hydrogen is an even bigger fraud than hybrids. Where do you think the hydrogen comes from? It takes more energy to produce hydrogen than it does to just pump the oil out of the ground.

  120. Neu Mexican,

    The materials didn’t provide answers. They provided assumptions. Those assumptions fit your luddite view of the world, so you love them. Have fun and keep calling everyone who disagrees with you fucking twits. It is very becoming.

  121. Range/power-up-time is another killer. If I want to go on a 700 mile road trip, it will take me several days to do so on electric alone unless you can find a fast recharging power source.

  122. http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/eprg2.pl?conf_file=eprg.conf&terms=all&terms2=all&series=camdae&criteria=none&boolean=AND&case=Insensitiv

    None of those paper say what you claim. Not a God Damened one. They are very detailed studies of the effect of regulation on the power industry, but there is not one that deals with the real practicality of nuclear. Jesus Christ, you just post that crap up there without even reading it.

  123. John,

    Where do you think the hydrogen comes from?

    I guess you don’t know the little secret about how easy it is to get do you?

    My hydrogen powered Jeep was easy to find and so is the hydrogen, plus the plants like me better than they like you.

    I even made sure that my 1972 Rallye Charger could use hydrogen. I am going to add a “six-pack” so I can burn it even faster.

    So when you get done whining get off the dime and help the world, like I did.

  124. John,

    You are too much fun.
    Okay, one more.

    “luddite view of the world”

    Talk about assumptions clouding your view.

    I think I was saying that I agree nuclear is a part of the solution but that there are newer technologies that may be more cost effective. Find me evidence of my luddite leanings please.

    Nuclear has several problems in the short term as a way to address concerns with global warming…

    1) too slow
    2) too expensive
    3) unable to meet the energy demands

    There are also social and political problems that add cost and complexity.

    Keep looking through those articles.

    http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/eprg2.pl

    Primarily the articles by Fabien A. Roques & William J. Nuttall. Your claim that they didn’t take emissions into account are just wrong.

  125. I think I was saying that I agree nuclear is a part of the solution but that there are newer technologies that may be more cost effective.

    Don’t forget about solyent biodiesel and steam! I was thinking about converting the Charger to steam, but leaning more towards organic train oil.

  126. “Have fun and keep calling everyone who disagrees with you fucking twits. It is very becoming.”

    I didn’t call everyone who disagrees with me a twit.

    I called you a twit.
    Let’s keep it personal, shall we.

  127. Neu:

    You really think you get remotely comparable ramp up and for heavens sake end state megawatt generation out of tidal or any other of those technologies. I’m not in love with nuclear, but I know what the binding energy curve looks like. I have a hard time seeing that those other technologies will be more than a drop in the bucket.

  128. Neu Mejican,

    You said

    There are solutions out there that have a much bigger bang for the buck than nuclear that are also renewable.

    I asked what the solutions were and you provided links to Vaporware.

    One of your links was to a book I could order, the second was to the general website of the Rocky Mountain Institute think tank, and the third was to a device to harvest energy for ocean waves. One of your links led to the Rocky Mountain Institute website and they clearly states on that website RMI is not currently active in renewable energy research

    I guess one out of three is not bad, however the links you provided don’t provide evidence that the solutions you flatly stated were available actually exist in a usable, deployable form.

    Furthermore, the wave energy machine is interesting but they just recently started testing it. Beginning testing of the beta version of a technology does not mean it is a renewable solution with bigger bang for buck.

    So I’ll ask again would you please write down the 1 to 3 solutions that are renewable and provide a bigger bang for the buck then nuclear or other existing technology.

    No need for links just name the solutions in the comment thread. If they exist it should not be too difficult for you to provide one or two examples with a brief description.

    That way everybody here can see what technology you are talking about. It will save them from having to go on wild goose hunts for information that does not exist in the links you provide.

    Thanks,

    TJIT

  129. Guy, care to answer my question upthread?

    I’m genuinely curious.

  130. 130 comments already!?

    damn! I was hoping to be able to be the first poster so I could say, “And now cue Guy Montag and his Hybrid Charger promotions; as well as angry comments between various posters.”

    ah well that’s what I get for sleeping in.

    anyway I noticed these before I noticed Rob’s Reason entry:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/broad-irony/
    highly qualified climatologists continue to think Broad is full of beans; as does a well known climate blogger:
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/03/broadly_misrepresenting.php#more

  131. Here’s a thread where I asked Jim’s commenters to offer sane energy policies:

    http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2007/02/25/6008

  132. TJIT.

    Sorry. Sloppy links.

