Another Consequence of Anti-Nuke Activism: Higher Carbon Emissions

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One consequence of shutting down nuclear power plants is increased emissions of carbon dioxide that are thought to be contributing to global warming. Andrew Bolt over at the Herald Sun blog notes that in reaction to the Japanese nuclear crisis, several European countries—Germany, Switzerland, Austria—have taken steps to shut down nuclear power generating facilities. The result: 

This will mean more countries will be forced to use fossil fuels rather than nuclear, the only relatively cheap source of greenhouse friendly base-load power other than hydroelectricity, also opposed by most greens. Few will dare now to commit to huge cuts in emissions, and especially not in this shaky economic environment, made more turbulent by Japan's disaster. Few will be willing to trust to the green alternatives—all expensive, under-developed or unreliable.

Breakthrough Institute analyst Sara Mansur observes

Carbon dioxide emissions in Germany may increase by 4 percent annually in response to a moratorium on seven of the country's oldest nuclear power plants, as power generation is shifted from nuclear power, a zero carbon source, to the other carbon-intensive energy sources that currently make up the country's energy supply.

As background, the Washington Post has published today a nice graphic showing the relative emissions of carbon dioxide from various energy sources:

To emit or not to emit, that is the question

Links via the Global Warming Policy Foundation. 

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  1. What about the radioactive carbon footprint?

  2. If you believe AGW presents an imminent, existential threat to mankind, then you should be promoting nuclear power in a huge way. Because even with the risks, large-scale nuclear power use doesn’t threaten the future existence of the species. Except in the form of nuclear weapons, anyway.

    If radiation is so scary as to chase reason out of the analysis, then greens should be throwing everything at fusion.

    No other option makes any sense, as they have to know that getting the whole world to go green without a technological advance that makes it more attractive to do so will not happen.

  3. Hey Hit & Run,
    My name is Episiarch, and I hate every single one of you. All of you are fat, retarded, no-lifes who don’t know anything about cinematography. You are everything bad in the world. Honestly, have any of you ever gotten any pussy? I mean, I guess it’s fun making fun of people because of your own insecurities, but you all take to a whole new level. This is even worse than jerking off to pictures on facebook.
    Don’t be a stranger. Just hit me with your best shot. I’m pretty much perfect. I was captain of the football team, and starter on my basketball team. What sports do you play, other than “jack off to Ayn Rand rape scenes”? I also get straight A’s, and have a banging hot girlfriend (She just blew me; Shit was SO cash). You are all Randroids who should just kill yourselves. Thanks for listening.

    1. I’d believe this was Episiarch if it had a pop culture reference of some sort.

      1. Epi rarely broadbands his insults. They’re targeted with almost surgical precision. This is way too scattershot for Epi.

    2. For fuck’s sake, rather. Up your goddamn dose of Abilify.

      You people realize that if this was a physical place, this looney-tune would have shown up with a gun by now, right? As is, she’ll probably drive across the country in diapers to stab someone at a Reason get-together.

      1. She’s why we don’t have nice things.

        1. You laugh now, but when she’s dressed like a dude, stabbing you in the kidney and ass-raping you with a big strap-on at the same time in a D.C. bar washroom, the joke will be on you.

            1. Yes, until you learn your lesson.

              1. I’m taking a roadtrip to Kentucky, and I’m feeling stabby. Your neckbeard won’t save you this time.

      2. As if one needs an excuse to drive across the country in diapers.

        Traveling HSR in diapers would be cool too, but you never know when a TSA patdown is going to burst your bubble, so to speak.

        1. Would they have caught Lisa Marie Nowak?

    3. He really got to that guy. Who was that that got so pissed?

      1. My guess is it is nothing like that. More likely someone here found a web page that randomly generates blog comments.

        The person who did it probably likes Epi.

    4. I think Episiarch is a pretty cool guy, eh trolls reason and doesn’t afraid of anything.

    5. that’s alotta hot air w low carbon footprint.

      1. The jackass talking about ears…

    6. I also get straight A’s, and have a banging hot girlfriend (She just blew me; Shit was SO cash).

      Dude i am nearly 40…who gives a shit about blow jobs and looks.

      I want to know if she can cook, will let me put my leg over her leg while I sleep and if she can balance a check book.

