Quite frankly, yes. The amount of energy you can get from a nuclear process is so big, that it's worth it.
If there are good reasons to switch to renewables in the future, then we'll see investments in them in the future. There's no idea to invest heavily in a technology, which is not able to deliver. The only renewable, that is able to produce energy reliably is hydro. Everything else is dependant on others taking care of the business, when they fail.
I am all ok with critisizing nuclear power and making sure that it meets its security requirements. But I expect you to as well face the reality, how horribly unreliable solar and wind power is. No matter how much money and innovation you throw at wind and solar, they still have long periods, when they produce nothing or next to nothing. That's a design flaw that can't be fixed and should not be ignored.
We have a plentiful energy source which is sometimes (regularly) available to us. You are saying we shouldn't use it? Really? Your basis for that argument is that we can't use it all the time. This means we should never use it? I feel I must politely disagree with you there. Would you advise farmers not to grow seasonal vegetables because they cant grow them in winter? Would you advise people in a desert not to collect rainwater because it doesn't fall much in the desert? Would you advise me not to socialise with my friends because sometimes they have to work?
You, like the renewables industry, are comparing apples and oranges. Energy is not seasonal vegetables. Energy has to be produced reliably 24/7, 365 days a year, regardless of what kind of weather there happens to be.
The article is about how an industrialised nation has demonstrated that it is economically and industrially feasible to harvest significant amounts of energy from the sun. Anyone want to talk about that?
They have not showed that. They have demonstrated, that you can build a lot of solar panels and wind mills, if you invest a sickening amount of money in them and pay over 100% in subsidies. When you look closer at the results, you notice that it's anything but economically feasible and it's causing a lot of problems:
Why does everyone think that renewable energy sources will be the first technology ever that works completely the first time, solving all the problems right out of the gate?
Gosh, well, where do I start?
1. We all have to pay big and mandatory subsidies. Those subsidies are the main reason, why renewables are being built.
2. When the renewables are built and operational, they don't solve the problem, which is energy production 24/7 based on demand.
3. Renewables have the right to sell their energy even when there's no demand, but not an obligation to produce, when it is needed.
4. Renewables cause disruption in the power grid.
5. Renewables are marketed as a replacement for proven and reliable technology.
I have no problems whatsoever with renewables, if they'd play by the same rule book:
1. No subsidies.
2. 24/7 production, which would require renewables to provide their own backup power plants.
(And turnabout is fair play. If ten or twenty years from now the temperature hasn't gone up any more and the weird weather events go away without us taking any action about it i'll be willing to stand up and say i was wrong. In fact i'd be quite happy to have that event come about.)
Well, the global temperatures have flat lined for 10 years now while co2 has steadily increased. Will it really take 20-30 years of stable temperatures, before you start even considering, that the AGW crowd just may be wrong?
Ok, I'm back. I don't think I can convince you that the scientists are not right only because they say so. Maybe it's better to move beyond that and agree to disagree. So let's move on to the physics.
Doubling of CO2 will make a difference of about 3.6 W/m2. Of that, 1.8 will radiate up and 1.8 down. If this is handled the same way as solar forcing, that 1.8 will become 2.88 W/m2. Now, the average surface temperature of the earth is 288K, which according to Stefan-Boltzmann's law corresponds to a surface energy of 390.1 W/m2. If that is increased by 2.88 W/m2, we only get a temperature increase of 0.55C, which is quite far from the 2.5C, that you mentioned.
Like you write, we haven't seen a big enough increase in the temperatures. The absense of that should be treated as a sign, that the hypothesis of AWG might be wrong. Instead, the problem is replaced by making a new hypothesis, like a 50 years lag. The satellite measurements have only lasted 25 years. Should we wait an additional 25 or 50 years, until one can prove the lag hypothesis wrong?
The earth is very good at reacting to seasonal changes. Our hemispheres are gaining and losing huge amounts of energy between the seasons. For a long and detailed analysis, please read here: http://www.palisad.com/co2/eb/eb.html
Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating, that we should burn more coal. Even if co2 is a non-issue, they still pollute. I keep my fingers crossed, that the Finnish parliament will give a permit to build 2 new nuclear power plants.
