My response to the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal has been proposed.

Co-sponsors Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez (NY) and Sen. Ed Markley (Mass)

Presidential candidates supporting the bill: Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen Corey Booker, Sen Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen Elizabeth Warren and many more to come.

My comments are in italics. This warrants a thorough evaluation

116TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. RES. ll

Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Ms. OCASIO-CORTEZ submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on

RESOLUTION

Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal. Whereas the October 2018 report entitled ‘‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC’’ by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the November 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report found that—

(1) human activity is the dominant cause of observed climate change over the past century;

The IPCC document is more of a political than a scientific document. It presumes that the dominant factor in climate change is the rise in CO2, while the most important greenhouse gas is water vapor and the many forms it takes. It assumes that with rising CO2 the temperature will rise which will evaporate more water and these greenhouse gases would add up to a larger temperature rise than with CO2 rising alone. That would be true unless something else changes. The assumption that they are additive is only true if they are of the same magnitude which is the case in the polar regions in the winter and in the upper atmosphere near the thermopause. In fact there is a strong temperature stabilizer in the ecosystem. It is called clouds. A one percent difference in the average cloud cover has more influence on temperature than the CO2 rise since the beginning of industrialization. At the equator the average temperature stays constant regardless of the CO2 concentration. Where is the proof? It is in the absence of the so called hot-spot in the troposphere:

 

 

 

 

 

How well do the models do?

That is why the IPCC assessment is a political, not a scientific document. No true scientist would accept a model if contradicted by physical evidence.

(2) a changing climate is causing sea levels to rise and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life, healthy communities, and critical infrastructure;

The sea level rise has hit a temporary plateau and is not rising at a faster pace than before CO2 started to rise,

https://lenbilen.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/sea-level-nasa-1993-present.jpg?w=660

as to wildfires, see (3) (C). Droughts are not increasing

Image result for worldwide droughts

tornadoes are decreasing,

Image result for u.s tornadoes

so are hurricanes.

Image result for hurricane statistics

 

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(3) global warming at or above 2 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrialized levels will cause—

(A) mass migration from the regions most affected by climate change;

This is a problem in the 10-40 latitude where most people live. Some countries like Mexico and Iran are using up their ground water at an alarming rate, and it will only get worse. But climate change is not the cause of it. Overuse of water is.

(B) more than $500,000,000,000 in lost annual economic output in the United States by the year 2100;

That will only happen if we implement the plan and become a socialist country like Venezuela. 500 billion dollars in an economy of what is now around 20 trillion dollars a year is a lot of money.

(C) wildfires that, by 2050, will annually burn at least twice as much forest area in the western United States than was typically burned by wildfires in the years preceding 2019;

Image result for wildfire statistics

Smokey the bear policies worked well in the 1950’s through 1990 but recent environmental policies hindering cleaning of underbrush are slowly reversing earlier trends.

(D) a loss of more than 99 percent of all coral reefs on Earth;

Temperature is only a minor cause of the coral reef stresses. Overfishing, destructive fishing, water pollution from raw sewage and other dumping is a larger problem.

(E) more than 350,000,000 more people to be exposed globally to deadly heat stress by 2050; and

The tropics has found its temperature and nearly all temperature rise is confined to the polar regions, partly due to increased snowfall. When it snows it is not as cold as when the sky is clear in the (Ant)arctics. But it is still below freezing, so the snow accumulates.

(F) a risk of damage to $1,000,000,000,000 of public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the United States; and

Related image

While nominal losses are up, as a percentage of GDP they are going down.

(4) global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrialized levels to avoid the most severe impacts of a changing climate, which will require—

(A) global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from 2010 levels by 2030; and

China is already producing 50% more CO2 than the U.S and is on track to further triple its output by 2030. This was the agreement President Obama hailed as a breakthrough

(B) net-zero emissions by 2050; Whereas, because the United States has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global green-house gas emissions through 2014, and has a high technological capacity, the United States must take a leading role in reducing emissions through economic transformation;

While not accepting the Tokyo protocol, U.S. was the only country in recent years to adhere to its goal of reducing CO2 emissions.

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Whereas the United States is currently experiencing several related crises, with— (1) life expectancy declining while basic needs, such as clean air, clean water, healthy food, and adequate health care, housing, transportation, and education, are inaccessible to a significant portion of the United States population;

Don’t forget the opioid crisis, the new killing fields.

(2) a 4-decade trend of economic stagnation, de-industrialization, and antilabor policies that has led to—

(A) hourly wages overall stagnating since the 1970s despite increased worker productivity;

True, but the last two years real salaries have stared rising again

(B) the third-worst level of socioeconomic mobility in the developed world before the Great Recession;

Since? Yes it decreased under Clinton, stayed level under Bush and declined drastically under Obama, but is now rising again, especially for women, for Blacks and for Hispanics.

(C) the erosion of the earning and bargaining power of workers in the United States; and

True, Union power is decreasing except for public service unions.

(D) inadequate resources for public sector workers to confront the challenges of climate change at local, State, and Federal levels; and

(3) the greatest income inequality since the 1920s, with—

(A) the top 1 percent of earners accruing 91 percent of gains in the first few years of economic recovery after the Great Recession;

Which recession are we referring to? 1929? 2009?

(B) a large racial wealth divide amounting to a difference of 20 times more wealth between the average White family and the average Black family; and

You are using the wrong average. An example: The average wealth of an Amazon employee is $1800 more if one is to include Jeff Bezos than if not.

(C) a gender earnings gap that results in women earning approximately 80 percent as much as men, at the median;

This time the median is used, and it has to do more with career choices than not. It is worthy of attention though.

Whereas climate change, pollution, and environmental destruction have exacerbated systemic racial, regional,

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social, environmental, and economic injustices (referred to in this preamble as ‘‘systemic injustices’’) by disproportionately affecting indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-in-come workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this preamble as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’);

Yes, but the goal of Agenda 21 is to depopulate rural areas and to force people to migrate into cities

Whereas, climate change constitutes a direct threat to the national security of the United States—

(1) by impacting the economic, environmental, and social stability of countries and communities around the world; and

Maybe unstable and uncivilized governments have something to do with that

(2) by acting as a threat multiplier;

?

Whereas the Federal Government-led mobilizations during World War II and the New Deal created the greatest middle class that the United States has ever seen, but many members of frontline and vulnerable communities were excluded from many of the economic and societal benefits of those mobilizations; and

Whereas the House of Representatives recognizes that a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal is a historic opportunity—

(1) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs in the United States;

? Give an example how.

(2) to provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States; and

? Give an example how.

(3) to counteract systemic injustices: Now, therefore, be it

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Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

(1) it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal—

(A) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers;

What is net-zero? If you emit, you emit.

(B) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;

The Federal Government does not create jobs. They may enable or hinder job creation.

(C) to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century;

This is a good goal.

(D) to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come—

(i) clean air and water;

No argument there. CO2 however is not a pollutant. It is the life-giving gas, without which no plant life would be possible.

(ii) climate and community resiliency;

Increasing CO2 helps climate resiliency by greening the earth.

https://lenbilen.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/increase.png?w=660

(iii) healthy food;

Increasing CO2 helps increasing food supply. This is good for both people and animals. As a side benefit photosynthesis is more efficient and uses less water as CO2 increases.

