iraszl's picture

Reply to Mr Makhijani

In reply to to this article here is what Mr Cannarra wrote in response to Mr Makhijani's arguments. (Reproduced with this permission.)

The attached was my rebuttal to Arjun and his erroneous IEER paper of a couple of years ago. Repeated attempts to get responses from him, IEER or PSR (which refers to him), failed. So, it seems PSR & IEER aren't in fact, concerned with eliminating emissions as quickly as possible, which is the subtext of Arjun's own statement on the interview with Rick -- MSR's not gonna happen because we'll oppose it rather than help it.

Yes, the only way to combat climate change is GHG-emissions elimination -- not simply reduction. Apart from the joke that Cold Fusion remains, the reason for nuclear is quite simple -- maximum energy per kg, per acre, per whatever; and the reason for MSR is minimizing waste heat (adds to global warming) via efficiency, and improving safety, longevity and economics, including reactor processed materials and waste heat utilization, say for neutral-emission liquid fuels.

The reason climate change is the lesser present threat is that the ocean now contains ~40% of all unnatural CO2 emitted over the last few hundred years.

That chemical experiment has reduced ocean pH to within about 0.1 of stifling carbonate extraction by developing sea life that forms the base of almost all the seas' food chains -- when plankton & other minute organisms can no longer use the natural alkalinity of seawater to build their exo- or endo-skeletons, the entire source of food for fish, crustacea & sea mammals disappears. This is the most dangerous and most immediate threat to all life.

Humans derive 20% of all our food protein from the sea. 80% of humans live near the sea and depend on its food sources. Climate change & sea rise are indeed great future threats, some happening now, but nothing will compare with what happens -0.1pH from now, given that we've already moved half way to that tragic point in just a matter of decades. When the red & blue curves cross in the 2nd attached, it will be far too late to eliminate emissions. The 5th attachment shows what is already being observed, and Nordic waters already have serious acidification problems.

Despite being nearly impossible, removing CO2 from the air is far more reasonable a thing to accomplish than to alter the pH of Earth's oceans.

People who argue on climate change & proper power sources miss the point of our present reality. Humanity now faces, very soon, the most expensive & dangerous events ever to occur -- beyond the ice age that about 130,000 years ago left us reduced tio a few thousand could huddling in coastal caves on the lower coast of S. Africa. At least then sea life was able to survive.

So people like the Kochs, Heartland Institute, my own Sierra Club, PSR, IEER, Peabody Coal, Chesapeake Gas, and even the cold/hot fusion folks all are leading us off a cliff, for their own interests. Some will just fall off the cliff a bit later, due to wealth, but the cliff is close at hand for all.

So, sure, MSR/LFTR, if continued to prototype in the 1970s would have us in pretty good shape now. So would improved & deployed LWRs. But today, our foolish mistakes leave us with the obligation to choose the best available power sources and do it ASAP. Local solar is indeed maturing, and can meet all peak daytime needs, some day. Fortunately Calif. & NJ (my birthplace!) seem to actively support that rollout.

For low-efficiency, land/sea-hungry sources like wind, forget 'em. For nuclear, get our legislators moving -- lots of ordinary folks out here are making continual noise to their Reps., agencies and media figures. The only way for us to get the US back on track with any nuclear is to show politicians it's popular enough and folks aren't foolishly scared of what we know remains (even for LWRs) the safest form of power generation ever deployed...

The task is actually simple: educate and propagate. The fact we're so behind and have guaranteed tragedies around the world is just a sad fact. Effective action remains key.

The retired general asked his gardener to plant another of his favorite trees. The gardener got the sapling, thought, and then said: "But general, you will likely have passed before this tree matures." The general thought, and said: "Then we must not wait. Plant it at once!"

We are all generals. Some of my Calif. friends writing are in their 80s & 90s -- they're not waiting. Are we waiting, or doing?