May 192013
 
 May 19, 2013  Posted by at 10:59 am Energy
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Jack Delano Union Station January 1943
The waiting room of Union Station in Chicago


Why do we do it? Sure, we discount the future, and consensus is that's genetic, but it's not just our own future we discount. In fact it's not even the one we discount most: that would be our children's future. We don't just take what we need, we take all we can, and leave them with the consequences. After us the deluge. Even though love and protection for our children, and their children, is supposed to be at least as hard-wired into our genes as discounting the future is. Science even suggests that our main subconscious aim in life is simply to propagate our genes. Go forth, multiply and go away.

So, assuming this love for our children thing is valid, why is it that we burden the children we apparently love so much with these endless heaps of waste left over from our activities, many of which have nothing to do with our survival as such? At best it's a strange way of showing our love, at worst it looks more like the exact opposite of love. If mere survival was the goal, we could take it a lot easier, put on an extra sweater, walk to the store, that basic sort of thing, and build our communities to fit that kind of lifestyle.

We don't. We do the opposite. The more energy we have access to, the more we feel the urge to burn. And we produce children to help us do it, and raise them accordingly. There seems to be a pattern here. We make sure every next generation is even more dependent on burning even more energy, and less capable of doing without. Not because we don't understand this can only end in tears and blood and piles of corpses; we do. All the evidence says we simply can't help ourselves. So wearing that extra sweater is useless; we'd just come up with something like keeping it on in summer and jacking up the airco, so at least we can keep burning that oil and gas and electricity, in increasing amounts.

Still, not every human being and society seem to have done this all the time. For a long time, some Native (North) American peoples have at least in writing pledged to leave the earth in the best possible shape for the next 7 generations. Which might as well be 70, or 700 generations, since obviously the idea is not that everything blow up in the 8th generation. The Iroquois, or Six Nations (they call themselves Haudenosaunee), who live in Canada and the US northeast, have an ancient constitution, The Great Binding Law, in which is stated:

In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.

In the words of Onondaga (one of the Six Nations) faith keeper Oren Lyons:

"We are looking ahead, as is one of the first mandates given us as chiefs, to make sure and to make every decision that we make relate to the welfare and well-being of the seventh generation to come. . . ." "What about the seventh generation? Where are you taking them? What will they have?"

And even shorter :

"In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine."

If we would be obliged by our laws, in every decision we make, to take into account what the consequences would be for coming generations, a lot of our decisions would be different from what they are now. So why don't we? Undoubtedly it's at least partly because, unlike our mainly patriarchal societies, among the Iroquois it's the women who take the most important decisions and have the final vote. They are a matrilineal society, which means the women are the "clan heads", and inheritance passes down from mother to daughter, not father to son.

That's not to say this is some sort of perfect model, the Iroquois are not perfect people and they are often infected by our modern lifestyles just as much as we are, but it IS a path to a different approach, and proof that people indeed can organize themselves in ways that, through benign social control, make it harder to pursue the scorched earth based lives we presently live, in which we seem to have no real consideration at all for what we leave behind for those who come after us while we are heading for a brick wall at 100 miles an hour thinking: "They'll think of something".

These things (re)surface when reading about the way Germany deals with its nuclear waste issues. Which automatically leads to the question how everyone else does it.

When it comes to "safe storage", whether it's temporary or permanent (however one defines that), there are geological issues (volcanic outbursts, tectonic shifts etc.) and there are more "earthly" issues (warfare, bankrupt and/or collapsing societies etc.). What all of the proposed "solutions" have in common is that they involve continued spending well into the future. No matter what your stance on the topic, it's clear that we will require future generations to spend certain, most likely huge, amounts of money, time and effort in dealing with the waste we have produced in order to support our lifestyles. Moreover, they will be required to be substantially smarter than we are. They will have to come up with answers to problems we've been unable to solve.

The story with nuclear energy and nuclear waste is the same as with the financial system and the excessive debt we will leave behind unless the heavens bestow us with miracle growth . Both involve moral judgments and decisions that we probably wouldn't have the moral right to make, if we would be obliged by law to consider the effects on our children. Plus, not to forget, the two are closely connected. This is true for more issues than nuclear waste or finance, of course – it's just as valid for CO2 emissions or any and all sorts of chemical pollution.

There are not only abstract moral, religious or philosophical issues to be addressed by us – here and now – . There are practical issues as well. Certainly given the levels of debt we're raking up and passing along, how can we guarantee that our grandchildren will have the means to continue to deal with our nuclear waste? It is really brutally simple. We can't. So what does that make the legacy we leave them with? To the proverbial neutral Martian, it might seems more like we aim to leave them behind with as much misery as we can conjure up for the next 7 generations, something in the order of Dante's nine circles of hell.

Here's the first of two Spiegel articles on Germans and their nuke waste conundrum. Remember, after Fukushima Berlin decided to get rid of all nukes, 6 of them right away. This one is from May 10:

Nuclear Headache: Task of Decommissioning Plants Is Herculean

When politicians put far too much pathos into their speeches, people should be on their guard — with a notable exception. There is one issue where no comparison is overinflated and no superlative appears exaggerated: Winfried Kretschmann, for instance — the governor of the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg and a member of Germany's Green Party — spoke of "theological timeframes" that now need to be decided upon.

His counterpart from Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), refers to a different time horizon for his actions: the Schöningen Spears, a number of 300,000-year-old Paleolithic hunting weapons that archaeologists found in his home state. And the co-floor leader of the Green Party in the German parliament, Jürgen Trittin, reminded his fellow politicians that this was about "finding a site for the most dangerous waste that mankind has ever produced."

The issue is nuclear waste and its safe disposal. Germany will have to build a storage facility deep underground that can survive the ravages of wars, revolutions and even another ice age. Indeed, the remains of the nuclear age will have to be kept in a final repository for 1 million years – longer than the human race has existed.

[..] What the representatives of the people would rather not talk about, though, is the decommissioning of Germany's nuclear power plants. They were once the cathedrals of industrial progress. But now their cooling towers and domes have become widely visible symbols of human folly.

 





German has a major nuclear waste problem. For almost 50 years, the former Asse II salt mine in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony has been used as an underground repository for nuclear and other harmful waste. Some 126,000 barrels of nuclear waste are in the massive mine complex. To make matters worse, the system of tunnels is in danger of collapsing. Photo: DPA

It's a monumental task that the Germans won't complete until 2080 "at the earliest," says nuclear expert Michael Sailer from the Öko-Institut, a non-profit research and consulting association for sustainable technology in Berlin. "After all, these are conservative estimates without any leeway for setbacks."

But it doesn't look as if things will go smoothly. On the contrary, the phasing out of nuclear power is accompanied by the agonizing challenge of decommissioning existing reactors: Eight nuclear power plants that were rapidly taken offline at the behest of the German government in the wake of Japan's Fukushima disaster have to be dismantled concurrently, followed by an additional nine facilities by the end of 2022.

There is still no roadmap for the decommissioning. To make matters worse, critics say that they see initial indications of eroding safety standards for decommissioning licenses as authorities struggle to cope with the mountains of nuclear waste. [..]

As if there weren't already enough outstanding problems, a new type of nuclear waste has emerged for which there is still no final destination: graphite waste and depleted uranium that can't be sent to the Konrad mining shaft. Instead, these materials that have been thoroughly contaminated with radionuclides will most likely have to be buried in a future final repository for highly radioactive waste. [..]

Germany's four main energy companies apparently see no problem, though, in the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, at least that's the conclusion drawn by a reference study that they commissioned from an engineering company called NIS-Ingenieursgesellschaft. [..] The "decommissioning of Germany's light-water reactors" is "assured," they wrote, adding that the impact on people and the environment is "negligible." [..]

The engineers see the decommissioning timetable as a simple enough matter, at least in theory. First, the fuel rods have to cool off during what is known as the post-operational phase. Then there are two possibilities: Either decommissioning begins immediately or the reactor is mothballed. "Safe containment" is the name of the process by which the remainder of the reactor is left standing for up to 30 years until the radiation inside the building is further reduced.

But critics of Germany's nuclear industry are pushing for a quicker solution. They fear that the operating utility companies may be bankrupt before the power plants have been dismantled. Their concerns are not unfounded. After all, Germany's Energiewende – Germany's plan to phase out nuclear energy and massively increase its reliance on renewable sources — is eroding the business model of the former electricity monopolists. At the same time, energy giants such as E.on have billions in debts.

Take away points:

"a monumental task that the Germans won't complete until 2080 "at the earliest".

And that's just the decommissioning of the plants, before any of the waste has been stored. At the earliest 67 years from now. That's at least three generations into the future. More likely 5 or 6. If it ever gets completed, which is by no means guaranteed.

" … the remains of the nuclear age will have to be kept in a final repository for 1 million years".

An important timeline definition, a much debated issue. We’ll get back to that.

"theological timeframes".

A great phrase, absolutely. Still, when you think about it: how many religions do you know that are a million years old?

Apart from the more general nuclear waste problems, Germany has some specific ones as well. From Der Spiegel again, this one 3 months ago. Makes you wonder how many situations like this exist elsewhere in the world:

Abyss of Uncertainty: Germany's Homemade Nuclear Waste Disaster

It's hot and sticky 750 meters (2,500 feet) underground, and the air smells salty. Five men are standing in front of an oversized drill. They have donned orange overalls and are wearing bulky special shoes, yellow hard hats and safety glasses. They turn on the machine, and the rod assembly slowly eats its way into a gray wall.

For over seven months now, the team has been trying to drill a hole with a diameter of eight centimeters (three inches). They are attempting to reach one of the former excavation chambers of Asse II, an old salt and potash mine near the northern German town of Remlingen, in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony. Behind a barrier 20 meters thick, thousands of drums filled with nuclear waste have been rotting away for over three decades.

The drilling ultimately aims to provide a glimpse of the first of 13 chambers filled with barrels of waste, and to provide information on the condition of these containers — and on what measures need to be taken to remove them from the 100-year-old maze of tunnels.

 





The public rebelled in 2007 when the Munich-based German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU), the body then responsible for overseeing the site, decided to flood the tunnels with a magnesium chloride solution. Local residents were afraid that filling the cavities could allow radioactive substances to seep into the drinking water supply. The concern was that contaminated water could reach the Elbe River and spread as far as Hamburg. Pic: Der Spiegel

It took two years to prepare this journey into the contaminated salt. Engineers had to redevelop measuring devices, design new machines and write computer programs. The men on the drilling team have volunteered for the job. They are working in a hermetically sealed space. To prevent any radioactive dust particles from reaching the rest of the mine, a constant vacuum is maintained here. There is special vinyl flooring that can be decontaminated, and the walls are lined with custom-made tiles.

Germany cast itself into one of the most technically ambitious, and thus most costly, ventures of its industrial history — a bold, perhaps foolhardy, project that will consume at least €4 billion ($5.3 billion), but more likely somewhere between €5 billion and €10 billion. It's a decontamination project that will take 30 years, or longer. And no one can say with certainty whether it will ever be completed.

The initial stage has already revealed that the intended retrieval of the drums is an expedition into the unknown. The team has driven the drill pipe 35 meters into the salt, yet after a good seven months of work, they still haven't found the chamber with the stored radioactive waste. Geologists now believe that it has been missed by roughly 2.5 meters because the mountain has a life of its own and changes shape as the salt shifts from south to north.

[..] Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) [in 2010] estimated that it would take three years to prepare the project. Most recently, the BfS said it would need 10 years for the fact-finding phase alone. The BfS still has no detailed concept for the retrieval, no timetable, no script that maps out the technical procedures. It's essentially a flight by the seat of the pants, and problems are encountered for which no solutions have been found anywhere in the world. [..]

The public was originally informed that Asse was merely being used to "research" how radioactive waste reacts in a final repository. The public finally rebelled [..] in 2007, when the former operator of the storage site, the Munich-based German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU), decided to flood the tunnels with a magnesium chloride solution.

Citizens' initiatives were formed, internal papers were leaked, an investigative committee pored through thousands of binders — and it all resulted in the biggest environmental scandal in postwar German history. Now, all political parties firmly believe that the only acceptable message to local residents is the promise to retrieve the drums of radioactive waste.

[..] the debate will resurface with every additional delay, every cost overrun, every bit of geological bad news and every internal report that questions the project's chances of success or the logic of retrieving the nuclear waste. The people who live in Germany's northern Harz mountain range have grown edgy due to Asse's misuse as a nuclear waste repository, and they feel that they have been lied to and deceived. They also realize that many officials at the BfS, the Federal Environment Ministry and the licensing agencies think the retrieval project is absolutely insane.

[..] … special concrete is being pumped into the dilapidated tunnels. Indeed, in addition to having 126,000 drums filled with radioactive refuse, Asse's system of tunnels, which resembles the architecture of an anthill, is in danger of collapsing. "This is a totally ramshackle construction," says [mining engineer Jens Köhler].

For decades, the tunnels were allowed to fall into decay because the facility was about to be closed. In order to at least get some forewarning of an impending collapse, engineers have installed a micro-seismic system, the first of its kind anywhere. Twenty-eight monitoring stations register even the minutest tremors in the mine. Even a dropped hammer will be caught by the sensors.

[..] When it was decided to retrieve the 126,000 drums, the BfS made a video that demonstrated how easy the job would be: It showed how robots would collect the barrels, compress them or wrap them in foil, and then bring them up to the surface. The video claimed that the operation would be completed by 2025, at the latest.

Now, it's clear that it won't be possible to retrieve even a single drum during the current decade. The salvage operation will mainly require the construction of an additional system of tunnels — basically a new mine next to the old one — and this primarily presents a moral dilemma for environmentalists.

[..] The new mineshaft won't be operational before 2025. To make matters worse, there are still no plans for a packing facility or for an immense hangar in which up to 50,000 cubic meters (1.8 million cubic feet) of radioactive waste — and just as much contaminated salt — could be stored following retrieval.

[..] Back when the area was an isolated corner of West Germany, not far from the border with East Germany, many of the locals saw the research facility as their ticket to getting ahead. Asse offered jobs, growth and the promise of a brighter future. Children's birthdays could be celebrated with a guided underground tour of the mine, and the HMGU invited local politicians to Munich for Oktoberfest. And since nuclear waste doesn't stink, doesn't cloud the air and doesn't leave any visible traces, Dettmann says that they put any possible dangers "out of their minds" at the time.

It wasn't until someone attending a wedding talked about how water had rushed in and the mine was in danger of flooding that a group of local residents decided to inform themselves — and finally realized "that we had been taken for a ride here for 40 years," says Dettmann. [..]

Last year, one of the top people at the BfS quit the agency to work for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — and he left with a bang: Michael Siemann, the project manager for the retrieval, said on television that a safe retrieval of the waste was, in his opinion, unrealistic for technical reasons. "Many people know this, but no one wants to say it," he noted, out of fear of bad press and incurring the wrath of the public. The geochemist said that, in view of the decrepit condition of the tunnels and the lack of robotic technology, he felt that there was neither the time nor the means to safely bring the waste aboveground. But, he added, politicians don't want to hear this.