    7. That’s it, we’re not friends anymore!

  4. How much longer can the warmists keep this up. After Japan I would think no sane person would concern themselves with an increase of a degree or two in temperature. If any good can come from this disaster it will be the end of discussing co2 emissions.

  5. James Ard: First, the Japanese declared at Cancun that they were withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol limits on CO2 emissions.

    Second, as an energy resource poor country, Japan adopted nuclear power 40 years ago for reasons of “energy security,” not as a way to address climate change concerns.

    1. I understand having reservations about nuclear power, but it seems to me that converting to a principally nuclear power infrastructure is the only viable option for people concerned about cataclysmic AGW.

      This would mean, of course, promoting widespread construction of nuclear power plants on a global scale, including in countries where the plants would have to be subsidized and in countries where the weaponizing of nuclear fuel would be a concern.

      1. “I understand having reservations about nuclear power, but it seems to me that converting to a principally nuclear power infrastructure is the only viable option for people concerned about cataclysmic AGW.”

        I think there are lots of other ways people can and do compensate for higher energy costs.

        If costs in terms of health and other costs associated with these radiation leaks spike, then they should add the price of those external costs to whatever they saved by using nuclear energy.

        Meanwhile, using more blankets at night, making sure they turned their lights off when not in use, moving within walking distance to work, washing your dishes by hand–and about a million other things–really are viable substitutes for cheap electricity.

        Whether it’s global warming or the risk of nuclear accidents, the biggest problem to my eye appears to be one of external costs.

        Somehow we have it in our heads that the goal is cheap energy–and I’m not buying that! If the price of corn goes up, there are plenty of substitutes for that, and energy is no different. If I told you that the primary goal of our economic policy should be keeping the price of corn as low as possible, I’d be laughed out of the room!

        Why is energy any different? There are lots of substitutes for cheap electricity from your local utility company. Strong economies aren’t predicated on letting people gorge themselves on under-priced commodities and then leaving everybody else, except those who are gorging themselves, to pay the external costs! Why insist that very substitutable commodity is a special case?

        It isn’t.

        1. moving within walking distance to work,

          I love it when this gets trotted out. I live outside of DC, but work in the city, as do most people. We have the worst traffic in the nation and believe me when I say that if I could move where I could walk, I would. That would also mean paying $800,000+ for a single-family home and sending the kids to one of the worst school systems in the nation as well, since I’ll be so house poor that I couldn’t afford private school. Oh, and no college fund or nights out at the movies either kids.

          No, no trade offs there.

          Oh and when I change jobs in a few years, I can rip up the kids’ lives and move everyone again, right?

          1. The places where that’s an issue generally have mass transit systems that can be substituted. So, take the Metro to work rather than driving, etc.

            1. So, take the Metro to work rather than driving, etc.

              So I can increase the cost of my commute and make it take longer as well? Not to mention the petri dish that’s a Metro car. No thanks. Been there, etc.

              The idea that most people who sit in traffic/on the train for 90 minutes+ every work day are doing it out of some weird kind of apathy, and never think to themselves about how they could make it better, is about as absurd as it gets.

              People do respond rationally to price pressures: they insulate their homes, turn the thermostat down a few notches, use CFLs, wear sweater, use fans, buy cars that get better mileage, etc.

              But to suggest as blithely as Ken does that all of these options are so easy to execute and have no opportunity costs associated with them is a reality cutoff phenomena.

              What I object to is a national policy engineered to reward rent seekers and party supporters that make energy more expensive (and less efficient and more destructive–I’m looking at you ethanol) than it needs to be.

          2. I didn’t say it was cheap!

            I didn’t say that was the only substitute.

            I’ve built whole office and industrial developments outside of LA County for the whole purpose of business owners moving their operations closer to where their employees live…

            I mostly work from home now–my commute couldn’t cost less.

            If more people had to live closer to work because the cost of energy went up, do you really think more and cheaper opportunities to live downtown wouldn’t proliferate?

            Do you imagine that everyone else in the world should have to suffer the effects of global warming so you can save a few bucks commuting from Laurel–or wherever you live?

            1. If more people had to live closer to work because the cost of energy went up, do you really think more and cheaper opportunities to live downtown wouldn’t proliferate?

