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In an earlier thread on ridiculous green proposals I was shocked by people who insisted on defending those bizarre proposals, and who refused to be argued out of them. The supposition, by some individuals, seems to be that if its to do green energy it must be right. Here is a talk by a guy those people might listen to .. He is Michael Shellenberger, a Time Magazine 'Hero of the Environment' described as an eco-modernist and eco-pragmatist. He points to the huge and growing problems of using renewables, the immense damage they do to the environment and how they have  caused higher prices where ever they have been used. His solution that nuclear is the only way to go will, obviously, be deeply unpopular but that cannot be helped. If emissions are a concern nuclear is the only possible answer. 

If the link doesn't work cut and paste this into your browser.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-yALPEpV4w&list=PLMlWXPe-tv3QNI0SJgDnxBlNS4C63dl9p&index=16&t=532s

 

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Absolutely right, The few with the biggest mouth’s making Billions on this green agenda ( Al Gore!) American’s are not stupid, Technology has allowed our Country to use the DECADES of fossil fuels energy on our lands and offshore, WHY IN THE HELL WOULD WE NOT USE IT! Since the 70’s I have listened to the propaganda of coming Ice Age, then huge Temperature Increases, Such BS!!! Know scientists know how this great planet how’s to cycle so they should just STFU!

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35 minutes ago, markslawson said:

In an earlier thread on ridiculous green proposals I was shocked by people who insisted on defending those bizarre proposals, and who refused to be argued out of them. The supposition, by some individuals, seems to be that if its to do green energy it must be right. Here is a talk by a guy those people might listen to .. He is Michael Shellenberger, a Time Magazine 'Hero of the Environment' described as an eco-modernist and eco-pragmatist. He points to the huge and growing problems of using renewables, the immense damage they do to the environment and how they have  caused higher prices where ever they have been used. His solution that nuclear is the only way to go will, obviously, be deeply unpopular but that cannot be helped. If emissions are a concern nuclear is the only possible answer. 

If the link doesn't work cut and paste this into your browser.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-yALPEpV4w&list=PLMlWXPe-tv3QNI0SJgDnxBlNS4C63dl9p&index=16&t=532s

 

One of the problems Canadian mining companies run into whenever they propose to open a new mine is some huge outpouring of resistance from activists and 'First Nations' representatives. Often those who are promoting the mine find that the activists are misinformed - much of what the activists say the mining companies are going to do is ridiculous - way out of proportion or environmental damage that would clearly be illegal under Canadian law. When they find the source of the funding, it turns out to be foreign interests that already have competing properties. The 'activists' are hired to frustrate competitors to existing companies.

The instant someone's 'blanket solution' is 'nuclear is the only way to go' it's reasonable to assume someone is trying to kill a viable competitor. There is no doubt renewables cause some environmental damage, and this may include migratory bird die-offs and loss of habitat due to deforestation. Wind turbines aren't the only things that kill birds - the worst offenders are tall buildings. If we have to get rid of the turbines, then we need to outlaw skyscrapers first.

The TED talk I'm watching may not be the same link, but some of the terminology that shows up 'large land areas'. He doesn't define what 'large' is. He describes the Ivanpah solar concentrator as a 'Solar Farm' - it's a solar concentrator, and is already obsolete and shut down. This is a blatantly misleading narrative. His charts and graphs show solar and wind costing 'twice as much' for 'half the output', which is a legitimate assertion for 2018-2019. Renewable costs, just like every other energy source, have volatile cost components. Renewable costs are mostly trending down, along with most other energy sources.

"Renewables require 17 times more material than nuclear plants". The first problem with this is the nature of the materials - silicon and aluminum are the most common elements in the Earth's crust after oxygen. In other words, so what? Then he goes on to assert that 'discarded solar panels will be shipped to third world countries where workers will be exposed to lead, cadmium, and chromium'. OK, where is the lead, cadmium, and chromium in solar panels? How do we get to those toxins from waste that doesn't contain them? In any case 'experts fear...' isn't anything more than someone's conjecture. Aluminum and glass are easy to recycle. Photovoltaic cells can be converted back to silane gas (SiH4) to make new PVs.