NOTE: at present the plan is to start moving the barrels around by 2036. A huge leaking disaster that nobody who presently holds a position of power will need to take responsibility for, because they will be long gone by the time the next deadline looms and is replaced by another one somewhere comfortably far enough into the future. Short term interests rule the decision making processes that involve long term problems. That's our political systems in a nutshell, we have nothing else, but it bites all the more harder in this case, and therefore shows much clearer where those systems inherently fail.

Which is for instance that unborn generations have no voice, and we, who are supposed to vote – and live – with their interests in mind, choose our own interests over theirs instead. Anytime you read that your government, or the UN, very strong in this, claims that something must be done by 2050 or so, you know you're being taken for a fool. But you'll buy it anyway, because you discount the future just as much as those who make such claims. Much easier, but it is what makes you that fool.

Let's address some of the inevitable more positive views on the nuclear topic. There are lots of people out there who will keep on claiming that there are options for nuclear out there that are not only clean, but that will solve the entire nuclear waste problem too, because they're based on re-using that waste. However, these options, be they (fast) breeding reactors or some other type, have one thing in common: there are none, or close to none, of them operational.

And you can argue about why that is, maybe it's cost (breeders are more expensive than conventional nuke plants), maybe it's a conspiracy driven by the existing nuclear industry, but the fact remains that many breeder projects were started up and the vast majority were suspended, many after not delivering any energy to speak of. Thorium has been around since at least the 1950's, but there's still not a single fully operational thorium reactor today. This doesn't mean that breeder and thorium don't hold any promise, it just means they're at best just that: promises.

Any new reactor based on these technologies will take at the very least a full decade to complete, and that is very positive way of looking at it. There is no guarantee any of them will ever come to fruition, which means none of the efforts to store waste can be halted just because they might solve any issues. Plus, obviously, their history doesn't speak in their favor. Can they produce clean energy? No, the 2nd law of thermodynamics says they can't. Can they produce cleaner energy? Perhaps, but that's by no means a given.

And the clock keeps on ticking, and time is running out. Moreover, breeders and thorium would have their own waste issues even if they were to live up to their promise – which they haven't for decades -. For now, they are a technocopian issue, not a realistic one. They're a science fiction promise on paper, and that's all they are. While the clock is ticking. And public opinion is against any form of nukes, period, which raises both cost and timeline. Is that what we want to leave our kids? A promise that so far hasn't stopped not giving?

Even if you don't have any doubts about the viability of "new generation" reactors, and there's ample reason to have them, the simple fact of the matter remains that time is running out for them. Even if breeders were feasible, they're not active. They have to be built form scratch, against a whole lot of odds, and every single one of them would make any project more expensive than all the optimistic estimates around. While money's running out. Or did you think it wasn't?

Before we go stateside, here's another European waste piece from Reuters, June 2012:

Europe makes big bets on nuclear waste burial

Finland has already started to build Onkalo, which is designed to take waste over a period of 100 years and then store it for at least 100,000 years, safe from population, fire, flood and other risks.

France plans a similar project in Bure in the country's east, [encapsulated in 150-million-year-old rock (that according to French geologists hasn’t moved around much in the last 20 million years] [The "subsurface" facility would be classed as a "very long term storage facility" (ETLD) rather than a final repository, since it is supposed to be "retrievable" - i.e. the waste can, at least in theory, be removed at a later date.]

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) estimated the total amount of discharged spent nuclear fuel to have risen to around 345,000 metric tons (380297 tons) in 2010, up 50% from a decade earlier. "Since radioactive material in storage will remain hazardous for many thousands of years, maintenance — or institutional control — would be required for such periods of time or until permanent disposal is implemented," the IAEA said in a report. In the past 1,000 years alone, an institution would have had to survive the fall of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, plague, scores of revolutions and dictatorships and two World Wars.

Environmentalists in Finland say it's unclear how secure Onkalo will be centuries from now, with the risks that climate and seismic shifts could allow waste to leak out and contaminate ground water. Reijo Sundell, president of Posiva which is the company building the site, said the bedrock is so solid it's likely to move as one piece in any geological shift and the spent nuclear fuel – encased in capsules of copper and cast iron and surrounded by buffers of bentonite clay – would remain intact. [..] "We are not saying that no capsules will ever break, but our standpoint is that even if some canisters break, radiation dosages on the ground cannot exceed the international limit of 0.1 millisievert," he said.

France plans to start storing waste underground from 2025 at Bure, in a remote and picturesque part of eastern France, chosen for its thick layers of argillite rock and low population density. Construction has not yet begun on the storage facility, and the French project is still subject to public debate. Work on the industrial site is due to start in 2017.

Officials at Andra, France's nuclear waste management agency, hope the €35 billion plan, if successful, will become a model for other countries and provide a business opportunity. "The French model is a real reference in the world, whether in large countries like the U.S., China and even Russia or in smaller countries," said Gerald Ouzounian, head of Andra's international division.

Japan is considered too earthquake-prone and densely populated to try underground disposal, and a loss of public trust over nuclear safety following the Fukushima accident has made it even more difficult than before to find a host site. But last year's earthquake and tsunami also raised awareness of the dangers of storing spent nuclear fuel in pools at reactor sites, currently common practice with many nuclear operators.

In Germany the prevailing notion is that storage can only be called safe if it's guaranteed for 1 million years. Finland talks about "at least 100,000 years". French engineers sound very confident about Bure, but the population is not so terribly convinced. There's also the fact that nuclear waste from other countries is being shipped to France to this day, leading to dangerous and much contested transports. Since Japan is deemed unsafe for any and all storage, it will need to export all its nuclear waste. But who's going to take it? Some poor country that may not be able to guarantee the same safety standards that the richer are discussing?

The US, which at present has its nuclear waste spread out over 79 temporary facilities across 34 states, spent some $15 billion since 1978 on the Yucca Mountain "deep geological repository nuclear waste storage facility" project in the Nevada desert (less than 100 miles from Las Vegas). Controversy was never far away, but it still took until 2004 for the US Court of Appeals, ruling on a series of lawsuits filed by the state of Nevada, to inject a sense of realism into the discussion. Why that first had to cost $15 billion is unclear. The EPA knew it was bound by law to follow recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (which came in 1995), but instead stubbornly held on, till the end, to its own ideas.

Curious, because what the EPA was holding on to was a 10,000 years safety standard for a project involving materials with much longer half lives. Some examples: Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,100 years, Technetium-99 220,000 years, Uranium-238 1 million years, Neptunium-237 2 million years, Iodine-129 15.7 million years.

Moreover, apparently Yucca Mountain sits on top of an aquifer, in the vicinity of 33 active earthquake faults and an active volcanic field; there are six craters within 20 kilometers of the site, the last of which formed by eruptions just 80,000 years ago. What's not to like, right?

Here's how Eureka County reports the Court of Appeals decision on its YuccaMountain.org site:

On July 9, 2004, the Court of Appeals ruled on Nevada's Yucca Mountain Lawsuits. The Court ruled that the EPA's 10,000-year safety standard on radiation containment at the site was arbitrary and inconsistent with the congressionally-mandated recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences. The Court also struck down the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's licensing standards insofar as they include a 10,000 year compliance limit.

The National Academy of Sciences said the radiation safety standard should be set at a higher limit, when the waste would be at its peak radiation levels – at least 300,000 years from the time the waste is sent to Yucca. The EPA was required by law to base its rule on NAS' recommendation, but chose to set the standard at 10,000 years instead.

DOE itself has expressed doubts in the past about being able to meet a longer time limit. As quoted by the Court, former project director Lake Barrett wrote in 1999 that a safety standard significantly longer than 10,000 years would be "unworkable and probably unimplementable."

And this is how the EPA itself put it in 2005:

Public Health and Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Yucca Mountain, NV

On July 9, 2004, in response to a legal challenge by the State of Nevada and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated portions of our [EPAs] standards that addressed the period of time for which compliance must be demonstrated. The Court ruled that the time frame for regulatory compliance was not "based upon and consistent with" the findings and recommendations of the NAS and remanded those portions of the standards to us for revision.

a. What Were NAS's Findings (Conclusions) and Recommendations on the Issue of Compliance Period? As the Court noted, NAS stated that it had found no scientific basis for limiting the time period of the individual-risk standard to 10,000 years or any other value, and that ‘‘compliance assessment is feasible * * * on the time scale of the long-term stability of the fundamental geologic regime – a time scale that is on the order of 106 [10 million] years at Yucca Mountain." As a result, and given that "at least some potentially important exposures might not occur until after several hundred thousand years * * * we recommend that compliance assessment be conducted for the time when the greatest risk occurs" (NAS Report pp. 6– 7, [1995]).

 





Samples from Idaho National Laboratory's Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) core will be sent to Argonne's ATLAS particle accelerator for analysis to learn the characteristics of the nuclear material. Powered up, the fuel plates can be seen glowing bright blue. The core is submerged in water for cooling. Photo by Matt Howard/Advanced Test Reactor core, Idaho National Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons

President Obama has since, also under strong pressure from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who for years had made it his lifelong and signature goal to "kill" the project, declared Yucca Mountain dead. Funding stopped in 2010.

In May 2009, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said:

"Yucca Mountain as a repository is off the table. What we're going to be doing is saying, let's step back. We realize that we know a lot more today than we did 25 or 30 years ago. The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) is saying that the dry cask storage at current sites would be safe for many decades, so that gives us time to figure out what we should do for a long-term strategy.

We will be assembling a blue-ribbon panel to look at the issue. We're looking at reactors that have a high-energy neutron spectrum that can actually allow you to burn down the long-lived actinide waste. These are fast-neutron reactors. There's others: a resurgence of hybrid solutions of fusion fission where the fusion would impart not only energy, but again creates high-energy neutrons that can burn down the long-lived actinides. …

"Some of the waste is already vitrified. There is, in my mind, no economical reason why you would ever think of pulling it back into a potential fuel cycle. So one could well imagine – again, it depends on what the blue-ribbon panel says – one could well imagine that for a certain classification for a certain type of waste, you don't want to have access to it anymore, so that means you could use different sites than Yucca Mountain, such as salt domes. Once you put it in there, the salt oozes around it.

These are geologically stable for a 50 to 100 million year time scale. The trouble with those type of places for repositories is you don't have access to it anymore. But say for certain types of waste you don't want to have access to it anymore – that's good. It's a very natural containment. …whereas there would be other waste where you say it has some inherent value, let's keep it around for a hundred years, two hundred years, because there's a high likelihood we'll come back to it and want to recover that.

"So the real thing is, let's get some really wise heads together and figure out how you want to deal with the interim and long-term storage. Yucca was supposed to be everything to everybody, and I think, knowing what we know today, there's going to have to be several regional areas."

It's no major surprise that Chu talks like a technocopian. Whether it's a great idea for the future of America that people like him lead the discussion on these topics, and focus these on "solutions" such as the so far ever evasive fast breeders, remains to be seen. Chu suggests that "we" made a lot of progress ("we know a lot more today than we did 25 or 30 years ago"), but at least as far as safe storage is concerned, that definitely doesn't seem to be the case: in fact, no progress was made at all in the past 35 years.

Can Steven Chu 100% guarantee us that certain salt domes are stable for 50 to 100 million years? No, he can't. But he says it anyway. The least he could do is to admit that the best he can do is suggest a least worst option. He doesn't. Steven has religion. But that doesn't cut it.

And maybe it doesn't matter anymore. Chu left his post in April, and just this Thursday the Senate confirmed his successor, Ernest Moniz, who left his mark with for instance an article entitled Why We Still Need Nuclear Power, written for Foreign Affairs in 2011, which basically reads like a five page ad for nuclear energy. As for the waste issue, the new US Energy Secretary says:

[..] spent fuel should eventually be kept in dry casks at a small number of consolidated sites set up by the government where the fuel could stay for a century. At each site, the aging fuel would be monitored, so that any problems that arose could be addressed. The storage facilities would keep Washington's options open as the debate over whether spent fuel is waste or a resource works itself out.

In short: nuclear energy is great and clean and necessary, and as for its problems, "They will think of something". Like in a century from now?! We can't let our economy be hurt by pesky little problems that won't hurt us in our own lifetimes anyway. After us the deluge.

As for the blue-ribbon panel that Steven Chu mentioned, they issued their report in early 2012 (see brc.gov). The fact that it was co-chaired by octogenarian Washington stalwarts Lee Hamilton (D) and Brent Scowcroft (R) should give you an idea of where this was going from the beginning. The former Homeland Security advisor and the former National Security Advisor and Kissinger protégé sure made for a nice team. Of course the report starts out nice enough:

[..] this generation has a fundamental, ethical obligation to avoid burdening future generations with the entire task of finding a safe, permanent solution for managing hazardous nuclear materials they had no part in creating."

The fact that Hamilton was 80 and Scowcroft 86 years old when they wrote this makes one wonder what exactly they mean when they say "this generation". One thing's for sure: their own generation has utterly failed to comply with the "fundamental, ethical obligation" they talk about. Perhaps it would have been good for the two lifelong power brokers to recognize their own failure?

As a whole, the report, (judging from a summary), lacks any real meaning. In a nutshell, it does nothing but advise "the government" to find better ways to find and create storage facilities. What those ways would be, not a clue. You and I could have done the same, and we might not have needed a full two years to do it. By the way, the new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel were also on the panel; just to confirm you know from which way the wind was blowing.

US nuclear policy is still in the same firm hands (albeit a next generation) it always was. That is to say: the nuclear industry. Nothing has changed in that respect, in spite of the disaster Yucca Mountain has turned in to. The Court of Appeals has been clear: the NAS has the decisive vote. It's likely that Washington will try to change that simple fact. What do scientists know anyway? New official government policy is to seek out a new singular, permanent site, with estimates placing a facility to be ready by about 2050.

Nuclear waste is an issue that no human being has been able to solve, period. And it's not for lack of trying, with often limitless budgets.

Japan has been scared away from nuclear power by what was in essence a pretty simple large wave, awfully tragic but not exactly out of the blue in that part of the world. Germany closes 6 nuke plants because of that wave and has no idea what to do with its waste, other than send it to France. Finland believes in its safe storage plans, but has no proof to show for it. France has a huge stake invested in its own repository, and – like Finland – claims it’s a model for the planet, but that too is still merely suspended in mid air.

In other words, nothing is sure about what we are going to do with the waste produced by our nuclear plants. Nothing. We know that deep burial is the only option, or we should say it seems to be, but at the same time it isn't, because there are no deep burial sites anywhere in the world that are actively taking in waste.

What is sure is that the waste is there, ever more of it as we go along our merry ways. There are ideas being thrown around, but they have been for a long time, and nothing has stuck so far. So it's really all nothing but a mighty big gamble we're taking. That's not just some opinion that can be countered with other, different opinions, it's a simple fact.