(iv) access to nature; and

I love nature. I would never put i earphones as I take a nature walk or run.

(v) a sustainable environment; and

We must work towards a sustainable environment. The best way is to let CO2 rise until we develop a better energy policy until a new nuclear power effort using Thorium or eventually Fusion power.

(E) to promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural

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communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’);

(2) the goals described in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (1) (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal goals’’) should be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal mobilization’’) that will require the following goals and projects—

(A) building resiliency against climate change-related disasters, such as extreme weather, including by leveraging funding and providing investments for community-defined projects and strategies;

See above

(B) repairing and upgrading the infrastructure in the United States, including—

(i) by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as techno-logically feasible;

Pollution, yes; CO2 is not a pollutant.

(ii) by guaranteeing universal access to clean water;

This is the number one problem in many countries, as well as in the U.S. southwest. Lake Mead is slowly being drained.

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(iii) by reducing the risks posed by flooding and other climate impacts; and

Rain will be increasing, but interestingly enough major floods will decrease. Good news all around.

(iv) by ensuring that any infrastructure bill considered by Congress addresses climate change;

This will slow down development. When I came to America many years ago Congress finally got around to promoting George Washington to a 5 star General.

(C) meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources, including—

(i) by dramatically expanding and upgrading existing renewable power sources; and

It is a tall order to replace fossil fuels. 85% of the world’s energy consumption is still based on fossil fuels.

(ii) by deploying new capacity;

Thorium based nuclear power is the best alternative.

(D) building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and ‘‘smart’’ power grids, and working to ensure affordable access to electricity;

The problem with the grid is that energy produced is not where energy is consumed. Maxwell’s equations are what they are, so transmission losses are a fact of life. In addition solar and wind power are not continuous sources so they still need the same replacement generation capacity to do the job. In addition the present grid is vulnerable to terrorism.

(E) upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;

All existing buildings? Dream on.

(F) spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from

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manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible, including by expanding renewable energy manufacturing and investing in existing manufacturing and industry;

(G) working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including—

(i) by supporting family farming;

cowbackpacks

This is a cow recycling methane gas. Methane gas can be used to heat stoves as is done in North Korea since the mid 1800’s. A futurist’s dream.

 

 

(ii) by investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health; and

The Chesapeake bay Commission and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission are doing a valiant effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This is a regional effort, tailor made for the intricate ecology and special challenges facing the bay. Even the Amish have adopted environmentally safe farming practices.

(iii) by building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food;

Again this is best accomplished at a regional and local level by education and individual initiatives. The heavy handed Federal Government tend to think that national polices will solve the problem

(H) overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in—

(i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing;

A promising development is hybrid trucks. They charge the batteries instead of using the jake breaks, and provide a much better acceleration out of a stop sign or a traffic light. Then in loading areas they use only the batteries.

(ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and

Some cities are better suited for public transportation than others. State College, PA has an excellent public transportation system, but Houston and Los Angeles among others are a nightmare.

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(iii) high-speed rail;

It is expensive and nowhere near as efficient as people think.

(I) mitigating and managing the long-term adverse health, economic, and other effects of pollution and climate change, including by providing funding for community-defined projects and strategies;

What are community-defined projects and strategies?

(J) removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reducing pollution, including by restoring natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as preservation and afforestation;

Increasing CO2 makes afforestation possible in otherwise too arid areas since more CO2 means less water to do the photosynthesis.

(K) restoring and protecting threatened, endangered, and fragile ecosystems through locally appropriate and science-based projects that enhance biodiversity and support climate resiliency;

This part I love, let’s go for it.

(L) cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites to promote economic development and sustainability;

The one has very little to do with the other. Cleaning up hazardous sites is already law.

(M) identifying other emission and pollution sources and creating solutions to eliminate them; and

Yes I remember when Argon was proposed to be regulated. Federal Government at its best.

(N) promoting the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding, and services, with the aim of making the United

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States the international leader on climate action, and to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal;

China, Russia, Australia and even India are far ahead of us in Thorium Nuclear Power Development. Our Patent law is in the Constitution.

(3) a Green New Deal must be developed through transparent and inclusive consultation, collaboration, and partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses; and

Why labor unions? What are frontline communities? Do they mean border states communities overrun by drug smugglers and sex traffickers?

(4) to achieve the Green New Deal goals and mobilization, a Green New Deal will require the following goals and projects—

(A) providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization;

Who is the public? Do they mean politicians and government bureaucrats?

(B) ensuring that the Federal Government takes into account the complete environmental

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and social costs and impacts of emissions through—

  • existing laws;
  • new policies and programs; and
  • ensuring that frontline and vulnerable communities shall not be adversely affected;

Emissions: Pollution, yes, CO2, the more the better up to 1000 ppm.

(C) providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities, so those communities may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization;

Better still, do a partnership with business for a better and more complete trade school education without union interference.

(D) making public investments in the research and development of new clean and renewable energy technologies and industries;

A Manhattan project to leapfrog the world in Thorium based Nuclear power would be nice.

(E) directing investments to spur economic development, deepen and diversify industry in local and regional economies, and build wealth and community ownership, while prioritizing high-quality job creation and economic, social, and environmental benefits in frontline and vulnerable communities that may otherwise strug-

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gle with the transition away from greenhouse gas intensive industries;

A very inefficient way.

Private enterprise is better and faster.

(F) ensuring the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to plan, implement, and administer the Green New Deal mobilization at the local level;

Sounds like an expensive boondoggle for the benefit of lobbyists and politicians.

(G) ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition;

What does the unions have to do with that?

(H) guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;

What does guaranteeing  a job in a changing world mean? Shall we still guarantee the job of a railroad brakeman or a flight engineer? In a changing world retraining is to prefer such as mandatory retraining for the unemployed.

(I) strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment;

Likewise let the employers organize to facilitate lockouts. (This is done in Sweden).

(J) strengthening and enforcing labor, workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination, and wage and hour standards across all employers, industries, and sectors;

Wage and hour standards is a recipe for stagnation.

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(K) enacting and enforcing trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labor and environmental protections—

What is a border adjustment?

(i) to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas; and

Exactly how are you going to accomplish that?

(ii) to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States;

This is one of Trump’s main goals.

(L) ensuring that public lands, waters, and oceans are protected and that eminent domain is not abused;

Eminent domain is in the constitution and must not be abused.

(M) obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous people for all decisions that affect indigenous people and their traditional territories, honoring all treaties and agreements with indigenous people, and protecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land rights of indigenous people;

Isn’t this already law?

(N) ensuring a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies; and

You mean no more trade with China?

(O) providing all people of the United States with—

(i) high-quality health care;

What do you mean with provide? Free? Does people include illegal aliens?

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(ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing;

Good luck with that.

(iii}economic security; and

Nothing is as elusive as economic security. Just look at  Zimbabwe and now Nicaragua.

(iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.

Free access?

