Regulation

What We Know That Isn't So

The dangers of junk science

|

Much government interference with our peaceful pursuits is based on junk science and junk economics. Politicians know a lot of stuff that isn't so. So do reporters.

Let me count some of the ways. (I'll elaborate on tonight's Fox Business Network show.)

Congress now spends your money on a host of intrusive new programs designed to make America "energy independent." President Obama recently announced $8 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power plants.

I smiled when I heard. Finally, even Democrats woke up to the benefits of nuclear power. But Cato Institute energy analyst Jerry Taylor set me straight:

"If nuclear power made economic sense, we wouldn't need to subsidize it."

Affordable nuclear power, says Taylor, is a Republican fantasy. Promoting it makes no more sense than Nancy Pelosi's promotion of wind and solar power. "Take a Republican speech about nuclear power, cross out the phrase 'nuclear,' and put in 'solar'—you've got a Democratic speech about energy."

All these "alternative" fuels are economically impractical. Natural gas is practical. And plentiful.

I thought the only reason that nuclear didn't pay for itself is the burden of excessive regulations and objections from silly environmentalists. Apply for permission to build a plant, and their cumbersome lawsuits impose ruinously expensive delays.

Again, Taylor set me straight. He says the nuclear industry itself is comfortable with today's level of regulation. The big problem today is not environmental rules, but simply the huge cost. The same high costs, he says, are found in countries that have long been friendly to nuclear power.

He also notes that when the Department of Energy proposed offering to guarantee 80 percent of the cost of new nuclear plants, the big investment banks told the department that even 80 percent loan guarantees wouldn't be enough. They needed 100 percent guarantees, or they wouldn't make the loans.

"To me that's a market verdict that you're supposed to respect…. We need to leave these (matters) to markets. And in the marketplace, investors will not spend a single red dime on nuclear power because it's too expensive…. It's not Jane Fonda or Greenpeace that killed nuclear power. It's Wall Street investment banks who've looked at the bottom line."

He's convinced me. Then he moved on to more Republican candy: the claim that drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska would dramatically lower oil prices and move us toward energy "independence."

Taylor says such drilling would do neither. Yes, it would create wealth. New offshore fields might produce a million barrels of oil per day. While that would be good, the benefits are oversold. "We consume 15 million barrels of oil a day. We produce 5. We'd go to 6." Nice, but no game-changer.

Of course, subsidizing wind and solar makes even less sense. Taylor calls them 12th-century technologies. They require lots of land to produce forms of energy that are hard to store and hard to move, and are too variable throughout the year. Even if we covered most of America with wind farms, there's no guarantee that they'd produce energy when we need it.

Other junk science abounds: banning plastic shopping bags, as 10 cities have done, is pointless. Plastic bags take up a tiny fraction of landfills. When supermarkets are stopped from handing plastic out, people looking to dispose garbage buy more big, black plastic bags.

Banning incandescent bulbs, as Congress has done starting in 2012, is also pointless. The ban will have only the tiniest effect on America's energy use. In addition, fluorescent bulbs often use as much power as incandescent bulbs because people leave them on longer.

People are ignorant enough about science that it's easy for politicians to scare them into supporting absurd regulations. For my show, I went to Times Square and asked if people would sign a petition demanding a ban on "dihydrogen monoxide," a colorless, odorless chemical that kills thousands. Most everyone signed.

They were embarrassed when they realized that dihydrogen monoxide is… H2O. They eagerly endorsed a ban on water.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

Advertisement

NEXT: Complaining of Intimidation, City Attorney Seeks to Punish Online Critic

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Alt-text contest:
    “Our first non-racist photo EVAH!

    1. What do you mean by non racist photo ever? i dont get it bro?

      BigBootyy

  2. Maybe the availability of natural gas in the US changes things, but why is nuclear power such a popular and, I suppose, a cost effective one in France, but not in the US?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_France

    I make no claims to knowing anything about the economics of nuke power vs. other types of power generation, but… An old neighbor of mine, who was a nuke engineer – bubblehead type-, claimed US’s problem is every nuke power station is a custome design, while in France the French standarized a design and started to punch them out in a cookie cutter fashion.

    1. Because unlike France, the US has laws that prohibit reprocessing spent fuel. The laws were passed in the 1970’s with the backing of environuts in order to make nuclear cost prohibitive. Making coal cost-prohibitive is next and Obama is on the case.