'Sunlight is really diffuse and dilute', but it shines 'everywhere'. Meaning someone on Fiji can put up a solar panel, in a situation where a nuclear plant would be impractical. 'New version of Blade Runner, where all of California's deserts are paved with solar farms'. Anyone that does the math on this realizes that the area needed to run the entire US is a square about 100 miles on a side. There is more 'disturbed earth' in the Permian Basin, not to mention the Nevada Test Site. In any case, this is a reference to a work of fiction.

"It's hard to ramp nuclear up and down". This would be immaterial as we move more toward power storage. Nuclear plants are 'baseload', generating constant output. Except that power demand isn't constant - 3:00 AM power needs are about 40% of daytime peaks. Therefore, storage would allow nuclear to 'flatten' it's production output, just like the other power sources.

By the end of this Ted Talk, Shellenberger has not even acknowledged photovoltaic cells. All his facts are rearward facing. The picture of two workers on a burning wind turbine dates from 2013 - it's likely that the safety issues exposed from that accident have been addressed.

It's likely that this narrative has a sponsor, and that sponsor is staying well out of sight.

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1 hour ago, RichieRich216 said:

Absolutely right, The few with the biggest mouth’s making Billions on this green agenda ( Al Gore!) American’s are not stupid, Technology has allowed our Country to use the DECADES of fossil fuels energy on our lands and offshore, WHY IN THE HELL WOULD WE NOT USE IT! Since the 70’s I have listened to the propaganda of coming Ice Age, then huge Temperature Increases, Such BS!!! Know scientists know how this great planet how’s to cycle so they should just STFU!

I think I agree with your comment but, with respect, could you maybe re-write the last line so I can fully understand what you mean?  Thanks.

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13 minutes ago, Meredith Poor said:

One of the problems Canadian mining companies run into whenever they propose to open a new mine is some huge outpouring of resistance from activists and 'First Nations' representatives. Often those who are promoting the mine find that the activists are misinformed - much of what the activists say the mining companies are going to do is ridiculous - way out of proportion or environmental damage that would clearly be illegal under Canadian law. When they find the source of the funding, it turns out to be foreign interests that already have competing properties. The 'activists' are hired to frustrate competitors to existing companies.

The instant someone's 'blanket solution' is 'nuclear is the only way to go' it's reasonable to assume someone is trying to kill a viable competitor. There is no doubt renewables cause some environmental damage, and this may include migratory bird die-offs and loss of habitat due to deforestation. Wind turbines aren't the only things that kill birds - the worst offenders are tall buildings. If we have to get rid of the turbines, then we need to outlaw skyscrapers first.

The TED talk I'm watching may not be the same link, but some of the terminology that shows up 'large land areas'. He doesn't define what 'large' is. He describes the Ivanpah solar concentrator as a 'Solar Farm' - it's a solar concentrator, and is already obsolete and shut down. This is a blatantly misleading narrative. His charts and graphs show solar and wind costing 'twice as much' for 'half the output', which is a legitimate assertion for 2018-2019. Renewable costs, just like every other energy source, have volatile cost components. Renewable costs are mostly trending down, along with most other energy sources.

"Renewables require 17 times more material than nuclear plants". The first problem with this is the nature of the materials - silicon and aluminum are the most common elements in the Earth's crust after oxygen. In other words, so what? Then he goes on to assert that 'discarded solar panels will be shipped to third world countries where workers will be exposed to lead, cadmium, and chromium'. OK, where is the lead, cadmium, and chromium in solar panels? How do we get to those toxins from waste that doesn't contain them? In any case 'experts fear...' isn't anything more than someone's conjecture. Aluminum and glass are easy to recycle. Photovoltaic cells can be converted back to silane gas (SiH4) to make new PVs.