The Fourth National Climate Assessment and reality (Climate measurements versus Climate models)

The Climate, like the weather is always changing, always has and always will, beneficial for some and disastrous for others. We go through cycles, from ice age to interglacial period

and back to ice age. During ice ages CO2 concentration is sometimes below 200 ppm, barely enough to sustain plant life, and during an interglacial periods it is above 280 ppm. What makes this time unique is the rapid rise in CO2 concentration of about 3 ppm per year, with no end in sight. It is now at 405 ppm. As we can see from the chart above, temperature and CO2 concentration follow each other closely, so that must mean that we are headed for a temperature catastrophe in a few years. A 40% increase in CO2 concentration leads to an 8 C increase in temperature. The CO2 concentration has increased by more than 40% since the onset of the industrial revolution, so we should expect a rise in global temperature averages of at least 8 C.  Global warming is here, and we are all doomed!

globaltemperature

This would be true if rising CO2 is the major component to Climate Change. Lucky for us we now have 40 years of satellite and balloon temperature data to serve as a good indicator of how earth reacts to rising CO2. The United Nations’ IPCC (Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change)  keeps ignoring measurements and relies on theoretical models rather than examine the earth as a black body and see what has happened so far to global temperature as CO2 has increased from 335 ppm to 405 ppm.

In real estate appraisals the three most important factors to determine the value of a property are: Location, location, location.

Likewise, in climate modeling the three most important factors to estimate the future climate on earth are: Clouds, clouds, clouds.

CO2 is a strong greenhouse gas, second only to water vapor in affecting the climate on earth. If CO2 were to double from pre-industrial times, which it will have done in 50 years or so, global temperatures on earth will increase about 0.9 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times, if that was the only factor affecting the greenhouse effect. This corresponds to a radiative forcing of  4.9 W/m2. But water vapor is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, and, this is important, they are not orthogonal as defined by chemometrics, that means, the responses from water vapor and CO2 are not independent, and they are only partly additive. Check this figure: The bottom line is the absorption of water vapor, the green line is for CO2. The area of interest is between 8 and 20 microns, where CO2 absorbs more than H20 and is at the maximum of outgoing black body emission at 0F. The CO2 concentration is on the order of 400 ppm, the average global H2O concentration at surface level is around 12,500 ppm. Since both H2O and CO2 absorb in the same area, if water vapor concentration is more than 30 times higher, the CO2 con- centration doesn’t matter, it is all absorbed by H2O, and this is the reason there is no hotspot in the equatorial troposphere. All climate models predict there must be one, so there must be something seriously wrong with all climate models. Let us take a look at what factors IPCC consider in the consensus of climate models. See the following table:

This table is listing all the possible contributions to radiative forcing that IPCC chose to list. It does include the effect of aerosols on clouds, but it assumes that this is the sum total of the effect of clouds. Let us take a look at a picture of  earth from space:The first impression of earth from space is: How beautiful! Green land, brown mountains, blue oceans and absolutely white clouds! The clouds seem to reflect all incoming sunlight, and indeed, clouds can have an albedo of about 0.9, versus ocean with an albedo of about 0,07. Taking a look at the energy flows, we can see that the clouds reflect about 79 W/m-2 back into space, or about 23% of the incoming sunlight.

But that is only half the story. Clouds are even more important than that for the energy balance of the earth. If you have a house with no air conditioning, and it is hot in the summer, you close the windows and close the shades during the day to keep the hot air and the sunshine out. Then during the night you open the windows and shades to let the cooler air in. In the winter you do the opposite, during the day you may or may not open the windows dependent on the temperature, but you always let in as much sunshine as possible. Then at night you draw the shades to retain as much warmth as possible. By manipulating the windows and shades you provided the negative feedback to keep the house somewhat temperature controlled. In fact, you acted as a governor, providing the negative feedback necessary to keep the house temperature controlled.

It is the same with clouds, they cool by day and warm by night, and they come and go, so it does matter a great deal when they do appear. At the risk of oversimplification let me take a stab at 3 cloud types, clouds, clouds, clouds.

Cumulus clouds, also called “Beautiful weather clouds.”  The best example comes from Willis Eschenbach from his observations on a tropical island. The morning starts clear, and as the sun heats the moist air cumulus clouds appear around 9 a.m., and the temperature goes down!

Cumulus clouds have an albedo of about 0.9, so 90% of the incoming radiation of  341 W/m2, or up to 300 W/m2 does not reach ground at mid day but is reflected back into space.

The sun continues its path, and by mid afternoon Cumulonimbus clouds may appear. They are also called thunderstorms. In addition to have a very high albedo, they transfer a lot of heat to the upper atmosphere, rain out, keeping the ecosystem going, and cool the lower atmosphere.

The third very important type of clouds are frontal clouds. They carry energy in the form of water vapor from one area to another, in the northern temperate region typically from Southwest to Northeast, but they can also follow the jet stream, which exhibits a wave pattern.

The long and short of this oversimplification is that even a one percent change in the global average of cloud cover means as much to the energy balance than all the factors listed by IPCC. In addition, cloud averages are misleading, day clouds cool, night clouds warm. So how are the climate models doing? Check this figure:

Not very encouraging. They all miss the mark. The only way to explain this discrepancy is that they all put too much emphasis on CO2 and way too little on clouds. The clouds are the main temperature regulator in the ecosystem, providing a strong negative feedback once the temperature is favorable for cloud formation. Unless the oceans run dry we will never have to worry about a thermal runaway.

However, it can get cold, and we will get another ice age, which is the normal steady state for the earth. This will start by increasing cloud cover for whatever reason. Let me name a few:

Volcanoes: Volcanic eruptions like Pinatubo can decrease global temperatures by a degree or so for a few years. A super volcano like Yosemite erupting will trigger the next ice age.

Solar cycles: Solar cycle 24 is the most quiet in a century. A new solar minimum is to occur in the next few years and solar cycle 25 promises to be even quieter. When this happened last time it caused the little ice age, the winters were brutal indeed, and cloud covers increased, cooling the earth by at least half a degree.

The earth’s magnetic field is starting to act erratically. The magnetic north pole is speeding up and is now way up in the Arctic, near the North pole. The chart on the right shows the observed north dip poles during 1831 – 2007 as yellow squares. Modeled pole locations from 1590 to 2020 are circles progressing from blue to yellow.

Image result for the earth's magnetic north pole

In addition the magnetic field is getting substantially weaker, maybe a breakup is possible having two North Poles and two South Poles. If this occurs, the protection from the cosmic radiation from the Sun will be weakened, causing more clouds and maybe trigger the next ice age.

This is new territory, and the best we can do is to increase CO2. It will not help much, but CO2 will help rather than hurt.

In any case, we are going to a cooler earth, and it is only a matter of time until we enter another ice age. The good news is, there is still time to develop and switch to Thorium based nuclear power generation when coal and oil are exhausted, and there is unlimited quantities of limestone to degas and make cement to keep the CO2 level up.

The good news is that thanks to increasing CO2 vegetation is increasing, reducing erosion, feeding another 2 billion people without starving, and also the fauna. The benefits flow from industrialized nations to developing nations that cannot afford fertilizers but benefit from the increased CO2. In addition, photo synthesis occur more efficiently, using less water with increasing CO2.

Here is then my response to the fourth national climate assessment.

 

 

1. Communities

Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.