      1. It’ll be a coal day in the seventh layer of hell before oil becomes unviable.

      2. Ugggggggh, I’m so sick of those Coal River Mountain whatever commercials on Hulu.

      3. Because unlike France, the US has laws that prohibit reprocessing spent fuel. The laws were passed in the 1970’s with the backing of environuts in order to make nuclear cost prohibitive. Making coal cost-prohibitive is next and Obama is on the case.

        Who signed such an abomination into law?

        And why are environuts being blamed, instead of coal companies, who have much more political clout?

          1. wow.. thats for the link.. really appreciated.. hm.. jimmy carter
            BigBooty-BigBooty

    2. I think you’ll find that France heavily subsidizes nuke plant construction and operation. And, of course, they also subsidize one of the biggest consumers of electric power, the railways.

    3. France didn’t have many options to become self sufficient after the oil embargoes of the 70s. Unlike the US, I think about 50% of their electricity was generated by oil, back then. They chose nuclear also because they see it as an “intellectual” option.

      1. Ya and lots of people die in France every year when there’s a heat wave cuz the system cant keep up with the demand…I would not want to copy France’s energy policy

        1. The heat wave didn’t kill people because of nuclear not being able to keep up with demand. The fact is very few people have air conditioning, so that demand was not even there. The real problem, however, was the “national vacation” that most of France takes at that time of year, including medical personnel. There weren’t any doctors around to help people. Don’t blame the power grid for a failure of people to take care of themselves and each other.

          1. The fact that they are French mitigates any compassion I may have had. Maybe we will have more heat there this summer.

            Hmmmm More heat less Frenchmen. Bring on the Global Warming

  3. Nuclear energy is our salvation, but it has to be the right kind, Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors. They are small, safe because they work at atmospheric pressures and any waste is only dangerous for a few hundred years instead of thousands.

    1. Once again I’ll point out the Hyperion nuke battery.

      Small enough to be transported on a ship, truck or train, Hyperion power modules are about the size of a “hot tub” ? approximately 1.5 meters wide. Out of sight and safe from nefarious threats, Hyperion power modules are buried far underground and guarded by a security detail. Like a power battery, Hyperion modules have no moving parts to wear down, and are delivered factory sealed. They are never opened on site. Even if one were compromised, the material inside would not be appropriate for proliferation purposes.

      I really wish I could invest in this company – they’re selling these things overseas like crazy.

      1. Cool. Thanks!

      2. until I clicked on the link i thought you were quoting Dan Simmons’s book.

        1. Actually, when you crack one open, the Shrike starts chasing you around.

      3. Hyperion power modules are buried far underground and guarded by a security detail.

        Feature or bug?

      4. These still use uranium. What makes thorium reactors better is that they use , THORIUM! Thorium is much more plentiful than uranium, safer to process and handle and unlike these units you can just add more thorium in as it is needed.

  4. Disproving junk science — careful John, you’re stepping onto Bailey’s territory. And he doesn’t take too kindly to that.

    1. Bailey vs. Stossel battle to the death!

  5. I think John is off his rocker, his first inclination was correct, regulation is a chief cause for high nuclear prices. Second is the fact that at this time virtually all nuclear reactors are one off with little or no standard design parameters.

    Finally, the subsidies are simply loan guarantees, now this is in fact a subsidy, but considering the fact that the US has hundreds of functioning reactors that have been reliably producing electricity for decades, I think the loan guarantees are a good bet.

    This compares to solar and wind which doesn’t simply require a loan guarantee, but it requires a flat out subsidy of a cash payment to either the maker of electricity or consumer to encourage its use.

    Nuclear is a smart low polluting option, the fact that we’ve ignored it for thirty years is criminal.

    Regards

    Joe Dokes

    1. The numbers agree with John:

      http://rmi.org/rmi/

      They have lots of peer reviewed data to back it up.

      1. You know what’s annoying? People who make big promises about something you’ll find in a link, but the link goes to a homepage that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

        However, the definitive statement that RMI made, which contradicts the claim that nuclear is proven to be too expensive, is this “What is clear is that it is completely impossible to
        produce definitive estimates for new nuclear costs at this time.” If it is impossible, then stop telling us that you have done such an estimate and found it wanting.

  6. I think his source at Cato might be wrong on this one. Numerous regulations and public outcry might’ve been what drove investors away from nuclear energy.

    1. A really bad but fortuitously timed movie called The China Syndrome helped fuel the Luddite outcry. Never underestimate the power of superstition.

      1. “Never underestimate the power of…” Hollywood.

    2. I think Cato is wrong in this one too. Sometimes they want so badly to make a point that they can’t see how shoddy their arguments are. This one was a really bad example.