Let me make a quick note, that I really do enjoy your input in this discussion. I'll be traveling for a few days, so I can't continue the discussion right away. As you obviously put down a lot of time and effort in your answer, it is fair, that an answer to it is not sloppy.
I can already see, that there is a big difference between how much we trust the climate scientists.
I have to agree with you about Greenpeace. However, I find it quite strange that you consider RC a reliable source, even though the people controlling that site cooperate with Greenpeace.
McIntyre is absolutely hated by the Mann and Jones and probably the rest of the hockey crew. From the mails you can see that Mann is taking everything about McIntyre very emotionally. In the same mails other scientists do comment, that McIntyre is onto something or that Mann's work has been sloppy. But Mann is pure emotion. So McIntyre's sin is, that he found errors in other peoples work and reported them.
You've mentioned the FOIs a few times. I think you have the time frame wrong. McIntyre politely asked for Mann's data. He got it the first time. When McIntyre asked about problems he found or details, how Mann's MBH98 was done, they decided to stop giving him information. It was only years later, that McIntyre or any other skeptic sent a FOI. Before the first FOI, you can find a lot of e-mails that show, that withholding data, software and methods was their standard way of operating. And that is not scientific at all. And when the first FOI appeared, these guys pulled every rabbit from every hat to not have to disclose information. When these guys started blocking McIntyre, he had really not done anything worth the hate.
How does NASA do their quality control? Nobody knows. They don't share the raw data and software used. Neither does CRU. The only good look at their methods and software has been HARRY_READ_ME.txt and the Fortran code in FOI2009.zip. And Ian Harris is pretty blunt in his comments: "In other words, what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don't think people care enough to fix 'em, and it's the main reason the project is nearly a year late."
Climate Science needs to learn from the Open Source movement. They need to release everything and make sure anyone can reproduce their work. And they have to change their attitude: They should constantly be skeptic about their own work and beg people to find and report bugs. Now they get offended, if someone dares to verify their work or report problems.
To be honest, I also thought, that science works the way you wrote. But reading those e-mails made me think twice. I keep asking myself, what are these people thinking. I know, that there's something wrong, but I can't explain why they act the way they do.
Do these people get so emotional, because they truly think they are right and that their work is correct? Or maybe they think they are doing the right thing by saving the world and anyone disagreeing is automatically bad? And as they are doing the right thing, cutting corners or doing a sloppy work is ok - they know the right answer anyway?
There's no way IPCC will audit this science. The universities are not doing it either. And very few scientists want to face the wrath of the hockey crew by criticizing them. When this is the situation, I appreciate those individuals, who go through the trouble of checking the work of these people. So my hat is off for McIntyre.
However, I'm not a cheerleader or a mindless fan. If I ever find similar damning e-mails from McIntyre, I will criticize him just as hard as I do Mann, Jones, Kelly et al.
Back to the science. There's really no consensus. Even those scientists in the e-mails are not agreeing with each other.
1. Earth is warming. There's really no point in denying that. It's been doing that since the little ice age. The place I sit and type this used to be under gigantic glaciers.
2. Humans are responsible? The science behind this conclusion is anything but solid. It's way too early to state as a fact, that co2 is the explanation. Actually, we don't even know how much the warming has been (thanks to sloppy science), so it's a bit too early to point fingers at the human race.
3. When it comes to the future, even more is uncertain. Scientists don't even know if the earth has positive or negative feedbacks to the warming. In AGW it's assumed that the feedbacks are positive. Lindzen thinks that he has good proof, that the feedbacks are negative. What we know, is that climate models have been very bad at predicting the future. And we know, that the earth is 4.5 billion years old and has survived and rebounded from all kinds of climate changes. So it's even probable, that the feedbacks are negative.
