Lovelock: Adapt and Survive

In an opinion paper, Dr James Hansen has recently posed the following question:

"Do Scientists Have a Duty to Expose Popular Misconceptions?"

Dr Hansen then went on and answered his own question by blasting away vigorously at some choice misconceptions and at the medieval self serving bigotry that so often defeats (or at least holds back) scientific, technological and social progress.

(His paper is Here - it is well worth a read)

Whether by coincidence or not, the Grand Old Man of Rational Environmentalism, Dr James Lovelock CH, CBE, FRS is first to take up Hansen's call to arms.

In a new Channel 4 video ( This Link ) he expounds on the benefits of Nuclear, the sheer stupidity of wind farms and also expresses his reasoned support for fracking.

Although now 92 years old his sharpness and lucidity clearly rattle his interviewer, who was no doubt expecting somewhat less forthright (and more conformist) views.

The video, along with a commentary is in This Link to the relevent Channel 4 blog page:

Enjoy. (I did)

The Merchants of Doubt

I know some folk who read this blog are nervous about Nuclear power or even out-right hostile.

Today I do not want you to listen to my reasoning as to why Nuclear is the only practical solution to our problems. Instead I would ask you to read  the following quote from one of the greatest scientists who has ever lived.

Then I would ask you to look at the people who have previously advised you to be against Nuclear.

Look at them closely. What are their skills? Where is their expertise?

How good are they actually as scientists? How many papers have they published in leading journals?

How do they compare with the likes of pro-nuclear scientists like Hansen, Lovelock, Wigley and Allinson?

Anyway, here's the quote:

Dr James Hansen writes:


The public is unaware of pressure put on scientists to be silent about nuclear power.

After I mention nuclear power I receive numerous messages, often heart-breaking in their sincerity as they repeat Caldicott like unfounded assertions and beg me not to mention nuclear power.
More disconcerting is the pressure from environmental organizations and the liberal media. Each large environmental organization has a nuclear “expert” (often a lawyer, not a physicist) with a well-developed script to respond to any positive statement about nuclear power.

Liberal media follow precisely the “merchants of doubt” approach that the right-wing media use to block action on climate change; raising fears about nuclear power is enough to stymie support. The liberal media employ not only environmental organization “experts”, but former heads of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) appointed during Democratic Administrations.

These NRC talking heads are well-spoken professionals with a spiel that has been honed over years. And they have a track record. The NRC, despite its many dedicated capable employees, has been converted from the top into a lawyer-laden organization that can take many months or years to approve even simple adjustments to plans. 

It is almost impossible to build a nuclear power plant in the United States in less than 10 years, and this is not because an American worker cannot lay one brick on top of another as fast as a Chinese worker. Anti-nukes know that the best way to kill nuclear power is to make it more expensive.

Those are the exact words of one of the worlds leading scientists. the full text of his statement is Here (the above extract, fully in context, is on page 15.)

Now, ask yourself this: Who is telling the truth?

The world leading scientist and his many peer level colleagues?

Or the propaganda department from Greenpeace?

Death by Energiewende

A while back (in this post - Here) I worked out roughly how many people would be killed from air pollution by the insane German retreat from nuclear power and the consequent retrenchment into a choking mix of lignite and hard coal. The deaths, limited as it was to the partial shut-down so far actioned, came out at a staggering 1150 per year and that is ignoring the tens of thousands of seriously ill and the legion of minor debilitating ailments.

Even though my humble calculations used unimpeachable peer reviewed data from world leading academics, my post drew a fair amount of flak from assorted greens. Their continuous denial (especially relating to the use of lignite as a nuclear substitute) was absolute. Nuclear was the enemy. The use of coal/lignite as a substitute was not their problem. In fact they opposed the use of coal/lignite as well. (sigh). Clearly realism was not their top priority

Well, denial is a difficult thing to overcome. But luckily this excellent post by the Breakthrough Institute (Here) gave me an idea.

Even if we ignore the coal and lignite, perhaps we can figure out the casualty figures from the renewable sources themselves. Here, for brevity, I'll stick to the main killer among the renewable technologies. That technology is Biomass. The ugliness of the fanatical exploitation of German agriculture to service this new god is well described in the Breakthrough post above.

Using figures from Here and Here it would appear that currently Germany sources around 600 PetaJoules (or around 167 TWhr)  from biomass annually.

So how many people will this kill every year? Luckily we have a highly regarded and scrupulously peer reviewed paper by Markandya & Wilkinson to help us out (Paper is Here ) In this paper we find this table.

Using the above table we find that this 167 TW/hrs of energy derived from biomass will kill (4.63 x 167) about 750 people EVERY year. The serious illness (hospitalised) count comes in at over 7000/yr and minor though debilitating illness is a staggering 38,000.

The Green cults running this insanity want to (at least) double this usage, and so double the death toll. But remember this is simply the biomass. These figures appalling as they are, get buried in the noise when you start looking at lignite/coal.

Now let us substitute 600PJ of nuclear instead of the biomass. According to Markandya & Wilkinson this 167 TW/hrs of nuclear will kill 8 people and lead to 36 serious illnesses. 

So the terrified Germans with their Energiewende and nuclear close-down, are killing nearly 100 people from biomass for every potential death from nuclear. But at least this way they can balm their medieval paranoia over nuclear.

Of course it is actually much, much worse than this, because to replace nuclear you REALLY do use coal/lignite as a substitute. Biomass is (and always will be) a bit part player.

Thousands will die needlessly EVERY year in Germany because of the mythical fears and hysteria promoted by the Greens so they can do away with nuclear.

The Energiewende and the Greens' denial of deaths from coal/lignite and biomass, coupled with their hysterical non-scientific opposition to nuclear will see thousands of ordinary Germans sent to early graves. Every year. Year in. Year out.

Yet it is unlikely that any death certificates will bear the real cause of death. I imagine signing off someones life with "Death by Energiewende" would be strictly verboten.