  7. You’re right about the CFL bulbs. I keep one in my closet and almost never turn it off.

    1. Yes, but that one is at least contributing to the greening of America… or so I assume. =)

  8. We need to do something about all this dihydrogen monoxide polluting our environment!

    1. That was funny the first time I heard it 7 years ago.

  9. We can all trust Dr. Robert Stadler.

  10. Stossel’s ripping off Penn & Teller! They did the H2O ban in their first season of Bullshit!

    Since Teller is Jewish, does that make Stossel a racist?

    1. Since Stossel is Jewish as well, does that make him a self-hating Jew?

  11. I wonder if Stossel actually got people to sign the petition, or if he just showed the video of Penn and Teller back when they did the same thing.

  12. This seems like as good a place as any to put this: HR 875 ? The Death of Farmers Markets, CSAs and Local Food

    HR 875 as it is written today, could very well mean the end of the vibrant and growing local foods movement. Yes ? if it passes ? it could herald the death of farmers markets, most CSAs, farmstands and even small family-run farms altogether.

    Where would we be without our benevolent masters there to shield us from the evils of farmers markets?

  13. Given how well deregulation worked for the banking industry, I can’t imagine why we don’t deregulate nucular energy…aka the most dangerous possible way to boil water.

    1. YOU SUCK.

      1. Seriously. This falls under the Saturday Night Live Rule: The perfect imitation of an annoying person can only be, at best, annoying.

        1. THE THING THAT WOULDN’T LEAVE

          1. Hey, I resemble that remark!

            1. This is why I need to be given the power to hunt things down on the Internet and kill them. You know, like Jay and Silent Bob can.

    2. Don’t you have a gay blospot sight that needs tending?

      Buh-bye!

      1. That’s totally uncalled for. What did gay people ever do to you?

        I’m guessing he has an LOLCat site that needs tending.

          1. Ah, so this explains the sub-standard trolling. Dan T. has returned and he sucks more than ever.

            Question – is it trolling if you actually believe what you post?

            1. Friday, September 18, 2009
              Scotch Hamilton Has Purchased the CFAS…from Dan Tarrant. Love the name.
              Posted by Scotch Hamilton at 11:20 PM

              It thinks coming here to be a little whiny shitbag was part of the deal.

              Link. But don’t click it and give the teddy bear raping asswipe a hit.

              1. Dan Tarrant is…Dan T?!

            2. Uh … No?

            3. Question – is it trolling if you actually believe what you post?

              clueless/ignorant/faulty starting premises =/= trolling

          2. From the link: “However, I kind of think Scrooge gets a bit of a bum rap. True, he’s a tightwad and not so much fun to be around, but he’s also a successful businessman who pays his taxes and provides employment. The fact that he hordes his money instead of spending it means he is contributing to society by creating wealth but not using much in the way of resources. He is content to only purchase the bare necessities and has no tolerance for waste or inefficiency, so he is able to deliver the best possible services for the cost to his customers. One could argue that society would be better if there were more Scrooges around.”

            Uh, Scotch, your economic understanding is 200 years out of date. It is the movement of money (purchases, investment,) that propels trade and prosperity, i.e. converting your life-hours to cash, and then converting that cash into goods or services that are more efficiently produced by others.

            You may benefit from PJ O’Rourke’s “On The Wealth of Nations.

    3. Hello Shit Facktory.

      1. I concur. Piss off MNG, and stop trolling under ten different names, you effing d-bag.

    4. Please, the most dangerous ways to boil water are:
      1) Knives
      2) the Large Hadron Collider
      3) Zombies

    5. No, the most dangerous way to boil water would be to shove a 2-liter bottle of it up your ass and then bring it to a boil with a white-hot poker. Coincidetally, it would also be the most fun way to boil water.

      Though I would miss your kisses.

    6. I don’t know if you’re new here, but don’t let them bully you. They’re libertarians. Bullying is what they do. If you don’t buy into each and every one of their stupid econ 101 axioms that supposedly govern the universe and their 4th rate philosophers who justify their doucheness with similarly simplistic ethical codes, they just shout you down and call you names. The best defense against bullies, as you well know, is to be smarter than they are and to know it.

      1. I already have a boyfriend.

      2. Yes, that’s a great strategy. Keep persisting in every erroneous assumption you have ever made. Tony’s problem is that his intelligence is stuck in the Paleolithic era when it served humans to see the world in only zero-sum terms. He can’t understand a complex world in which more and more products are produced. He imagines a top-down structure in a self-perpetuating system, which is highly ironic, because he probably accepts evolutionary theory, which is the same. He is still searching for the egalitarian society of the hunter-gatherer, though that is long gone. Unfortunately for us, the ancient, primitive part of his brain dominates his neural processes. Still worse, he votes.

