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Letter: An energy source for the future

In the June 26 Monitor were articles titled “Obama outlines plan to combat climate change” and, by Joshua Keating, “Climate change problems for the 1 percenters.”

Keating horribly understates the problems facing mankind, and I applaud President Obama’s choice to bypass Congress. If left to Congress to pass legislation reducing carbon dioxide, our species is surely doomed.

A book in the Concord library, Energy for Future Presidents by Richard Mueller, a physicist at UC Berkeley’s Earth Surface Temperature project, leaves little doubt of the severity of global warming. His project used more than a billion temperature measurements going back to the mid-1700s to show that global temperatures were fairly steady until around 1950, when levels worldwide started to rise.

While reducing our use of electricity is the cheapest, easiest way to reduce our carbon footprint, our elected representatives must take steps to stop burning coal to generate electricity. Substituting solar and wind generation would create jobs in those fields to replace those lost by reduced coal mining. However, whereas Seabrook uses superheated steam in an above-ground plant that generates about 1.5 megawatts, a new technique would use a liquid (melted) salt to transfer heat from the nuclear pile to dynamos.

A modular nuclear power plant has been designed to be manufactured and transported to location, then placed into the ground, with little above-ground. This melted salt process is about one-fifth as large as Seabrook, enough for a city of 40,000. Nuclear fuel can come from a variety of places, but the waste from these plants is minimal and the fuel only replaced after about 30 years.

Our future generations will be dying by the millions in climates that are too dry to produce adequate food supplies and too hot to survive in, unless carbon generation is stopped and soon.

WALTER CARLSON

Concord

Legacy Comments18

Sail...to see what REAL scientists have to say about AGW, check out what Union of Concerned Scientists have to say. Note: UCS is neither government supported, nor corporation supported, nor a PAC supported by billionaires. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/

The Union of Concerned Scientists are not climatologists or meteorologists and in fact, most of their membership consists of social scientists, biologists, teachers, professors, botanists, gynecologists, dentists, nurse practitioners, etc. Many "scientists" but not experts on the climate. If you think that climate change has nothing to do with politics, think again, it does.......

Itsa...The UCS is composed of a wide variety of scientists. Scientists, you know, those who use the scientific method to learn, and have their work peer-reviewed BEFORE it is published, these compose the UCS committee on global warming. Mat Guzman, in 'Ovehreated' reviewed hundreds of climate-related, peer-reviewed articles before writing his book. You should read it. Climate change, anthropogenic global warming...yes... nothing to do with politics...absolutely...it comes from burning fossil fuels to create increasingly large amounts of carbon dioxide in our one and only atmosphere. What does have something to do with politics is how much money right-wing, coal producing, petroleum producing CORPORATIONS and billionaires (think Koch) want to increase fossil fuel burning (so they can get richer) and really don't care that warming the entire EARTH by several degrees would result in three or five foot rise of sea level. So what if 40 nations are wiped out. The rich corporatists fund politicians with little scruples who are more loyal to the big bucks than those who voted for them. IF the US has to rely on our Congress to pass laws to reduce CO2, we are all doomed. A warming earth producing less food will results, in a few decades, in millions starving. The rich will have plenty, thought, so they won't worry.

FACT ......CO2 Emissions today are back down to 1992 levels.

Yep, CO2 emissions have dropped, to 1992 levels-IN THE US. Probably because natural gas is replacing coal in power plants. Worldwide CO2 emissions...well, that is another story, China and India are still building coal power plants, although China IS looking into using natural gas rather than coal. WHEN and IF all world power plants convert to natural gas, it may slow, but will not stop CO2 levels from rising. Creating electricity from wind, solar AND nuclear is the only way to reduce CO2 levels while meeting electricity demand.

Not so, scientists in name only. Peer review can be political as well. Remember East Anglia and the emails?

Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study.....teehee - really - ........Judith Curry the co author of Mullers study recently said the earth has cooled since 2002......Professor Judith Curry -on June 14, 2013: “Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year ‘pause’ to the cooling since 2002. This period since 2002 is scientifically interesting, since it coincides with the ‘climate shift’ circa 2001/2002 posited by Tsonis and others. This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provides a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 yr ‘pause’.”

sail...you found Climate Depot. Nice quote. Not very clear, though. Maybe you should read this headline: 16 January 2013 NASA: 2012 Was 9th Warmest Year on Record. The 9 Warmest Years Have All Occurred Since 1998. The warm year not mentioned was 1934; although it was US warmth, not world warmth. Or this from Wikipedia: There is a scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.[21] The scientific consensus is reflected in, for example, reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and US Global Change Research Program. It appears that scientific concensus is irrelevant, sail, in your thinking.

NASA - teehee your kidding right? HEADLINE: Team of Ex-NASA Scientists Concludes No Imminent Threat from Man-Made CO2.......WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – A group of 20 ex-NASA scientists have concluded that the science used to support the man-made climate change hypothesis is not settled and no convincing physical evidence exists to support catastrophic climate change forecasts.

The Right Climate Stuff...teehee,,,,sail, you really should try to read, and understand, what follows the headlines. These former NASA scientists are NOT saying they disagree with AGW. Only that they want some recognition for their work AFTER they get done and publish it. So far, they have not published anything pro or con. NOTHING.

HEADLINE: NASA gets caught fudging the temperature record By D.J. McGuire, Thursday, September 27, 2012 ......I wrote recently about NASA changing its entire temperature record database, just from July to September. That is, in 2012, NASA changed temperatures going back to 1880. And it did that without telling anyone or explaining it. The net effect was to make the 130-year warming trend steeper, by lowering older (pre-1963) temperatures and slightly raising recent ones......google it

teehee...sail...you really need to read, and UNDERSTAND, what your references are saying. Ex.the NASA discussion : "the thermosphere absorbed 26 billion kWh of energy. Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space." But, Natural News states: "The result was an overall cooling effect that completely contradicts claims made by NASA's own climatology division that greenhouse gases are a cause of global warming." NN makes not attempt to find the missing 5%. In effect, Natural News was misstating NASA. Oh, and don't you find it interesting that both 'Watts Up With That' and Natural News use their articles as references for other articles. You call them 'peer-reviewed'???

sail...teehee..Judith Curry. Please note that she was not/is not associated with the BEST project. Further, her blob, Climate, Etc. is neither pro nor con global warming. It is, however, a scientist's careful approach offering a venue for both sides to discuss their findings. I just left a message on it. Thanks for pushing me to expand my horizon.

"Global temperatures have been flat for 16 years — a curious time to unveil a grand, hugely costly, socially disruptive anti-warming program. Net effect: tens of thousands of jobs killed, entire states impoverished. This at a time of chronically and crushingly high unemployment, slow growth, jittery markets and deep economic uncertainty.The United States has already radically cut carbon dioxide emissions — more than any country on earth since 2006, according to the International Energy Agency. Emissions today are back down to 1992 levels" ....those are uncontroversial FACTS

Sail...I don't know where you got those 'uncontrovertible facts', but you really need to do some REAL fact research. I strongly suggest that you go to the Concord Library and check out "Overheated' by Matt Guzman. Guzman is an economist and attorney-not someone who would have a 'dog in the fight'. However, he has read hundreds of peer-reviewed manuscripts by professional climatologists and meteorologist. You might get very frightened by what you read. Or, you could check out the book by Mueller. But, of course, that would require that you look into the subject...really read what experts say. It could frighten you.

He got these 'facts' from renowned climate scientist Charles Krauthammer, whose opinion piece appeared in the Washington Post on July 4th. For how Dr. K got his facts wrong, read here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/charles-krauthammer-flat-earther-global-warming-folly.html

Bruce...thanks for the link. Sail seems to have avoided the whole article. In his book, Mueller, describes the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study. He found that over 12,000 temperature reporting sites showed BELOW average temperatures while more than 24,000 reported ABOVE average temperatures. Averaging them, of course, shows temps rising; something the deniers don't want to discuss. Guzman says that more than 40 island nations will disappear in the next four or five decades as sea level rises. Something the deniers definitely don't want to discuss.

That is a blog which is just another opinion site. "Skeptical Science (occasionally abbreviated SkS) is a climate science blog and information resource created in 2007 by Australian blogger and author John Cook" A blog, anyone can put one of those up on the internet.

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