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it is indeed a very impressive bit of agitprop -- where on earth does he get the time, or is this written on company time? however as with many pronuke arguments today, it expends a great deal of energy (so to speak) shooting down an argument that I think no one at ET is seriously making, i.e. that coal is a desirable energy source (whether via sequestration or liquefaction or just plain suicidally burning the stuff raw).
it's easy to "win the argument" by proving that the coal "solutions" are pure self-serving BS from the filth industry -- but that doesn't prove that the nuke "solution" is not also BS from the other filth industry, or that it best serves the common good or posterity, or that a nuclear expansion on the required scale is technically and energetically feasible.
the weak points of the presentation are
a) the failure to examine conservation and demand reduction in first world venues... the underlying assumption here is TAWOLINN, despite cleverly crafted gestures of "humility" such as critiquing supersonic jet travel and sympathising with poor women in 3rd world locales -- in the end it comes down to "I have a 1st world lifestyle and I will maintain it by any means necessary, and that is a reasonable starting position."
b) failure to address the technical feasbility of an enormous nuclear rampup w/in the necessary time period (10 years according to the present crop of pessimists led by D Hansen)
c) failure to consider the socipolitical implications (in terms of centralisation, security-statism, locking out of devolutionary and local possibilities)
d) failure to assess the true GHG cost of new nuke plant construction and lifecycle, focussing only on "tailpipe emissions" -- much like the agitprop for "electric cars" which misleadingly calls them ZEVs instead of EEVs and focuses narrowly on the use period between roll-off and trade-in rather than the entire product lifecycle from ore to scrap
e) passive acceptance of major externalised costs of extraction and refinement -- which will be borne by persons other than the affluent electricity utility customer who feels entitled to 120/240VAC at nearly unlimited amperage 24x7
imho and as I've said repeatedly. the question is not "coal or nuclear".
the question is "an unsustainable or a sustainble energy consumption level," and what quality of life and what equity factor is compatible with a sustainable energy consumption level. it is pointless to wrangle over whether soya oil or palm oil or sugar ethanol or corn ethanol is "best" for fuelling private automobiles, when the real question is whether we want to divert food from human and animal mouths to private automobiles (or whether private automobiles have any major role in a sustainable culture). and the debate over coal vs nuke, while its technical details are beguiling in an Alice-in-Wonderland way, is just as pointless w/o a debate over the wisdom of using exhaustible vs replenishable resources, the consequences of exceeding the annual biotic energy budget, the inefficiencies of huge centralised electric generation plants, the costs of using most-toxic rather than least-toxic tech, the politics of externalised and displaced risk, etc.
coal vs nuke is a bit like Demoblicans versus Republicrats :-) neither of them plans to stop colonising Iraq or shrink the metastatic military/security command economy; the issue of whether Amurka can afford to be an Imperium or not isn't even on their radar. so this carefully crafted screed is (to my ear; ymmv) a bit like a gorgeous and well-researched appeal to vote for Hillary rather than Obama, or Obams rather than McCain (or whoever). if you're an antiwar voter, it's just not all that relevant.
top marks for well-crafted demolition of the coal industry's line of BS, though.
The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
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