      3. You need to go back to school Tony.

        1. School is where he “learned” what he knows now. More of it won’t help.

      4. Tony|4.1.10 @ 3:07PM|#
        ‘I don’t know if you’re new here, but don’t let them bully you by pointing out that your supposed arguments are as brain-dead as mine.’
        FIFA, Chony

    7. Given how well deregulation worked for the banking industry, I can’t imagine why we don’t deregulate nucular energy…aka the most dangerous possible way to boil water.

      Deregulation of banking only failed if you think the purpose of deregulation was to guarantee profits.

      1. or that the recent banking industry resembled true dergulation.

        1. Yes, because it makes complete sense for a greedy, evil capitalist banker to loan out money to people with poor credit histories who could never pay the money back. Not even an economically illiterate liberal would lend his own money to someone who wouldn’t pay him back, minus say gov’t programs. Hmm, what would make someone do something so irrational? Smells like gov’t regulation.

          1. Government didn’t force anyone to engage in shadow banking and complex financial instruments–the point of which of course was to skirt the regulations. And it’s certainly not irrational to engage in risky behavior if you know you’re too big for government not to bail you out when it all crumbles down.

            We don’t just need more regulation, we need any institution whose failure could threaten the entire economy broken up. In capitalism you have to be allowed to fail.

            1. “Government didn’t force anyone to engage in shadow banking ”

              Yes Tony, Barney and Christopher coerced banks into loaning money to bad credit risks, in the name of giving everyone the “right to own a home”.

              Just another ‘right’ handed out by you far left assholes.

            2. Well, Tony. This is something we can agree upon. In capitalism such businesses should and would fail. Unfortunately, we do not have capitalism, mostly due to statist democrats as yourself and republicans on the other side. You all both colluded with big business to fuck us all.

              If it was fraud, there are laws for that. But you still have to account for the laws that forced businesses to deal with people who had terrible credit just to get them into a home. Also, Fannie and Freddy are hybrid entities, half-gov’t and half private. So, they are by definition regulated. Add to that the Community Investment Act and Clinton’s anti-discrimination policy along with business’s natural inclination to use gov’t to kill competition and you have a recipe for disaster. Some day you will see that it’s not just business that does this and republicans will see that it’s not just government that causes this. In reality, in America it is gov’t and business teaming up to exploit the system. Adam Smith warned of this early on. He was fighting against such a system in his Wealth of Nations. Unfortunately, no one heeded his advice.

            3. “Government didn’t force anyone to engage in shadow banking and complex financial instruments.”

              Yes it did: It forced you and me and every other average Joe to bail out the crooks who engaged in these giga scams. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and the rest thank you, Tony, for your support.

    8. What deregulation? Thousands of pages of regulations were added to the books during Bush’s reign.

      I don’t know if Stossel’s right or not, but it seems like somebody should find out.

    9. The banking “industry” was cartelized back in 1913. It hasn’t been deregulated. Deregulation would at minimum require repealing the legal tender law.

  14. Doesn’t seem to be any science in this at all. Lots of politics and some economics, but where is the science?

    1. Amen, brother.

  15. These CFL bulbs contain Mercury, it will be fun to see what effects that will have on landfills in about 20 years.

    1. That reminds me, I need to go to Home Depot and buy a case of 100W bulbs before they are banded.

      1. I’ll go with you and buy 60w and 75w, but the word is Banned!

        1. Sorry Chief, finger can’t spell.

    2. mercury is released during the combustion of fossil fuels. far more mercury goes into the environment burning incandescent bulbs than CFLs. Anyways, LEDs will replace CFLs before they could cause an issue.

      1. When discarded cfls begin piling up in landfills, it won’t be the amount of mercury that’a the problem but the concentration in relatively small areas.

    3. So do Fluorescent Light bulbs. You know, like the ones in most office buildings, stores, and garages for the past fifty years or so. They just aren’t very Compact. So I don’t understand why everybody is just noticing that fluorescent bulbs have Mercury in them now.

    4. There is far more mercury in old thermometers than CFLs. Now that they’re in the dump, it had little effect because it’s not organic mercury.

  16. At least Stossel is admitting that he usually has no idea what he’s talking about. A good start from the Mustached Master of Muckraking.