              Where? On the Mall? No one stuck in our miserable traffic never had that idea before? That’s a quality of life issue; forget economics.

              There a 3 main types of city dwellers: the ultra-poor, 20-something singles living in group homes and the uber-wealthy. The middle class hoofs it to the ‘burbs where the housing costs and associated lifestyles are more reasonable. I don’t think it’s out of some misplaced dogma that they do so.

            2. Do you imagine that everyone else in the world should have to suffer the effects of global warming so you can save a few bucks commuting from Laurel–or wherever you live?

              Do you imagine that everyone else should have to bear the not-insignificant costs of what you consider to be an ideal lifestyle?

              To save a *few* bucks? Are you fucking kidding me? You’re just dicking with me now. Right?

              You know who else wanted to empty the countryside….

              1. When people have to make tough choices because they’re paying the true cost of their choices?

                I feel for them, but I can’t quite reach them.

                I think people should be free to make their own choices and should take responsibility for their own choices too…

                That’s why I resented it when deadbeats signed onto home loans and then defaulted on them–and I was held responsible for their poor choices.

                That’s what makes me a libertarian. Your freedom = your choice = your responsibility–does not equal my responsibility.

                1. I think people should be free to make their own choices and should take responsibility for their own choices too…

                  That’s all well and good until the tut-tutting starts.

                  People like Neu are willing to wear the hairshirt of sacrifice, because their moral code tells them it’s worth it. And that’s fine too. Like you, I believe that you should be free to live as you like. That also means that your neighbors may choose live a less-than-frugal lifestyle and yes, they bear the costs of doing so, but so do you to some extent. Such is life in a interdependent society.

                  But that’s not what you were saying. Your post was riddled with “national policy” anagrams that have little to do with liberty or live-and-let-live attitudes; just the opposite.

                  That, and the absurd notion that people don’t react rationally to price pressures, and that they’re all opportunity cost free, is what I was objecting to. There comes a point that in spite of your every effort to minimize costs, you’re still exposed to a fairly large bill. Lately, that bill has come delivered by the hand of corporatism and green energy mythos.

            3. “…commuting from Laurel”

              No one with any choice lives in Laurel or anywhere else in Prince Georges County. Letting your kids go to a Prince Georges County school, let alone a Washington public school should be considered child abuse.

              If you want to run social experiments, you do it with your kids and grand kids.

              1. I grew up on the outskirts of Laurel. Close to the Montgomery County Line, but not over it.

                They’ve got this thing called “private schools”.

                Regardless, the suggestion that you should get to live your life without having to make any tough choices–and everyone else should have to suffer the consequences of your choices?

                Is what’s wrong with this world.

                Why should I have to pay your bills?

                Leave me out of it.

                1. So, you have no bills that I need to pay?

                  You live in a hermetically sealed box and you eat your own farts for dessert?

        2. (^_^)

        3. Meanwhile, using more blankets at night, making sure they turned their lights off when not in use, moving within walking distance to work, washing your dishes by hand–and about a million other things– lowering your standard of living really are is a viable substitutes for cheap electricity.

          1. Two things I have done to raise my standard of living.

            Moved within walking distance of work, sold my car. These decisions freed up substantial income for other uses giving me more luxury time and luxury items.

            1. Re: Neu Mejican,

              Moved within walking distance of work, sold my car. These decisions freed up substantial income for other uses giving me more luxury time and luxury items.

              You mean you exchanged things you valued more for things you valued less.

              You… you… you free marketeer you! Heathen!

              1. Only in your head have I been anything different. To be clear, of course, I believe that markets are most efficient when well regulated…as is true of any complex adaptive system, both top-down and bottom-up influences essential to optimize performance.

                Libertarianism, broadly, gets this concept. An example in the political arena is the US constitution, which explicitly recognizes both influences and does its best to strike a balance between them. Importantly, it also provides for a flexible, evolution of the rules based on new information.

                1. Re: Neu Mejican,

                  To be clear, of course, I believe that markets are most efficient when well regulated…as is true of any complex adaptive system, both top-down and bottom-up influences essential to optimize performance.

                  Yes! Agreed! That is what makes another complex system (evolution) work so efficiently: it is so well regulated, top-down. So very optimal.