We sacrifice our children’s futures at the altar of our own petty conveniences. And that has us return to the question: Why do we do it? If we assume that we do indeed love our children, we must have gotten our wires pretty badly crossed at some point: this nuclear gamble we're making does not rhyme with that love. It certainly doesn't seem to be a gamble we make for our childrens' benefit: it's for ourselves only.

It looks like our primitive hard-wired propensity towards burning any and all accessible energy surpluses wins out over the less primitive and therefore perhaps less hard-wired love for our children. That may have consequences for any theory about how important propagating our genes is, or at least shift such a theory, but it seems obvious: we love ourselves more than we love our children. And that, simply as a cool cold observation, should perhaps make us think. Or have us admit to ourselves that we are not who we like to think we are. That our frontal lobes will never be able to overrule our reptilian brains.

Then again, The Great Binding Law of the Iroquois tells us of a notion that we can overcome our most basic instincts. There's something there that holds a promise for mankind. But it's a receding one. And it's not technocopia that will deliver us from nowhere. We will have to do that ourselves. No more nuclear waste until we are sure about what to do with it doesn't sound all that crazy.

There are simply problems we can't solve. Blind optimism (is that genetically hard-wired too?) that we will be able to solve them at some point in the future sounds real cute, but it also leads to the kind of dangerous wager made only by fools, or people who are not driven by conscious thought. Perhaps progress should mean making a next step in our evolution, where we recognize our propensity to destroy and not let it lead us all the way down. It's late in the day, though, and things don't look good.

 


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May 19, 2013 at 10:59 am #8382

Raúl Ilargi Meijer

  Jack Delano Union Station January 1943 The waiting room of Union Station in Chicago Why do we do it? Sure, we discount the future, and consensu
[See the full post at: Widely Visible Symbols Of Human Folly]

May 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm #7584

ashvin

So, assuming this love for our children thing is valid, why is it that we burden the children we apparently love so much with these endless heaps of waste left over from our activities, many of which have nothing to do with our survival as such? At best it’s a strange way of showing our love, at worst it looks more like the exact opposite of love. If mere survival was the goal, we could take it a lot easier, put on an extra sweater, walk to the store, that basic sort of thing, and build our communities to fit that kind of lifestyle.

Humans may be similar to other animals in many ways, but we have a unique capacity for Good and Evil. The latter is clearly seen in the ways we have tortured and exterminated millions of our fellow humans through genocide, but also in the more subtle ways Ilargi has outlined here. It is the kind of selfish Evil that goes beyond any Darwinian biological explanation. At the end of the day, though, we DO have a capacity for selfless love, also unique, and how much of that we can muster to reflect in our lives, families and communities is what will count.

May 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm #7585

gurusid

Hi Folks,

Russia under President Putin has become the nuclear power in the world . They are building more reactors than anyone supplying south east Asia with their burgeoning power requirements, and with a life time contract to supply fuel to go as Russia controls forty percent of world uranium, as well as being the key player in ‘down-blending’ of old nuclear warheads into fuel for power stations:


Putin’s Power Play – How It Will Change the Uranium Sector
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 11:03AM

From the Testosterone Pit, Contributed by Casey Research:

…It’s hard to overstate Russia’s dominance of the world’s capacity to process uranium. Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada rely on Russia to enrich the uranium they mine, while for the last 18 years the United States has relied on Russia’s downblending capability. The Megatons-to-Megawatts agreement provides fully half of the uranium fueling America’s nuclear reactors, or 10% of its electricity.

The agreement is scheduled to end in December 2013, at the same time as global demand for uranium is rising. The US will have to go on the hunt for new uranium suppliers just as the race to secure those supplies heats up… and Putin knows it.

Not only will he not renew Megatons, he will encourage the world’s uranium-needy nations – China, India, the US, France, South Korea, and Japan – to outbid each other for the opportunity to secure stable supplies of Russian uranium.

We’ve said it before: Putin is working to corner the global uranium market. He already has a strong grip over Europe’s gas needs and holds considerable sway over the continent’s oil supply. Why wouldn’t he want to also control the world’s supply of nuclear reactor fuel?

Uranium – a Hot Commodity

Today there are no fewer than 60 nuclear plants under construction in 14 countries, with another 163 planned and 329 proposed.

Many countries without nuclear power are on the cusp of building their first reactors, including Vietnam, Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, and several among the Gulf emirates. And while many countries with nuclear reactors took a moment to pause and reassess safety standards in light of the Fukushima disaster, almost all have reasserted their support for nuclear power as a major component of their energy strategies.

Uranium is simply the only fuel right now that can reliably produce large amounts of electricity without the release of greenhouse gases and other hydrocarbon pollutants.

Demand is clearly ramping up, and the world is already short on uranium. In 2011, world industry consumed 165 million pounds of U3O8 but produced only 143 million pounds.

Its ironic that the these modern nuclear ‘arrow tips’ unlike their ‘Paleolithic’ counterparts will leave a very interesting legacy indeed. And it is important to remember the origins of the ‘nuclear power industry’ was in the nuclear arms race. Given the paradigm that gave birth to this technology saw the possibility of no more children at all due to all out nuclear confrontation, it shows the perverse pervasiveness of the arms race that continued to manufacture these devices with ample fissile material provided by the [strike]output[/strike] waste of the nuclear [strike]bomb making[/strike] power plants. If anyone has any doubt as to this ‘dubious’ history, they should read this report in the Telegraph on the 50th anniversary (2007) of the then named ‘Windscale’ fire in 1957 at the ‘plutonium plant’ (plutonium was then the primary ‘ignition’ source for nukes) that consisted of ‘channels’ filled with ‘rods’ of uranium in a large lump of graphite. This was all ‘naturally’ vented via a chimney. No surprise it caught fire then, causing the West’s biggest and most hushed up nuclear ‘incident’. Its no wonder they sought to contain it better in the form of a nice friendly nuclear power station. Calder Hall the ‘free energy for everyone’ first UK nuke power plant had been built next door.

The worst part of the tragedy, says Goodwin, is that the fire happened in two reactors that had been obsolescent since August 1956; the neighbouring station, Calder Hall, was already safely generating both plutonium and electricity.

Even more ironically, Russia’s involuntary experiment in ‘decommissioning’ of the Chernobil plant has turned the area into the continents largest animal sanctuary.

Sergei Gaschak’s photography offers an unparalleled glimpse at animal life inside “the zone”, the area of Ukraine and Belarus that has been officially closed off to human habitation since the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe of 1986.

In terms of paradigms its interesting to note that the Amerindians have a totally different language system. It seems that as humans once we grasp a concept, the mind soon fixes upon this reality as an independent existence and before long we have a paradigm, or as TAE might put it a ‘bubble’ which becomes our reality.  The question is, is it possible to venture outside of the paradox of the paradigm? In “Blackfoot Physics”*, David Peat explores the nature of Native American languages, and notes the lack of object/subject dualism and the more almost Zen like process fluidity that they express. Instead of phrases such as “I am walking in the woods” there is instead a focus on the process as “woods walking” pointing to the eventual reality of the process itself as opposed to the fragmentation of a hypothetical subject doing something to or with an object. This form of linguistic structure is much more whole and inclusive.
 
As the indigenous in habitants of the Americas also recognised – everything that comes into manifestation is part of a cycle: “There may also be a time when the people acknowledge that their society is approaching its end and they should not enter into a further period of renewal.”* Perhaps our own culture needs that more than anything else…
*F. David Peat, 1996, “Blackfoot Physics”, Fourth Estate, London, UK. p.215
However like all humans it appears they too were a warrior people:


Blackfoot Return from a Raid – Frederick Remington

Until we all confront the turmoil in our own hearts, how will we ever find peace with the world.

L,
Sid

May 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm #7586

Golden Oxen

There are simply problems we can’t solve

That is how we see it. There is a religion or cult out there that does believe in technology as a god that will cure the ills we are placing in the immediate future.

How to cure that mindset is quite a task. How to go about it is beyond me, but we will go nowhere with our cries to ‘Wake Up” without doing so.

May 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm #7588

jal

In Germany the prevailing notion is that storage can only be called safe if it’s guaranteed for 1 million years. Finland talks about “at least 100,000 years”.

This would also require that a stable, social, economic society would be built to keep it “safe”.
If such a place was found, why would you want to pollute it with nuclear active waste?

Save the children!

Keep those areas free of nuclear waste.

May 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm #7589

gurusid

@ Jal,

This would also require that a stable, social, economic society would be built to keep it “safe”.
If such a place was found, why would you want to pollute it with nuclear active waste?

Save the children!

Keep those areas free of nuclear waste.

Or:

Save the animals!

Dump it there and keep the children OUT:

Life after Chernobyl: Sergei Gaschak’s photography from inside ‘the zone’

Sergei Gaschak’s photography captured a wolf, a lynx and a white-tailed eagle in the region around the nuclear plant

L,
Sid.

May 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm #7590

jal

I think that there will be a lot of areas like the Chernobyl for the animals.
Not too many areas for a developed stable, social, economic society.

May 19, 2013 at 11:55 pm #7591

ChartistFriendPgh

What The Fuck Is The Stock Market Thinking?

http://chartistfriendfrompittsburgh.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-fuck-is-stock-market-thinking_19.html

May 20, 2013 at 1:44 am #7592

p01

Just in hot off the press:
Hamburg “avoids radiation disaster” as ship loaded with fissile material, explosives burns:
http://rt.com/news/hamburg-radioactive-ship-fire-464/

In a depression these things will happen on a daily basis.

May 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm #7593

gurusid

HI Folks,

Desperation leads to desperate choices:

Crushed By Soaring Energy Costs, Japan Prepares To Reactivate Its Nuclear Power Plants

:whistle:

L,
Sid.

May 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm #7595

ted

well can’t Japan keep manipulating their currency…and can’t the FED just as well….they can lower how much mortgage sec.. they purchase say by 10 percent and as long as they keep promising to be there if things go awry no one seems to care…the middle class slowly gets bled to death with a high debt…this seems like it can go on for another 5 to ten years if played right.

May 21, 2013 at 7:55 am #7596

Anonymous

Hello Everyone,

Just thought I would chime in after being a “lurker” for over a year. The legacy of the nuclear age is something I take very seriously. I saw Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima in my lifetime. Watching tv footage of the Nevada bomb tests and the Russian “replies” in the 60′s; it didn’t take me long, as a young man to figure out where this whole adventure would take humanity eventually. Fukushima had me in a daze for days… “My god, what have we done”.

I am often sad at the thought that our generation and the one before that has created the very real and threatening potential for mass contamination and eventual death of life on earth. It is just as sad as to think of all the people killed for oil. All of this for our unsustainable lifestyle here in the West, propped up by an endless brainwash of “consumer propaganda”. For corporate profit. For “power over nature”. Us moderns seem to have long forgotten who our real mother is. Thankfully she is not yet too mad at us for ransaking the house.

For those interested in following people that are actually doing something about all this, I encourage you to visit the Fairewinds Energy Education website, (http://www.fairewinds.com) home of Ernie and Maggie Gunderson. After a long and successful career in the atomic energy industry, Mr Gunderson turned whistleblower and listened to his heart and conscience, and started denouncing the industry and its regulators. It takes guts and courage to affront this goliath that is the nuclear industry and its corrupt government agencies. Thank you, to Everyone, who bring light and consiousness to the people as to the consequences of our foolish behaviour.

John

May 22, 2013 at 1:01 am #7598

draego454

>> most costly, ventures of its industrial history … project that will consume at least €4 billion ($5.3 billion), but more likely somewhere between €5 billion and €10 billion…a decontamination project that will take 30 years, or longer.

Kind of hard to make a profit when the big picture takes the resulting problems into account – but don’t worry, the initial corporate officers of the techno-corps who push these technologies and guarantee their safety have taken what little profit initially appeared and have made off with it. All that’s left is dealing with the problems, and that part is left to all the rest of us.

Now can one see why I don’t trust Monsanto when they say that their genetic manipulations are perfectly safe and we shouldn’t worry?

Steven InDallas

May 22, 2013 at 4:22 am #7599

Gravity

For nuclear waste disposal purposes, its cheapest by far to load concentrated radioactive waste onto space-capable rockets and launch into the sun, even at average launch costs of 20,000$ per kilogram waste. The only drawback is the significant probability that such rockets may malfunction and explode inside the atmosphere, being exceedingly bad contamination-wise.
For the projected costs of safeguarding all nuclear waste in perpetuity, physical laws allowing, it would likely become cheaper and require less effort to develop space-bending wormhole technology and dump said waste straight through into the other end of space, or construct an artificial singularity to absorb waste as needed, resultant hawkings radiation may be bonus power source. Or maybe nanobots could be programmed to eat the stuff and poop gold.

That’s techno-triumphalism, gives me a tingly feeling despite knowing better, but the rocket idea is feasible and may actually be less risky than leaving such waste in disposal sites to randomly catch fire or crack open by earthquakes in perpetuity. There doesn’t seem to be any truly safe place on this planet to hide such waste for thousands of generations. The nuclear industry has surely produced the largest externalised waste stream of all economic history. The potential for global radioactive pollution remains an existential threat to all multicellular life.

Assuming population levels remain above 7 billion over this period, and given realistic estimates of contaminant vectors, the fukushima furies, if left unmitigated, will cause a projected 100 million deaths globally over the next 100 years, resulting in 300 million total deaths over the next 1,000 years, with many more sickened or maimed. Its the worst industrial catastrophe in history, even conservative long-term casualty projections surpass the combined casualties of all wars of the past 1,000 years. Healthwise, the entire nothern half of japan ought to be evacuated and declared econometrically uninhabitable.

May 23, 2013 at 6:46 am #7604

ChartistFriendPgh

Full Metal Jackass – Bernanke Loses His Unwinnable War Against Deflation http://chartistfriendfrompittsburgh.blogspot.com/2013/05/full-metal-jackass-bernanke-loses-his.html

May 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm #7605

Anonymous

I have made no exhaustive investigation into the deeper veracity of the following article regarding the origins the the concept of 7th Generation, but in the interest of separating new Mythology from Ancient Mythology, I suggest the following article is worth reading. The quotes in this article regarding the “Seventh Generation” appear to have their origin in the Vermont consumer products company Seventh Generation, and not in the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy. http://www.nas.org/articles/Seventh_Generation_Sustainability_-_A_New_Myth

May 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm #7606

Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Larry,

Nothing there that I haven’t covered. That’s why I used 3 separate quotes. The Great Law doesn’t mention 7 generations, but Oren Lyons has (provided he’s properly quoted). Perhaps that’s just his interpretation of the Law, but being an Onandaga chief, who’s going to say he doesn’t have the right to such an interpretation. Other than that, I am merely interested in the fact that there are ancient laws out there that mention care for future generations in the first place. I don’t think the US constitution does, for instance.

May 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm #7607

gurusid

Hi Folks,

Of course the 2Widely Visisble Symbols (and ‘symptoms’) of Human Folly” are everywhere:

Submitted by Chris Martenson @ ZeroHedge:

An even more honest statement would continue by noting that such periods of irrational exuberance are quite often found during bubbles, and that bubbles have a bad habit of destroying wealth.