    1. God, you’re terrible. Are you going for worst troll ever? Because you’re in the running.

  17. It wouldn’t be trolling if you guys liked it…

    1. You seem angrier and more trolling focused now, Dan.

      1. Yep. Quite a departure since the Urkobold interview. Before he was just an “ah geez guys, I’m just asking questions” troll. This new troll persona is much more caustic and tired.

        Dan, what happened?

        1. I hope there’s no correlation.

    2. No, but that would make us all retarded.

      1. I would stop if even one of you sent me what I really want: a video of one of you slowly pooping a hard-boiled egg.

        And the egg, of course.

        1. All right, all right! You win. Here it is.

          1. Of course, that could be a false flag posting, but it would explain the change in temperament.

            Was annoying Hit & Run commenters in the contract? How odd.

        2. God god man. I can’t stop laughing now.

        3. What’s Up, Tiger Lily?

  18. Dihydrogen monoxide? That one’s old. Why not pose as a drug prohibitionist asking people to sign a petition to ban acetylsalicylic acid “a widely available analgesic drug that kills roughly 7,600 people a year”.

    1. I’ve always been partial to hydrolic acid. Makes it sound like a pollutant and/or hallucinogen.

    2. And it’s made with acetic anhydride, the same stuff they use to make…

      HEROIN.

    3. “Dihydrogen monoxide? That one’s old. ”

      It’s still good, though. I get the impression a great many people don’t know what this is even if you count only college-educated.

      1. Much better to circulate a petition against “women’s suffrage.”

  19. Why would you be dumb enough to sign a petition you don’t understand?
    And, as for plastic bags. It would be fine if each and every bag that people took from the grocery store was used for their kitchen trash. but it isn’t. Just walk down my back alley and see them all caught in the fence. Plastic bags don’t generally get ingested by animals in a dump (unless you live in India, where I highly doubt most people will buy black trash bags).

    1. Just walk down my back alley and see them all caught in the fence. Plastic bags don’t generally get ingested by animals in a dump

      Lindsey, it’s not the plastic bags which make it to the the dump that are generally the problem, it’s the free-range ones like the ones on the fence. Sea turtles apparently mistake floating bags for jellyfish – their favored food. On land bags containg food are often scavenged by wildlife and domestic animals which can lead to intestinal blockage and death.

      Not saying this is reason to ban bags, but we need to be honest about the scope of the problem if we are to retain the high ground as the party of rationalism.

      1. You need to attain that high ground before you can retain it…

        1. How would you know about the existence of high ground?

      2. Does anyone else hear an annoying, high-pitched buzzing noise?

    2. People littering is the problem, not the supplier of the plastic bags. It’s personal responsibility.

      It’s the same as saying MCdonalds causes obesity. THey don’t cause obesity, it’s the DECISIONS of people to purchase their food or their KING size portions.

  20. And, as for plastic bags…nearly 100% of the ones I get from the store are used to pick up dog poop.

    1. What an odd hobby.

      1. I am an iconocast!

  21. “Just walk down my back alley and see them all caught in the fence.”

    So why don’t you pick them up you useless, lazy fuck?

  22. Not exactly correct on why the banks won’t make the loans. Market capitalization for any of these energy companies is just about the size of the loan needed to fund a new plant. Construction estimates vary between 5-8B, and most energy companies only have a market capitalization of $10-$30B. Most banks are unwilling to make loans at such a low loan value to market capitalization ratio. Contrast the market cap of these firms to Exxon-Mobile, which is approximately $320B.

  23. India launches biometric census

    http://joshfulton.blogspot.com…..ensus.html

  24. The reason they are banned is because wildlife ingest them, particularly marine life. That is why plastic bags ‘kill’. This isn’t just a problem on the coasts. They end up in streams and rivers, eventually making their way into the ocean. Studies on the ingestion of plastic by animals are hardly junk science. You undermine your case when you mistate the facts like that.

    1. I don’t see a problem here.

  25. How unsurprising that Stossel settles on ExxonMobil’s solution to a greener future: pumping more methane into the atmosphere!

    1. pumping more methane into the atmosphere!

      You should know. That happens everytime I pull my cock out of your ass. BTW, my vittles better be on the table when I get home tonight.

      1. Crudity has no place in an adult discussion. Please grow out of your adolescence.

        1. New here, Chief?

        2. You must be new here. Welcome to Reason, where the longest running jokes involve sasquatch rape and taint withering. It’ll grow on ya.

        3. The crudity lamp is lit throughout the ship.

          1. +6

          2. Many sailors here?

        4. “Crudity has no place in an adult discussion.”

