CO2, Green Nukes and Climate Change. Or Not?
by Liam Scheff
An Open Question
“CO2 Friendliness” is used by the nuclear energy industry to sell its very toxic products. “No CO2 emissions!” is the ad line that makes plutonium sound ‘green and good’ to environmentalists. And some well-known environmentalists have taken the bait (calling Steward Brand!)
The argument: Carbon dioxide, something we breathe out and plants breathe in (to make the oxygen which we breathe in, to make the CO2 that we breathe out (and they breathe in…you get the picture))…is bad. No – is WORSE than anything, ever, in the history of the universe. Or world. Or both. Worse than radioactive cesium, xenon, iodine or plutonium (ie, the ‘fun’ molecules that come out of nuclear fission).
That’s the story the pro-nuke set likes to tell: Nuclear power is green! and, “No one was ever hurt by nuclear power!” they shout, (if you’d only stop thinking and listen!)
It’s Cheap and Green
But the CO2 argument gets them in the door: We don’t pollute!* (*with carbon dioxide), except when we mine, forge, ship materials, and construct our plants, which are as big as the Pentagon and Empire State Buildings combined! Each one! That’s good, they say, because it ‘builds the economy!’
Construction of a new nuclear power plant will provide a substantial boost to suppliers of commodities like concrete and steel and manufacturers of hundreds of components. For example, a single new nuclear power plant requires approximately:
* 400,000 cubic yards of concrete—as much concrete as was used to build the Pentagon
* 66,000 tons of steel—the same amount used to build the Empire State Building
* 44 miles of piping
* 300 miles of electric wiring—enough to stretch from Boston to Philadelphia
* 130,000 electrical components.
Source? Them! They say it. No, really! And they claim to be ‘carbon free!’ I know! Like cement, steel, copper and more cement, steel, copper and heavy metals and rare earths are… free! Of CO2 or otherwise. What a bunch of kooky kids, huh?
No Free Lunches in Engineering or Radioactivity
Of course, nuclear power is not CO2 free. It’s massive. It’s a behemoth, bestriding the land. And we’re not even talking the mining and processing of uranium. There’s a dream job, huh? Ouch. Don’t plan for retirement, it’ll come early.
So, why do they get away with advertising their CO2 friendliness? Answer: Because YOU let them. You, out there with your smug, environmentally-conscious, leaf-colored Macbook-carrying, citizen of Benetton shabby-chic, tight-trousered fashionistas and metrosexuals! You fakers, you. “You let them get away with this!” I say, in mock anger and disgust. Or, who knows, maybe it’s real. But let’s get beneath the surface.
CO2 is Bad. CO2 is Good. CO2 is Irrelevant.
Who can sort this out for me? I’ve never been overly hung up or impressed by the CO2 argument (as the cause of all temperature shift) because:
The data is so screwy, all over the place, and… it opens itself to ridicule so easily:
Study: “The earth would have warmed faster in the last two decades had there not been an unexplained rise in the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed on land, scientists believe.” Scientists have discovered an “abrupt increase” since 1988 in the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the land biosphere, which comprises all of the planet’s plant and animal ecosystems…the breakthrough had taken scientists “completely by surprise”…[study] explains how much CO2 is absorbed by plants and animals, with some of the CO2 then being passed from plants into the land.” [End study excerpt]
Ecologist Dr. Moore pulled no punches in commenting on the new study: “These people are either completely naive about the relationship between CO2 and plants or they are making this up as a way of deflecting attention from the lack of warming for the past 15 years.” Moore is the author of the book, “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist,” in which he exposes the green movement and explains why he left the organization.
Moore continued: “We should challenge them to admit that CO2 is the most important nutrient for all life on earth and to admit that it is proven in lab and field experiments that plants would grow much faster if CO2 levels were 4-5 times higher in the atmosphere than they are today. This is why greenhouse growers pipe the exhaust from their gas and wood heaters back into the greenhouse to increase CO2 levels 3-5 times the level in the atmosphere, resulting in 50-100% increase in growth of their crops. And they should recognize that CO2 is lower today than it has been through most of the history of life on earth.