                  Leave the mysticism at home, Neu. Markets work because people are self-interested, not because of sage and wise overseers. Nobody can be clever enough to account by himself for the trillions of possible outcomes required just to deliver a jug of milk to Ms. O’Hara in Queens.

                  1. That is what makes another complex system (evolution) work so efficiently: it is so well regulated, top-down. So very optimal.

                    Evolution is a process, not a system.

                    1. Re: Neu Mejican,

                      Evolution is a process, not a system.

                      Ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!

                    2. I laugh because that description is exactly the strawman used by creationists to attack evolution: “It’s a process but leaves no evidence of a middle part from A to B, so: God!”

                      It IS a system, nitwit. What you are thinking is the evolutionary process (the point A to point B), but Evolution per se is a system of species SELECTION.

                    3. I laugh because that description is exactly the strawman used by creationists to attack evolution: “It’s a process but leaves no evidence of a middle part from A to B, so: God!”

                      It IS a system, nitwit. What you are thinking is the evolutionary process (the point A to point B), but Evolution per se is a system of species SELECTION.

                      Wow, so much wrong with this it is hard to comment. I guess I will just point out that saying “evolution is a system of species SELECTION” is equivalent to saying that “evolution is a process.”

                  2. Markets work because people are self-interested, not because of sage and wise overseers. Nobody can be clever enough to account by himself for the trillions of possible outcomes required just to deliver a jug of milk to Ms. O’Hara in Queens.

                    A well regulated market would not try. But the existence of the stable infrastructure that support that exchange includes top-down elements. Your blindness to these notwithstanding.

                    1. Re: Neu Mejican,

                      A well regulated market would not try.

                      Not try? Yet Ms. O’Hara receives her jug of milk, maybe becuase of an UNregulated market.

                      But the existence of the stable infrastructure that support that exchange includes top-down elements.

                      Basically you confuse the vampire government with a “stable infrastructure.”

                      And, besides, such back-peddaling you made there: We went from “well regulated market” to simply “a stable infrastructure.”

                    2. Basically you confuse the vampire government with a “stable infrastructure.”

                      Basically, you conflate top-down regulatory forces with government. While “government” is by definition one of these top-down forces, it is not the only one.

                      And, besides, such back-peddaling you made there: We went from “well regulated market” to simply “a stable infrastructure.

                      Nope. The primary purpose of market regulation is to provide for a stable infrastructure within which market players can operate.

                    3. Not try?

                      Smart regulatory policy does not require the ability to “account … for the trillions of possible outcomes” in a market. “Well regulated” markets establish boundary conditions.

                  3. OM, what on earth makes you think evolution is an efficient process?

            2. Ceasing and desisting your commenting habits on H&R would save electricity and free up time and income.

            1. Stupid threading.

              “This” being: R C Dean|3.16.11 @ 1:38PM|

          2. If you gain your advantage in your cost of living by shifting the cost of your energy use to everyone but you?

            Then maybe your standard of living needs a haircut.

            In the meantime, substituting away from things that are being priced appropriately, instead of taking advantage of external costs, doesn’t generally lead to a lower standard of living for any other commodity–again, why is cheap energy so different from anything else?

            Sometimes people sound like they’ve never heard of substitutes before!

            If you need to spend a ton of money heating your house in Buffalo every winter–because the true costs of that energy use are now being borne by people like you who are consuming that energy–rather than everyone else but you?

            Then you should seriously consider moving somewhere with a more temperate climate to protect your standard of living.

            I have no problem with the suggestion that the only people who should be able to enjoy living in an absurd climate are the people who are willing to pay the true cost of living there!

            Rather than those costs being borne by me?! That’s a no brainer.

            1. Re: Ken Shultz,

              If you need to spend a ton of money heating your house in Buffalo every winter–because the true costs of that energy use are now being borne by people like you who are consuming that energy–rather than everyone else but you?
              I heat my house with love.

        4. Re: Ken Shultz,

          Somehow we have it in our heads that the goal is cheap energy government controlled energy — and I’m not buying that!

          Amen!

        5. There isn’t a single fucking thing in your life that you purchase that’s retail price is not dependent upon the cost of energy.

          1. And?!

          2. The price of gasoline goes up; the price of everything you buy goes up.

            The price of electricity goes up; the price of everything you buy goes up.