(Urban Heat Island profile Image from Lawrence Berkeley Labs)

The impacts of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country. This is called the Urban Heat Island effect, and is in my opinion one of the major reasons urban dwellers believe in Climate Change, since they are experiencing it. Rural people on the other hand experience no such thing, they rather listen to their grand-father saying: It was much warmer and worse in the thirties. It remains a challenge though to build cities without an Urban Heat Effect; no more air conditioning, anyone?

2. Economy

Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.

The best mitigation we can do is encouraging electrification in developing countries. Learning from the Amish one can do a lot by using wind mills and solar energy locally. Communities will need conventional power plants, the least expensive way is to build power plants, using coal or renewables, rather than cooking their food with dried cow-dung as fuel. Coal fired plants will be necessary in the near future, but the long term solution is to switch to a Thorium based energy economy.

3. Interconnected Impacts

Climate change affects the natural, built, and social systems we rely on individually and through their connections to one another. These interconnected systems are increasingly vulnerable to cascading impacts that are often difficult to predict, threatening essential services within and beyond the Nation’s borders.

Climate change presents added risks to interconnected systems that are already exposed to a range of stressors such as aging and deteriorating infrastructure, land-use changes, and population growth. Since the changes are mostly beneficial with less tornadoes

Image result for u.s tornadoes

worldwide droughts are not increasing

Image result for worldwide droughts

hurricanes are decreasing
Image result for hurricane statistics
but annual rainfall is increasing somewhat.
Line graph showing the prevalence of unusually high annual precipitation in the contiguous 48 states for each year from 1895 to 2015.

This figure shows the percentage of the land area of the contiguous 48 states that experienced much greater than normal precipitation in any given year, which means it scored 2.0 or above on the annual Standardized Precipitation Index. The thicker line shows a nine-year weighted average that smooths out some of the year-to-year fluctuations.

Data source: NOAA, 20167
Web update: August 2016

Seen as a totality, weather related risks as a percentage of GDP is decreasing.

Related image

4. Actions to Reduce Risks

Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.

As seen in the introduction most of the real threats are that we are entering a colder phase in the ever changing climate. Increasing CO2 will help mitigate the problem. Long term, coal , gas and oil will run out, and the alternatives are renewables, such as hydro energy, biomass, solar and wind. They will not solve the problem, the highest need for solar is in heavily populated areas where real estate is spoken for. Rooftop solar will help, but at a high price. The best windmill places are already spoken for, far from the user. Hydroelectric is in areas far from consumers, and is mostly already utilized, except the Kongo river in Africa.

To get a grip on the need for more energy we need to develop Thorium nuclear energy as fast as possible. This will give us enough electrical energy for the next million years, saving precious hydrocarbons for carbon based transportation, like airplanes.

5. Water

The quality and quantity of water available for use by people and ecosystems across the country are being affected by climate change, increasing risks and costs to agriculture, energy production, industry, recreation, and the environment.

The safe, clean water essential to all life is rapidly running out in much of the world. Yet the politicians are concentrating on air pollution in the form of CO2 and methane as if a catastrophe is about to hit us. The world has not gotten any warmer in the last 20+ years, and the future trend is down, unless the sun does something quite unexpected. check US November average temperature.

In the meantime much of the world’s safe water supply is disappearing. The western US, much of the 10-40 corridor, Australia and western South America are using up its safe water much faster than it is replenished. In addition, what is left is getting polluted.Let me give you an anecdotal example.

A few years ago I was part of a team that made wet processing equipment for making  computer chip wafers. It involved cleaning and etching using isopropyl alcohol, hydrochloric, sulphuric, and hydrofluoric acid as well as Ozone, all potent stuff. To collect the used chemicals we had designed a 5-way output port, so the chemicals could be collected separately. The equipment was made and shipped off to South Korea. It was assembled in a brand new, state of the art positive air pressure clean room facility. The processing equipment was installed, and under the 5-way port was a large funnel, going  to the drain and directly out in the sewer.

A couple of years before, in the US we had a leaking valve, so a small amount of hydrofluoric acid got discharged into the sewage. This poisoned the sewage processing plant, and a large fine was levied. No such worry in Asia. The sewage goes directly out in the ocean to be diluted.

In China many of these facilities are inland, so large water aquifers get poisoned for centuries to come. In addition, Huang Ho (The Yellow River) does not empty out into the Ocean anymore part of the year, all the water is used. These are the people we entrust with our future production of just about everything, since we will have to cut down on our energy use thanks to a previous administration  hostile to energy development, while China is exempt, building dirty coal-fired plants as fast as they can. They install scrubbers, but scrubbers cost money to run, so they are frequently out of service ( being “serviced”). This results in a large brown upper atmosphere smog extending from China to Pakistan acting as a giant heat sink.

6. Health

Impacts from climate change on extreme weather and climate-related events, air quality, and the transmission of disease through insects and pests, food, and water increasingly threaten the health and well-being of the American people, particularly populations that are already vulnerable.

The temperature in the tropics will not change at all. Except the effect from the el Ninos and la Ninas the tropics has found its temperature. Where temperature will rise somewhat is at the poles, mostly from increased snowfall, and to a lesser degree from increasing CO2. Since many more people die from excessive cold than from excessive heat, this leads to improved health. We are having increased challenges with allergies, asthma and other diseases due to an increasingly polluted environment but CO2 is not a pollutant. The health challenges are enormous. People travel to places with drastically different bacteria and virus cultures,and absent from putting people in quarantine upon return, these challenges will increase.

7. Indigenous Peoples

Climate change increasingly threatens Indigenous communities’ livelihoods, economies, health, and cultural identities by disrupting interconnected social, physical, and ecological systems.

Many Indigenous peoples are reliant on natural resources for their economic, cultural, and physical well-being and are often uniquely affected by changing environmental conditions. The impacts of change on water, land, coastal areas, and other natural resources, as well as infrastructure and related services, are expected to increasingly disrupt Indigenous peoples’ livelihoods and economies, including agriculture and agroforestry, fishing, recreation, and tourism. Adverse impacts on subsistence activities have already been observed. As CO2 increases, adverse impacts on culturally significant species and resources are expected to result in continuing need for adaption as has always been the case.  The biggest impact on indigenous people is still the radio, TV and the internet.

8. Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services

Ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society are being altered by climate change, and these impacts are projected to continue. Without substantial and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, transformative impacts on some ecosystems will occur; some coral reef and sea ice ecosystems are already experiencing such transformational changes.

Many benefits provided by ecosystems and the environment, such as clean air and water, protection from coastal flooding, wood and fiber, crop pollination, hunting and fishing, tourism, cultural identities, and more will continue to be challenged as the climate always changes. One of the biggest challenges is the introduction of invasive species, leading to disruption in the ecosystem. One must exercise continuing vigilance limiting their introduction. One example is the introduction of the Kudzu vine as use for cattle fodder and to prevent soil erosion.

9. Agriculture

Rising temperatures, extreme heat, drought, wildfire on rangelands, and heavy downpours are expected to increasingly disrupt agricultural productivity in the United States. Expected increases in challenges to livestock health, declines in crop yields and quality, and changes in extreme events in the United States and abroad threaten rural livelihoods, sustainable food security, and price stability.