'Sunlight is really diffuse and dilute', but it shines 'everywhere'. Meaning someone on Fiji can put up a solar panel, in a situation where a nuclear plant would be impractical. 'New version of Blade Runner, where all of California's deserts are paved with solar farms'. Anyone that does the math on this realizes that the area needed to run the entire US is a square about 100 miles on a side. There is more 'disturbed earth' in the Permian Basin, not to mention the Nevada Test Site. In any case, this is a reference to a work of fiction.

"It's hard to ramp nuclear up and down". This would be immaterial as we move more toward power storage. Nuclear plants are 'baseload', generating constant output. Except that power demand isn't constant - 3:00 AM power needs are about 40% of daytime peaks. Therefore, storage would allow nuclear to 'flatten' it's production output, just like the other power sources.

By the end of this Ted Talk, Shellenberger has not even acknowledged photovoltaic cells. All his facts are rearward facing. The picture of two workers on a burning wind turbine dates from 2013 - it's likely that the safety issues exposed from that accident have been addressed.

It's likely that this narrative has a sponsor, and that sponsor is staying well out of sight.

An interesting, seemingly well thought out summary and comment.  Thanks for the perspective.  I enjoy a reasoned non-biased summary of either side's biased presentation, and you seem to have provided just that.  Cheers!

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11 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

The instant someone's 'blanket solution' is 'nuclear is the only way to go' it's reasonable to assume someone is trying to kill a viable competitor.

Not necessarily.  As was pointed out, France is heavily invested in nuclear.  Nonetheless, they came up with this interesting solution to office-hours loads, in an office building in the south of France which houses offices for the national electricity utility:

1425512169_solarbuildingwall.PNG.650df8df4b5705af8f9120ef4519e26c.PNG

These heliostats, facing southward, shield the offices from direct sun and thus reduce the air condition load on the building. It is small-scale reflecting solar, so you don't get the problems found at the Ivanpah collector in California.  The panels are stacked vertical, so not as if they take land away from the tortoises. And not shining up in the air, you are not blinding out the pilots either.  Seems like a rather elegant solution to me. 

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12 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

The TED talk I'm watching may not be the same link, but some of the terminology that shows up 'large land areas'. He doesn't define what 'large' is. He describes the Ivanpah solar concentrator as a 'Solar Farm' - it's a solar concentrator, and is already obsolete and shut down. This is a blatantly misleading narrative. His charts and graphs show solar and wind costing 'twice as much' for 'half the output', which is a legitimate assertion for 2018-2019. Renewable costs, just like every other energy source, have volatile cost components. Renewable costs are mostly trending down, along with most other energy sources.

1. Unless there have been recent modifications, the Ivanpaw was an unmitigated disaster: flaming mirrors that blinded airline pilots, requiring gargantuan amounts of natural gas, emitting many more tons of CO2 than CCGT, not to mention $18/watt energy. 

2. With any new energy source, it would seem that exorbitant costs for ambitious early projects are part of collateral damage for thinking outside the box. The 2.5B for the Ivanpaw seems to be one of those. 

3. To pose an old question, and to use your calculation of a solar farm that would power the entire U.S. to be "a square about 100 miles on a side," what is going to happen to weather patterns when such massive solar energy absorbed by the earth is suddenly subverted? The solar farms built thus far are minuscule in comparison. So the answer is: no one knows. 

4. Shellenberger seems interested in renewables coming about in a thoughtful manner. The Ivanpaw wasn't very thoughtful. The Green Energy movement is being propelled by people so angry at FF and so determined to push through their agenda that they're not paying a great deal of attention to what might happen to, say, California, with millions of acres of solar farms, not to mention an ocean filled with windmills. California might just become the renewables capital of the nation, selling energy instead of buying it. Or, alternatively, it might cause such horrific changes in the weather that it will make global warming seem like just another balmy day.

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1 hour ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

what is going to happen to weather patterns when such massive solar energy absorbed by the earth is suddenly subverted?

I can't think of any good reason to pave over one square with solar panels 100 miles on a side, this would be widely distributed across the country. One of the fundamental values of solar is that it is infinitely scalable and both convenient and cost efficient at every scale.