            It’s not about thermostats and blankets. The price of energy effects every aspect of your standard of living. The poor suffer mightly when the cost of energy goes up.

            There is no “substitute” for cheap electricty.

            1. “There is no “substitute” for cheap electricty.”

              Really?!

              So moving to places where less electricity is necessary for heating and air conditioning isn’t a substitute?

              What about burning fire wood?

              That’s two off the top of my head!

              1. I don’t remember you being a dickhead troll, but are you arguing that the entire eastern seaboard should be dismantled?

                1. “I don’t remember you being a dickhead troll, but are you arguing that the entire eastern seaboard should be dismantled?

                  Are you arguing that the entire eastern seaboard would be dismantled if people had to pay for what they consume?

              2. Re: Ken Shultz,

                So moving to places where less electricity is necessary for heating and air conditioning isn’t a substitute?

                You’re conflating “cheapness” with “using less of it.”

                If I wanted to make a 100 Ton omellet, I would certainly have to buy lots’nd lots of otherwise cheap eggs to make it.

              3. Where are you going to live that you can burn firewood, and be within walking distance of work?

                Where are all the people in Washington DC going to keep their firewood? And remember that the population of DC is going to go back up to 800,000 since everybody needs to be within walking distance of where they work.

                1. I gave some examples of substitutes. I mentioned there are millions.

                  You don’t like the ones I used as examples? Pick some others.

                  Sink? Swim? Go down with the ship?

                  Use your freedom of choice, Buddy Ro!

                  All I’m saying is that what’s mine without paying for it shouldn’t be on your list of cheap choices.

        6. “Meanwhile, using more blankets at night, making sure they turned their lights off when not in use, moving within walking distance to work, washing your dishes by hand–and about a million other things–really are viable substitutes for cheap electricity.”

          Blankets. Check. Lights off. Check. Hand wash dishes. Check. Walk to work. Wait a minute.
          Since 1973 I have travelled to 14 states and countless cities and towns to ply my trade as a contract worker in the telephone industry. I was supposed to walk to all those places? I’ve got a truck load of tools and ladders I could never carry on my back to these job sites.
          Many folks have to change jobs to stay employed these days. Now you want them to move to be within walking distance each time they get a different job.
          I sure hope your other 1,000,000 things make more sense than this. Why don’t you list the first 10,000 so we can check them out.

          1. I gave some examples. I mentioned there are millions.

            I didn’t say people should be forced to do anything–except pay their own damn costs.

            There are millions of ways people substitute for things when prices go up–there’s a whole discipline about it called “Economics”.

            Really! I didn’t invent this observation about substitutes!

            There isn’t enough server space at Reason to list all the substitutes there are for various forms of energy. If you had to pay for higher energy, you could pick any of them you want–or pay the full cost of the energy you use!

            Nobody has to explain to you what you’re going to do when any of your other prices rise. You make your choices the best you can–suggesting that you paying the full cost of your energy use will somehow destroy the economy is ridiculous.

            Suggesting that the economy would stagnate and starve off if people had to pay the full price for what they consume is ridiculous.

            If anything? Economies thrive when the market price reflects the true cost of things–in every situation known to man. That’s used to be a big part of what being a libertarian was all about!

            1. Re: Ken Shultz,

              I didn’t say people should be forced to do anything–except pay their own damn costs.

              You will find no disagreement here, Ken, as long as you mean actual economic costs and not faux or bullshit costs like “externalities” (i.e. whatever I happen not to like.)

              Nothing should be subsidized or penalized by central planning morons, as such acts create the price distorsions you seem to be talking about.

              1. actual economic costs

                You need to define your term here. Particularly since you dismiss the possibility that there are actual unpriced external costs (and benefits) in the energy market.

                1. Re: Neu Mejican,

                  You need to define your term here.

                  Cost: The market price of what you bought.

                  Particularly since you dismiss the possibility that there are actual unpriced external costs (and benefits) in the energy market.

                  If they’re unpriced, then they’re not costs.

                  1. Your definition needs to be more specific about “economic costs” (rather than other kinds of costs) and how “price” is determined on this level of analysis. Is it only the price I pay, in dollars, at point of purchase? Or do we need to consider costs over time that result from that particular purchasing decision?

