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Sun May 27, 2018, 12:06 PM

It looks like we topped out at 411.86 ppm this year.

Every year the carbon dioxide concentration in the planetary atmosphere peaks in May and generally falls until September. It may be thought of as a sinusoidal wave superimposed on a rising almost linear axis as the Mauna Loa data page shows.

Actually the axis is not strictly linear, the rate of increase (the second derivative), irrespective of year to year fluctuations, has been increasing since records have been kept beginning in 1958.

The week ending May 13, 2018 came in at 411.85 ppm, compared with 388.88 just 10 years ago, despite a two trillion wasted oxymoronically defined "investment" in so called "renewable energy" in the last ten years.

This year compared to the record setting years of 2015 and 2016 is relatively mild, because it is a post-El Nino year, but overall, we are now at a second derivative that approximates 2.2 ppm/year, as opposed to 1.5 ppm per year in the 20th century.

CO2 growth rates at Mauna Loa

No one alive on this planet will every again see a reading of below 400 ppm.

Congrats to that bourgeois asshole, Bill McKibben at "350.org" who wants to tear up every bit of ground on the planet to embrace his idiotic and unworkable 100% (so called) "renewable energy" scheme.

It didn't work; it isn't working and it won't work.

Bill however is far too cowardly to take a break from journalism to open a science book or to say the world "nuclear." Like many on the fairy tale zone of pretending to care about climate change, he doesn't give a shit about what works, but only about what he fantasizes will work.

It scares him, nuclear, far more than climate change itself does, which, of course, is all you need to know about how little he actually knows and about how little he actually cares.

If I sound bitter, I am. History will not forgive us, nor should it.

I hope you're having a pleasant Memorial Day weekend.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #1)

Sun May 27, 2018, 07:21 PM

3. Like all the denial horseshit about so called...

...."renewable energy" this graph shows precisely how little the advocates actually know about scale.

The y axis on this scale is ridiculously trivial compared to the scale at which dangerous fossil fuel waste is accumulating.

Declaring this grotesque failure to address climate change as some kind of victory is the equivalent of Nixon declaring victory in Vietnam.

It does show however how arrogant cluelessness works,

The atmosphere, by contrast is telling the truth.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #3)

Mon May 28, 2018, 03:58 AM

6. More renewable energy is coming on line than new nuclear

It takes 10-20 years to build a new nuclear plant in the US (well it would if anyone were building them without going bankrupt) We can install new renewable generation far faster than we can build new nuke plants (unless you have the plans for a working fusion reactor that nobody knows about).

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #6)

Mon May 28, 2018, 04:52 AM

7. If you don't know what you're talking about, make stuff up.

Last edited Mon May 28, 2018, 10:20 AM - Edit history (2)

Right now on this planet, which is being destroyed by ignorance, combined, the solar and wind industries combined on this planet, after 50 years of insipid cheering by mindless people holding contempt for science and engineering, produced less than 10 exajoules of the 567 exajoules humanity was consuming as of 2016.

Despite cat calls from people who hate scientists and engineers, and despise science and engineering, the nuclear industry was constructed in about 25 years, and has consistently produced 28 exajoules for the entire twentieth century.

This information is presented by the International Energy Agency here:

IEA 2017 World Energy Outlook, Table 2.2 page 79 (I have converted MTOE in the original table to the SI unit exajoules in this text.)

The data here shows that the reported "growth" in so called renewable energy, which has proved useless to address climate change and is in fact, nothing like "renewable" has been at approximately 1/6 the rate of growth of coal, which grew by 60 exajoules while so called renewable energy grew a little over 6 in the 21st century.

The United States built 111 nuclear reactors in about 20 years, from 1960-1980 while producing the lowest electricity prices on the planet in any industrial nation. France built 57 in about 10-15 years, while providing electricity prices that are half those of Germany and less than half of those in Denmark.

The argument that what has already happened is now impossible suggests, if not to people who can't think clearly, to me at least, that some kind of popular delusion has taken hold.