          You are absolutely correct. The fallacy is thinking this is an *adult* discusson.

      2. Interestingly, sodomy is the only thing liberals won’t regulate.

        1. Well as long as they use a condum.

    2. Landfill methane doesn’t go into the atmosphere you twit, they harvest it and produce energy. Which makes landfills more eco-friendly than recycling, which burns a shitload of extra fossil fuel in transport and processing.

  26. John Stossel is so gung ho to knock down any conventional wisdom that he sometimes is full of shit. Sometimes, even if rarely, the entire world isn’t freaking wrong.

    1. Agreed. In his zeal to show conventions as full of shit, he sometimes grasps at straws to fit his thesis.

      That said, he’s also completely made himself irrelevant by choosing to go on FAUX News. He would have been better off doing his occasional stints on 60 minutes rather than attaching himself to that Jesus toting excuse if a news network.

  27. Taylor says such drilling would do neither. Yes, it would create wealth. New offshore fields might produce a million barrels of oil per day. While that would be good, the benefits are oversold. “We consume 15 million barrels of oil a day. We produce 5. We’d go to 6.” Nice, but no game-changer.

    Oil is a fungible commodity. Just because oil is produced on American soil doesn’t mean it will be consumed in America. ANWR oil might be more cheaply shipped and consumed in Canada or Japan, for example.

    Virtually all the crude and refined oil in the world is essentially in one big market bucket from which everyone withdraws what they are willing to pay for.

  28. Junk Science? Taint a problem.

    1. That’s your position, I assume.

      1. That depends upon your junk.

  29. Has anyone else looked at what date it is? I just think it’s a possibility that this article isn’t serious.

  30. So this means that we can’t really produce our own oil at, approximately, $30.00 a barrel? Also that we do not have in the continent more than the equivilent of Saudi Arabia’s reserves?

  31. I don’t doubt what Stossel was told nor that he could decide based on the facts as presented to him.

    It is certainly very costly. No doubt.

    As for being comfortable with the level of regulations, I would think that the nuclear industry has no choice in the matter. Unless somebody wanted to challenge the regulations in a certainly vain attempt to prove that it was, what? Unnecessary? (ha) Illegal? (ha) or not in the public interest? (hahaha) There is no benefit to the industry to engage in that — spend lots of money and get nowhere.

    I could agree with the idea that it may not make economic sense but when one looks at the history of opposition as well as the cost of actually trying to get a plant planned, constructed and into operation. Not even taking into account the NIMBY and anti-nuke folks, well, utilities are not in the business of taking on pretty sizeable forseeable and otherwise avoidable risks when they don’t have to.

    This is probably not well worded but the best I can do.

    1. Worded well enough for me.

  32. Reason and Stossel…you are beginning to sound a lot like statist Luddites. What happened to anything that resembles serious economic analysis? This is a hatchet job directed at the nuclear and oil industries. Citing a flawed CATO analysis when you have a shoddy argument to begin with, does little to support your own analysis. Where is the science in this article? This article appears to be about to be your personal anti-nuclear, anti-oil politics…could it be true? I thought you were a free market guy! Instead you seem hell bent on discrediting the viability of nuclear and oil power with no evidence and flimsy political arguments that the free market will not support the development of either. To couch your political arguments supporting a Luddite anti-nuclear/oil agenda in an article purportedly about the “dangers of junk science” makes it all the more disingenuous and anti-intellectual. GIVE ME A BREAK! Do you really think that you can suspend critical thinking because you have positioned yourself as a definitive source of ferreting out junk science and junk economics? Please go back to the drawing board and write something convincing, based on science and economics!

  33. The junk science is settled.

    1. wingnutx|4.1.10 @ 5:27PM|#
      The junk science is settled.

      I love this site!

  34. i wholeheartedly disagree nuclear has an incredibly expensive upfront cost but it is in fact cost effective heres how that dynamic changes

    Capital cost+ hippy satiation costs+ fuel storage costs (as opposed to reprocessing)+ government fines (theres alot of those up to 1 million dollars a day per offense+ legal costs= very expensive

    take for instance the seabrook nuke plant in seabrook nh the plant was affordable but environmental activists held it up in court for so long that they actually bankrupted the original power company buying it

    we need governement subsidies because a nuke plant official cant go in front of all protesters witha megaphone and say “go f*** yourself hippies, that is all” if we took away the legal injunctions or allowed them to be dealt with afterwards nuclear would be fine

    1. I think you can write FUCK on this site. No need for F***. Just saying

  35. Roy Spencer got radial keratotomy to fix his hindsight.

  36. Domestic tornado spying, probably something Bush set up.

  37. The woman in the front row didn’t raise her hand because she wants a lot more nuclear energy.

  38. Apparently it’s a presidential prerequisite to pronounce it nuke-ular.

  39. Jerry Taylor is a nuclear killjoy.

  40. How can we be sure Jerry can see well enough to make that determination on nuclear power from inside the pocket of Big Oil?