                    So we are still left with: define your terms. And we have added into this the need to justify why you consider “cost” and “price” to be entirely redundant terms.

              2. “You will find no disagreement here, Ken, as long as you mean actual economic costs and not faux or bullshit costs like “externalities” (i.e. whatever I happen not to like.)”

                You mean as opposed to taxing people’s income? In terms of fairness, taxing externalities makes way more sense than taxing people’s incomes.

                Again, that’s the problem we’re talking about here. Whether it’s global warming or some town north of Tokyo absorbing all the risk for Tokyo’s cheap electricity…

                We’re talking about externalities–other people bearing the cost of your choices sometimes against their will and often without compensation…

                We need to bring those external costs onto the market–where they can be dealt with efficiently instead of subsidized and regulated by government.

                If you’d make different choices if it weren’t for government interference? If energy companies would behave differently if their customers had to bear the true costs?

                Our society would be more fair, and our economy would be stronger.

                Not weaker–stronger.

                Anybody who’s quality of life depends on government protecting them from paying the full market cost of the choices they make?

                Is a welfare queen by any other name.

                1. We need to bring those external costs onto the market–where they can be dealt with efficiently instead of subsidized and regulated by government.

                  And just who, exactly, will be responsible for setting the prices for these so-called costs (that only you seem to incur and pay) and who will be responsible for making sure that they’re included in all costs? Hmmmmm?

            2. I didn’t say people should be forced to do anything–except pay their own damn costs.

              So, no more division of labor for you?

    2. Ron, I would suspect this was the straw that finally broke Kyoto’s back.

  6. Another consequence of the ongoing nuclear melodrama in Japan: increased emissions from Ron Bailey.

    What are you so worried about, Ron? From what I hear, extraction of natural gas from shale (is that the fracking stuff I hear so much about?) will keep the price of energy well below cost of the nuclear stuff for a long time to come, particularly if nuclear plants have to compete “without federal loan guarantees and the backstop of federal disaster insurance”–a form of governmental “meddling” that you seem to find attractive.

    Who cares how energy is produced, as long as it’s cheap? Shouldn’t we just eliminate all subsidies and, you know, let the market decide? If nuclear can’t cut it, it can’t cut it. Too bad.

    1. From what I hear, extraction of natural gas from shale (is that the fracking stuff I hear so much about?) will keep the price of energy well below cost of the nuclear stuff for a long time to come

      True, but you’ll have to get past the eco-theologists, Sherlock Strawman. Do try to keep up.

  7. I’m a fool to work for a living. I could roll my modest savings into a fortune by betting against human emotional excess. But I’m a bit slow on the uptake. What are tulips selling for these days?

  8. “…several European countries — Germany, Switzerland, Austria — have taken steps to shut down nuclear power generating facilities.”

    Well, I guess they’re glad they didn’t ratify the Kyoto Protocol then.

    …Oh wait, all three of them did ratify the Kyoto Protocol!

  9. Alan Vanneman: Please read more carefully. I am not shilling for nuclear or any other form of power supply. As I have written many times – let them all compete without subsidies. Also, I agree with you that natural gas will for some time to come outcompete all other forms for energy for generating electricity. (Just about to blog this nice article by the Manhattan Institute’s Bryce saying just that.)

    One caveat: Nat gas wins unless governments do somehow succeed in putting a price on CO2 emissions, which I have argued is unlikely.

    1. Nat gas wins unless governments do somehow succeed in putting a price on CO2 emissions, which I have argued is unlikely.

      Ron, natural gas exploration also requires drilling. Getting that past eco-theologists and The Feds (who hold so much damn land) will be difficult, and have the potential for boondoggledy-ness. The vestige of CO2 emission taxes will not be given up. As pointed out by other commenters, like health care, it’s not about the problem, it’s about control of assets and production.

    2. Ron, should I read more carefully, or should you write more carefully? Yes, that is mean, but the flavor of your pieces have been “FOR GOD’S SAKE LET’S NOT OVERREACT!” Nowhere have you suggested that fracking might beat fission “for some time,” at which time we might have better ideas about how to generate electricity than we do now.