It is true that the growth of nuclear energy has been stalled, but this is not a reflection of engineering capability but is a reflection of public ignorance, criminal ignorance, since nuclear energy saves lives. The fact remains that while nuclear energy has been under attack continuously by people who can't think, who hate the science of the Nobel Laureates who built the industry in less than 40 years from benchtop to a major industry, it still is almost three times the size of the useless, wasteful, expensive front for the fossil fuel industry, the so called "renewable energy" industry.

One can make all the Trumpian distortions to the contrary, and frankly attacks on the nuclear industry have been Trumpian before there was Trump, but the truth is what it is.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #7)

Mon May 28, 2018, 02:37 PM

9. 28 exajoules of nuclear energy for the entire 20th century

Really? Are you sure about that? Besides which, nuclear reactor construction in the US has a long history of massive cost overruns on construction and lengthy delays in start-up. I note that you haven't mentioned the latest attempt to build a nuke plant in the US has driven Westinghouse Nuclear into bankruptcy.

Also you can't compare energy prices across countries without also noting how taxes play a role. That's why gasoline runs $8-10/gallon in Europe despite having the same underlying commodity price as the US.

I'll also point out that the growth in wind and solar in particular have accelerated in the last 10 years as technology has matured and economies of scale have reduced the cost. Most new wind projects are cost competitive with other forms of generation and there is still room to bend the cost curve.

No matter what you think, the US in particular will not accept the kind of growth in nuclear power that would be required to expand capacity much beyond current levels. Nobody wants a nuke plant in their back yard.

Me, I generated 10 MWh from the solar array on my roof last year at a cost cheaper than buying from the grid.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #9)

Tue May 29, 2018, 12:52 AM

13. Again, I am referring to the primary scientific literature, not your backyard.

I also pointed out the fact that the nuclear industry built 111 nuclear reactors in 20 to 25 years while producing the cheapest energy in the industrial world without killing a fraction of the people that die every damn day from air pollution.

This is history, and all the bullshit and lies in the world won't change it.

Redundant future electronic waste, which is what the so called "renewable energy" industry is, needs vast subsidies because it should be obvious to even the most myopic person - but somehow isn't - that requiring two systems to do what one can do is wasteful.

The so called "renewable energy" industry requires back up: By gas. Moreover, since no thermal system can be adiabatic, shutting a system down because the wind is blowing for a half hour, or it's noon with no clouds, requires that energy be wasted. To understand this, one doesn't need a science degree or an engineering degree. One can boil water, turn the heat off, come back in an hour, and see if it boils instantly and is usable to make tea or coffee. If it isn't, you need to invest more energy to make it so, and thus energy is wasted.

If Germany and the off-shore oil and gas drilling hellhole Denmark pay extra taxes in order to keep their destructive crap running and to pay for the redundancy and waste, this is a subsidy that falls the hardest on poor people, not the bourgeois people handing out this line of bull.

The 28 exajoule figure is an annual figure for production. Nuclear power produces 28 exajoules a year, and has done for decades.

The ridiculous, toxic, and unsustainable wind and solar centered so called "renewable energy" industry has never - in 50 years of mindless cheering, produced 10 such exajoules.

As I pointed out, with a reference, to the work of the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental body composed of hundreds of scientists and engineers, the so called "renewable energy" industry grew in the 21st century at 1/6 the rate of coal.

Again, if one actually cares about the world, and about energy and the environment, one can open the document up:

IEA 2017 World Energy Outlook, Table 2.2 page 79 (I have converted MTOE in the original table to the SI unit exajoules in this text.)

The ratio is the same in both exajoules and MTOE.

If you think this is wonderful, you're part of the problem. This purported "accelerating" growth, which soaked two trillion dollars out of the world economy for no good reason is clearly useless and inadequate.