Agriculture is one of the major beneficiary of increasing CO2 levels. Photosynthesis works better with increasing CO2, and it consumes less water to do its work! As we can see from the picture below, the greatest increase in efficiency occurs in arid Sub-Sahara and the western part of the United States, India and Australia, all water starved regions.

https://lenbilen.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/increase.png?w=660

10. Infrastructure

Our Nation’s aging and deteriorating infrastructure is further stressed by increases in heavy precipitation events, coastal flooding, heat, wildfires, and other extreme events, as well as changes to average precipitation and temperature. Without adaptation, climate change will continue to degrade infrastructure performance over the rest of the century, with the potential for cascading impacts that threaten our economy, national security, essential services, and health and well-being.

Climate change and extreme weather events are expected to continue to disrupt our Nation’s energy and transportation systems, threatening power outages from a vulnerable national grid. Infrastructure designed for a time long past is deteriorating, vulnerable to weather extremes and increasingly to terrorist and cyber threats.. The continued increase in the frequency and extent of high-tide flooding due to the sinking of the Atlantic coast threatens America’s trillion-dollar coastal property market and public infrastructure.

Amazon has just decided to move their corporate headquarters to two new locations, one of which is the tidewaters of Queens, a location that was completely flooded by superstorm Sandy, so Amazon Corporation, for one, is not worried.

11. Oceans & Coasts

Coastal communities and the ecosystems that support them are increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change. Without significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions and regional adaptation measures, many coastal regions will be transformed by the latter part of this century, with impacts affecting other regions and sectors. Even in a future with lower greenhouse gas emissions, many communities are expected to suffer financial impacts as chronic high-tide flooding leads to higher costs and lower property values.

 

Global average sea levels have not risen at all the last 2 years.

And if we look at the data from 1993 (the year satellite measurements began) the amount of sea level rise is not increasing.

The average sea level rise over the whole world is 3.4 mm/year or about a foot per century, and is not increasing. We are still recovering from the last ice age. The planet is becoming less ovoid, more like a sphere. In the Bothnian Bay land is rising out of the ocean at a rate of about 3 feet per century and in Hudson Bay the rise is as much as 4 feet per century. It is by no means over yet.

csm_DTRF2014_v_greenland_scandinavia_plateboundaries_481f1121db The displaced water gets redistributed over the rest of the earth. In addition the Mid-Atlantic ridge is expanding and rising with numerous undersea volcanoes, maybe up to one third of all undersea volcanoes are located between Jan Mayen and Svalbard. Tectonic plate movements explain the rest.

csm_DTRF2014_hz_global_plateboundaries_5ac4c94f02The Eastern Seaboard is slowly sinking into the sea, more than the rest of the world. The expansion of the ocean water volume is not accelerating.The take home from this picture is that there are cyclical factors quite apart from rising CO2, but sea level rise is not accelerating.

As to ocean acidification, blame the Chinese. They use half of the worlds coal production and spews out more acidification emission than the rest of the world combined. This ends up in the upper pacific region, and some even reaches the Arctic snow, resulting in lower albedo and earlier snowmelt, even as overall snowfall is increasing.

https://lenbilen.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/ph-feb-ocean-800.jpg?w=660

Check the brown cloud over China!

12. Tourism and Recreation

Outdoor recreation, tourist economies, and quality of life are reliant on benefits provided by our natural environment that will be degraded by the impacts of climate change in many ways.

The greening of the world that is occurring with increased CO2 does not only have great benefits to agriculture (point #9), but it beneficial to wild plants and animals as well. Trees will grow in areas before considered too dry, and their roots will help reduce erosion, and in time improve the soil. More vegetation, more birds and animals make for better wildlife areas. Yes there will be more flies, gnats and other insects as well, but that is part of nature. If you don’t like nature, even though they are shrinking, there will still be a few deserts left for you to tourist in.

People, raw material and energy, the trade war with China, and will tariffs solve anything?

We are in a pickle. At least we were until President Trump stirred the pot and decided to address the trade war with China that has been going on for more than a decade, encouraged and abetted by former President Obama and his religious belief that the biggest threat to civilization is not nuclear holocaust, chemical poisoning of people and the earth or super-volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural phenomena, but climate change, all man-made of course.

Let us compare the economies of China and the U.S. in raw numbers.

1. Concrete. China produced 51.4% of the world’s cement in 2015, USA produced 1.8%. China’s production was almost 30 times larger.

It takes a lot of concrete to build artificial islands so they can take control of the South China Sea.

2 Steel production. China produced 50.3% of the world’s crude Steel in 2015, USA produced 4.9%. China’s production was over 20 times larger. Some of this steel was dumped below production cost to crush our domestic low end steel industry. An example: Rolled steel to make steel cans were exported at about $200 a ton, the production cost in the U.S. is more like $400 a ton.

3. Aluminum (or Aluminium as the British and IUPAC call it) China produced 41% of the world’s raw aluminum in 2010, USA produced 4.5%. China’s production was nearly 10 times larger.

This is easily rectified. Aluminum is produced where electricity is abundant and cheap, like in Norway and Iceland. Aluminum is produced whenever there is excess electric capacity, never on peak hours. Even here China dumps their excess Aluminum.

4. Coal. China burned 51.2% of the world’s coal in 2012, USA produced 12.5%. China’s production was more than four times larger.

This of course with the Paris accord in mind. U.S. and the European countries are to limit their emissions and slowly diminish them, down to a per capita emission comparable to the mid 1800’s, while China, being a developing country is allowed to increase their emissions until 2030, and then stabilize them, not decrease them.

If this seems like we have already sold out to China, it is nothing compared to

5. Rare Earth Metals. First, rare earth metals re not rare at all, they exist in small quantities together with Thorium and sometimes Uranium wherever other metals are mined.

The Lanthanides occur in quantity in Monazite, a byproduct of mining Phosphates, but also as a byproduct of mining Titanium, and even from some Iron ores. The rare earth metals are free to begin extraction if it was not for one thing, they also contain Thorium, and Thorium is radio-active, so in the mid 1980’s the NRC and IAEA reclassified Monazite and anything containing Thorium as a “Source Material” and after that it became too costly to comply with all the regulations for nuclear material, so all production of rare earth minerals ceased in the U.S.

China saw an opportunity to grab the world market for Rare Earth Metals and is now controlling about 94% of the supply of all rare earth metals.

So what are rare earth metals used for?

China now has a de facto monopoly on all usages of rare earth metals, and in the case of war or an embargo, not only are our precious cell phones and computers in jeopardy, so is our defense, night vision goggles, aircraft engines, navigation systems, laser guidance, just to name a few uses.

And not only that, we import the completed parts from China, even for our most sophisticated military equipment, such as the F35 aircraft, after telling the Chinese how to make the components. The very same components are now in China’s version of the F35, still under development, but in a year or so China will have their faithful copies made!

This is clearly unsustainable, so in 2014  Congress tried to pass HR 4883 and         S 2006 to remedy the situation, but the bills got killed in review by none other than the defense department, citing National Security!

We are no longer under the Obama “Strategic Patience” doctrine, so an updated version of these bills need to be introduced ASAP, or we will be on the hook from China forever!

After all this, the current spat with North Korea seems like a nuisance.

 

Hillary okayed sale of Uranium mine to Russia for bribes, donations and a honorarium.

So Hillary sold our Uranium

for bribes and a huge honorarium.

Putin sold to Iran

yellow cake, with no ban.

Is anything left in her cranium?

