Agreed with M. Mead quote. You might also find a few lessons in From dictatorship to democracy: A conceptual framework for liberation. While the book is about fomenting a movement (e.g., a revolution), there are some powerful ideas about how to change minds.
All production subsidies are bad.
That would be truth by assertion, wouldn't it?
Truth by assertion and ad hominem responses are fallacies you should avoid in your arguments.
Attacking my argument style is certainly a bit ad hominem, isn't it?
Seems to me LFTR needs a proper PR campaign. The thorium remix vid is certainly a good start, but it's over two hours long and jumps right in with both feet and quickly surpasses the intellectual capacity of 99.9999% of the world's population. Might I suggest one of those whiteboard-and-voiceover videos like the ones produced by RSA Animate? If you can cram a synopsis of your views into a video under five minutes long, I'd be willing to bet you could achieve a much bigger change in public opinion.
So what happens when we scale up nuclear power generation to chase this exponential growth? You've conveniently omitted the problem of disposing with nuclear waste. Your typical traditional nuclear power plant generates 20 metric tons of used fuel each year. In 40 years, we've generated about 70,000 metric tons of nuclear waste which is going to remain hazardous for thousands of years. Should we send it to Mongolia or let the Mafia dump it in the ocean? I am glad that you will volunteer to let us put it in your region, wherever that may be. I don't want it.
Oh, are you talking about thorium reactors? I think a lot of your arguments against renewables (too expensive, too much research required, not feasible, blah blah blah) would also apply to this technology. Doubt my opinion? Perhaps you'd like to refer to the report from the Union of Atomic Scientists entitled "Thorium: Not a near-term commercial nuclear fuel." You have to admit that at this point commercially viable thorium-generated power is vapor ware. Furthermore, it also generates nasty waste, although less nasty than traditional nuclear. Personally, I'd like to see such research money spent on advanced energy storage and efficiency technology instead.
There are a lot of aging, crappy nuclear plants because politicians chicken out the minute people like you embrace FUD
How do you figure? The way I see it is that there are a lot of crappy nuclear plants out there because our ancestors were short-sighted enough to build them. And now the task of cleaning up the mess, which was never factored into the cost of the electricity they generated, is left to us. I'm happy France is exporting something besides their delicious wine and cheese and noxious sentimentality, but I expect their waste will end up somewhere that is not France.
And, well, there is the usual FUD which "people like me" embrace. It's a self-evident fact that nuclear power has associated risks and that history has shown that these risks occasionally result in catastrophe. I'm no actuary so I can't put odds to it, but there are certain similarities between SoCal and Fukushima: old coastal powerplant with creaky design, on a fault line, etc. I'd rather pay a little extra for my energy so I don't have to die of radiation sickness or see my property rendered worthless by a disaster that could have been easily averted.
But the math on this one isn't even close...The sun just ain't hot enough for long enough.
What math are you referring to (your article is TL;DR)? Do you mean the math that shows a rapid decline in the cost of PV systems and a dramatic increase in installations of 60% globally? Or the The math Steve Chu used to predict that renewable energy will be cost-competitive within 10 years? As for the second statement, the current insolation of the earth at the ground is about 7 times total power consumption -- to say nothing of wind or tidal power.
You no doubt think I'm a knee-jerk partisan relying on wishful thinking and flimsy data. I certainly think you're a knee jerk partisan (and pessimist) relying on wishful thinking and flimsy data. I personally would support spending on research on thorium reactors. I'd much prefer fusion (not likely very soon and already pretty well funded) and would prefer even more gains in efficiency and storage so that we can use renewable forms of energy instead of the nasty ones.
My interpretation of our German friend's statement is that the status quo in Germany is one of fairly liberal social policies (or claims to be) and that the rabble-rousing folks angling for change might be seeking technological advancement at the expense of the traditional franchises. I'm sort of imagining a version of the United States with more powerful unions profitably jacked into traditional industries like manufacturing and old-school energy production.
We import about twice as much as we export and consume about 22% of the world's petroleum: http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=33&t=6 Given that we constitute about 5% of the world's population, this obviously represents a problem
As a key component of energy policy for the United States, it is not and has never been practical compared to wind or nuclear power.
This statement would carry a lot more weight if you cited anything resembling a study, statistic or fact. As stated, it's nothing more than an unsupported opinion.
If you're concerned about global warming from burning fossil fuels, the only choice at the moment that satisfies all the requirements of most first world country's energy policy is nuclear. Nothing else comes close.
Here is another unsupported but ardently expressed opinion.
All production subsidies are bad
Armchair economist, much? Without *somebody* subsidizing new forms of energy development, we'd still be heating our homes and cooking with wood. Every new energy paradigm finds its footing because some entity invested money in developing the technology. Nuclear energy comes to mind. And you also fail to acknowledge that we pay enormous amounts of money to project our military might to protect shipping lanes to oil-producing regions and that we have played politics for 100 years to insure that oil flows. You can deny it until you are blue in the face, but this does amount to a subsidy.
I'd also argue that a direct government subsidy into advanced energy generation and storage will ultimately yield vast societal benefit that might otherwise never be realized if we rely on only markets. The fact is that pretty much all of our advanced technology and shared infrastructure (computers, space travel, aviation, telecommunications, interstate highway system) has its genesis in government spending. Sadly, this government spending is only ever triggered by the prospect or actuality of warfare. It would be nice if we could motivate ourselves with something other than conflict for a change.