As is common in life, such justifications merely expose the ‘human factor’ of bubbles. Bubbles require a belief system to be installed in the beholder, and two things that beliefs are exceptionally good at are gathering supporting data and rejecting contradictory data (if such data is even seen in the first place).

The human mind does this all the time with respect to our own level of ability, our luck, our good looks, our children’s performance – you name it – this is just part of our innate mental programming.

The really odd part in this story is that once upon a time, bubbles were separated by a generation or more, so that the lessons (and pain) of the prior one could be culturally forgotten before the next one could take hold. Yet here we are, working on our third bubble in a row – larger than the prior two that just happened within the past 15 years. (Of course, with a wide enough lens, we might say that each bubble was just a subset of the largest credit bubble in all of history that began building some 40 years ago).

For some reason, we are forgetting the lessons of the past faster than ever before. Such willful ignorance invites a series of reality-based reversions more punishing than ever before, too.

“Such willful ignorance invites a series of reality-based reversions more punishing than ever before”. Of all the traits that humans posses this is perhaps one of the most curious and the most deadly, that we can be so willfully ignorant. Its a good job nature is forgiving, radioactivity is after all natural, its the concentrations that are problematic, but even that is not unusual in nature. The natural deposits of uranium that are mined were formed by erosion and natural concentration, (uranium is 40 times more common than silver and 500 times more abundant than gold) and naturally occurring radiation from this element is found all over the world from granite in rocks and buildings to more concentrated sedimentary rocks, and in some places had in the past become so concentrated that a natural nuclear reactor had formed.

No, our biggest problem for us is our own wilful ignorance of our own self made bubbles. While these are entirely unnatural in the sense that they are products of the human mind and do not occur in rocks, fish, mammals or even our close relatives the apes, they do seem to be a ‘natural’ part of human behaviour. These ephemeral bubbles in such things as stocks, bonds, commodities, houses and everything else industrial humanity dreams up as having some sort of value will in the end like all dreams, end. When that happens we are going to find ourselves in a very strange world indeed, one without any Ponzis, one called Reality…

L,
Sid.

May 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm #7617

Gravity

“The IAEA estimated the total amount of discharged spent nuclear fuel to have risen to around 345,000 metric tons (380297 tons) in 2010…”

It seems most convenient and conscionable to dispose of 350,000 tons of radioactive waste by loading it piecemeal onto space-capable rockets to be sent offworld. An international program of rocket space flights capable of transporting said cargo all the way into the sun for instant disposal should only take a century or two to complete, costing about $7-9 trillion, including transportation, security, mission and launch costs at an average of $20,000,000 per metric ton waste. However, given optimal risk-dispersed payload per rocket, hundreds of supersized rocket launches would be required, carrying a few dozen tons of waste per launch, budgetary resource requirements of the program should eventually surpass that of the total space-flight activity of all nations thusfar.

There would also remain a minor chance of catastrophic contamination if one of the rockets accidentally exploded inside the atmosphere, no more than 0,08% probability per launch, yet the cumulative probability over several hundred individual launches is still smaller than the cumulative probability of catastrophic contamination by inevitable disposal site breaches over many eons.

If launch costs become much cheaper its definitely an option to dispose of radioactive waste this way, no more insane or costly as a disposal plan than what is proposed elsewhere, and allowing for a definite termination schedule.

Also, this paper on existential risk mitigation has some insights on quantifying the possible benefits of prudent radioactive waste management and the possible costs of imprudent management.

http://www.existential-risk.org/concept.html

May 26, 2013 at 5:48 am #7618

Nassim

I know this is all just tongue-in-cheek, but there is no reason to send this stuff all the way to the sun. It is sufficient to “just” put it on a lower orbit than the earth – say 1% of the distance to the sun. :)

May 27, 2013 at 3:46 am #7625

Gravity

Orbits tend to decay, debris fields are easily perturbed, and we wouldn’t want to have this waste rain back down or contaminate other planets/future colonization sites by launching it haphazardly in any direction.

First, I believe that the nuclear industry of this world should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this century is out, of launching 100,000 metric tons of nuclear waste into the sun and returning radiometric safety to the Earth. No single space project/nuclear disposal program in this period will be more redeeming to industrial mankind, or more important for the long-term organic coherence on this planet; and none will be so expensive to accomplish without making matters worse.

We must eliminate any chance this waste could threaten anyone again, inside the solar system or outside. The largest rockets yet designed may carry a waste payload of 50 metric tons and hold enough fuel to reach the sun’s corona, where they would disintegrate, safely diluting and dispersing the waste by solar winds in all directions. Thus we would need thousands of expensive rocket launches to get rid of the bulk of waste, within two centuries this would exceed the budgeted $10 trillion in costs, and this method remains too volatile, odds being at least two or three of the launches would produce contaminant calamity.

Thus the soylent space program has been revised to rely on a fleet of cheaper and less volatile reusable lower orbit space planes capable of conventional liftoff and landing, to carry about 5 tons of nuclear waste per payload [at transportation and liftoff costs of $4,000,000 per metric ton] up to an automated orbital processing station [costing $1 trillion over two centuries in [dis]assembly and maintenance costs]. The nuclear waste is there to be loaded into zero-g assembled rockets [or compacted into neutronium composite shells], to be launched directly into the sun by chemical/ion engines [or magnetic railgun delivery].

At least 200,000 metric tons of the worst waste may be processed this way, utilising contemporary technology, in an international soylent space program spanning a projected two centuries at global costs of about $8 trillion, merely $40 billion per year, to be proportionately financed by the largest producers of this waste. Considering cumulative risk-concentration of eon-wide planetary containment in soylent storage sites, offworld disposal is the least hazardous nuclear waste disposal plan, having a definite termination schedule with definite [high] completion costs.

This plan is the only one that doesn’t make matters worse, and that allows for a finite budget and completion schedule, yet it is doubtful the program can be scaled quickly enough within this century to process waste faster than it is produced.
Radiometric safety will never be returned to the earth by burying 350,000 tons of nuclear waste in the ground.

July 27, 2013 at 2:31 am #8039

agelbert

Excellent, informative, logical, well researched and somewhat depressing article, Ilargi.

“If we would be obliged by our laws, in every decision we make, to take into account what the consequences would be for coming generations, a lot of our decisions would be different from what they are now. So why don’t we?”

Good question. You seem to believe there is no hope and we are, perhaps, an evolutionary dead end.

I share Ashvin’s view that there is SOME hope.

“At the end of the day, though, we DO have a capacity for selfless love, also unique, and how much of that we can muster to reflect in our lives, families and communities is what will count.”

I don’t think Ashvin is a fool to believe that Homo sapiens may yet find the will to act rationally as a matter of enlightened self interest. I firmly believe this.

To give up on mankind and claim anyone believing there is a way to successfully address this problem of our waste based society (accumulating so many toxic products that we choke on them and perish) and reach a state of harmony with the biosphere is a FOOL is a bit harsh.

In the hopes of convincing you and Stoneleigh of the flaws in your logic and propose a probable, reasonable and doable solution with present technology to our present suicidal trajectory, I present this document here because it dovetails with your concern for our future and might give you some hope.

Granted, as you and Golden Oxen claim, there may not BE any hope and I am a fool.

We shall see. The point is, whatever you do believe, attacking the status quo of fossil fuel use, as you are down with nuclear power poison, is mandatory if we are to escape extinction. I’m not ready to give up yet.

Open letter to Nicole Foss

By A. G. Gelbert

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I

Commentary on video by Nicole Foss on farming and energy saving

PART II
Fossil fuels and renewable energy discussion with Nicole Foss including the importance of climate science data to energy resoures.

PART III
Historic proof that manufacturing all the renewable energy machines and infrastructure needed to transition to a 100% Renewable Energy world economy can be achieved in two decades or less: The mass produced Liberty Ships of WWII

PART IV
Three different future scenarios

[embed=640,380]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESYAix1QD1E#[/embed]
Nicole Foss shares the story of how she has reduced her energy needs by 90%.

I watched and listened to the above video from a 2011 Sustainability Conference. You said you felt the energy resource poor England, with 60 million people, convinced you to sell your townhouse and buy a 40 acre farm in Ottawa with 7 barn outbuildings.

You went about reducing your energy needs by 90%, have some sheep, chickens and other farm animals, a dog sled team for winter transportation, rent out some of the land, make your own hay, grow vegetables and have extended the growing season with a greenhouse.

Your plan for making use of renewable energy was based on power with less moving parts so you avoided wind power and obtained 3 kW of PV non-tracking panels for an off grid system.
You didn’t hook up to the grid for feed in tariff (FIT) extra money because you don’t want your power going to “public uses”, don’t believe FIT will last 20 years and, in the event the grid went down, you wouldn’t have the benefit of power because a grid tied system did not allow you to store energy in batteries.

There was an easy way around that. You buy your battery bank and keep it charged from the grid, not the PV panels. You have an electrician set up a switch from the inverter to the grid so that if grid power is lost, you just isolate yourself from the grid and the PV panels will then be able to keep your batteries charged and you are supplied with power until grid power comes back.

But from your comment about “public use” of your PV electricity and your feelings about the imminent collapse of feed in tariffs (FIT), it appears that you were more influenced by Libertarian ideology than pure logic.

After all, the community that you are fostering and the responsible, low carbon footprint behavior that you are engaging in by keeping your energy sources nearby and renewable (except for the gasoline, diesel and grid tie for your electric range and other high power demand appliances) energy wood fired heating system for the house and the greenhouse (when temperatures are below freezing) is really about survival of Homo sapiens, is it not?

I don’t agree with drawing a line at the grid connection and thinking you have no responsiblility to share your power with the larger community. But, I’m grateful to you for trying to live within your means and your sound advice to your children to avoid debt like the plague.

I too believe in being debt free and have been so for over a decade even though I do have to pay for the 1/3 acre of land I rent where my manufactured home sits.

I assume, because of your belief in some type of imminent civilizational collapse, that you are designing your lifestyle to be independent of industrial civilization. You are convinced that it is all going to go away.

I don’t think so but I’ll discuss that later. If a collapse is imminent, your actions are logical. If it isn’t, you are doing yourself and humanity a favor by living closer to the land and within your means. That is most prudent of you even though 80% or more of the human species does not have the option of owning one acre to farm, let alone 40.

Considering how most people with a townhouse in England (like most of the rich EVERYWHERE that own the mining corporations, factories and are the major corrupting influence that spurs goverments to fight resource wars) ignore the huge carbon footprint that the population of the developed countries have, I admire what you have done to break the mold of that unsustainable lifestyle by setting a sustainable, boots on the ground, example to lead the way in what all of us MUST do if humanity is to survive.

I was particularly gratified that you seriously considered walling off a section of your house in the winter to keep the heating costs down. I am of the opinion that if the human population was limited to only being able to heat, cool and plumb 500 square feet per capita, a sustainable renewable energy based world would be easily achievable. Of course that would entail a commensurate restructuring of industrial capacity and a 90% downsizing of large fuel hogs like the U.S. military and “security” state bureaucracies.

You mentioned that your geothermal system goes down 140 feet. Are you aware of the advances in passive geothermal systems that use geofoam above a large open land area to keep the land from very low temperatures?

The most common uses of Geofoam are as a lightweight fill and as insulation. Some specific applications of Geofoam are outlined below.

Unstable Soil Substitute

Roadbeds & Runways (pavement insulation)

http://www.drewfoam.com/geofoam.html

IOW, the land above the frost line is insulated too so, for all practical puposes, there is no frost line. Since you make your own hay, it is conceivable to use hay bales instead of geofoam.

Any passive geothermal loops placed down to the 140 feet below insulated soli with no frost line, but in a much larger area than a home footprint, will keep you quite comfortable. Also, the fact that your house is old means that it must be very poorly insulated compared with modern thermal mass based structures like the earthships.

I’m sure you are familiar with them. Old houses may have historical, traditional and sentimental value but they have next to zero value as low energy use living structures due to their draftiness unless you want to be bundled up with warm clothing all winter like our ancestors were.

Another “automatic” way to provide heating when you most need it is a wind turbine. When wind speed increases in the winter, that’s when you lose most of your heat from conduction. If you have a wind turbine that, like your PV array, is not only stand alone, but additionally does NOT go through an inverter but just sends DC into a resistance heating coil in some important part of your house, you will automatically get more heat in direct proportion to the strength of the wind.

I bring that up as something to think about. I don’t think you need to be overly concerned with the reliability and longevity of wind turbine moving parts. The reliability of the rotating parts of these machines has been proven by the fact that the old windmills in Texas and the midwest are still being made (now many converted to generating electricity).

They have 40 to 50 year life spans and no wind storm is going tear them apart unles it tears your house apart too. As you know, windmills, prior to the fossil fuel age, were used to pump water, mill crops and several other tasks that, without these pre-industrial Renewable Energy devices, would have been onerous.

In the United States it may be said that the conestoga, or covered wagon, settled the west and the colt 45 tamed the west. I will add that the windmill was the major
force in developing the western United States.

[/size=10pt]The covered wagon is no longer used as a means of transportation. The Colt 45 is no longer worn as a side arm and known as ‘the peace keeper.’ However, the windmill, that other great symbol of the nineteenth century American West, is now becoming the twenty-first century symbol of renewable energy.

Now that is staying power! [/size]

http://buckcreek.tripod.com/windmill.html

I am certain that John D. Rockefeller did not like windmills at all. I believe he was that fine fellow that said, “Competition is a sin”. He also said THIS:

“Try to turn every disaster into an opportunity. “

Attributed in The Rockefellers (1976) by Peter Collier and David Horowitz

Measured in today’s dollars, Rockefeller is the richest person in the history of mankind.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_D._Rockefeller

Considering the mindset of this fine fellow and his descendents in the fossil fuel industry, it is not far fetched to believe than when an opportunity wasn’t “presenting itself” due some competitive nuisance (like ethanol), they would contrive a “disaster” for said competition that they could then turn into an OPPORTUNITY (I.E. PROFIT). More on that below.

It seems that we can see where the modern, consciense free expression,” Never waste a crisis” originated. I don’t think Karl Rove and the Bush family invented the idea of deliberately creating a crisis in order to obtain a profit or stifle competiton, do you?

PART II

Fossil fuels and renewable energy discussion with Nicole Foss including the importance of climate science data to energy resources.

At any rate, with all that wood you have, you should do all right if the winds don’t get too high from global climate change. Humans, according to science, cannot function when average wind speeds are 50 mph or greater. Let us hope that global climate change doesn’t produce such average wind speeds.

I heard this information and a lot more about the massive threat to humanity that global climate change represents and the absolutely vital requirement that we stop burning fossil fuels now, not 50 or a hundred years from now, from a panel of scientists including James Hansen. The climate catastrophe is upon us and is baked in for up to a thousand years. This is not hyperbole.Video here:

[embed=640,380]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPaTAC29W2I#[/embed]
I will refer to this a few more times in this document.

