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Monday, March 11, 2019

Recommended Reading

See Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet by Michael Shellenberger, Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” and president of Environmental Progress, an independent research and policy organization, and published in Quilette (February 27, 2019). two paragraph of the essay:

...[W]hen it comes to generating power for billions of people, it turns out that producing solar and wind collectors, and spreading them over large areas, has vastly worse impacts on humans and wildlife alike.


...I think it’s natural that those of us who became active on climate change gravitated toward renewables. They seemed like a way to harmonize human society with the natural world. Collectively, we have been suffering from an appeal-to-nature fallacy no different from the one that leads us to buy products at the supermarket labeled “all natural.” But it’s high time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science, and start questioning the impacts of our actions....
Read the entire essay HERE.


  1. There’s no getting around the fact that human beings = human footprints. The more people there are, the larger the footprint. A few decades back, the emphasis was on reducing the size of families, lower the human population—for the good of us all. It was almost a world-wide phenomenon. China began throttling female infants, and today there is such a shortage of females that China’s had to import them from neighboring “look-a-like” countries. Western societies began limiting the number of their children to one or two. Islamic societies began to increase their populations, there’s no birth control in India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, and the population of China keeps on keeping on. So far, it looks as if the only folk who’ve contributed to reducing the human footprint are the western societies and it seems amazing similar to the idiotic Paris Accord where, given the pollution created by China alone, nothing that western nations do even matters.

    Anyway, how do you “retrofit” a reservoir? At what cost? Forty years from now, we’ll know more (or think we know more) and realize that all of the spending we’ve done on such programs as battery-dams was a complete waste of resources. Perhaps we’ll look back and wonder about how many starving people we might have fed with those dollars. Or maybe it doesn’t matter so long as we’ve constructed the Barack Obama Memorial Battery Dam somewhere in Fresno.

  2. Snagged!

    As I've been quoting for years now: "If man wants to progress, he must create new forms of energy of greater and greater densities." --Lazare Carnot (1753-1823)

  3. Humans doing the it is what it is mentality.

    1. I am NOT "a human." I am a HUMAN BEING.

      When we say "a human, " it's too much like saying "an ape," "a chimpanzee," " "an orangutan," "a baboon,." or "a marmoset."


      Now what IS it you were trying to express? As a human BEING, I much prefer explicit, direct communication to ambiguous code-like language.

      Thank you. I hope you will return to clarify your statement, because it's meaning is obscure. We wouldn't want to misunderstand you, would we?

  4. ( am in favor of "renewabe sources of energy" if used as SUPPLEMENTS to our current way of dong business.

    I m highly susiciis of "nuclear" energy, despite all the favorable publicity i gets.
    Unless and until we cn find the way to neutralize and totally rid the earth of nuclear waste, I think it's foolish to use it –– France's apparet succss notwithstanding.

    The Specters of Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island loom large.

    In practical terms an across-the-board REDUCTION in human population you doubtless be a boon to the quauty of life we could esperience.

    Who in his right mnd would WANT to live in the Orient, the Middle East, Africa, or Central and South America?

    "NOT I!" said the proud, white, inveterately pragmatic Anglo-Saxon Protestant American Male with a Heart of Gold.


    1. ps - The problem of "Atoms for Peace" is that unless you maintain control of the fuel cycle, you can use civilian reactors to enrich fuels into weapons grade elements (plutonium/tritium).

    2. I concur with your position on renewable energy Franco.

  5. We would do well to research the wide scale viability of Thorium based fission power production.

    1. Is that skmetimes called nuclear FUSIIN, CI? I remember many years ago hearing about lengthy experiments performed in Texas claiming that if we could harness that capacity enough water to fill a teacup could be sufficient to give power to a large commu its –– somehing like that.

      I haven't much of a head for Science, so deails escpe me. Perhaps you'd like to tell us more about this, because it sounded wonrdeful forty years ago, but ––so far –– has been found to be impracticable.

    2. Not exactly, the fission cycle uses a Thorium molten salt rather than Uranium. Thorium is more plentiful than the latter and general considered much safer, though production startup costs are currently high.


  6. I've long been of the opinion that nuclear needs to be part of the solution.

    1. Chernobyl? Three Mile Island? Fukushima?

      Don't those names give you pause, Ducky?

      As i said above, unless and until we can find a way to neutralize or completely destroy nuclear waste, I am not comfortable with nuclear energy as a primary source of generating electrical power.

    2. There was a waste disposal site constructed at enormous expense in Nevada, but usage was blocked by former Senator Harry Reid. Open it up.

    3. As for plant siting, we need a process that prevents perpetual interference by the NIMBY environmental crowd.

    4. 2 or 3 extremely remote and perpetually designated "Nuclear Zones" ought to be sufficient.

    5. Franco,
      Every fuel source carries risks. For example, look at what can happen with natural gas lines and resulting explosions. Wood burning stoves can result in terrible fires.

      Three Mile Island was a close call. But, in the end, seems to have worked out okay. Hopefully, something learned in the process!

  7. Joe Conservative... the site was never finished and was crammed down the throat of Nevada. Our governors, from both parties, state reps, senators and politicians from both parties have overwhelmingly opposed the use of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear repository since it was first proposed.

    To lay all the blame, or responsibility on Harry Reid is just not true, given the opposition from other elected GOP officials from Nevada.

    You are right on the NIMBY crowd which is exactly what Nevada wanted to know... why should our state take in the waste of the rest of the US? We house the test site and handle the waste made in Our state. WHy can't others do the same?

  8. @ Dave Miller,
    Because Nevada -Yucca Mountain-is a thinnly populated, geographically stable area with hardly any precipitation.


  9. Warren... but aren't you a conservative states rights kind of guy? Our state does not want to be the repository of the nations nuclear. An accident of any level there would demolish the economy here in Southern Nevada.

    I guess it could be acceptable if the Feds would guarantee the financial future of every Nevadan in the event of that type of event. But we know that will never happen.

    BTW... we'll never know if another location is the US would be a better place for the waste as Congress short circuited the process early on and made Yucca Mountain the only option.


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