      As for DNS, there’s a ton (actually, more) of natural gas extraction going on already. Check the Manhattan Institute article for more info. Fortunately, Al “Massage me, bitch, massage me” Gore isn’t all powerful, nor is Barak “Suffer Private Manning, suffer for my sins” Obama.

      1. Fortunately, Al “Massage me, bitch, massage me” Gore isn’t all powerful, nor is Barak “Suffer Private Manning, suffer for my sins” Obama.

        They don’t have to; their minions will do their evil work for them. No wonder you can’t solve mysteries, much less opine about them.

  10. “This will mean more countries will be forced to use fossil fuels rather than nuclear, the only relatively cheap source of greenhouse friendly base-load power other than hydroelectricity, also opposed by most greens.”

    Watermellons, sir, not “greens.”

    Watermellons. “Green” on the outside, but certainly RED (and misanthropic) on the inside.

    1. So what do you call someone who wraps their luddite fear of new energy technology in a skin of faux-freedom rhetoric?

      1. A strawman.

        1. Tulpa, meet OM. I am not sure he is entirely made of straw.

        2. Re: Tulpa,

          Told ya – struck a nerve!

      2. So what do you call someone who wraps their luddite fear of new energy technology subsidized and promoted by the State at the behest of rent-seekers in a skin of faux-freedom rhetoric?

        I dunno. A sane person?

        1. So what do you call someone who wraps their luddite fear of new energy technology subsidized and promoted by the State at the behest of rent-seekers in a skin of faux-freedom rhetoric?

          I dunno. A sane person?

          Of course, the current industry is free of these rent-seekers [/sarcasm].

          The issue of whether or not government should invest in any kind of research and development is certainly one that is up for debate. But if the government does do investing in research and development, clean energy technologies are certainly a pretty good place to start. Details matter, of course, and good policy needs to be designed/written to minimize the risks you raise.

      3. Re: Neu Mejican,

        So what do you call someone who wraps their luddite fear of new energy technology [like nuclear, f’r instance!] in a skin of faux-freedomconservation rhetoric?

        A watermellon!

        1. Nuclear is not a new technology and I think it is an important element in any energy system. It has many down sides, but for the most part, the current generation of nuclear power options will be part of a transformed energy industry. It will live comfortably along side others.

          The idea that investment in research and development of new energy technology to upgrade our aging systems is a bad investment requires, it seems, fairly robust fear of change.

          1. that should read

            “will be an important part”

          2. Re: Neu,

            Nuclear is not a new technology and I think it is an important element in any energy system.

            Neither are solar or wind, Neu. Get over it: The luddites are firmly entrenched in the watermellon camp.

            1. Luddites are found on both sides of the argument. Both sides have the technophilia as well.

              1. Re: Neu Mejican,

                Luddites are found on both sides of the argument. Both sides have the technophilia as well.

                Oh, oh, oh! Don’t tell me! Don’t tell me!

                You’re construing any criticism of government impositions as “luddism”!

                Am I right? Am I, Neu? Am I right? Am I?

                1. You’re construing any criticism of government impositions as “luddism”!

                  Am I right? Am I, Neu? Am I right? Am I?

                  No.
                  Sorry.
                  I know if was important for ya.

        1. Did you stub your toe or something?

    2. What’s blue and thrashes around on the floor?

        1. A baby in a plastic bag.

  11. I’m curious why the Washington Post says that “to a lesser extent” natural gas can be a baseload power source.

    The only reason that we’ve historically burned less gas than coal was just because the expense was higher. The generating technology is basically the same for all fossil fuels and they’re all capable of sustained baseload power.

    1. Nat gas plants are much, much easier and more efficient to cycle up and down to accommodate peak loads than coal-fired plants. That’s why coal, nuclear, and hydro are used for the base load, and nat gas is used for peak load.

      True, a nat gas plant can operate continuously, but its fuel is more expensive. WaPo is conflating technological capability with economic efficiency. But give ’em credit at least for considering economic consequences.

      1. Yeah, I know plenty about how the plants themselves work and how the loads are shaped, I was just being a bit pedantic over their “to a lesser extent” statement.

        And $4 gas + basis is starting to be cheaper than $50 ($2) coal + rail (which runs on diesel), so even that established rule is starting to stumble a little bit.