The ten indicators that climate scientists are monitoring are all going into uncharted territory promising a climate that humans have never, ever been subjected to. See the article I posted on my channel (written nearly three years ago) with some recent charts I added at the top.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=559.msg27545#msg27545

Please ignore the snark I included in that post. I am just a bit tired of having the data I present here being viewed as questionable, debatable, or some tree hugger’s hysterical opinion.

Did you know one of the founders of a Disinformation Think Tank (The George C. Marshal Institute) created to defend the Reagan SDI star wars boondoggle (when 6,500 of the top scientists signed a document refusing to work in it) and, after the cold war ended, switched to adopt the “Tobacco Strategy” of sowing doubt about the global warming science, had been previously president of Rockefeller University?

What does propaganda fostered by the fossil fuel industry for the purpose of denying Global Climate Change have to do with the subject of this letter to you?

A lot. I’ll get to that but now I wish to remind you of a response you wrote to me in a comment forum about a year ago when I complained that you had not figured in the cost of poisoned aquifers from fracking gas drilling in the EROEI of fracked gas. I further said that, given the fact that Renewable Energy does not pollute, it actually is more cost effective than fossil fuels.

Why wait a year to answer you? Because I ran into exactly the same talking points in several other comment forums when the subject of fossil fuels versus renewable energy came up. So I set about to research your claims and predictions.

I have answered the statements and predictions you made. Nearly 100% of your predictions have not come about. In fact, in some cases the exact reverse of what you predicted has happened.

Also, some of your statements were factually incorrect at the time you made them, not just a year after you made them. Please read them and tell me if you have revised your views in these matters.

I have included your statements in exactly the same sequence as you made them without any alterations whatsoever.

Your statements are in brown color

My response in blue

Renewables represent a drop in the bucket of global supply.

(Phase 1)

Energy from renewable resources—wind, water, the sun, biomass and geothermal energy—is inexhaustible and clean. Renewable energy currently constitutes 15% of the global energy mix.

http://www.sustainableenergyforall.org/objectives/renewable-energy

They are having no effect whatsoever on fossil fuel prices.

(Phase 2) So the huge demand destruction in fossil fuels this past year was ONLY related to the depression we have been in since 2008!!? Why then, didn’t said demand destruction occur THEN? Why did that demand destruction DOVETAIL with the explosive growth of energy and wind in the USA in 2011 and 2012?

Charts: The Smart Money Is on Renewable Energy
—By Tim McDonnell
Mon Apr. 22, 2013

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/04/charts-renewable-energy-fossil-fuels

IEA Predicts Wind to Double and Solar Solar to Triple in 6 Years

http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/wind-and-solar-energy-rush-goes-global-130712.htm

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest public financial institution, has announced that, effective immediately, it will no longer finance most coal-, lignite- and oil-fired power stations in an effort to help Europe meet its climate targets.

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/07/european-investment-bank-cuts-lending-to-fossil-plants-supports-renewables?cmpid=rss

They are more expensive than fossil fuels

(phase 3)

When you account for the effects which are not reflected in the market price of fossil fuels, like air pollution and health impacts, the true cost of coal and other fossil fuels is higher than the cost of most renewable energy technologies.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/renewable-energy-is-too-expensive.htm

In the July 2011 PE magazine article “Why We Need Rational Selection of Energy Projects,” the author stated that “photovoltaic electricity generation cannot be an energy source for the future” because photovoltaics require more energy than they produce
(during their lifetime), thus their “Energy Return Ratio (ERR) is less than 1:1.”

Statements to this effect were not uncommon in the 1980s, based on some early PV prototypes. However, today’s PVs return far more energy than that embodied in the life cycle of a solar system (see Figure 1).

Their energy payback times (EPBT)—the time it takes to produce all the energy used in their life cycles—currently are between six months to two years, depending on the location/solar irradiation and the technology. And with expected life times of 30 years, their ERRs are in the range of 60:1 to 15:1, depending on the location and the technology, thus returning 15 to 60 times more energy than the energy they use. Here is a basic tutorial on the subject.

http://www.clca.columbia.edu/236_PE_Magazine_Fthenakis_2_10_12.pdf

because of their very low EROEI

(phase 3) See above. The EROEI of fossil fuels is lower than Renewable energy EROEI.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/renewable-energy-is-too-expensive.htm

However, today’s PVs return far more energy than that embodied in the life cycle of a solar system (see Figure 1).

Their energy payback times (EPBT)—the time it takes to produce all the energy used in their life cycles—currently are between six months to two years, depending on the location/solar irradiation and the technology. And with expected life times of 30 years, their ERRs are in the range of 60:1 to 15:1, depending on the location and the technology, thus returning 15 to 60 times more energy than the energy they use. Here is a basic tutorial on the subject.

Energy Payback Time = (Emat+Emanuf+Etrans+Einst+EEOL) / (Eagen–Eaoper)
where,
Emat: Primary energy demand to produce materials comprising PV system
Emanuf: Primary energy demand to manufacture PV system
Etrans: Primary energy demand to transport materials used during the life cycle
Einst: Primary energy demand to install the system
EEOL: Primary energy demand for end-of-life management
Eagen: Annual electricity generation in primary energy terms
Eaoper: Annual energy demand for operation and maintenance in primary energy terms

[size=14pt]The traditional way of calculating the EROI of PV is EROI = lifetime/EPBT, thus an EPBT of one year and life expectancy of 30 years corresponds to an EROI of 1:30..

http://www.clca.columbia.edu/236_PE_Magazine_Fthenakis_2_10_12.pdf

Scientific Investigations of Alcohol Fuels 1890 – 1920

Studies of alcohol as an internal combustion engine fuel began in the U.S. with the Edison Electric Testing Laboratory and Columbia University in 1906. Elihu Thomson reported that despite a smaller heat or B.T.U. value, “a gallon of alcohol will develop substantially the same power in an internal combustion engine as a gallon of gasoline. This is owing to the superior efficiency of operation…”62 Other researchers confirmed the same phenomena around the same time.

USDA tests in 1906 also demonstrated the efficiency of alcohol in engines and described how gasoline engines could be modified for higher power with pure alcohol fuel or for equivalent fuel consumption, depending on the need.63

The U.S. Geological Service and the U.S. Navy performed 2000 tests on alcohol and gasoline engines in 1907 and 1908 in Norfolk, Va. and St. Louis, Mo. They found that much higher engine compression ratios could be achieved with alcohol than with gasoline. When the compression ratios were adjusted for each fuel, fuel economy was virtually equal despite the greater B.T.U. value of gasoline. “In regard to general cleanliness, such as absence of smoke and disagreeable odors, alcohol has many advantages over gasoline or kerosene as a fuel,” .[/b]the report said. “The exhaust from an alcohol engine is never clouded with a black or grayish smoke.”64

USGS continued the comparative tests and later noted that alcohol was “a more ideal fuel than gasoline” with better efficiency despite the high cost.65

The French War Office tested gasoline, benzene and an alcohol-benzene blend in road tests in 1909, and the results showed that benzene gave higher mileage than gasoline or the alcohol blend in existing French trucks.66

The British Fuel Research Board also tested alcohol and benzene mixtures around the turn of the century and just before World War I, finding that alcohol blends had better thermal efficiency than gasoline but that engines developed less brake horsepower at low rpm.67
On the other hand, a British researcher named Watson found that thermal efficiencies for alcohol, benzene and gasoline were very nearly equal.68

These experiments are representative of work underway before and during World War I. The conclusions were so definitive that Scientific American concluded in 1918: “It is now definitely established that alcohol can be blended with gasoline to produce a suitable motor fuel …”69 By 1920, the consensus, Scientific American said, was “a universal assumption that [ethyl] alcohol in some form will be a constituent of the motor fuel of the future.”

Alcohol met all possible technical objections, and although it was more expensive than gasoline, it was not prohibitively expensive in blends with gasoline. “Every chemist knows [alcohol and gasoline] will mix, and every engineer knows [they] will drive an internal combustion engine.”70

And then along came Prohibition and saved the day for gasoline.
So a ‘Prohibition law “disaster” for ethanol was a rather convenient profit opportunity, was it not? It is quite conceivable that a “disaster” was CREATED (Rockefeller “donated” millons to the Temperance movement.) for ethanol in order to “Try to turn every disaster into an opportunity. “.

After all, competition was a “sin” for the Rockefellers and big oil. It may be “real politik” but it certainly isn’t cricket. The terms “free market” and “level playing field of energy resources” ring rather hollow in the “real world” of big oil market rigging and lawmaker bribing, blackmailing or bullying.

I dare say not much has changed.

Alcohol from grain and potatoes, at about 25 to 30 cents per gallon, was far too expensive to compete with petroleum, but alcohol from Cuban molasses, at 10 cents per gallon, was thought to be competitive.

Some observers suspected a conspiracy in the fact that Standard Oil of New Jersey had financial ties to the Caribbean alcohol market. The influence of an oil company over the alcohol industry was “a combination which many will regard as sinister,” said Tweedy.59

In 1942, Senate committees began looking into the extent to which the oil industry had controlled other industries, including the alcohol industry and the rubber industry. Attorney General Thurmond Arnold testified that anti-trust investigations had taken place into the oil industry’s influence in the alcohol industry in the 1913-1920 period, in the early 1920s, and between 1927 and 1936. “Renewed complaints in 1939 were brought to the anti-trust division but because of funds no action was taken,” Arnold said.60

Then the investigation of 1941 which exposed a “marriage” between Standard Oil Co. and the German chemical company I.G. Farben also brought new evidence concerning complex price and marketing agreements between du Pont Corp., a major investor in and producer of leaded gasoline, U.S. Industrial Alcohol Co. and their subsidiary, Cuba Distilling Co.

The investigation was eventually dropped, like dozens of others in many different kinds of industries, due to the need to enlist industry support in the war effort.

However, the top directors of many oil companies agreed to resign and oil industry stocks in molasses companies were sold off as part of a compromise worked out with Arnold.

http://www.environmentalhistory.org/billkovarik/research/henry-ford-charles-kettering-and-the-fuel-of-the-future/

Ethanol WAS ALWAYS a superior fuel to gasoline even WITHOUT the horrendous pollutants that an ICE burning gasoline produces. And ethanol requires NO CATALYTIC CONVERTER.

Every nasty, negative naysaying thing you have heard about ethanol from it using up food crops to having a “low” EROEI to corroding engines from increased water vapor to it being less economical than gasoline is DISINFORMATION and I can prove it point by point.

**”The gasoline engine became the preferred engine for the automobile because gasoline was cheaper than alcohol, not because it was a better fuel. And, because alcohol was not available at any price from 1920 to 1933, a period during which the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol was banned nationally as mandated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment on December 5, 1933. In time to produce alcohol fuels during World War II.

By the time World War II ended, the gasoline engine had become “entrenched” because gasoline remained cheaper than Alcohol, and widely distributed – gas stations were everywhere.”

and very large fossil fuel dependency.

(phase 3) Maybe that was true in 1980 but NOW it is only partially true. Norway has about 100% penetration of renewable energy in their electric grid. Other highly industrialized countries have high penetration as well. This mean the electric arc furnaces for smelting steel and other high temperature thermal processes dependent on electricity are using very little fossil fuels to make renewable energy machines in these places.

Also Nuclear power plants, something neither you nor I favor, have always been made with fossil fuels but that never stopped our government from making or heavily subsidizing that new energy technology. Why should it be different for renewable energy machines?
Observe below the Renewable Energy penetration of the electric grid in various industrialized countries


Electric Grid Renewable energy Penetration in Selected Markets

Although we technically do not have PV manufacturing plants or Wind turbine manufacturers driving EV trucks or mining with EV machines as well as powering their factories with wind and PV or some other renewable energy, it’s just a matter of time.

WHY? Because of the HIGH EROEI of Renewable Energy devices. They pay for themselves in a few years and then, as long as they are properly maintained, last a number of decades while using ZERO fossil fuels throughout the entire period.

The fossil fuel powered internal combustion machine is not competitive with Renewable Energy technolgies UNLESS fossil fuels retain their massive subsidies and continue to limit the market penetration of renewable energy systems in the USA and elseware with the threadbare excuse, and untrue allegation, that they are “too intermittent”.

[size=10pt] The Great Transition, Part I: From Fossil Fuels to Renewable Energy
Lester R. Brown



http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2012/update107

[color=brown]In fact renewables is a minomer. The sun will continue to shine and the wind to blow, but steel is not renewable and neither are many other essential components.



[b][i]Six Terrawat hours a year of energy is expended each year in the USA just to make the internal combustion engines and spare parts. How come you never complained of this massive amount of energy involving “non-renewable” steel used in manufacturing internal combustion machines?

Renewable Energy devices terminology refers to the FACT, that once they are constructed, they don’t USE fossil fuels to output energy. And the metal used in Renewables is not high temperature alloy metal like that required for internal combustion engines which makes it recyclable with LESS energy than that required for internal combustion engine metals.

In fact, we need far less steel and other metals to replace the entire internal combustion independent infrastructure with renewable energy WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL MINING by just cannibalizing the internal combustion machines for Renewable Energy machine metals as we make the transition.

Yes, I know about the rare earth metals mining pollution. I can only remind you of that phrase, “drop in the bucket” compared with the benefits of doing away with fossil fuels altogether.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=478.msg25945#msg25945

For As Long As The Sun Shines: The Non-Crisis of PV Module Reliability

http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2013_06_26_For_As_Long_As_The_Sun_Shines

The demand and price collapse will kill much of renewable development,

Prices have gone up for fossil fuels even as demand has gone down. This has actually spurred the switch to renewables , not dampened it.

Retail Prices (Dollars per Gallon) 2012-2013

http://www.eia.gov/oog/info/twip/twip.asp

Volatile fossil fuel prices make renewable energy more attractive

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/fossil-fuel-prices-renewable-energy-attractive

especially at a large scale.

(phase 3)

To date, we’ve committed over $1 billion to renewable energy project investments, signed … It may also be more feasible to build larger power installations …. and match their demand with utility-scale solution

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en/us/green/pdf/renewable-energy-options.pdf

You cannot run an industrial society on intermittent energy sources with low EROEI.

The Renewable energy blend eliminates intermittency and the low EROEI claim has been proven, not just inaccurate, but the exact reverse.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/renewable-energy-is-too-expensive.htm

CSP technology can also be coupled with energy storage, one of the hottest topics in the renewable energy industry this year. Plants that include energy storage with molten salt can store solar power and dispatch it in the early evening and into the night. Tex Wilkins from the CSP Alliance thinks this application could make PV, which is often viewed as a threat to CSP, a complimentary technology. “The ability of CSP with storage to dispatch its power to the grid in the early morning and evening can combine with daytime PV to spread out the use of solar power from the time people get up early in the morning until they go to bed late at night,” he explained. Wilkins said that in five years most CSP plants will include energy storage. Van Scoter from eSolar said in five years he expects that most CSP projects will include molten salt or ISCC technology. “There is also a high potential for projects involving industrial process heat, EOR and desalination,” he said.
All CSP experts said that utilities are just beginning to recognize CSP’s value – a renewable energy able to provide base load, dispatchable power. According to SkyFuel’s Mason, “This attribute of CSP is its main differentiator from PV and wind, and will ensure its increasing uptake in the power market.”