    The book I referred you to includes hundreds of pages of strategies that provide better bang for the buck than Nuclear. Short description – reduce waste and increase efficiency.

    Wave energy is a proming piece of the big picture. Some working power plants go on-line this year, I believe. Only makes sense near the coast, of course. There are also some recent solar technology projects currently going commercial that can ramp up quite nicely. And even natural gas ends up beating nuclear in a head to head, which is better for the environment when compared to large scale nuclear as a monolithic solution.

    Sorry about the mis-direction with RMI. My mistake. I was confusing their website with…

    http://www.nrel.gov/

    JasonL.
    There will need to be a diverse set of solutions that target local needs with local solutions. No single source will replace oil. The “nuclear is a magic bullet” approach is the argument I was criticizing.

  133. TJIT –
    Another way to look at the difference between nuclear and other solutions is that nuclear is necessarily very centralized and capital intensive. Solutions that are more distributed have a better chance of creating the types of impact that will make a difference.

    Get Joe Average a workable power generator that allows him to sell energy back to the grid and you will beat any centralized power source, nuclear or otherwise.

    There are lots of people working on these types of distributed power generation.

  134. TJIT,

    As much as you hate links to more detailed information…

    Here is a nice summary of current technologies for distributed power generation

    http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=4552&sequence=3&from=0

  135. To continue my Tros-like monologue

    “We have attempted to frame the consequences of meeting energy load growth with conventional central generation or deploying decentralized generation that recycles waste energy. The DG case saves the world $5 trillion in capital investment while reducing power costs by 40 percent and cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half. There are interesting implications for worldwide energy policy if this analysis stands up to critical review.

    We hope readers and others will spell out concerns or suggest corrections so we can collectively improve the analysis of optimal future power generation. The needed policy changes are deep and fundamental and require a consensus about the best way to proceed. Together we might be able to change the way the world makes heat and power. ”

    http://www.csicop.org/si/2005-01/energy.html

  136. SAM-HECK,

    Welcome to the day πŸ™‚ I tried to resist as long as possible, but when he dissed hydrogen I could not contain myself.

    mediageek,

    Sorry, did not notice this.

    Is that cost, on average, more than or less than what a person would expect to spend on gasoline?

    More, unless gasoline goes over and stays over $4.00 – $4.50, IMO. Others, feel free to buy some of my carbon credits if you disagree πŸ™‚

    Get Joe Average a workable power generator that allows him to sell energy back to the grid and you will beat any centralized power source, nuclear or otherwise.

    What happened to that natural gas powered energy cell by GE from about 8 years ago? Sounded pretty promising.

    I remember from another thread, that thing about the federal requirement for the grid to buy power from consumers is a big myth. I remember said myth being spread by MSM in the 1970s and 1980s as if your old water wheel could pay your house payment with the money rolling in. My bad for remembering that as if it were real.

    Didn’t someone on Reason H&R say they can only sell a small amount of power back to the grid?

  137. Oh yea all of you nuclear freaks. Dyhdrogen Monoxide is a dangerous chemical used in that industry. Have you no shame in your dangerous hobby?

  138. Neu Mejican,

    The GE thingie I was thinking about was a catalytic energy cell, I thought.

    Cool link, thank you!

  139. Indeed Guy…

    It is dihydrogen monoxide, by the way.

    And it is responsible for the extinction of the jackalopes in northern NM.

  140. And Guy,

    Your carbon credits are trapped in Heptane debits so you may have a hard time cashing in.

  141. It is dihydrogen monoxide, by the way.

    Yea, that stuff.

    And it is responsible for the extinction of the jackalopes in northern NM.

    Don’t forget it being the ultimate performance enhancer! All of the top athletes are suspected to use it in large quantities. It is even used by the military in propulsion systems.

    Your carbon credits are trapped in Heptane debits so you may have a hard time cashing in.

    Then I will swithch to C8H18, lots more octane there.

    The carbon credits I sell are from my using clean electric power at home, just like the electric car guys use on the road.

  142. I’m shocked to see reason’s gang of rational scientishists continuing to give Ron Bailey a free pass on the small shift from “global warming isn’t happening; don’t trust those scientists” to “it’s happening, but not much”. Will I be shocked when he moves to the next sinking ship – “it’s happening, and it’s too late to do anything about it”?

  143. “Of course, William Broad could have reported that the people he sources for his story are known for not telling the truth and spreading misinformation.”

    Shocked, I am, shocked that Ron would link to a story with such questionable pedigree from such a well-known constellation of denialists. Must have been a mistake, since as we know, Ron has clearly stated that he was wrong on the science before when he was very much aligned with this same group.

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