  12. “nuclear, the only relatively cheap source of greenhouse friendly base-load power other than hydroelectricity, also opposed by most greens”

    Most greens oppose any sort of energy when it becomes available on a large scale. Biofuels, wind, and solar have all come under attack because of their own environmental drawbacks; eg, escalating food prices for the poor, loss of natural habitat, bird kills, etc.

    The quote is correct, but only because it is limited to “relatively cheap” energy.

    1. No kidding. Its just as accurate to say “nuclear, the only relatively cheap source of greenhouse friendly base-load power other than hydroelectricity, also is opposed by most greens”

  13. Wondering, what’s the greenies’ hangup on hydroelectric? At face value, it seems superior to the alternatives from both a risk and pollution perspective. Haven’t looked too deeply into their criticisms.

    1. Re: Hobo Chang Ba,

      Wondering, what’s the greenies’ hangup on hydroelectric?

      Kills the fish, salts the fields, diverts water from ancient ecosystems (which are worshipped every full moon.) Other than that, their objections are yet another example of how watermellons miss the point entirely.

      MY beef with hydroelectric is that a) only government invest in those things, which makes it suspect for starters; and, b) they’re more expensive per KW than coal, NatGas or even nuclear, as basins have to be dredged, the initial investment is colossaly expensive and the ROI is way out there alongside Pluto… i.e. THEY’RE NOT ECONOMICAL.

      It’s the kind of razzle-dazzle monstruosity that only authoritarian assholes love to waste money on, just to have something to lend their name to. Fuckers.

      1. Dude, I like watermellons. I vote you call them artichokes instead.

        1. I like artichokes. You must be trollin’

  14. Austria doesn’t have any nuke plants. However, the Austrians bitch constantly about the nuke plants just over the border in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

    1. Must be because of the “externalities”, a concept Neu Mejican (and other statist fucks) are so enamoured of.

      1. It’s a basic fact of economics OM. Wouldn’t it be nice if the world were changed to fit our ideologies by our simply ignoring vast aspects of reality.

      2. Opposition to externalizes forms the basic response to opposition to TARP.

        You consume it–you pay for it.

        You know the difference between Welfare Queens and people who don’t want to pay for what they consume?

        It isn’t food stamps!

        If you’re poppin’ babies that you can’t afford to send to private schools?

        If you’re plan for retirement consists of nothing but Social Security?

        If you’re driving around spewing exhaust into the atmosphere requiring billions in subsidies, regulation and foreign troop deployments?

        Then you’re a dirty, parasitic welfare queen!

        And I will never be happy about it until you’re all kicked off the state welfare dole!

        I doubt any of you welfare queens will starve to death when you have to pay for what you consume, but I won’t shed a tear for any of you that do starve to death if someday you can’t shit on the rest of society anymore for free.

        Freeloaders are the enemy of liberty. Always have been; always will be.

      3. “Must be because of the “externalities”, a concept Neu Mejican (and other statist fucks) are so enamoured of.”

        Yeah, you’re so convinced that you’re entitled to having everyone else pay your bills for you that you think anybody who doesn’t want to pay your bills for you is a “statist”?!

        That’s the definition of a welfare queen.

        I’m sure tapeworms don’t think of themselves as parasites, but you’ know what?

        They are.

        1. I don’t know that he’s denying that they exist, so much as that the concept is abused sometimes to the detriment of freedom. Moreover, the “externality’ of using coercion to resolve externalities is rarely considered by the externality peddlers.

          1. And I haven’t seen a lot of people who profit by making the rest of us pay for their sorry asses complain about the rest of us having to pick up their tab either!

            It’s the same as TARP to me. It’s the same as bailing out Wall Street. It’s the same as bailing out the UAW.

            I shouldn’t have to pay for you and your choices. The government’s regulating the price of energy–keeping it artificially low for those who buy it–and me as a taxpayer and as someone who cares about the environment… I’m not supposed to complain about you not paying for what you’re consuming?!

            Why?

            The world shouldn’t be set up so that no matter what, the people who consume things never have to pay full price for what they’re consuming.

            Being against that isn’t being a statist.

            No, they tax our incomes–for some reason! …but shitting all over me and the rest of us with your government intervention keeping the cost of energy artificially low for the people who consume it–that’s not statist?!

            Why?

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