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21 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

The TED talk I'm watching may not be the same link, but some of the terminology that shows up 'large land areas'. He doesn't define what 'large' is. He describes the Ivanpah solar concentrator as a 'Solar Farm' - it's a solar concentrator, and is already obsolete and shut down. This is a blatantly misleading narrative. His charts and graphs show solar and wind costing 'twice as much' for 'half the output', which is a legitimate assertion for 2018-2019. Renewable costs, just like every other energy source, have volatile cost components. Renewable costs are mostly trending down, along with most other energy sources.

I think you'll find the talk is from January of last year, however the point he is making is still valid no matter whether the Ivanpah plant is obsolete or still operating or whatever. The land required for those plants is obviously - just from the photograph - larger than both a conventional coal plant and a coal mine combined, and that's without counting the mining operations required for all the mirrors and so on. As for the point about renewables coming down in price that's obviously not having an effect on power prices in countries where they are used extensively. The exact opposite is the case. The problem is integrating intermittent power into grid operations.

I'm distressed that you must still feel you must defend renewables despite the presenters well reasoned case - however, the ugly fact is that they are no solution. Shellenberger notes that the use of renewables is a romantic notion. In this case romance must be put aside. Leave it with you. 

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21 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:
21 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

It's likely that this narrative has a sponsor, and that sponsor is staying well out of sight.

An interesting, seemingly well thought out summary and comment.  Thanks for the perspective.  I enjoy a reasoned non-biased summary of either side's biased presentation, and you seem to have provided just that.  Cheers!

Dan - it is nothing of the sort and M Poor's comment about sponsors is entirely unwarranted and unjustified by the content, nor did the response go an way towards showing that it did. You and M Poor should hang your heads in shame. It obviously wasn't sponsored in any way - none of the TED talks are - it just did not agree with deeply held prejudices. Go and look at the response. Sit down and think. 

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10 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Not necessarily.  As was pointed out, France is heavily invested in nuclear.  Nonetheless, they came up with this interesting solution to office-hours loads, in an office building in the south of France which houses offices for the national electricity utility:

1425512169_solarbuildingwall.PNG.650df8df4b5705af8f9120ef4519e26c.PNG

These heliostats, facing southward, shield the offices from direct sun and thus reduce the air condition load on the building. It is small-scale reflecting solar, so you don't get the problems found at the Ivanpah collector in California.  The panels are stacked vertical, so not as if they take land away from the tortoises. And not shining up in the air, you are not blinding out the pilots either.  Seems like a rather elegant solution to me. 

image.png.d9fbd53bde6e55af90401c724f5853bd.png

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2 minutes ago, markslawson said:

Dan - it is nothing of the sort and M Poor's comment about sponsors is entirely unwarranted and unjustified by the content, nor did the response go an way towards showing that it did. You and M Poor should hang your heads in shame. It obviously wasn't sponsored in any way - none of the TED talks are - it just did not agree with deeply held prejudices. Go and look at the response. Sit down and think. 

I enjoyed reading it.  Not taking sides or saying he convinced me of anything.  It was well written and didn't appear snarky.  So sue me.  :) 

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(edited)

22 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

"It's hard to ramp nuclear up and down". This would be immaterial as we move more toward power storage. Nuclear plants are 'baseload', generating constant output. Except that power demand isn't constant - 3:00 AM power needs are about 40% of daytime peaks. Therefore, storage would allow nuclear to 'flatten' it's production output, just like the other power sources.

By the end of this Ted Talk, Shellenberger has not even acknowledged photovoltaic cells. All his facts are rearward facing. The picture of two workers on a burning wind turbine dates from 2013 - it's likely that the safety issues exposed from that accident have been addressed.

It's likely that this narrative has a sponsor, and that sponsor is staying well out of sight.