Intermittency Of Renewables?… Not So Much

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/21/intermittency-of-renewable-energy/

For As Long As The Sun Shines: The Non-Crisis of PV Module Reliability

http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2013_06_26_For_As_Long_As_The_Sun_Shines

Feed in tariffs are already being cut worldwide, and without them renewable power is not competitive.

This is a generalization and is inaccurate as well.
It is also a faulty comparison. The MASSIVE subsidies fossil and nuclear fules get dwarf any feed in tariff “advantage” for Renewable energy.

If all fossil and nuclear fuel subsidies were removed, the ridiculously tiny Renewable Energy subsidies in the form of feed in tariffs and other paltry incentives would be even less significant than they are now.

I know you are adverse to feed in tariffs. It is not logical for you to be adverse to FIT and not ALSO be adverse to fossil fuel subsidies like THESE:

Expensing of Intangible Drilling Costs

Percentage Depletion Allowance

Deduction for Tertiary Injectants

Geological and Geophysical Expenditures

Exception for passive loss limitations for oil and gas

Enhanced oil recovery credit

Marginal oil well credit

You eliminate ALL THE ABOVE and the pittance that FIT represents can be eliminated quite easily, thank you very much. Just google fossil fuel and nuclear power subsidies to date in the USA alone and then look at the tiny sliver of a percentage of subsidies for renewables to date.

Of course, fossil fuel industries want renewable enrgy to go away and are doing everything possible to make that happen. Eliminating FIT would be one step to that goal while keeping fossil fuel subsidies intact.

Said Brian Jennings, ACE executive vice president, in a release, “If oil companies cannot stand on their own two feet after 100 years of clinging to certain taxpayer subsidies, Congress shouldn’t hurt American consumers by repealing the RFS, a policy that helps level the playing field with oil a little bit by giving people affordable and renewable fuel choices.”

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2013/03/big-oils-100-year-incentive-birthday-bash-hosted-by-biofuels

Since we cannot run this society on renewables, our society will have to change.

A logical conclusion based on the low EROEI incorrect premise and the intermittency incorrect premise.

With an incorrect premise, you will always come to the wrong conclusion.

The fact that renewable energy has grown in leaps and bounds for over three years now is proof that it is a more profitable energy source, as well as being non-polluting after manufacture, than the poisonous fossil fuels.

The renewable energy percentage use targets are INCREASING, not decreasing as you incorrectly believe. Here’s just one example:

Vermont may have more foresight than other states it its ambitious 90% renewable energy target by 2050, but it’s really the sign of a paradigm shift in energy, says Dave.

http://www.ilsr.org/vermonts-standard-offer-renewable-energy-program-episode-10-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Prepare For Disruptive Solar Technology

In 2013, the landscape is drastically different. Solar power is here to stay, and the major manufacturers should be motivated to make big moves.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1504552-prepare-for-disruptive-solar-technology

We will have to learn to live within our means.

Most people in the world already do. It’s people with giant carbon footprints that don’t.

I think what you are doing in lowering your carbon footprint is laudable but be aware that every time you board an aircraft, you have just used up about 6 months worth of the carbon footprint of a person in the third world. That doesn’t help.

This article was not about poisoned aquifers. I have written about that before though. I cannot cover everything in every article or there would be no focus. Of course fracking is obscene, the environmental risks are huge and a few well connected individuals are making a killing from the ponzi scheme. The price collapse will eventually prevent it, just not right now when there is still money to be made.

Yes, the environmental risks, and damages as well, are already huge. Fracking adds insult to injury. It’s time to stop supporting this biosphere killing technology, regardless of the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold on governments and policy.

The country is in the midst of an unprecedented oil and gas drilling rush—brought on by a controversial technology called hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
Along with this fracking-enabled oil and gas rush have come troubling reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, mysterious animal deaths, industrial disasters and explosions. We call them Fraccidents.

http://earthjustice.org/features/campaigns/fracking-across-the-united-states

The numbers are bad even with externalities excluded, and are of course much worse with them. Some of these things are very difficult to quantify, and over-quantification doesn’t really help anyway.

Well, it DOES HELP the frackers in attracting investment capital to have energy experts publish EROEI numbers above 1:1, does it not? A real world EROEI woud remind these planet poisoners of the repercussions of their actions AND make it HARDER for them to get investment capital.

The less happy the EROEI numbers, the less inclined they will be to engage in criminal and toxic activity. If energy experts don’t do it, who is, besides the scientific community which is getting drowned out by the bought and paid for media?

I can show you a Buffalo University study about three years old (not the snow job that came later falsely claiming it was peer reviewed and forced to recant) that proved conclusively that Uranium traces would come up in the process of fracking and invade the aquifers, not at radiactive dose danger levels but as heavy metal pollutants.

There’s a LOT more bad stuff going on out there. If you don’t know about it, you should.

Gas fracking corruption posts:

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=478.msg5905#msg5905
http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=478.msg5923#msg5923

‘Fracking’ Mobilizes Uranium in Marcellus Shale, UB Research Finds

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2010/10/11885.html

This is real politik – the way the world really works.

You mean that’s the way the POLITICAL WORLD works.
The planet and the biosphere, according to serious, objective, proven environmental science, will become uninhabitable if we do not stop burning fossil fuels within a couple of decades (See video above in this document of panel of scientists where one British Scientist actually says that the REAL, “real world” is about to overwhelm the perception managed “real politik, real world” the fossil fuel industry and most of mankind falsely believe they live in. Note: Part 2 of that video is extremely informative as well.).

The intransigence of the fossil fuel industry in this matter is a given. They wish to avoid liability for the damage they have casued so they have, for several decades, (See the George C. Marshal Institute) launched a campaign of disinformation to claim there is NO climate threat whatsoever.

The disinformation has used the scare tactic that we are running out of fossil fuels. Sure, according to latest estimates, we have about 37 years left of oil and slightly over 100 years of coal.

I certainly think those numbers don’t translate into an imminent collapse UNLESS the fossil fuel fascists (that isn’t hyperbole) engineer one as an additional scare tactic.

Don’t tell me the industry famous for contrived price shocks and oil resource wars is not capable of that.

Here’s a PRIME example of what the fossil fuel industry has done to the USA and the world:

A quote from the following Peer Reviewed book:

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

“As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists. “

Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.

Consequently, all extrapolated future scenarios the Peak Oil people come up with must have their premises scrutinized to see how much of that is fossil fuel propaganda.

I have. The collapse scenario does not add up.

In that video above, the scientific community makes it crystal clear that there is easily another 100 years of coal, a much more polluting fossil fuel than oil, available regardless of the state of petroleum depletion.

So it is not realistic to say everything is just going stop one day from a chain of collapses in economies. The available fossil fuels are still TOO available.

The worsening weather will be the ONLY thing that will spur change unless the 1% performs a coup d’état on the fossil fuel world power structure and even then we already passed the point a couple of decades ago when bioremediation was going to be fairly straight forward.

So the Peak Oil people and preppers, like you, are doing themselves a world of good by preparing for a lower carbon footprint and learning many low tech survival skills because, even in the best of the three scenarios I envisioned (no die off), we will still have to reduce our carbon footprint until we get all the bugs out of the 100% renewable energy PLUS 20-40% carbon sequestering economy implemented to GET BACK to below 350 ppm.

You are wrong to think it will all collapse but you are right to prepare for hard times and horrible weather. Hansen said the atmospheric and oceanic inertia is nearly 100 years. I had thought it was only about 30 years. :P

That means we are experiencing NOW the effects of our generated pollutants (if you say the incubation inertia is 50 years or so) as of 1963!

Consider all the pollutants that have poured in to the biosphere since then and you start to understand why brilliant people like Guy McPherson are so despondent. There is NO WAY we can stop the pollution/bad weather clock from CONTINUING to deteriorate for another 50 years (or 100 if Hansen is right) even if we STOPPED using all fossil fuels today. :(

I’m not in charge and neither are you. But clinging to this fossil fuel fantasyland of cheap power and all we “owe” it for our civilization is not going to do anything but make things deteriorate faster.

If enough people reach the 1%, maybe they will wake up. It’s all we can do in addition to trying to foster community.

The system, as defined by the fossil fuel fascist dystopia that currently runs most of the human affairs among the 1 billion population in the developed world that are saddling the other 6 billion, who are totally free of guilt for causing it, with this climate horror we are beginning to experience, IS quite stubborn and does not wish to change the status quo.

Mother nature will force it to do so.

Whether it is done within the next two decades or not (i.e. a swtch to 100% PLUS bioremediation Renewable Energy steady state economy) will dictate the size of the die off, not only of humans but thousands of other species as well.

We are now in a climate cake that has been baked for about 1,000 years according to atmospheric, objective, proven with experimental data, science.

My somewhat quixotic hope as fleshed out in the following article is that the 1% will respond to the crisis with a crash program to bioremediate the biosphere as a matter of enlightened self interest.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/08/13/sexual-dimorphism-powerstructures-and-environmental-consequences-of-human-behaviors/

If the crash program to switch to renewable energy is to begin soon, I expect the trigger for the crash program will be the first ice free arctic summer (according to my estimates :icon_mrgreen:) in 2017.

So I would use that future melting now as a rallying point to wake people up and join in the effort to ban fossil fuels from planet earth. Expect the fossil fuelers to counter that polar ice melting catastrophic reality with propaganda about what a “wonderful” thing it is to have a new ocean to shorten ship traveling (i.e. TANKERS) distances. So it goes.

But if things go well for humanity and the 1% galvanize to save the biosphere and their stuff :icon_mrgreen:, we will witness the dismantelling of the centralized fossil fuel infrastructure, it’s use and, more importantly, the relinquishing of political power worldwide by big oil.


15 April 2013
James Hansen

1. Exaggeration?

I have been told of specific well-respected people who have asserted that “Jim Hansen exaggerates” the magnitude and imminence of the climate threat. If only that were true, I would be happy.
“Magnitude and imminence” compose most of the climate story.[b]

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2013/20130415_Exaggerations.pdf

It’s about money and power.

[b]Correct. It has ALWAYS been about POWER (which always brings easy money).

It has NEVER been about ENERGY beyond CONTROLLING the spigot to we-the-people.

That’s why the fossil fuel industry simply didn’t switch to the much more profitable and economical renewable energy technologies long ago (they certainly have the money to do so); they simply could not figure out a way to retain POWER and CONTROL with a distributed, rather than a centralized energy system.

The expansion phase of the bubble concealed that for a while by floating many boats temporarily.

No comment except that the forces of nature will overwhelm any bubble mechanics that corrupt central bankers or Wall Street can come up with.

The importance of financial activity pales in the face of climate change.

I wish that wasn’t the way it worked, but it does, whether we like it or not. All we can do is to understand our situation and make the best of it.

Renewable Energy is making life and profits more and more difficult for the fossil fuel corporations.

But you are right that they run the corrupt system and do not want to cede their power (even if it kills all of us).

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: In the next decade there will be an epic battle for survival for humanity against the forces of ignorance and greed. It’s going to be Armageddon, represented by the oil industry on one side, versus the renewable industry on the other.

And people are going to have to choose sides – including politically. They will have to choose sides because oil and coal, they will not be able to survive – they are not going to be able to burn their proven reserves.

If they do, then we are all dead. And they are quite willing to burn it. We’re all going to be part of that battle. We are going to watch governments being buffeted by the whims of money and greed on one side, and idealism and hope on the other.

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/06/interview-with-robert-f-kennedy-jr-on-environmental-activism-democratization-of-energy-more/

This ends my response and rebuttal of your statements and predicitons.

[b]Do you now recognize that what you told me, wittingly or unwittingly, was fossil fuel anti-renewable energy propaganda?

I have shown the error in your statements and request you reconsider your position on everything you said to me.

The fossil fuel industry and those who side with it, regardless of appearing to take a pro-environment position in their personal lives, are hurting our chances for a viable biosphere.

Those who, instead, simply stand their ground on the settled climate science and state unequivocally that fossil fuels must be BANNED from human use forever and the fossil fuel industries dismantled while a massive transition to a lower carbon footprint and 100% plus renewable energy economy takes place, are the only hope Homo sapiens has.

The question is, which side are you on?[/b]

Typical phases of resistance to renewable energy, as descriped by Dr. Herman Scheer are as follows:

Phase 1 – Belittle & Deny the Renewable Energy Option

Phase 2 – Denounce & Mobilize Against the Renewable Energy Option

Phase 3 - Spread Doubt & Misrepresent the Challenges in the Disguise of General Support

(Note: reaching Phase 3 doesn’t mean that Phase 1 & 2 will disappear.)

PART III

Historic proof that manufacturing all the renewable energy machines and infrastructure needed to transition to a 100% Renewable Energy world ecnomy can be achieved in two decades or less: The mass produced Liberty Ships of WWII.
The other day, a knowledgable mechanical engineer I know stated this concern about the colossal challenge and, in his opinion, impossibility of switching to renewable energy machines in time to avoid a collapse from an energy to manufacture and global industrial capacity limitation in our civilizational infrastructure.

He said:

I admire your enthusiasm, and I agree with many of the points you make. Yes ICE waste high EROEI consistently, yes fossil fuels and conventional engineering has a warped distorted perspective because of the ICE, and yes we have an oil oligarchy protecting its turf.

However say we hypothetically made all the oil companies dissappear tommorow and where able to suspend the laws of time and implement our favorite renewables of choice and then where tasked with making certain all of societies critical needs were met we’d have a tall order. The devil is in the details and quantities.

Its the magnitudes, its 21 million barallels per day we are dependent on. Its created massive structural centralization that can only be sustained by incredible energetic inputs. Not enough wind, and not enough rare earth material for PV’s to scale and replace. We have to structurally rearrange society to solve the problem. Distributed solar powered villaged, not bit cities and surely not suburbia. I fear we’ll sink very useful resources and capital towards these energy sources (as we arguably have with wind) when the real answer is structural change.

I have shown evidence that there are several multiples of the energy we now consume available just from wind power. This data came from a recent study by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Scientists.

He thinks we CAN’T do it even if we had enough wind because of the colossal challenge and, in his opinion, impossibility of switching to renewable enrgy machines in time to avoid a collapse from an energy required to manufacture and global industrial capacity limitation in our civilizational infrastructure.

His solution is to survive the coming collapse with small distributed energy systems and a radically scaled down carbon footprint. Sadly, that option will not be available to a large percentage of humanity.

Hoping for a more positive future scenario, I analyzed his concerns to see if they are valid and we have no other option but to face a collapse and a die off with the surviving population living at much lower energy use levels. :P

I’m happy to report that, although the mechanical engineer has just cause to be concerned, we can, in reality, transition to 100% Renewable Energy without overtaxing our civilizational resources.

