Climate change Threatens the Future of World Crop Production

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Woody1, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Woody1 Registered Senior Member

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    The cost of either ignoring or preparing can not be be assessed without a reliable forecast, and that is just the start of it. On the other hand, nuclear power has no green-house gasses. Is it time to rethink that option?
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    We have a forecast - it's of a range of probabilities, naturally, as would be true of any honest forecast of almost anything of such complexity.
    The essential feature is its description of the risks being run. It's those risks you are ignoring, when you ignore AGW - the central question is one of sanity, not cost assessment.

    And lots of people have been "rethinking" the nuclear option for fifty years now. It's standard issue consideration. The costs of nuclear power are very high, of course - much higher than several other options - so there's that to think about whenever you get around to thinking.
     
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  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It's seriously expensive, the construction of nuclear power plants uses lots of carbon, it requires government support, like welfare, and no one wants to live next to one. Wind and solar are getting cheaper.
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    No doctor can give you a reliable forecast on when you will die if you smoke. Still a good idea to quit.
    But a lot of nuclear waste.
    Don't need to rethink anything. We have nuclear power now.
     
  8. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    No matter how...
    You still didn't respond.

    Do you want to have your cake and eat it too? Or, am I wasting my time.
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes it crossed my mind you might be p1ssed. Again. I worry about you a bit, you know. I like my drink too, but........
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  10. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks.

    I still had a legitimate question of something of underlying the motives of the OP - it doesn't make sense.
     
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    And another 60 under construction world wide.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It's a powerful lobby - so is oil, coal, and gas.
    The carbon hit from a nuke, while much smaller than from fossil fuel over its supposed lifetime, is pretty big up front - a lot of cement, steel, transportation, etc, compared with other power sources, over a short time. So the impact on the rate of CO2 boost is a factor, which the proponents of nukes downplay considerably.

    And nobody has figured out the governmental, waste, or security problems, which have the ugly property (perfectly foreseeable, easily predictable and predicted) of becoming acute at exactly the worst times for a given economy. War, earthquake, flood, drought, cyber assault, etc, are the times when a society least needs to have to deal with a damaged reactor, a suddenly threatening store of nuclear waste, security for weaponizable material, or a centralized government with totalitarian ambitions and its hand on everyone's light switch.

    A little wisdom? Too much to ask, apparently.
     
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Good for them. A combination of nuclear (for baseline power) natural gas (for peaking) and renewables (for the bulk of our energy) is a good plan.
     
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  14. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    agree
     
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    No it's not. Reducing energy consumption is a good plan.
     
  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I would say that is a good goal in abstract, but insufficient to constitute a plan, not least due to its vagueness. "Reducing"? Well yes, but by how much each year and how is that to be achieved?

    Public policy has to be realistic, which means it has to take into consideration the actual pace at which society can change in practice, without unacceptable degrees of coercion. It must therefore be based on forecasts of the actual energy demand for future years, after the effect of all the measures to reduce consumption has been allowed for. One can argue for more such measures, but that is politics, not energy demand planning.

    Nuclear and gas have a role in bridging the gap between the goal and actual reality. One hopes, of course, that that gap will be temporary, but it is likely to be measured in decades.
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Reducing energy usage is also a good idea. Unfortunately, some changes that are otherwise good (like EV's) require _more_ electrical energy, not less - so you can't count on reductions alone to get you there.
     
  18. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Just to be clear, are you saying that AGW is a good thing because "most people" (source?) would prefer the climates of Florida to those of northern Canada ?
     
  19. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    In the U.S., Jimmy Carter was the last President to speak forcefully about the dangers of conspicuous consumption, and how it erodes the values of community and appreciation for the commons. It kinda goes without saying that his message did not resonate in any way with the masses; in fact, he was openly mocked and derided for this--and Ronald Reagan swiftly removed the solar panels which Carter had installed upon the Whitehouse.

    Personally, I don't have a whole lot of confidence that society can change it's practices, without some level of coercion. And other tactics, such as incentivizing reduced consumption, have largely proved futile.
     
  20. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    If we leave it long enough, it won't be up to society to change. There simply won't be any choice left.
     
  21. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not so pessimistic. There have been considerable improvements in energy efficiency in society over the years. And when it comes to forms of energy use, as opposed to the amount of energy use, there have been massive changes to lower CO2 sources already. That shows, I think, that society is able to change its practices, so long as it is not too personally painful.

    But I would agree that as societies around the world grow wealthier they tend to demand more energy. It seems to me far more practical to focus mainly on reducing CO2 emissions, rather than striving to limit energy consumption itself.
     
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Do you have evidence that energy consumption itself is a problem? I had always understood it was the side effects of particular energy sources that were the issue, not the energy use per se.
     
  23. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    However, as we have seen time again, people tend to behave very badly under such circumstances--there are exceptions to this, of course, but they are relatively rare and tend to arise only in the most extreme of circumstances. I think that convincing people that viable, and desirable, alternatives do exist, and that conspicuous consumption does in no way lead to happiness or a more contented life--in fact, quite the opposite is more often the case--is paramount to transitioning to a stage where an abundance of choices do no longer exist.

    Of course, I have absolutely no idea as to how one goes about doing this, and in large part this is because I personally do not see the appeal of having lots of toys, gadgets, big homes, big cars, controlled environments, etc. Half of my adult life, I've lived without electricity: it's cheap, it's fun--'cuz you have to learn how to do all sorts of things on your own, without over reliance upon gimcrackery--and it's psychologically fulfilling--not to mention a very easy way to maintain optimal physical health without having to waste time and money going to a stupid gym and performing depressingly Sysiphean tasks. How do other people not see this?
     

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