I was horrified to read the last sentence which I did not until someone pointed it out. This is unworthy and completely unjustified by your attempts to critique it. The comments about nuclear are besides the point. And I'm sorry to have to tell you this but nuclear is the only way to go if you want to eliminate emissions.. and I'm not sponsored by anyone.. where do I sign up for these mythical sponsors? That way I'd be paid to put up with nonsense, rather than having to do it for free.. 

Edited by markslawson
clarification
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4 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

I enjoyed reading it.  Not taking sides or saying he convinced me of anything.  It was well written and didn't appear snarky.  So sue me.  :) 

Well, we'll leave it at that.. it was M Poor's silly, completely unjustified comment about sponsorship which your comment seemed to endorse which set me off.. but anyway.. do you know where to sign up for these sponsor ships? they sound good.. 

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40 minutes ago, markslawson said:

Well, we'll leave it at that.. it was M Poor's silly, completely unjustified comment about sponsorship which your comment seemed to endorse which set me off.. but anyway.. do you know where to sign up for these sponsor ships? they sound good.. 

Sorry Mark, I don't even remember anything about sponsorship.  I thought his comment was quoting a source.  I promise I'll pay more attention from now on.  :) 

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48 minutes ago, markslawson said:

I think you'll find the talk is from January of last year, however the point he is making is still valid no matter whether the Ivanpah plant is obsolete or still operating or whatever. The land required for those plants is obviously - just from the photograph - larger than both a conventional coal plant and a coal mine combined, and that's without counting the mining operations required for all the mirrors and so on. As for the point about renewables coming down in price that's obviously not having an effect on power prices in countries where they are used extensively. The exact opposite is the case. The problem is integrating intermittent power into grid operations.

I'm distressed that you must still feel you must defend renewables despite the presenters well reasoned case - however, the ugly fact is that they are no solution. Shellenberger notes that the use of renewables is a romantic notion. In this case romance must be put aside. Leave it with you. 

The attached map shows the area of the Permian Basin. The area required to power the entire US with solar is less than one quarter of this area. It would probably fit just about right in the New Mexico portion of the region. To get an idea of how extensively this area is torn up, drill down using Google Maps in satellite view.

The points he is making are irrelevant and based on flimsy premises.

If humanity figures out how to power the industrialized world with fusion power I'm all for it, including removing the wind turbines, as well as hydroelectric dams. What I have a serious problem with is uranium fission based nuclear. This has a raft of problems that he ignores, most of which are related to careless or faulty engineering or operations. Nuclear plants go over budget and turn out to be incompetently engineered. This is such a recurring experience that further investments in this direction should be avoided. Once they go bad they are obscenely expensive to clean up.

PermianBasin.png

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59 minutes ago, markslawson said:

You and M Poor should hang your heads in shame.

This kind of lecture has the hallmark of a disinformation campaign. It might be sponsored by Russia, China, the nuclear industry, or even fossil fuel interests. Since nuclear is so politically unpopular, discrediting renewables leaves one politically viable energy source - oil or natural gas.

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56 minutes ago, markslawson said:

and I'm not sponsored by anyone

Are you Mr Shellenberger? He's the one I suspect is either being sponsored or blackmailed.

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On 11/2/2020 at 5:37 PM, markslawson said:

In an earlier thread on ridiculous green proposals I was shocked by people who insisted on defending those bizarre proposals, and who refused to be argued out of them. The supposition, by some individuals, seems to be that if its to do green energy it must be right. Here is a talk by a guy those people might listen to .. He is Michael Shellenberger, a Time Magazine 'Hero of the Environment' described as an eco-modernist and eco-pragmatist. He points to the huge and growing problems of using renewables, the immense damage they do to the environment and how they have  caused higher prices where ever they have been used. His solution that nuclear is the only way to go will, obviously, be deeply unpopular but that cannot be helped. If emissions are a concern nuclear is the only possible answer. 

If the link doesn't work cut and paste this into your browser.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-yALPEpV4w&list=PLMlWXPe-tv3QNI0SJgDnxBlNS4C63dl9p&index=16&t=532s

 

Mr. Mark the only answer to pollution, climate change and resource depletion is cutting population. You seem to think you can speak for non red necks but your mistaken. And I will forever fight this disinformation campaign. 
Of course no immigration would help, drastically reduced trade and the profoundly stupid military interventions in the Middle East.