Well, it’s an angry quote, but… true or not true? Is it simply facile? Are the comparisons between now and “most of the history of life” incorrect? Is it irrelevant that plants grow faster in high CO2? Is the real argument – how does the atmosphere respond?
CO2 is Not the Droid You’ve Been Looking For
Let me offer this as a concept: the primary driver of weather is not carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen or methane. The primary driver of weather is? The Sun, which is not a nuclear bomb in space, but an anode (receiving node) in an electrical system:
“The driving idea is that there is a linear relationship between CO2 increase in the atmosphere and global temperature. The fact, however, is that temperature has constantly gone up and down. From 1850 to 1970, we see an almost linear relationship with Solar variability; not CO2. For the last 30 years, our data sets are so contaminated by personal interpretations and personal choices that it is almost impossible to sort up the mess in reliable and unreliable data.” Link.
It’ll be a lot to wrap your head around if it’s new to you, but take in what we do know and can observe. The Sun is infinitely hotter (well, much, much hotter) on the distant outside than on or beneath the surface (beneath, visible in Sunspots).
The Sun is hottest above the surface in the corona, where it’s 10 million degrees plus, versus the surface, where it is? Five to six thousand degrees. Why so hot in the solar atmosphere?
Because the Sun is heated from the exterior by the flowing currents of charged particles (plasma) coursing onto it. it is the collecting point – anode – in a galaxy-wide plasma electrical system – as are all stars.
Sound furry? Well, this is testable, observable and resilient, unlike “nuclear bomb in space” mythos, which leads to 100 unresolvable ‘problems’ with the mainstream hypothesis.
Yes, yes, you are hearing correctly. That is, indeed, what I’m saying: we get most of the sciences wrong, most of the time, as they evolved from 18th and 19th C. pre-existing religious notions. Back to outer space and you.
The Earth is a recipient of heavy plasma, electron and neutrino hammering – it’s also in the umbilical system of the Sun, as are all the planets, which demonstrate polar influx from solar plasma currents. Link. Link.
The Sun is the Major Driver – of Everything.
Weather, climate, mood ring results – it’s the Sun, the great, glowing “Son” of the heavens. The Alpha and Omega. The beginning and end. So obvious it lights your world, heats your skin, and makes the surface of this wet, rocky orb glow green with viney life.
On the other vine, CO2 and climate change predictions are, well…all over the freaking map. Search “climate change predictions, failures,” and you will discover an encyclopedia of fubar, from critics from all corners, deep outside to deep inside the mainstream.
So…help a guy out. Explain it to me. CO2 is or is not important in weather. Extend it to methane. (Methane? I’ll buy that as a heat-capturing gas – it’s flammable and being released by the ton from fracked wells).
Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
PS – first one to call me a ‘climate denier’ loses the integrity race, the ability-to-communicate race, and the help-a-brother-out-with-a-fair-question prize.
Watch Who You’re Calling Anti-Environment, Bub
I like early 20th C. civilization, town squares, public cafés, stone buildings, public gardens, Southern European architecture and human-scaled urban design. I do not like skyscrapers, New York City or Los Angeles. I like pumped water but I do not like fluoride. I like electric lights, but not everywhere, all night long. I do not love or really even like most industry. We could all live without plastics, if we learned to regard items as “valuable” and kept them for a long time.
I do like boats, trains and the ability to travel, but I do not like planes. (Yes, we all love the speed, but not the experience). I do not like cars. I do not OWN a car. I owned one ONCE, 20 years ago, for 3 months. I eat low on the food chain. Very. No big animals, no animals of any sort, presently. (Why does that matter? Because animal agriculture uses more land and water, consumes more grain, and produces more methane and, yes, CO2, than any other industry. So, figure out where you fit into that scheme.)
In sum, according to the rules that YOU have set out in the world, oh environmental elite — I am a better person than you are. (In the scope of Al-Gore approved behavior – never mind how he actually lives, of course).
You’ve heard the arguments. You have the question. Now, it’s up to you. Help a brother out! CO2 or not CO2?
Liam Scheff is the author of “Official Stories,” because “official stories exist to protect officials.”
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