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Latest From George Monbiot

 
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3rdRock
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:57 pm    Post subject: Latest From George Monbiot Reply with quote

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/10/keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground-to-stop-climate-change

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Keep fossil fuels in the ground to stop climate change

Quote:
In the fourth piece in the Guardians major series on climate change, George Monbiot argues that once coal, oil and gas are produced, they will be used. And yet, after 23 years of UN negotiations there have been almost no steps taken to stop the production rather than the use of fossil fuels.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Monbiot supports nuclear!

Quote:
Fukushima: Total clean-up costs are estimated around $0.5 trillion, writes Jim Green - but work to defuse the dangers has barely begun, the site is flooded with radioactive water making its way to the sea, and underpaid and illegally contracted workers are suffering a rising toll of death and injury.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2015/jun/12/china-excuse-inaction-on-climate-change

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Stop using China as an excuse for inaction on climate change
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Little John



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
....And Monbiot supports nuclear!.......


Of course he does. Because he's thought about it in dispassionate, rational terms and come to the only possible logical conclusion.

I've paraphrased a key section from one of his articles that more or less explains his thinking. Thinking which I share. Like him, I do not believe nuclear is any kind of long term answer to our underlying problems of human (dis)organization. But, like him, I understand that we cannot wait for a change in political system to deal with the problem of climate change.

"......The cruelty and peculiarity of climate change is that it imposes time limits on our dreams. The political vision (of the ecological left), which I share, of a world where demand is radically reduced and where renewable alternatives are radically implemented can be sustained through hard times by the belief that one day, when the circumstances are right, it will triumph. The fact that this vision is scarcely closer to realization today than it was at the beginnings of the ecological movement does not invalidate the dream or provide a reason not to strive for its realization, however elusive it may seem.

But if we rely on a social movement with real political power to deliver the reductions in greenhouse gases required to prevent two or more degrees of global warming that is now very nearly baked into the planetary cake, we will miss the boat. We have to make the necessary cuts in greenhouse gases not in the indeterminate future, but now
......."

http://www.monbiot.com/2012/10/09/the-heart-of-the-matter/
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's thought about it from the Business As Usual point of view. He's convinced that there will be BAU, he told me so personally, and nuclear is the only way to support that path.

The problem with that point of view is that it doesn't take into account the depletion of other resources which means that the raw materials on which BAU relies are allso getting into short supply , raising their cost drastically and changing the basis on which every part of the current business model works.

The current model runs on cheap everything, energy, labour and materials, to produce rubbish for a throw away society. As materials become more expensive we won't be able to afford to throw stuff away on a regular basis and mass production will no longer be a viable proposition. We will have to go back to the batch production of long life repairable products to make the most use of the raw materials that we have.

That will change the whole economic system and could even break it completely so BAU isn't going to happen for very much longer!
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moonlit advocates the 'integral fast reactor' as the solution to the most important objection - way beyond accidental releases of radiation - to nuclear: the waste.

So why no integral fast reactors in existence? It sounds like one of those things that's too good to be true. The articles I've read about it are extremely positive, through its use of existing waste. They say it's been sidetracked for political reasons.
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's two impossible-to-resolve, clashing realities here.

The first is that TPTB will keep BAU going as long as possible, and that is bound to involve nuclear power, especially if they are going to even make a pretence of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Not going down the nuclear route inevitably means burning gas and coal faster. Although it doesn't inevitably burning more of it in the long run, because I suspect that regardless of how many nuclear stations are built, all the economically-recoverable gas and coal will eventually be extracted and used.

The second is that BAU will not keep going forever, because it is fundamentally unsustainable for a whole host of reasons, and that means we are going to be left with a legacy of nuclear stations and stored nuclear waste that nobody can afford to deal with properly.

The less-nuclear path means more climate change quicker.

The more-nuclear path means a bigger and more expensive nuclear mess for our descendents to clean up.

Both these outcomes are so bad that choosing between them seems impossible to me.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
There's two impossible-to-resolve, clashing realities here.

The first is that TPTB will keep BAU going as long as possible, and that is bound to involve nuclear power, especially if they are going to even make a pretence of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Not going down the nuclear route inevitably means burning gas and coal faster. Although it doesn't inevitably burning more of it in the long run, because I suspect that regardless of how many nuclear stations are built, all the economically-recoverable gas and coal will eventually be extracted and used.

The second is that BAU will not keep going forever, because it is fundamentally unsustainable for a whole host of reasons, and that means we are going to be left with a legacy of nuclear stations and stored nuclear waste that nobody can afford to deal with properly.

The less-nuclear path means more climate change quicker.

The more-nuclear path means a bigger and more expensive nuclear mess for our descendents to clean up.

Both these outcomes are so bad that choosing between them seems impossible to me.
A nuclear mess screws up human industrial civilization. For the rest of life, it represent no more than a blip. Or, in the case of known nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl, It actually represents a much needed breathing space for the rest of life (because all of the industrial humans bugger off), despite the otherwise deleterious effects of radiation on that life. Climate change, on the other hand, not only screws up human life, of any variety, it also drags the rest of life down to hell with us.

The choice is easy. It's just not a very pleasant one, that's all.

None of which is to suggest that nuclear represents any kind of long term solution to the human problem. However, I agree with Monbiot that the cruelty and peculiarity of climate change is that it imposes time limits on our human dreams. We have to act now to mitigate climate change by whatever means are at our disposal so long as we can be sure that those means are less bad for life on earth than climate change.

In blunt terms, the consequences of a nuclear accident, whilst potentially horrendous for industrial human civilization, are relatively localized and may last anywhere from several decades to several thousand years. Whereas, the consequences, for all of life, of global climate change are, by definition, global and may last for millions of years.

Or, even, for ever.


Last edited by Little John on Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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fuzzy



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="UndercoverElephant"]
The more-nuclear path means a bigger and more expensive nuclear mess for our descendents to clean up.[quote]

If we don't have a BAU [or maybe any way], then the nuclear mess won't be cleared up. It will sit where it rots - like this:

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2611216/leaked_sellafield_photos_reveal_massive_radioactive_release_threat.html
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:

If we don't have a BAU [or maybe any way], then the nuclear mess won't be cleared up. It will sit where it rots...


Very likely, yes.

BTW...this is being cleared up. I know one of the people involved in the clean-up operation. He came to my wedding on Saturday and just sent me a long message in response to the those photos, although he asked me not to re-post it here.
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