It’s Carl Sagan Day. His Warnings on Climate Change Were Clear and Urgent

November 9, 2017


5 Responses to “It’s Carl Sagan Day. His Warnings on Climate Change Were Clear and Urgent”

  1. Canman Says:

    If Carl Sagan was still alive today, I wonder if he’d’ve taken a position on the conflict between those who want 100% renewables and those who say we need nuclear. These two opposing positions are best represented by Mark Jacobson and Michael Shellenberger, respectively. Bill Nye appears to be with Jacobson. The host of this blog and most of its denizens are also with Jacobson. Michael Mann and Naomi Oreskes have both mentioned his studies. Sagan’s successor, Neil Degrass Tyson, seems to be leaning towards Jacobson.

    On the other side, James Hansen is clearly with Shellenberger, along with Ken Caldera and Kerry Emanuel. There’s also a few commenters here, notably, me and the dumb old guy.

    In the first video, Sagan appears like he’d be sympathetic to Jacobson’s point of view. But after the Paris press conference with Hansen, Caldera and Emanuel, along with the eruption over the Clack et. al. paper, would he take a position and side with Shellenberger?

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Independent of nuke-a-phobia, nuclear power plants have several practical downsides:
      – they require long-term capital investment and planning with private investors backed by public service guarantees
      – like other steam power plants they need to be sited on a reliable water supply not prone to (a) rain-bomb induced river flooding, (b) local SLR, (c) becoming too warm to use as coolant, (d) drying up in “instant droughts”
      – they require a large contiguous footprint
      – they only scale up in big, capital-intensive chunks
      – they typically store waste on-site, because of long-established problems of long-term off-site storage

  2. redskylite Says:

    Nuclear or renewables, lets go for renewables and nuclear, depending on location, favourable renewal options, state of a nations finances and spent fuel waste disposal considerations.

    If we have the time looks like additional long term options will become available eventually, but for now we must progress with what we’ve got.

    And that’s quite a lot.

    Physicists at Tel Aviv University and University of Chicago have discovered that quark fusion could be an even more energy-packed reaction than nuclear fusion. Although the scientists were originally concerned about quark fusion’s potential destructive power and had considered keeping the discovery secret, they came to learn that the process, still theoretical, would most likely be safe for civilian use. The newly identified kind of reaction, which could yield up to ten times as much energy as nuclear fusion, could be the answer to endless clean energy someday.

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