This sheds new light on her “Reset” with Russia in Geneva, March 2009.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opened her first extended talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by giving himperegruzka a present meant to symbolize the Obama administration’s vow to “press the reset button” on U.S.-Russia relations.

She handed a palm-sized box wrapped with a bow. Lavrov opened it and pulled out the gift: a red button on a yellow base with a Russian word peregruzka printed on top.

“We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?” Clinton asked.

“You got it wrong,” Lavrov said.

Instead of “reset,” Lavrov said the word on the box meant “overcharge.”peregruzkareset

Hillary and Sergei laughed.

“We won’t let you do that to us,” she said.

It doesn’t say ПЕРЕГРУЗКА on the button, it says PEREGRUZKA. The mistranslation is bad enough, but using Roman letters instead of Cyrillic? What was going on? Didn’t anyone realize they use a different alphabet over there? There are two possible explanations: Ignorance, or arrogance on the part of the Hillary Clinton State Department. I know  Hillary Clinton has demonstrated plenty of both in statements such as: “What difference does it make?”

How has this reset worked out for us? Besides Iran, Syria, Turkey, Hezbollah, Libya, Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and many other countries where U.S. and Russia have opposing interests, and Poland where we plainly sold out the missile defense, we are in a pickle on at least two fronts:

1. Space exploration.

Since Obama made it NASA’s highest priority to promote the contributions of Islam to science and the scrapping of the space shuttle program with no replacements in sight we are still totally dependent on Russia to ferry our astronaut scientists to and from the space station.

Russia is doing the rational thing: Tripling the fees from $22 million to  $71 million to transport just one American astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard its Soyuz spacecraft in 2016. –

2. Uranium. By selling 20% of our Uranium to Russia via a Canadian Corporation in exchange for a a total of $145 million donations to the Clinton Foundation and a half million dollar speaking fee for Bill Clinton, this has left us vulnerable to extortion, since we are 90% dependent on imported Uranium for our electricity production. The U.S. only have 1.9% of the world’s Uranium resources. Losing control over 20% of the 1.9% means we are now even more vulnerable in our power generation, not to mention national security.

Maybe Hillary really meant “Overcharge” instead of reset? Hillary, as well as Obama seemed to love to give money and influence to our adversaries instead of caring about our economy at home.

We need a major national effort in developing Thorium based Nuclear energy. there is a million year supply of Thorium, as opposed to Uranium, where we are hopelessly reduced to importing 92% or more of our need.

Here are https://lenbilen.com/2017/07/14/twenty-two-reasons-to-rapidly-develop-thorium-based-nuclear-power-generation/

One more reason to switch to Thorium as feed-stock for nuclear power.

Uranium is the feed-stock for nuclear power. It is also the material necessary to make nuclear bombs.

The United States has 138,200 tonnes of Uranium reserves recoverable at less than $260 per kilogram, 1.9% of the world total.

The United States has, as of 2014, produced 343,075 tons of Uranium, or about 13% of the world total.

The United States consumed in 2016 18,69 tons of Uranium, about 29% of the world total, about 90% of which was imported.

Which brings up the following question: Why did the Obama administration sell 20% of our proven reserves of this strategically important material to Russia?

It is of utmost importance to immediately restart the development of nuclear reactors that use Thorium as its feed-stock.

The other 22 reasons to switch to Thorium are listed here:

https://lenbilen.com/2017/07/14/twenty-two-reasons-to-rapidly-develop-thorium-based-nuclear-power-generation/

Rising CO2, more clouds, a blessing or a curse? A Limerick.

The clouds that we see in the sky
is really the reason for why
we will not overheat;
Shields us from solar heat.
A feedback on which we rely.
I am a climate realist, that means I look at the totality of what is happening to the climate with increasing CO2 levels, and what it means for our future.

Climate alarmists and IPCC believe that the thermal response to increasing CO2 is a positive feedback from increasing water vapor that results from higher ocean temperatures, melting permafrost releasing Methane and melting of the polar ice caps. All this leads to much higher temperatures. Current climate model averages indicate a temperature rise of 4.7 C by 2100 if nothing is done, 4.65 C if U.S keeps all its Paris commitments and 4.53 C if all countries keep their part of the agreement. In all cases, with or without Paris agreement we are headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.

As the chart indicates, implementing all of the Paris agreement will delay the end of mankind as we know it by at most 4 years.

Myself and quite a few scientists, meteorologists, but mostly engineers believe the feedback loop in nature is far more complicated than that, in fact, there is a large negative feedback in the system, preventing a temperature runaway, and we have the observations to prove it.  The negative feedback manifests itself in 2 ways:

Inorganic feedback, represented by clouds. If there were no clouds, the tropics would average a temperature of  140 F  thanks to the greenhouse effect. The clouds reflect back up to 300 W/m2 into space rather than the same energy being absorbed into water or soil. Clouds are highly temperature dependent, especially cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds. The figure below shows temperature at the equator in the Pacific Ocean.

Cumulus clouds are formed in the morning, earlier the warmer it is, and not at all if it is cold, thunderstorms appear when it is warm enough. The figure shows how temperature in the equatorial Pacific rises until about 8:30 a.m, then actually declines between 9 and 12 a.m. even as the sun continues to rise. The feedback, which was positive at low temperatures becomes negative at warmer temperatures, and in the equatorial doldrums, surface temperature has found its equilibrium. No amount of CO2 will change that. Equatorial temperature follows the temperature of the ocean, warmer when there is an el niño, cooler when there is a la niña. Here is a chart of temperature increases since satellite measurements began as a function of latitude.

The tropics follow the ocean temperature closely, no long term rising trend, the extratropics are also stable.

Not so at the poles. the temperature record indicate a noticeable warming with large spikes up and down, up to 3 degree Celsius difference from year to year, especially the Arctic. So, how much has the Arctic melted? Here is a chart of Arctic ice cover for 31 May for the last 39 years.

If this trend continues, all ice may melt in 300 to 400 years, faster if there is further warming and nothing else is changing. Let’s take a look at the Arctic above the 80th latitude, an area of about 3,85 million square kilometers, less than 1% of the earth’s surface, but it is there where global warming is most pronounced. Here are two charts from the last 2 years, ending with Jul. 19,  2017.

Starting at summer 2016, the Arctic was melting quite normally, but something else happened that is not shown in the chart. Every 5 years or so, the Arctic suffer a large storm with full hurricane strength during the summer. In 2016 there was not one, but two such storms, and as they happened late in the season when the ice is rotten they result in a large ice loss, making the ice minimum the lowest on record, and the ice volume nearly 4,000 Gigatons (Gt) less than the 10 year average. Then the temperature from October thru April did run 7 degree Celsius warmer than normal with a spike as high as 20 degrees warmer. Yet today the deficit is down to less than 100 Gt. What happened? It snowed more than normal. In the Arctic, it gets warmer under clouds, warmer still when it snows. Take a look at Greenland and what has happened this freezing season. It has snowed and snowed and Greenland has accumulated 150 Gt more ice than normal. So, at this point in the season we are a total of 1650 Gt ahead of last year at this date (July 21), and this is with Arctic temperatures being seven degrees warmer than normal during the cold season. The counterintuitive conclusion is that it may very well be that warmer temperatures produces accumulation of snow and ice, colder temperatures with less snow accumulates less. What happens during the short Arctic summer? With more snow accumulated it takes longer to melt last years snow, so the temperature stays colder longer. This year the Arctic temperature has been running colder than normal every day since May 1 with no end in sight. If this melting period ends without melting all snow, multi year ice will accumulate, and if it continues unabated, a new ice age will start.