  41. Jerry doesn’t want us to drill, either. Apparently he either invests heavily in Middle Eastern oil production or he’s a closet Luddite.

  42. The wind blows just fine out of Cato, it seems.

  43. Women at Harvard get all hysterical. Stop the presses.

  44. I call it science-penis envy.

  45. Hey John Stossel!
    How about losing the animated screens behind the panelists on your show. It distracts from the speakers and makes me slightly queasy.

    Thanks

  46. The government pushing victimology? Stop the presses again.

  47. Say it, Christina. The female think tanks are all PMSey.

  48. Yeah, no one uses snail mail anymore.

  49. God. Stossel will not stop bragging about his damn golf cart. Let’s see if it gets him as much tail as Tiger.

  50. Harsanyi, tool of Big Incandescent.

  51. More like David Hardy-Har-Harsanyi, environmental devil.

  52. Look out, John. Dick Clark is stealing your cart.

  53. Ugh, he’s wading into the audience.

  54. John is ignoring the environmental costs of CO2 emission, and the military costs of being involved in the Middle East.

  55. Softball question for Christina. Possibly from her husband.

  56. Yes! Phallocentric accusation of Department of Education dumbing down to women’s level.

  57. Spencer, you dick, you know the lad meant AGW.

  58. Just wait until The Market shuts off Jerry’s lights. Then see how much he loves it.

  59. Science, FoE, on a crank binge?

  60. He’s convinced me.

    This is a mistake by Stossel. Instead of relying upon the wisdom of an “expert” we need to rely upon the combined wisdom of the people, expressed through the free market.

    If the government is out of the way, the market will determine what is the most efficient form of energy production. “Experts” often disagree and can not know as much as the combined knowledge of hundreds of millions of individuals acting in self-interest.

  61. How did H2O kill people again?

    1. Drowning

    2. Drinking too much of it can kill you. Flushes sodium and potassium out of the body until muscle cells (including cardiac tissue) fail to contract properly. Or so I recall reading.

  62. In addition, fluorescent bulbs often use as much power as incandescent bulbs because people leave them on longer.

    Weird. I leave the light on when I need to see things.

    But anyway, I hope you won’t get any backlash from your higher-ups for saying mean things about nuclear energy & ANWR drilling.

  63. Then he moved on to more Republican candy: the claim that drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska would dramatically lower oil prices and move us toward energy “independence.”

    It seems to me that any additional oil produced would go on the world market (just as that currently produced) and would not have any major effect on domestic prices unless government was confiscating it and rationing it to force domestically produced oil to be sold *only* domestically, which would then crowd out oil purchased from other countries.

  64. hmm could the reason nuclear power “doesn’t make economic sense” be BECAUSE OF government regulation?

  65. Another completely confused meme on nuclear power. If you compare fuel costs, nuclear power is in the mix. Nukes are WAY more regulated – they are designed against natural, human-caused, and security events that no other facilities are; they require a gov’t issued LICENSE to be built and operated; and they are designed to achieve a level of safety that no other power generation method comes even close to. While all of this is for good reason, it drives high upfront capital costs. To top it off, you can’t bill the rate base (consumers) till electrons are flowing to the grid so the utilities and banks have to front the whole shebang with risks of total loss of investment if the plant doesn’t get on-line. OF COURSE they want these risks guaranted.

    Once up and operating, nuclear plants have enviable cost, availability, and safety records. The proof that Stossel and his experts are full of crap is that the broad majority of the current fleet have received operating license extensions to run another 30 years.

  66. Libertarians wake up to the stupidity and socialism of nuclear energy! Finally, after decades of not realizing the friggin obvious!

  67. OF COURSE the investors wanted 100% protection before funding huge, expensive projects which were subject to being shut down by the whims of any one of thousands of government officials.

    You won’t find them lining up to fund hydroelectric dams, or gas-fired powerplants, either.

  68. He gives no support for his statements, so is unconvincing. I’m no fan of govt involvement, but find it hard to believe simple statements that ‘folks will leave on flourescents’. I don’t.