This a slim hope but a real one based on history and the word’s present manufacturing might. Read on.

I give you the logistics aiding marvel of WWII, the Liberty Ship. It was THE JIT (just in time), SIT (sometimes in time) and sometimes NIT (never in time because it was torpedoed) cargo delivery system that helped us win the war.

This was a mass produced ship. These ships are a testament to the ability to build an enormous quantity of machines on a global scale that the U.S. was capable of over half a century ago.

The Liberty ship model used two oil boilers and was propelled by a single-screw steam engine, which gave the liberty ship a cruise speed of 11 to 11.5 knots. The ships were 441.5 feet long, with a 57 foot beam and a 28 foot draft.

The ships were designed to minimize labor and material costs; this was done in part by replacing many rivets with welds. This was a new technique, so workers were inexperienced and engineers had little data to go on. Additionally, much of the shipyards’ labor force had been replaced with women as men joined the armed forces. Because of this, early ships took quite a long time to build – the Patrick Henry taking 244 days -
but the average building time eventually came down to just 42 days.

A total of 2,710 Liberty ships were built, with an expected lifespan of just five years. A little more than 2,400 made it through the war, and 835 of these entered the US cargo fleet. Many others entered Greek and Italian fleets. Many of these ships were destroyed by leftover mines, which had been forgotten or inadequately cleared. Two ships survive today, both operating as museum ships. They are still seaworthy, and one (the Jeremiah O’Brien) sailed from San Francisco to England in 1994.

These ships had a design flaw. The grade of steel used to build them suffered from embrittlement. Cracks would propagate and in 3 cases caused the ships to split in half and sink. It was discovered and remediated.

Ships operating in the North Atlantic were often exposed to temperatures below a critical temperature, which changed the failure mechanism from ductile to brittle. Because the hulls were welded together, the cracks could propagate across very large distances; this would not have been possible in riveted ships.

A crack stress concentrator contributed to many of the failures. Many of the cracks were nucleated at an edge where a weld was positioned next to a hatch; the edge of the crack and the weld itself both acted as crack concentrators. Also contributing to failures was heavy overloading of the ships, which increased the stress on the hull. Engineers applied several reinforcements to the ship hulls to arrest crack propagation and initiation problems.


Heavily loaded ship

http://www.brighthubengineering.com/marine-history/88389-history-of-the-liberty-ships/

Today, several countries have, as do we, a much greater industrial capacity. It is inaccurate to claim that we cannot produce sufficient renewable energy devices in a decade or so to replace the internal combustion engine everywhere in our civilization. The industrial capacity is there and is easily provable by asking some simple questions about the fossil fuel powered ICE status quo:

How long do ICE powered machines last?

How much energy does it require to mine the raw materials and manufacture the millions of engines wearing out and being replaced day in and day out?

What happens if ALL THAT INDUSTRIAL CAPACITY is, instead, dedicated to manufacturing Renewable Energy machines?

IOW, if there is a ten to twenty year turnover NOW in our present civilization involving manufacture and replacement of the ICEs we use, why can’t we retool and convert the entire ICE fossil fuel dependent civilization to a Renewable Energy Machine dependent civilization?

1) The industrial capacity is certainly there to do it EASILY in two decades and maybe just ten years with a concerted push.

2) Since Renewable Energy machines use LESS metal and do not require high temperature alloys, a cash for clunkers worldwide program could obtain more than enough metal raw material without ANY ADDITIONAL MINING (except for rare earth minerals – a drop in the bucket – :icon_mrgreen: LOL- compared to all the mining presently done for metals to build the ICE) by just recycling the ICE parts into Renewable Energy machines.

3) Just as in WWII, but on a worldwide scale, the recession/depression would end as millions of people were put to work on the colossal transition to Renewable Energy.

[size=14pt]HOWEVER, despite our ABILITY to TRANSITION TO 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY, we “CAN’T DO IT” ??? because the fossil fuel industry has tremendous influence on the worldwide political power structure from the USA to Middle East to Russia to China.

IOW, it was NEVER

1. An energy problem,

2. A “laws of thermodynamics” problem,

3. A mining waste and pollution problem,

4. A lack of wind or sun problem,

5. An environmental problem,

6. An industrial capacity problem or

7. A technology problem.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE ABOVE excuses for claiming Renewable Energy cannot replace Fossil Fuels are STRAWMEN presented to the public for the express purpose of convincing us of the half truth that without fossil fuels, civilization will collapse.

It was ALWAYS a POLITICAL PROBLEM of the fossil fuel industry not wanting to relinquish their stranglehold on the world’s geopolitical make up.

It drives them insane to think that Arizona and New Mexico can provide more power than all the oil in the Middle East. Their leverage over lawmakers and laws to avoid environmental liability is directly proportional to their market share of global energy supplies.

They are treatened by Renewable Energy and have mobilized to hamper its growth as much as possible through various propaganda techniques using all the above strawmen.

It is TRUE that civilization will collapse and a huge die off will occur without fossil fuels IF, and ONLY IF, Renewable Energy does not replace fossil fuels. It is blatantly obvious that we need energy to run our civilization.

It is ALSO TRUE that if we continue to burn fossil fuels in ICEs, Homo sapiens will become extinct. This is not hyperbole. We ALREADY have baked in conditions, that take about three decades to fully develop, that have placed us in a climate like the one that existed over 3 million years ago.

We DID NOT thrive in those conditions or multiply. This is a fact. We barely survived until a couple of hundred thousand years ago when the weather became friendlier and even then we didn’t really start to populate the planet until about 10,000 years ago.

The climate 3 million years ago was, basically, mostly lethal to Homo Sapiens. To say that we have technology and can handle it is a massive dodge of our responsibility for causing this climate crisis (and ANOTHER strawman from Exxon “We will adapt to that” :evil4: CEO).

Fossil fuel corporations DO NOT want to be held liable for the damage they have caused, so, even as they allow Renewable Energy to have a niche in the global energy picture, will use that VERY NICHE (see rare earth mining and energy to build PV and wind turbines) to blame Renewables for environmental damage.

[size=12pt]In summary, the example of the Liberty ships is proof we CAN TRANSITION TO RENEWABLE ENERGY in, at most, a couple of decades if we decide to do it but WON’T do it because of the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold on political power, financing and laws along with the powerful propaganda machine they control.

PART IV
Three different future scenarios

What can we expect from the somewhat dismal prospects for Homo sapiens?

1) Terrible weather and melted polar ice caps with an increase in average wind velocity in turn causing more beach erosion from gradually rising sea level and wave action. The oceans will become more difficult to traverse because of high wave action and more turbulent seas. The acidification will increase the dead zones and reduce aquatic life diversity. But you’ve heard all this before so I won’t dwell on the biosphere problems that promise to do us in.

2) As Renewable Energy devices continue to make inroads in fossil fuel profits, expect an engineered :evil4: partial civilizational collapse in a large city to underline the “you are all going to die without fossil fuels” propaganda pushed to avoid liability for the increasingly “in your face” climate extremes. ;)

3) Less democracy and less freedom of expression from some governments and more democracy and freedom of expression from other governments in

[b]direct proportion to the percent penetration of Renewable energy machin

July 27, 2013 at 2:37 am #8040

agelbert

PART IV
Three different future scenarios

What can we expect from the somewhat dismal prospects for Homo sapiens?

1) Terrible weather and melted polar ice caps with an increase in average wind velocity in turn causing more beach erosion from gradually rising sea level and wave action. The oceans will become more difficult to traverse because of high wave action and more turbulent seas. The acidification will increase the dead zones and reduce aquatic life diversity. But you’ve heard all this before so I won’t dwell on the biosphere problems that promise to do us in.

2) As Renewable Energy devices continue to make inroads in fossil fuel profits, expect an engineered :evil4: partial civilizational collapse in a large city to underline the “you are all going to die without fossil fuels” propaganda pushed to avoid liability for the increasingly “in your face” climate extremes. ;)

3) Less democracy and less freedom of expression from some governments and more democracy and freedom of expression from other governments in

direct proportion to the percent penetration of Renewable energy machines in powering their countries (more RE, more freedom)

and an inverse proportion to the power of their “real politik” Fossil Fuel lobbies in countries. (more FF power, less freedom).

The bottom line, as Guy McPherson says, is that NATURE BATS LAST. Nature has millions of “bats”. Homo SAP has a putrid fascist parasite bleeding it to death and poisoning it at the same time. The parasite cannot survive without us so it is allowing us to get a tiny IV to keep us alive a little longer (a small percentage of renewable energy machines). It won’t work.

But the parasite has a plan. The IV will be labelled a “parasite” (the villain and guilty party) when Homo SAP finally figures out he is going to DIE if he doesn’t fix this “bleeding and poison” problem. Then the real parasite will try to morph into a partially symbiotic organism and Homo SAP will muddle through somehow.

I think that the parasite doesn’t truly appreciate the severity of Mother Nature’s “bat”.

Three future Scenarios:

1. If the parasite (as a metaphor for a fossil fuel powered civilization) does not DIE TOTALLY, I don’t think any of us will make it. :emthdown:

2. If the the parasite takes MORE than 20 years to die, some of us will make it but most of us won’t. :emthdown:

3. If, in 2017, when the north pole has the first ice free summer, all the governments of the Earth join in a crash program to deep six the use of fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine within a ten year period, most of us will make it. :emthup: :sunny:

A word about political power and real politik living in a fossil fuel fascist dystopia.

IT simply DOES NOT MATTER what the ‘real world”, “real politik” geopolitical power structure mankind has now is. IT DOES NOT MATTER how powerful the fossil fuel industry is in human affairs. The ICE and fossil fuels have to go or Mother Nature will kill us, PERIOD.

Pass it on. You never know when somebody on the wrong side of the Darwininan fence will read it and join the effort to save humanity.

[move]Save as many as you can! [/move]

July 27, 2013 at 4:01 am #8041

Golden Oxen

I am named in this post as labeling the author a fool. That is incorrect.

My dispute with the author was one of his constantly implying that Nicole Foss was a “Shill” for the fossil fuel industry. I cannot think of a more ludicrous or incredibly wrong view of that scholarly well intentioned lady. That false deduction about her casts much doubt in my mind about the legitimacy of his other theories.

July 27, 2013 at 10:26 am #8044

agelbert

US Sues Exxon Fracker in Pennsylvania Over Polluted Drinking Water

A federal lawsuit claims hydraulic fracking has polluted public drinking waters in Pennsylvania with toxic wastes.

July 25, 2013 |

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (CN) – The United States sued Exxon subsidiary XTO Energy, claiming its hydraulic fracking has polluted public drinking waters in Pennsylvania with toxic wastes.

The federal lawsuit was filed almost simultaneously with reports from ABC , CBS and The Associated Press that claimed a “landmark federal study” showed “no evidence
:evil5: :evil6: that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site

Both the “landmark” study and the federal lawsuit involve fracking in the Marcellus Shale formation.

The results of the study, done on a contract from the Department of Energy, were called preliminary. It alleged that the toxic chemicals that oil companies injected into the ground to force natural gas or oil out of it stayed below the aquifer from which Pennsylvanians pump drinking water.

But in the lawsuit, the United States cites XTO’s natural gas well pad and storage facility in Hughesville, Lycoming County, for unauthorized discharges of flowback fluid and produced fluid.

Fracking is a big issue in energy-producing Pennsylvania, though a complacent Legislature has bent over to muzzle public debate on it.

One year ago, a physician sued the state , claiming it passed an unconstitutional “Medical Gag Rule” that prohibited him and other doctors from talking about the effects of fracking on public heath.

Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez called Act 13 of 2012 a gift from the Legislature to polluting energy drillers.

[Full Story Here:[I][b]

http://www.alternet.org/fracking/us-sues-exxon-fracker-pennsylvania-over-polluted-drinking-water

[move][b][I]What’s it going to take to STOP THIS MADNESS of POISINING AQUIFERS! :angry4: [/move]

July 27, 2013 at 10:36 am #8045

agelbert

CORRECTION:

What’s it going to take to STOP this MADNESS of POISONING AQUIFERS though FRACKING

July 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm #8048

gurusid

Hi folks,

Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney on the children’s fire – the consideration for the future and the children of the future. Also on Edgar Shine exploring organisation culture and the unconscious plethora of basic assumptions in the way we let business happen; there is no reason not to take the children’s fire into consideration. Until we set this fire at the centre of all institutions of power we will continue to trash the planet. It asks for bravery and the freedom of thought – when the day comes when I stand at my grave etc.-

Only an ‘Insane’ society would ‘piss’ on the children’s fire:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JchSac-VP0

Children’s fire is a gift from the indigenous peoples of many countries – honour that which is sacred in nature.

This one is on water and its sacredness, along with the lost relationship/reverence of life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7ZGkq_lmFE

@ Angelbert,

I agree about ‘aquifer’ poisoning, check out Macs vid above.

As for your comment on PV:

There was an easy way around that. You buy your battery bank and keep it charged from the grid, not the PV panels. You have an electrician set up a switch from the inverter to the grid so that if grid power is lost, you just isolate yourself from the grid and the PV panels will then be able to keep your batteries charged and you are supplied with power until grid power comes back.

Actually in most instances the legal frame work and contractarian BS around grid tied solar prevents such switching, if you want to obtain the FITs that is… :(

Also be careful about preaching to the choir, in the immutable words of Elvis:

A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain’t satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me
Satisfy me baby

Can you tell us a little of what you have done yourself on the ground so to speak? :)

L,
Sid.

July 28, 2013 at 12:03 am #8049

agelbert

GURUSID SAID “Can you tell us a little of what you have done yourself on the ground so to speak?”

Read all about me at the doomstead diner on the Energy, Waste based society thread.

Since 1996 I have walked the FRUGALITY IS FREEDOM talk. I don’t travel on aircraft, drive less than 2,000 miles a year, shovel my snow. roof rake and push mow. I walk the talk despite having a modest pension. My home is 980 square feet for two people and a cat.

I wrote this article providing hard data and detailed analysis of our energy situation, the flaws in the EROEI formulation and what we can do about it.

Hope for viable biosphere of Renewables;
Why they work and Fossil and nuclear fuels NEVER DID

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/07/17/hope-for-a-viable-biosphere-of-renewables/

Your turn, Sid. :>)

July 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm #8051

gurusid

Hi Agelbert,

Thankyou – that is Really Inspiring! Since the early nineties I too have sought out a better/alternative lifestyle.

More recently I have been active in finding out ways to ‘sustainably’ garden the Earth: see here and herewith such projects as the No Dig allotment experiment with some students in the North of England, and with others helping to set up a local sustainability initiative including sharing land to grow food on.