Reducing emissions is so much easier said than done. Fundamental physics, you know
Oh, about IPCC not considering any paper that is less than two years old? If you think that's the case, you really have to read about Caspar and the Jesus paper: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html
You wonder why you can't see the red spot over Finland on NASA's page. On April 16th NASA fixed the problem by removing all the measurements for Finland. The map was updated with data calculated from neighbouring stations. There's no mention about any error ever happening on NASA's page and they don't credit JeanS or climateaudit of noticing the problem. However, I know that the CA picture is real as I saw it myself on NASA's page before they quietly fixed it. There's also a lively discussion about the incident while it happened on a Finnish science site and it shows the same images and data before it was removed.
After this happened, Anthony Watts did some digging and found a good explanation, why errors like these happen. GISS uses METAR data, which is manually input. If temperatures below 0C are not written properly, they are interpreted as above 0C. So -20C suddenly becomes +20C and that has quite an effect on the monthly mean temperature.
For a lot longer and detailed explanation including examples, see: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/17/giss-metar-dial-m-for-missing-minus-signs-its-worse-than-we-thought
Now, the sad thing is, that NASA quietly fixing this makes you (and probably many others too) doubt the integrity of Steve McIntyre.
Sorry, but that editorial of Nature is really not balanced. It's an attack against people like me, who are genuinely concerned about what the CRU material reveal. Why am I a "denier" or "paranoid", if I have questions or don't like the way these scientists were conducting their business?
For example, It bothers me, why Mick Kelly was in bed at the same time with Shell and Greenpeace. It bothers me too, that he was very comfortable with the idea, that Shell could have a role at setting research agenda in exchange of funding.
It also bothers me, that Prof. A.J. McMichael and Dr. M. Hulme lets Helen Wallace of Greenpeace write and send letters to the editor of Times in their name. Or that Joseph Alcamo writes about how to take advantage of the media and Greenpeace before Kyoto to spread a statement.
Am I paranoid if I lose trust in these people because of stuff like this?
About station records. If a thermometer systematically reads too high because of UHI, there's not a big problem, if one compares the temperature changes during a few years. But almost all of the long lived stations have undergone a huge change during the 20th century. In the beginning of the 20th century most of them were rural. The same stations are now suffering from UHI as the cities have grown. A station located at an airport had a lot smaller UHI around it in the beginning of the 20th century. If you compare the temperatures of 1990 to 1910, it does matter if the thermometer reads +2C in 1990.
Ok, this kind of problems can be adjusted. However there have been cases, where the adjustments have been weird. They have adjusted temperatures up in the late 20th century and down in the early 20th century. Darwin airport was one of these cases.
Then there was this amazing mistake in NASA GISS: http://climateaudit.org/2010/04/15/giss-warmest-march-ever-in-finland/
In Sodankylä NASA GISS was 11,8 degrees C off. And nobody at NASA noticed this even though this winter has been really cold in the whole Europe. Here in Finland we've basically had a lot colder weather for 5 straight months now. Stuff like this makes me skeptic about their quality control.
There's a pretty big difference between Pfeffer's article and realclimate's version of it. Pfeffer writes that 2 meters is physically untenable while realclimate writes, that the paper didn't rule out 2 meters. Pfeffer even writes, that 80 cm is more plausible, but requires accelerated conditions. I think it's safe to say that the jury is still very much out, when it comes to sea level predictions.
I don't think that we should spend too much time on authorative names. However, I don't think that you should disregard people like Chris Landsea and Freeman Dyson that lightly.
When it comes to the CRU material, I guess I've read a lot more of it than you have. The realclimate page, you linked to was very much: "Nothing to see here, move on." Now, later it's pretty interesting to read, what the e-mails reveal, when context is added.
Please do like I did and read the whole HARRY_READ_ME.txt. Read it for hours. There is absolute no chance that anything reliable could have come out of that mess. Ian Harris had no idea, if his results were correct. I have to credit him on trying to do a good job, though.
I know about the surface stations project. They claim, that:
22% of USHCN stations have errors > 1C
61% have errors > 2C
8% have errrors > 5C
What should be done about this? Are the numbers wrong? If not, should this be ignored? Could you also please give me a link to how NOAA performed their calculations of Watts' 70 stations?
BTW, what other material and sites do you read besides realclimate? It bothers me a bit, that almost all links were to realclimate. That's a bit onesided.