  69. Hey, an interesting fact that is often overlooked in “pricing” or comparing energy sources. Last year TVA dike broke, allowing enormous amounts of coal ash (slurry) to flood adjacent lands and contaminate rivers in TN. cost to clean up might well be a billion dollars. No one seems to ever count not just the “carbon costs” (whatever that means), but the costs for crap like this.

  70. Dihydrogen Monoxide is, simply put, the ONLY significant greenhouse gas. It accounts for something on the order of 95% of greenhouse warming on the Earth. The only way that models can make increases of Carbon Dioxide concentrations force warming is to make the heroic assumption that increases in atmospheric CO2 make the cioncentration of atmospheric H2O increase.

    1. “The only way that models can make increases of Carbon Dioxide concentrations force warming is to make the heroic assumption that increases in atmospheric CO2 make the cioncentration of atmospheric H2O increase.”

      It’s not a heroic assumption. The argument that I have heard is:

      1. CO2 causes warming of the atmosphere.

      2. The warmer atmosphere warms the oceans.

      3. The solubility of CO2 in water decreases with temperature. Thus, a warmer ocean will hold less CO2.

      4. The released CO2 takes you back to step 1.

      I will note that, as I understand it, current AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) theory this feedback loop is not the only mechanism by which CO2 induces warming. Another contributor is that CO2 induced warming will lower planetary albedo by causing less snow and ice to exist. Of course, this would play into the above-mentioned feeb-back loop as well.

  71. Mr Paul Nelson should spend, oh, five minutes at wikipedia and cure his ignorance before bothering us any futher.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

    Thanks in advance for doing some learning before you spew ignorance in everyone’s way!

  72. Maybe we should talk to scientists about science-huh? In a conversation i had with President Obama’s chief science advisor he related to me that France’s nuclear power industry still has the same problems we have ” what to do with waste?” Yes France “recycles” some of its waste but that only goes so far. We had a viable solution here but politics ruined that.
    Regarding coal Mr. Holdren informed me that it was a viable option for the use of ” clean coal.” I did not inquire about natural gas as i was blown away by the mild endorsement of some ” conservative ” ideas by a ” liberal. ”

    Regarding “science ignorance” that is mainly the fault of the left side of the poitical spectrum- and i am from the left of the political spectrum.

    ie
    Most people i meet that believe in evolution usually describe a telos instead of a physos description- they still believe the necks of giraffes got longer as oppossed to knowing that long necked giraffes always existed, they were able to survive longer to breed more- natural selection at work .

    ie
    Man did not evolve from an ape but evolved from a common ancestor along side the ape.

    ie
    Mathamatics is just a system of measurement that is predictive and redictive- and esentially if you understand ratio and propotion you essentially understand math.

    Some times you need to have some conservative single mindedness to balance the liberal scatter mindedness
    but i digress and ramble

    later thanks for reading this far

  73. truth,,,,obama people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.”
    “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.”
    “All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those towards whom it is directed will understand it. Therefore, the intellectual level of the propaganda must be lower the larger the number of people who are to be influenced by it.”
    “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”pelosi don’t see much future for the Americans … it’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities …obama feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance … everything about the behaviour of American society reveals that it’s half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold TOGTHER.They include the angry left wing bloggers who spread vicious lies and half-truths about their political adversaries… Those lies are then repeated by the duplicitous left wing media outlets who “discuss” the nonsense on air as if it has merit? The media’s justification is apparently “because it’s out there”, truth be damned. STOP THIS COMMUNIST OBAMA ,GOD HELP US ALL .THE COMMANDER ((GOD OPEN YOUR EYES)) stop the communist obama & pelosi.((open you eyes)) ,the commander

  74. Keep in mind that the LNG industry is also heavily subsidized.

    http://atomicinsights.blogspot…..ed-by.html

  75. Thanks for a wonderful experience. Hey all. A am glad to find this site. Very usefull.

  76. Thanks for a wonderful experience. Hey all. A am glad to find this site. Very usefull.

  77. We need to do something about all this dihydrogen monoxide polluting our environment!
    Fat People

  78. Beer and wine kisumu 2 possess a small amount of methyl alcohol, also known as fuel line antifreeze along with cook oven fuel. It is just a harmless quantity in ale and wine beverage but when distilled atmbt sapatu the wrong temp a dangerous amount of methyl alchol can be done.

  79. I totally agree with the view in the last. just tell citizen what harm them with a simple and explicit way. people must understand and give you a correct answer you want.though,there are so many pointless environmental regulation.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.