I had a house – see here I had adapted to be as sustainable as the circumstances would allow, but I sold this to get out of debt. I now live in a small space (6′ x 8′) in a shared house and out of the back of my camper car which runs on bio-diesel made from old cooking oil (when I can get it). I am in the process of starting up a social enterprise to move LLUTE (Live Lightly Upon The Earth – you heard it first hear!) Projects forwards in my local area, with a ‘franchise’ element to allow others to do the same.

As Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney says, we need “Dreamers, Poets and Doers”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcijGIqi3UA

Interested?

L,
Sid.

July 28, 2013 at 10:52 pm #8053

agelbert

Gurursid said,
More recently I have been active in finding out ways to ‘sustainably’ garden the Earth: see here and herewith such projects as the No Dig allotment experiment with some students in the North of England, and with others helping to set up a local sustainability initiative including sharing land to grow food on.

I had a house – see here I had adapted to be as sustainable as the circumstances would allow, but I sold this to get out of debt. I now live in a small space (6′ x 8′) in a shared house and out of the back of my camper car which runs on bio-diesel made from old cooking oil (when I can get it). I am in the process of starting up a social enterprise to move LLUTE (Live Lightly Upon The Earth – you heard it first hear!) Projects forwards in my local area, with a ‘franchise’ element to allow others to do the same.
– See more at: http://www.theautomaticearth.com/Energy/widely-visible-symbols-of-human-folly.html#sthash.hbTe18Tx.dpuf

Yes am interested. I will watch the video and study your links. Thank you. You are credit to Homo sapiens in general and the biosphere in particular.

As Ilargi implied, responsible behavior among humans seems to be the “affliction” of a small minority of Homo sapiens. I salute you for giving us hope and being on the side of the angels.

July 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm #8054

agelbert

The nuclear nuts are at it again. Yes those very same people that changed the CORRECT scientific term for CONCENTRATING Uranium to “ENRICH” (I.E. EMPOOR and EMPOISON!”) have the brass to propose SiC as new cladding material for nuclear fuel roads to “solve” the Fukushima “problem” LOL! And the fossil fuelers that wail and moan about ALL THAT ENERGY needed to make PV panels are QUIET AS MICE about using EVEN MORE ENERGY in a high temperature Silicon industrial process (gee, sorta like the high temperature Silicon industrial process for PV!) to package nuclear fuel rods.

Madison Avenue and scientific boondoggles are joined at the hip in nuclear poison technology.

New Nuclear Fuel-Rod Cladding Could Lead to Safer Power
Plants
A team of researchers at MIT is developing an alternative that could provide similar protection for nuclear fuel, while reducing the risk of hydrogen production by roughly a thousandfold. Tests of the new cladding material, a ceramic compound called silicon carbide (SiC), are described in a series of papers appearing in the journal Nuclear Technology

[b]Full pro-nuclear puff piece here[b]

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130725104900.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmatter_energy%2Falternative_fuels+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Matter+%26+Energy+News+–+Alternative+Fuels%29

July 29, 2013 at 1:57 am #8055

agelbert


Follow the MONEY to see how Fossil Fuelers preserve Fossil Fuel PROFITS & POISONS and PREVENT CLIMATE CHANGE legislation, DENY climate change EXISTS AND PREVENT SUBSIDIES for RENEWABLE ENERGY

[embed=640,380]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_Jy1Tnxh28#[/embed]

Ban burning fossil fuels NOW! I don’t CARE how much our living standard drops! Survival beats[color=marroon] slow suicide ANY TIME![.color]

August 8, 2013 at 8:24 am #8101

agelbert

If the End Polluter Welfare Act ever gets passed, it will ELIMINATE the following fossil fuel WELFARE SWAG:

OIL and GAS

 Eliminate royalty relief, including for deep gas and deep water production, 43 USC 1337, 42 USC 15904 and 15905 (Sec 3) – $.01 billion (CBO estimate of just the deep gas and deep water royalty relief, from analysis of S. 916 112th Congress) – this provision repeals authority for the Department of Interior to provide discretionary royalty relief, and also repeals special royalty relief for deep water drilling.

 Ultra deep water research program repeal, 42 USC 16371 (Sec 5) – $.100 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – repeals 2005 public-private partnership to increase offshore production of oil and gas.

 Uncap 75 million for spill liability and 350 million for pipeline clean-up for tar sands, 33 USC 2704 (Sec 6) – current law limits economic damages for an individual offshore oil spill to $75 million, this section would make liability unlimited so that corporations are fully responsible for the damage they cause. It would also uncap liability for spill damages, currently at $350 million, for tar sands pipeline operators.

 Eliminate enhanced oil recovery credit, 26 USC 43 (Sec 14) – 15 percent income tax credit for advanced oil recovery investments.

 Eliminate marginal wells credit, 26 USC 45 I (Sec 14) – tax credit for production from marginal and inefficient wells.

 Eliminate deduction for tertiary injectant 26 USC 193 (Sec 14) – $.100 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – allows deduction for advanced oil recovery investments

 Eliminate manufacturing deduction, 26 USC 199(d)(9) (Sec 14, 19) – $11.883 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – This provision, included in a 2004 law, allows oil and gas industry to claim they are ‘manufacturers’ and take huge tax deductions aimed at incentivizing manufacturing in America.

 Eliminate special rule for oil, gas wells, 26 USC 461(i)(2) (Sec 14) – accelerates deductions for oil and gas corporations.

 Eliminate percentage depletion, 26 USC 613(A) (Sec 14) – $11.465 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – allows oil and gas companies to deduct 15 percent of their sales revenues to reflect declining value of their investment, without regard to the actual decline in value of their investment.

 Eliminate passive loss exemption, 26 USC 469(c)(3) (Sec 14) – $.082 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)– lets oil/ gas company owners and investors use losses from fossil fuel investments to shelter other income.

 Eliminate special depreciation for Alaska natural gas pipeline, 26 USC 168(e)(3) (Sec 14) – eliminates special depreciation provision allowing 7 year depreciation for Alaska natural gas pipelines, instead of standard 15 year depreciation.

 Amortization for pollution control, 26 USC 169 (Sec 14) – $1.6 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)

 Eliminate refinery upgrade deduction, 26 USC 179(c) (Sec 14) – $1.6 billion (Joint Committee Taxation for FY13, 14, 15) – eliminates option to expense 50 percent of costs to upgrade refinery.

 Eliminate expensing of capital costs to comply with EPA rules for refineries, 26 USC 179(B) (Sec 14) – would eliminate special deduction for certain oil refineries related to cost of compliance with EPA low-sulfur pollution rules.

 Eliminate environmental remediation expense deduction, 26 USC 198 (Sec 14) – prevents oil/gas industry from taking deduction for certain environmental clean-up costs.
Key– provision, statutory or tax code reference, section of the Sanders/Ellison bill, cost savings estimate over ten year
years and source, and description of provision

 Eliminate intangible drilling oil and gas deduction, 26 USC 263 (Sec 14) – $13.902 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – This provision allows oil and gas companies to immediately deduct the cost of things like wages and supplies, lowering their taxes, instead of normal process of deducting these costs over time.

 Eliminate marginal wells production credit 5 year carryback 26 USC 39(a)(3) (Sec 14) – allows 5 year carryback for marginal wells production credit.

 Eliminate oil and gas Arbitrage bonds exemption 26 USC 148(b)(4 )(Sec 14) – $.086 billion (Green Scissors report 2011, with projections) -

 Eliminate alternative fuel credit for natural gas 26 USC 30C(c) (Sec 15) – $.176 billion (Joint Committee Taxation) – currently natural gas qualifies as an alternative fuel eligible for a tax credit, this provision would remove the credit for natural gas.

 7 year amortization, 26 USC 167(h) (Sec 16) – $1.4 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – tax break created in 2005 to allow certain oil and gas corporations to more quickly amortize incidental drilling costs, reducing taxes paid. This proposal would eliminate the current 2 year amortization and extend it to 7 years.

 Natural gas gathering lines 15 year property, 26 USC 168(e)(3) (Sec 17) – $.5 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – eliminates special provision allowing for 7 year depreciation for natural gas pipelines, returning to the standard 15 year depreciation.

 Increase Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund Financing, 26 USC 4611(c)(2), and Apply Oil Spill taxes to tar sands oil, 26 USC 4612(a) (Sec 24 and 25) -$.717 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – this proposal would institute a 1 penny per barrel increase in the tax that funds the oil spill liability trust fund, in response to BP oil spill in Gulf demonstrating the increased need for oil spill funding, and also would extend this tax to tar sands oils which are currently exempt from it.

 Deny deduction for oil spill costs, Part IX, subchapter B chapter 1 IRC (Sec 26) – $6.792 billion (Joint Committee Taxation score of HR 3852) – BP was able to deduct from its tax liability billions of dollars for certain costs related to remediation from the Gulf oil spill. This provision would ensure that corporations responsible for oil spill clean-up and damages do not get a tax break for paying to clean-up their mess.

 Recover lost royalties on offshore drilling through excise tax (Sec 27) – $10.644 billion (Joint Committee Taxation estimate from 2007, likely a conservative estimate today) – In the 1990’s certain offshore leases were provided without requiring royalty payments from industry, as a means of encouraging drilling when prices were very low. These leases did not have a provision to institute royalties when prices moved higher, causing a significant loss of tens of billions to the taxpayer over the life of leases. This excise tax of 13 percent would ensure that corporations not already paying royalties pay their fair share.

 Termination of last in, first out, accounting for fossil fuel companies, 26 USC Section 472 and 473 (Sec 20) – $29.512 billion (President’s FY2013 budget, assumes only 40% of LIFO savings comes from oil and gas companies, per statement from White House)– This provision allows oil and gas companies to minimize the value of their inventories for tax purposes

 Dual Taxpayer Deduction, 26 USC 901 (Sec 23) – $10.724 billion (President’s FY2013 budget, U.S. Chamber of Commerce says “nearly all” dual capacity taxpayers are oil and gas corporations) – allows oil and gas companies that operate overseas to classify royalty payments to foreign governments as taxes, thereby reducing their U.S. taxes because foreign taxes, unlike royalty payments, are fully deductable.

TOTAL OIL AND GAS – $101.293 billion over ten years

Key– provision, statutory or tax code reference, section of the Sanders/Ellison bill, cost savings estimate over ten year years and source, and description of provision

COAL

 Eliminate mining exploration deduction, 26 USC 617 (sec 14) – $.44 billion (President’s FY2013 budget) – allows coal mining companies to deduct certain exploration and development costs.

 Eliminate mining and solid waste costs 26 USC 468 (Sec 14) – $.4 billion (Joint Committee Taxation) – tax deduction for certain costs related to mining and waste site reclamation and closure.

 Eliminate credit for carbon dioxide sequestration 26 USC 45Q (Sec 15) – provides tax credit of between $10 and $20 per metric ton of carbon sequestered by industrial facilities such as coal plants.

 Eliminate advanced coal credits 26 USC 48A and 48B (Sec 14) – $2 billion (Joint Committee Taxation based on projection of 5 year estimate) – tax credits provided for construction of advanced coal plants.

 Repeal domestic manufacturing deduction for mining, 26 USC 199(c)(4) (Sec 18, 19) – $.271 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)– This provision, from a 2004 law, allows coal industry to claim it is a ‘manufacturer’ and claim deductions aimed at incentivizing American manufacturing.

 Termination of capital gains treatment for royalties from coal, 26 USC 631 (Sec 22) – $.422 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)– this provision was enacted in 1951, and allows coal companies to treat income from coal mines as a capital gain, taxed at 15 percent maximum, instead of regular income which could be taxed at a much higher rate.

 Designate Powder River Basin coal-producing region (Sec 28) – would require BLM to designate Powder River Basin a “coal-producing region” giving federal government more impetus and authority to get a fair return on leases, and not to simply provided leases based on industry needs.

 Fair Market value study Powder River Basin (Sec 28) – requires BLM to do a fair market value study of Powder River Basin to determine if taxpayers are getting a fair return for leases.

 Repeal percentage depletion for coal 26 USC 613 (Sec 21) – $1.744 billion (President’s FY2013 budget)– allows coal companies to deduct 10 percent of their sales revenue to reflect declining value of their investment, regardless of actual value of their investment.

 Eliminate DOE loan guarantees for advanced coal projects, 42 USC 16513 (Sec 10) – $.08 billion ($8 billion in loan guarantees with risk to government calculated at .01%, but risk could be much higher)

TOTAL COAL – $5.357 billion over ten years

Key– provision, statutory or tax code reference, section of the Sanders/Ellison bill, cost savings estimate over ten year years and source, and description of provision

Other FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES

 Eliminate nonconventional fuel credit, 26 USC 45K (sec 14) – provides a tax credit for nonconventional fuels including produced from coal and other fossil fuels.

 Increase onshore public lands royalty rate to 18.75 percent, 30 USC 207, 223, 226 (Sec 4) – $.625 billion (Bureau Land Management budget justification FY2013) – would bring onshore public lands royalty rates in line with offshore royalty rates.

 Rescission of funds for World Bank Financing (Sec 7) – would rescind existing funding, and impose a future prohibition, on using U.S. taxpayer funds to finance fossil fuel projects through the World Bank. In 2010 the World Bank provided $4.4 billion for coal financing.

 Termination of DOE office of fossil energy R&D, 42 USC 7133 (Sec 8 ) – $3.68 billion (based on FY2012 DOE budget, over ten years, assuming no increase) – would eliminate taxpayer-backed research and development programs for the fossil fuel industry.

 ARPA-E no funding for fossil fuels (Sec 9) – would eliminate taxpayer-backed research and development programs for fossil fuel industry.

 Eliminate USDA loans or guarantees for coal, oil, or gas, 7 USC 931 (Sec 11) – would eliminate USDA loans or loan guarantees for coal plants, as well as other fossil fuel plants or projects.

 Rescission of funds for OPIC and Export-Import Bank (Sec 12) – Would rescind existing funds, and impose a future prohibition, on using U.S. taxpayer funds to finance fossil fuel projects through OPIC and Export-Import Bank. In 2011 the Export-Import Bank helped to finance nearly $5 billion in oil and gas industry projects, and hundreds of millions for coal-related projects.

 No Federal transportation funding for coal, oil, or gas rail or port projects (Sec 13) – would prohibit federal transportation funds for rail or port projects designed to transport and/or export fossil fuels.

 Eliminate Master Limited Partnerships for oil and gas and coal companies, 26 USC 7704(d)(1)(E) (Sec 14) – $2.4 billion (Joint Committee Taxation, based on projection of 5 year estimate) – would eliminate special partnership option for fossil fuel corporations and investors which is currently not available for clean energy companies.

 Additional subsidies (Sec 29) – requires the Treasury Department to identify any additional fossil fuel production subsidies not already eliminated in this bill, and issue a report to Congress quantifying their cost to the taxpayer.

TOTAL OTHER FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES – $6.705 billion over ten years

GRAND TOTAL, ALL FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES – $113.355 billion over ten years

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/EPW_Act_Section_by_Section.pdf

Become a citizen co-sponsor here: :icon_sunny:

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/end-polluter-welfare/

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