In 2000, 80% of world energy came from dangerous fossil fuels. In 2001 81% did. In absolute terms, and not the "percent talk" in which the advocates of so called "renewable energy" couch their indifference to environmental reality, since world energy demand grew by 155 exajoules per year in that time, this means that fossil fuel use grew by 129 exajoules, which is the equivalent of adding another nation that consumed as much energy as 1 and 1/3 United States consumptions to the world equation.

To any serious environmentalist, as opposed to bourgeois types celebrating their back yard solar cells (which will be electronic waste in 20 to 25 years) this represents a serious problem.

We're at close to 412 ppm of dangerous fossil fuel waste in the planetary atmosphere as of this writing and no one, absolutely no one, now living will ever again see readings less than 400 ppm again, particularly because anti-nukes are so comfortable spouting delusional nonsense.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #1)

Sun May 27, 2018, 08:58 PM

4. 178 million tons of CO2 equivalent sounds like a lot, until you know the scale

We release over 30 billion (30,000 million) tons annually. 178 million tons of CO2 is two days worth of global emissions!

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #4)

Mon May 28, 2018, 03:52 AM

5. Gotta start somewhere.

We are not going to shut off our CO2 emissions overnight and saving 2 days worth of emissions is better than saving 1 day. The planet uses over 9 billion barrels of oil per year. It took 150 years to get to that level. In that light, the progress we are making with renewables is remarkable.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #5)

Mon May 28, 2018, 07:06 PM

10. It's a bad start.

The commitment to gas as "backup" power is a horrible idea. Investors will expect new gas plants to pay for themselves whether or not the solar and wind schemes new gas plants support are successful or not.

One third "renewable" and two-thirds gas isn't going to save the world.

Every renewable energy anti-nuclear activist I meet becomes a feckless shill for the "natural" gas industry.

There ain't nothing natural about gas. We humans had best leave it in the ground.

I'm some kind of Luddite but I believe everyone on earth deserves flush toilets connected to sewage plants that clean water to potable standards, a few lights to read by at night, and clean stoves to cook with.

It's not asking much, but it requires zero carbon energy or else earth's environment as we know it ends.

Hybrid renewable energy -slash- gas systems are not zero carbon. Most of them are one-third renewable, two-thirds fossil fuel, at best.

Hydroelectric power sucks too. And, no, batteries will not save us.

The only way to quit fossil fuels is to quit fossil fuels. It's like smoking. Switching from ordinary cigarettes to "lite" cigarettes, one third less tar and nicotine, ain't gonna help much compared to quitting cigarettes entirely.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #4)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:14 AM

8. We're at 35 billion tons per year, the growth having taken place during the so called...

..."renewable energy revolution."

The people responsible for this state of affairs have been too ignorant to grasp that there was a reason that humanity abandoned so called "renewable energy" at the beginning of the 19th century. The reason was that most people, even more than today, lived short miserable lives of dire poverty.

The population of the planet was less 1/7th of what it is today.

One thing that characterizes the bourgeois anti-nuke pro-"renewable energy" advocates is their absolute contempt for poor people on this planet.

The poor people on this planet mine the toxic materials that are used to make so called "renewable energy" crap, and they will "recycle" them as well.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun May 27, 2018, 05:15 PM

2. It does look like quadratic growth overall. 5 year GDP growth is...

...is probably a very good predictor. I say 5 year because there appears to be no blip from the 2008-9 deep recession.

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Response to Lucky Luciano (Reply #2)

Mon May 28, 2018, 07:09 PM

11. This number we now call "economic productivity..."

... is a direct measure of the damage we are doing to what's left of the earth's natural environment and our own human spirit.

We should fix that.

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Response to hunter (Reply #11)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:21 PM

12. Economic productivity is directly tied to fossil fuels

No matter how the renewable priests try to spin reality. CO2 emissions are therefore a very good proxy for the accelerating IPAT damage we're doing to the biosphere.

Unless and until the global economy crashes permanently - or a miracle occurs - the biosphere (including us) is fucked.

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