The second feedback loop is organic. More CO2 means more plant growth.  According to NASA there has been a significant greening of the earth, more than 10% since satellite measurements begun. This results in a cooling effect everywhere, except in areas that used to be treeless where they have a warming effect. The net effect is that we can now feed 2 billion more people than before without using more fertilizer. Check this picture from NASA, (now they can publish real science again) showing the increased leaf area extends nearly everywhere.

In addition, more leafs changes the water cycle, increases evapotranspiration, and more trees and vegetation reduces erosion and unwanted runoff. Good news all around.

In short, taking into account the negative feedback occurring the earth will warm up less than 0.5 degrees from now, not at all in the tropics, and less than 3 degrees at the poles. Without the Paris agreement there will be no increase in the death rates in the cities, except from the slight increase of city temperatures due to the urban heat effect. With the Paris agreement we will have to make draconian cuts in our use of electricity, meaning using much less air conditioning and even less heating, and life expectancy will decline.

We need energy. It takes a lot of energy to clean up the planet. Developing nations should be encouraged to use electricity rather than cooking by dried cow-dung. Coal is limited, and we should leave some for our great great grandchildren. Oil and gas should be preserved for aviation, since there is no realistic alternative with a high enough energy density. Therefore I am an advocate for Thorium based nuclear energy, being safer than Uranium based nuclear energy, and, properly implemented will produce about 0.01% of the long term radioactive waste compared to conventional nuclear power plants. And there is a million year supply  of Thorium available. Once the electricity power plants have fully switched away from coal and gas, then and only then is it time to switch to electric cars.  https://lenbilen.com/2017/07/14/twenty-two-reasons-to-rapidly-develop-thorium-based-nuclear-power-generation/

Twenty-two reasons to rapidly develop Thorium based Nuclear Power generation.

We need badly to develop a Thorium based molten salt fast breeder nuclear reactor to develop our energy needs in the future. Lest anyone should be threatened by the words fast breeder, it simply means it uses fast neutrons instead of thermal neutron, and breeder means it produces more fissible material than it consumes, in the case of Thorium the ratio is about 1.05.

Here are 22 good reasons for Thorium:

1. Cheap and unlimited raw material.

2. Much less TRansUranium waste, 0.01% waste products compared to a Uranium-235 fast breeder.

3. Produces Pu-238 as one of the final TRans Uranium products, in short supply and much in demand for space exploration nuclear power.

4. Radioactive waste decays down to background radiation in 300 years instead of a million years.

5. Does not produce Plutonium 239, which is the preferred material used in nuclear bombs.

6. Produces isotopes that helps cure certain cancers.

7. Thorium Nuclear Reactors are earthquake safe.

8. No risk for a meltdown, the fuel is already molten.

9. Very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control.

10. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions.

11. Virtually no spent fuel problem, no storage or transport.

12.  Scales beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants.

13. No need for evacuation zones, can be placed near urban areas.

14. Rapid response to increased or decreased power demands.

15. Lessens the need for an expanded national grid.

16. Russia has a Thorium program.

17. China is having a massive Thorium program.

18. India has an active Thorium program.

19.Lawrence Livermore Laboratories is developing a small portable self-contained Thorium reactor capable of being carried on a low-bed trailer.

20. The need for a Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility will eventually go away.

21. Produces electricity at a cost of about 4 c/kWh.

22. Can deplete some of the existing radioactive waste and nuclear weapons stockpiles.

1. Cheap and unlimited raw material. There is enough Thorium around for a million years at today’s worldwide energy generation level , and not only that, it is a by-product of mining heavy metals and rare earth metals. The price is the cost of extracting and refining, which can be as low as $40/Kg. No extra mining required for extracting the Thorium.

2. Much less TRansUranium waste, 0.01% waste products compared to a Uranium-235 fast breeder. The Thorium process has a much higher efficiency in fission than  the Uranium process. See the figure below.

3. Produces Pu-238 as one of the final TRans Uranium products, in short supply and much in demand for space exploration nuclear power.

NASA relies on pu-238 to power long-lasting spacecraft batteries that transform heat into electricity. With foreign and domestic supplies dwindling, NASA officials are worried the shortage will prevent the agency from sending spacecraft to the outer planets and other destinations where sunlight is scarce. Thorium reactors produce PU-238 as a “free” byproduct.  In 2009 Congress denied a request to produce more Pu-238 by traditional means, instead relying on Russia to sell us the plutonium. (Remember the Russian reset?) Russia made their last delivery in 2010.

4. Radioactive waste decays down to background radiation in 300 years instead of a million years. Initially a Thorium reactor produces as much radioactivity as other nuclear reactors, since fission converts mass to heat, but the decay products have a much shorter half-life. See the figure below.

5. Does not produce Plutonium239, which is the preferred material used in nuclear bombs. The higher Plutonium isotopes and other TRansUraniums are about as nasty as they get, and need expensive protection against terror attacks, and need to be stored for a very long time.

6. Produces isotopes that helps cure certain cancers. For decades, medical researchers have sought treatments for cancer. Now, Alpha Particle Immunotherapy offers a promising treatment for many forms of cancer, and perhaps a cure. Unfortunately, the most promising alpha-emitting medical isotopes, actinium-225 and its daughter, bismuth-213, are not available in sufficient quantity to support current research, much less therapeutic use. In fact, there are only three sources in the world that largely “milk” these isotopes from less than 2 grams of thorium source material. Additional supplies were not forthcoming. Fortunately, scientists and engineers at Idaho National Laboratory identified 40-year-old reactor fuel stored at the lab as a substantial untapped resource and developed Medical Actinium for Therapeutic Treatment, or MATT, which consists of two innovative processes (MATT-CAR and MATT-BAR) to recover this valuable medical isotope.

7. Earthquake safe. Thorium reactors have a very simple and compact design where gravity is the only thing needed to stop the nuclear reaction. Conventional Nuclear reactors depend on external power to shut down after a SCRAM, where poison rods fall down to halt the reaction.  The next figure shows the concept of a Thorium reactor.

The idea is to empty the fissile U-233 core through gravity alone. Since the fuel is already molten, it can run out into channels like pig-iron into cooling heat exchangers with  water supplied through gravity alone.

As we can see the reactor hardened structure is compact, and can be completely earthquake and tsunami proof. What can be sheared off are the steam pipes and external power, but the shutdown can complete without additional power.

8. No risk for a meltdown, the fuel is already molten. The fuel in a Thorium reactor is U-233 in the form of UraniumFluoride (UF4) salt that also contains Lithium and Beryllium, in its molten form it has a very low vapor pressure. The salt flows easily through the heat exchangers and the separators. The salt is very toxic, but it is completely sealed.