I got interested in the climate science, some 5 years ago. I own a house by the sea, so I wanted to know, how much the sea level is going to rise. So I started to look at the measurements. NOAA has a lot of sea level measurement data from all around the USA. When I looked it up, I couldn't find a single statistic, that showed a accelerating trend. The satellite measurements of the University of Colorado agreed. The sea level was rising at a few mm/year, like they had for the last 100 years.
Then came the Chris Landsea's resignation from IPCC. If IPCC ignored him, it was no good news. Another big thing was Freeman Dyson. If a real genius like him casts doubt on something, it's worth double- and triplechecking. However, these are just names and I don't want to appeal to authority.
Then came the Climategate. I downloaded the zip file right away and started reading. I've spent countless hours reading the e-mails and the material in general. Based on them, I think that Mann and Jones should explain, why they hid the late 20th century decline of the tree ring proxies. I also think, that the way they fought against releasing data was not kosher. All in all, the e-mails cast doubt on the quality of the peer review process.
However, the biggest thing in the whole Climategate zip file is HARRY_READ_ME.txt. It took me 8 hours to read through the whole file. The comments by Ian Harris himself are unbeliavable. The quality of the data is poor, the algorithms are horrible and the poor man swims in this catastrophe for 2 years trying to make sense of it. Reading the file, I tried to find a single comment about quality control, error bars, or a happy end, where all the problems are solved. Instead I read how results of this mess was used in other peer reviewed articles. If you haven't read the file, please do.
If CRU TS is a big mess, NASA GISS is unfortunately not much better either. The homogenization methods are worrisome. The quality of the surface stations is unfortunately also poor. Way too many stations suffer from UHI. IMHO, all current temperature indexes should be thrown away and all work should be started from scratch, using original, unadjusted temperature measurements. And the whole process should be open and transparent with every adjustment being properly researched and documented (movement of temperature station, change of equipment etc.) After that scientists could throw all kinds of statistical methods at the data and come up with reliable results.
When it comes to the Arctic sea ice, I don't think there's a big problem with it. 2007 was a big low, but since then the extent has been growing every winter. At the moment it's pretty close to the 1979-2000 average. However, that's not something you read from the newspapers.
The Climategate is a big gaping wound that needs to be properly healed. As long as IPCC and the scientists involved pretend that is't not a problem, it's going to get worse. I hate the whitewashes, that have been done. The best thing for the whole science would be to admit the errors, bury the war hatches, throw away all unreliable data, start again with an open mind and start doing proper science.
I don't know about you but I'm amazed at how the Slashdot readers react to Climategate and AGW in general. It's like the whole site has been inundated by young environmentalists.
I'd love to send a PM to you and find out, how you think. It's pretty clear, that you care about science but so do I. We probably agree spot on about evolution, plate tectonics, health hazards of smoking etc. That's what makes it so hard for me to understand, how in the world you can support the depressingly low quality of climate science, that Climategate has revealed?
Have you made an informed decision based on the hard facts? Or do you just think, that the skeptics are as loony as the anti-scientific groups, that you mentioned?
What would you label us European skeptics then? Surely not Conservative deniers. Or creationists, as that seems to be predominately a US phenomenon. Maybe a tobacco scientist or a flat earther?
You have a small Slashdot id, which tells me that you're not a trolling activist. But you're here labeling people because they happen to disagree with you. Why are you doing that?
I disagree about AGW because the science behind it is not solid. There's a horrible lack of quality control in the temperature sets. Read HARRY_READ_ME.txt to see for yourself. And every cover up and huge mistake in IPCC reports make me even more skeptic.
Is AGW true? I don't know. I'd love to know but the current climate scientists have done their work so badly, that we don't have a single reliable temperature set for the last 150 years. That is depressing and it's a disgrace considering all the money that has been thrown at it.
Oh catch a breath and calm down. Rants like these show, that you have done absolutely no background checking. There are a lot of scientists, who disagree about AGW and they do it for a good reason. If you really believe, that IPCC is doing a good job and that science is settled, you really have to open your eyes.
OTOH, if you think that it's a good idea to slander people and force feed the green agenda based on faulty data and faulty science, you're doing a great disservice to the environment you claim to care about.