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53 minutes ago, Boat said:

Mr. Mark the only answer to pollution, climate change and resource depletion is cutting population. You seem to think you can speak for non red necks but your mistaken. And I will forever fight this disinformation campaign. 
Of course no immigration would help, drastically reduced trade and the profoundly stupid military interventions in the Middle East.

Rubbish, who says you can speak for non rednecks like me who believe in technology and growth? We do not live on a finite world but in a nearly infinite universe! We can absolutely support the current population with minimal pollution through advances in tech. But as we have seen, increasing wealth through technology is also the most effective method ever discovered to combat population growth. Population at first exploded because it took a few years for adjustment but the birth rate is falling to an equilibrium. Technology also creates vast new amounts of resources for us to exploit. Damn how I hate Malthusians, you guys are the worst!

  

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5 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

This kind of lecture has the hallmark of a disinformation campaign. It might be sponsored by Russia, China, the nuclear industry, or even fossil fuel interests. Since nuclear is so politically unpopular, discrediting renewables leaves one politically viable energy source - oil or natural gas.

Meredith - called out on completely ridiculous allegations you not only fail to provide a scrap of proof for, you become even more hysterical dragging in Russia and China and making flat out contradictory claims .. now he's supposed to be in the pay of fossil fuel industries, although his conclusion is that if you want to skip on emissions then nuclear is the way to go. I chose him because I though it might be someone you'd listen to as his environmental credentials are beyond reproach. He's on Wikipedia for heaven sake, look him up. I won't comment on the rest of your absurd claims about shadowy conspiracy theories and highly questionable logic, but I would urge you to take a few steps back. Time for you to go off and do something else for a time. I certainly won't be replying to any of your additional posts on this threat, at least.    

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5 hours ago, Boat said:

Mr. Mark the only answer to pollution, climate change and resource depletion is cutting population. You seem to think you can speak for non red necks but your mistaken. And I will forever fight this disinformation campaign. 
Of course no immigration would help, drastically reduced trade and the profoundly stupid military interventions in the Middle East.

The thread isn't really about population .. I would suggest another forum altogether.. 

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3 hours ago, Jay McKinsey said:

Rubbish, who says you can speak for non rednecks like me who believe in technology and growth? We do not live on a finite world but in a nearly infinite universe! We can absolutely support the current population with minimal pollution through advances in tech. But as we have seen, increasing wealth through technology is also the most effective method ever discovered to combat population growth. Population at first exploded because it took a few years for adjustment but the birth rate is falling to an equilibrium. Technology also creates vast new amounts of resources for us to exploit. Damn how I hate Malthusians, you guys are the worst!

  

Jay - for once we agree. A miracle.. 

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2 hours ago, markslawson said:

Meredith - called out on completely ridiculous allegations you not only fail to provide a scrap of proof for, you become even more hysterical dragging in Russia and China and making flat out contradictory claims .. now he's supposed to be in the pay of fossil fuel industries, although his conclusion is that if you want to skip on emissions then nuclear is the way to go. I chose him because I though it might be someone you'd listen to as his environmental credentials are beyond reproach. He's on Wikipedia for heaven sake, look him up. I won't comment on the rest of your absurd claims about shadowy conspiracy theories and highly questionable logic, but I would urge you to take a few steps back. Time for you to go off and do something else for a time. I certainly won't be replying to any of your additional posts on this threat, at least.    

1. Provide one fact that you can research on your own: what the US consumes in energy (typically in quadrillion BTUs). For extra credit, divide by the number of hours of sunlight per year, and how much PV panel area would be required to capture that much energy. This is a fact based inquiry, and gets rid of all the invective.

2. How much surface area of the US is covered by asphalt parking lots? Will the replacement of all renewable energy with nuclear change this area in any meaningful way? If we are measuring environmental damage, where do we start?

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