9. Very high negative temperature coefficient leading to a safe and stable control. This is another beauty of the molten salt design. The temperature coefficient is highly negative, leading to a safe design with simple and consistent feedback. What does that mean?  It means that if temperature in the core rises, the efficiency of the reaction goes down, leading to less heat generated. There is no risk for a thermal runaway. In contrast, Chernobyl used graphite moderated Uranium , and it suffered a thermal runaway as the operators bypassed three safety circuits trying to capture the last remaining power during a normal shut-down. The reactor splat, the graphite caught fire and the rest is history. Five days later two nuclear installations in Sweden shut down their reactors due to excessive radiation, but it took a while before they could figure out what had happened. First then did the Soviets confess there had been an accident.

10. Atmospheric pressure operating conditions, no risk for explosions. Materials subjected to high radiation tend to get brittle or soften up. Thorium reactors operate under atmospheric conditions so the choice of materials that can withstand both high temperatures and high radiation is much greater, leading to a superior and less expensive design.  There is no high pressure gas buildup and the separation stage can be greatly simplified.

11. Virtually no spent fuel problem, no storage or transport. I am following the events at Fukushima Nuclear Power plants with great interest. How ironic that the greatest risk is with the spent fuel, not with the inability to shut down the working units. The spent fuel issue is the real Achilles’ heel of the Nuclear Power Industry. Thorium power works differently as nearly all fuel gets consumed as it is generated. When the process shuts down, that is it. Only the radioactivity that is en route so to say will have to be accounted for, not everything generated thus far in the process. The difference is about 10000 to one in the size of the problem. Time to switch over to Thorium.

12.  Scales beautifully from small portable generators to full size power plants. One of the first applications was as an airborne nuclear reactor.

 Granted this was not a Thorium breeder reactor, but it proves nuclear reactors can be made lightweight. Thorium reactor may be made even lighter as long as they are not of the breeder type.

13. No need for evacuation zones, can be placed near urban areas. Thorium reactors operate at atmospheric pressure and have a very high negative temperature coefficient, so there is no risk for a boil-over. They are easily made earthquake-safe since no pressure vessel is needed.

14. Rapid response to increased or decreased power demands. The increase in power output to increased power demand is faster than in coal-fired power plant. All you have to do is increase the speed of flow in the core and it will respond with raised temperature.

15. Lessens the need for an expanded national grid. The National Electric grid is at the breaking point. It needs to be expanded, but neighborhood resistance is building in many areas where they need an expansion the most. The grid is also sensitive to terrorism activities.

 As we can see the national grid is extensive, and under constant strain. A way to lessen the dependency on the national grid is to sprinkle it with many small to medium sized Thorium Nuclear Power generators.  They can be placed on barges in rivers and along the coast, giving the grid maximum flexibility to respond in  case of an emergency.

16. Russia has a Thorium program This is a self-contained Thorium Nuclear Reactor on a barge. Coolant readily available. Hoist it a couple of cables and the town will have all the power it needs.

17. China is having a massive Thorium program. The People’s Republic of China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology, it was announced in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) annual conference on Tuesday, January 25. An article in the Wenhui News followed on Wednesday. Chinese researchers also announced this development on the Energy from Thorium Discussion Forum. Led by Dr. Jiang Mianheng, a graduate of Drexel University in electrical engineering, the thorium MSR efforts aims not only to develop the technology but to secure intellectual property rights to its implementation. This may be one of the reasons that the Chinese have not joined the international Gen-IV effort for MSR development, since part of that involves technology exchange. Neither the US nor Russia have joined the MSR Gen-IV effort either. A Chinese delegation led by Dr. Jiang travelled to Oak Ridge National Lab last fall to learn more about MSR technology and told lab leadership of their plans to develop a thorium-fueled MSR.The Chinese also recognize that a thorium-fueled MSR is best run with uranium-233 fuel, which inevitably contains impurities (uranium-232 and its decay products) that preclude its use in nuclear weapons. Operating an MSR on the “pure” fuel cycle of thorium and uranium-233 means that a breakeven conversion ratio can be achieved, and after being started on uranium-233, only thorium is required for indefinite operation and power generation.

18. India has an active Thorium program. • India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power program and expects to have 20,000 MWe nuclear capacity on line by 2020 and 63,000 MWe by 2032.  It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050. • Because India is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to its weapons program, it was for 34 years largely excluded from trade in nuclear plant or materials, which has hampered its development of civil nuclear energy until 2009. • Due to these trade bans and lack of indigenous uranium, India has uniquely been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium. • Now, foreign technology and fuel are expected to boost India’s nuclear power plans considerably.  All plants will have high indigenous engineering content. • India has a vision of becoming a world leader in nuclear technology due to its expertise in fast reactors and thorium fuel cycle. • India’s Kakrapar-1 reactor is the world’s first reactor which uses thorium rather than depleted uranium to achieve power flattening across the reactor core. India, which has about 25% of the world’s thorium reserves, is developing a 300 MW prototype of a thorium-based Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR). The prototype is expected to be fully operational by 2011, following which five more reactors will be constructed. Considered to be a global leader in thorium-based fuel, India’s new thorium reactor is a fast-breeder reactor and uses a plutonium core rather than an accelerator to produce neutrons. As accelerator-based systems can operate at sub-criticality they could be developed too, but that would require more research. India currently envisages meeting 30% of its electricity demand through thorium-based reactors by 2050.

19.Lawrence Livermore Laboratories is developing a small portable self-contained Thorium reactor capable of being carried on a low-bed trailer. A Democratic member of the United States House of Congress (Joseph Sestak) in 2010 added funding for research and development for a reactor that could use thorium as fuel and fit on a destroyer-sized ship.  Lawrence Livermore national laboratories are currently in the process of designing such a self-contained (3 meters by 15 meters) thorium reactor. Called SSTAR (Small, Sealed, Transportable, Autonomous Reactor), this next-generation reactor will produce 10 to 100 megawatts electric and can be safely transported via ship or truck.  The first units are expected to arrive in 2015, be tamper resistant, passively failsafe and have a operative life of 30+ years.

20. The need for a Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility will eventually go away. Since Thorium consumes the fissile material as it is getting created, the need for a long term storage facility of the Yucca Mountain type will eventually go away. In remote locations there can be built Thorium Nuclear Power generators that consume spent material from other nuclear processes. The need to do it in remote locations is the hazard of the already existing nuclear wastes. It should be possible to reduce the existing stockpile of nuclear wastes and nuclear bombs by about 90% and make electricity in the process. The cost to do this is higher than the normal process due to the additional cost of security.

21. Produces electricity at a cost of about 4 c/kWh.  The cost to produce electricity with Thorium generators should be about 40% less than Advanced Nuclear and about 30 % less than from Coal (with scrubbers). Solar generation is about 4 times more expensive (without subsidies) Wind power is cheaper when the wind blows, but the generation capacity has to be there even when the wind doesn’t blow, so the only gain from wind power is to lessen the mining or extraction of carbon.  Even if we double the renewable power we will only go from 3.6% to 7.2% of total energy needed.  Hydroelectric  power is for all practical purpose maxed out, so all future increase must come from Coal, Natural Gas, Petroleum or Nuclear. Thorium powered Nuclear Generators is the way to go.

Many of the pictures are from a slide presentation given by David Archibald in Melbourne Feb 5 2011. He posted it “for the benefit of all” which I have interpreted as waving the copyright of the pictures

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/12/david-archibald-on-climate-and-energy-security/